In this paper, we demonstrate the significant impact of (a) the mobility rate and (b) the user density on the performance of routing protocols in ad-hoc mobile networks. In particular, we study the effect of these parameters on two different approaches for designing routing protocols: (a) the route creation and maintenance approach and (b) the support approach that forces few hosts to move, acting as helpers for message delivery. We study one representative protocol for each approach, i.e. AODV for the first approach and RUNNERS for the second. We have implemented the two protocols and performed a large scale and detailed simulation study of their performance. The main findings are: the AODV protocol behaves well in networks of high user density and low mobility rate, while its performance drops for sparse networks of highly mobile users. On the other hand, the RUNNERS protocol seems to tolerate well (and in fact benefit from) high mobility rates and low densities.