Bought Merrell Moab 2 lows on Oct 16, 2017 - about 4.5 months ago. Two of the eyelet loops have ripped and am unable to lace. Had to punch a hole through the sneaker to put the laces through ! Always have liked Merrell shoes, but this lacing design is a real failure in my opinion.. dmy
How many times (days) did you wear them? If you were wearing them every day, putting 20 miles a day on them (aka “a thru-hike”), that might not be unusual. If this happened on the third weekend backpack in Tennessee, that would definitely not be good.
Where were you hiking? Some types of terrain (lots of rocks, etc.) can also affect wear.
Loc: Portland, OR
Glenn is correct to wonder how much and what type of use is being described by "4.5 months".
However, I have read more than one hiker saying that the Merrell Moab's design emphasizes light weight, breathability, and comfort over durability. It's hard to make a light, breezy trail shoe for use in deserts that is as durable as shoes built for less hot places. You can try returning them as defective through the original seller, but I would not expect much different performance in a replacement pair.
It used to be, back in 1980, that hiking and camping gear was built to be “bombproof.” Bombproof gear was neither inexpensive nor light. 8-pound packs were the rule - they held 7 pound tents and 2 pound cooksets, and you paid $300 for the best of them (about $600 in today’s dollars.)
And you needed Boots to carry it all. Not little running shoes, but BOOTS - all leather, steel shanks, took months to break in - and they lasted years. $200 dollar boots (at the cheap end.)
Eventually, we realized that not everyone was going to Everest for the weekend, or the wilds of Alaska for 6 months, unsupported. We found out gear didn’t have to be bombproof, and didn’t have to result in a second mortgage. We started getting light, affordable gear - and found we could carry that lighter load with lighter, more affordable shoes, built more like those running shoes and less than Boots.
There was a trade off: nothing lasts forever - and that’s OK, especially in a time of rapid technological change. So, expectations changed - for example, doing half a dozen or a dozen long weekend trips per year in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area, I plan to replace my light nylon hikers about every 3-5 years. (My old Vasque Skywalkers, all leather, lasted 10 with no problem - and cost twice what the Oboz I bought last year cost.) Most thru-hiker accounts I read talk about getting 700 - 1,000 miles on a pair of boots, as I recall, instead of talking about how long a time they will last.