• Comfort 80% 80%
  • Stability 60% 60%
  • Traction 60% 60%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Price: $135

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.25lb (1.02kg)

Boot Type: Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot

Width Options: Regular, Wide

Waterproof Lining: M Select™ DRY waterproof breathable membrane

Upper: Suede leather/mesh

Shank: Molded nylon arch shank

Midsole: EVA

Sole: Vibram TC5+

Warranty: Condition dependent

Sizes: 7-15 US

Color Options: 4

What We Like: Comfortable, economical, lightweight

What We Don’t: Could use improvements with durability, stability, and waterproofing

If you’re on a tight budget but refuse to go without waterproofing, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP may just be a very viable option. At only $135, it’s tough to find a better deal on a high-quality waterproof boot without sorting through the selection at REI’s Garage Sale aisle. However, although these economical boots are pretty comfortable with excellent heel support, we found them lacking in durability, waterproofing, and stability. Although they are advertised as a midweight hiker/backpacking boot, it might be more appropriate to list them as a lightweight/day hiking boot.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

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Merrell was formed in 1981 by two former executives from the Rossignol ski company and a custom bootmaker by the name of Randal Ivan Merrell. The company experienced rapid growth until 1997 when it was acquired by Wolverine World Wide, which helped it grow into an even bigger name in outdoor clothing and accessories. Merrell’s first boot, the Moab, was first put on sale in 1982, and today this style remains a top seller. The Moab line includes multiple variants of their ventilated and waterproof shoes and boots as well as ankle and crew socks.   One of the top sellers in the popular Moab line is the Moab 2 Mid Waterproof (WP), a midweight hiker/backpacking boot that utilizes Merrell’s proprietary M Select DRY waterproof lining. Much like Lowa’s Renegade hiking boot, the Moab 2 does a great job of illustrating that it can often be better to improve on a solid design than start from scratch with a new one. At a price of only $135, these are the most inexpensive waterproof hiking boots in our review, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that these are “cheap.” That said, they are not without their drawbacks.
The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

Comfort & Weight

One of the first things we noted about the Moab 2 Mid WPs is that they were comfortable right from the get-go. The M Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA midsole provides excellent cushioning, further reinforced by contoured footbeds and Merrell Air Cushion in the heels. In addition, the toe box is nice and roomy, and the bellowed, closed-cell foam tongue is well-padded.

 

Merrell utilizes a relatively simple lacing system for the Moab 2 line, with five fabric eyelets running up from the bottom of the boot followed by a set of metal hook eyelets at the top. Unfortunately, these eyelets could be a bit more durable and may wear out from repeated re-lacing or snagging on briars.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

A pair of men’s size 11 Moab 2 Mid WPs weigh around 2.25 lbs (1.02 kg), making them one of the lightest boots in our review. Although we can appreciate the lightweight design, we also could see the benefits of adding a bit more material to these boots to reinforce their overall durability.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

Traction & Stability

For the Moab 2 Mid WP outsole, Merrell selected Vibram TC5+, which has 5mm lugs with a tread pattern that honestly could use slight improvement. It simply didn’t boast the grip that we found with Contagrip or even the Vibram Evo, so while it proved sufficient in mud and dirt, the grippiness fell just a little short when traversing rocks.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

Stability is another factor where the Moab 2 Mids fell just a tad short. While the suede leather and mesh uppers are pretty comfortable, the low ankle height does not instill a vast degree of confidence. However, the 4.7-inch-wide forefoot is quite wide and should assist in overall stability, while the Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA footbed provides excellent arch and heel support.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

Water Resistance & Durability

Similar to Keen, Merrell has elected to save customers a bit of money by using a proprietary waterproofing material rather than relying upon Gore-Tex. That would be their M Select DRY waterproof breathable membrane. Much like Keen’s Keen.DRY waterproof membrane, the M Select Dry, although cost-saving, simply doesn’t quite stack up to Gore-Tex when it comes to balancing water resistance and breathability. In addition, the low ankle height on the Moab 2 Mid means that it’s more likely for water to splash up over the top of the boot.

 

The durability of the Moab 2 Mid WPs has both strengths and weaknesses. The toe cap is tall enough to do a bang-up job of protecting the rest of the boot from, well, bang-ups, and the exterior of the boot, as well as the outsole, seemed to hold up well to an extended period on the trail. However, the mesh lining inside the boot, included to improve breathability, could wear out or even tear after repeated use. Also, as mentioned earlier, the fabric lace eyelets could be better reinforced like the leather eyelets on competing boots.

 

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

Styles & Sizes

The four color options for this boot are Beluga, Earth, Boulder, and Gold. Sizes range from 7-15 US, and both regular- and wide-fit options are available. The warranty for Merrell shoes is listed as condition-dependent.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

If you’re on a tight budget but refuse to go without waterproofing, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP may just be a very viable option. At only $135, it’s tough to find a better deal on a high-quality waterproof boot without sorting through the used selection at REI’s Garage Sale aisle. However, although these economical boots are quite comfortable with excellent heel support, we did find them a bit lacking when it came to durability, waterproofing, and stability. Although they are advertised as a midweight hiker/backpacking boot, it might be more appropriate to list them as a lightweight/day hiking boot.

The Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!