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Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Review (2023 Updated)

The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof hiking boots are great options for the average hiker. They provide solid support and flexibility over casual hiking trails and can even manage some rough terrain.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Boots

With the help of the high-performance Vibram outsole, you can walk confidently on slippery surfaces without worrying about slipping and falling.

  • Protective toe cap
  •  Keeps out debris
  • Breathable mesh lining
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

I recently tested these boots during my trek through the Kulen Mountain in Siem Reap and was really impressed by the durability, traction, and even the underfoot protection.

Unfortunately, these boots struggle with heavy-duty backpacking trips, lacking the proper support for your feet when carrying a heavy pack load.

That said, if you’re looking for footwear that’s affordable and can keep your feet comfortable and dry on moderate hiking trails, then this is an ideal choice to go with.

Below, we’ll get into the specifics of how this hiking boot fared during its testing period, how it compares to past and current products, and how others feel about it.


  • Leather: 100%
  • Traction: Vibram
  • Midsole: Lightweight EVA foam
  • Insole: Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable


  • The sizing options and roomy toe box make this a great boot for hikers with wider feet
  • Nylon arch shank provides added arch support and stability
  • M-Select Dry waterproof membranes keep water out and let your feet stay dry
  • Bellows tongue manages to keep out plenty of debris


  • Flexible design isn’t appropriate for intensive hikes
  • The design is heavier than previous models

Things We Tested When Reviewing Merrell Moab 2 Mid

a pair of merrell moab 2 mid GTX hiking shoes sitting on the floor for photo shooting

1. Traction

These hiking bots are made with a Vibram TC5+ outsole, which has a 5mm lug depth grip [1]. This means that the boot’s tread pattern is meant to provide traction and stability on all surfaces regardless of the weather.

Now, when I tested these hiking boots on the Kulen Mountain trail, they gave me an excellent grip on the wet rocks and muddy surfaces near the waterfalls.

While they didn’t hold up as much as I would’ve liked on drier surfaces, since the grips had nothing to dig into, these shoes excel at clinging to the surfaces they’re meant to.

2. Durability

The suede leather and mesh layers hold up extremely well over rough terrain. In fact, by the time I finished my hike, the protective toe caps had no apparent signs of scuffing or tearing, despite how hard they may have impacted solid surfaces.

As a hiking boot that’s made to perform well in conditions like mud and wet rock, even the rubber sole showed no real signs of wear or damage. After a few months of regular use, I can confidently say that these high-quality women’s hiking boots are made to last.

3. Comfort

The M Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA gives its flexible design and ability to support the heels and arches of your feet.

Combined with the contouring footbed and high-quality lacing system, the boots didn’t feel awkward around my feet, even when I wore them with thick socks

While the boots could provide more protection on rocky and jagged surfaces or muddy trails, they’re made to accommodate casual hikers on less demanding trails.

4. Breathability

shoe breathability

The mesh panels on this footwear run along the top of the foot, near the toes, and along the sides.

Overall, my feet stayed cool and well-ventilated throughout my hike

. I didn’t experience any problems with sweating or humidity, or if I did, the mesh layers did an excellent job at keeping it to a minimum.

As I approached the waterfall, the rocky terrain became wetter, but these boots did better than I imagined at repelling any moisture that attempted to get inside.

5. Weight

These hiking shoes weigh in at 2 lbs., or 4 oz., making the pair slightly heavier than some previously designed Merrell boots, which I know some people may not like.

However, while the boot doesn’t have the most lightweight design, it makes up for this with the added protection and thick padding it provides.

Personally, the weight wasn’t a problem for me, and I don’t think that most people will really notice the difference between this boot and past products since it’s such a subtle change.

6. Waterproofing

As I said before, these shoes have breathable mesh layers along the sides, which some might think would make them terrible at protecting your feet from the water.

Indeed, these Merrells are not the best for stream crossing. However, during my hike, I occasionally stumbled into pools of water and realized that my socks remained dry.

Even though the outer layer of my shoes retained some moisture, the mesh layers dried incredibly fast. By the time I was clear of the water, I could hardly tell that the mesh had been wet.

I’ve also included this hiking footwear in the 4th position as the best waterproof hiking boot.

7. Support

When carrying a reasonable pack load on a moderate trail, the Merrell air cushion and nylon arch shank give a significant amount of support to the heel while relieving any tension from the bottom of the foot.

Our investigation demonstrated the shock absorber and extra padding are made to support more than the hiker weighs, so we got a lot of stability out of it.

Another thing that I really like about this hiking boot, is that not only does it fit firmly around the ankle, but the footbed is contoured to my shape, preventing a lot of slipping, open space, and blistering.

8. Fit & Sizing

As a mid-height hiking boot, it provides a great fit. Between the simple lacing system, contouring, heel cups, insoles, and the generous toe box design, my feet feel completely safe and secure inside.

It all comes down to personal preference, but this product does come in two styles besides a mid-height.

It can be bought as a low-top, losing its length around the ankle to resemble more of a traditional shoe, or as a high-top, allowing it to extend higher over the ankle and reduce the risk of ankle rolls.

Regardless of the style chosen, this hiking equipment not only gives good ankle support but, compared to other boots, comes in sizes that work for all foot types, wide included.

How Has It Evolved Over Time?

close up of merrell moab 2 mid GTX hiking shoes

Compared to the previous version, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gore-Tex version has several clear benefits over its predecessor.

For example, the original Moab was designed with an Ortholite footbed, but when compared to the proprietary M-Select Fit.Eco+, which mimics the shape of your foot, the Moab 2 gives your heels and arches even more stability and padding.

Another significant difference is that while the original Moab was designed with dura-leather, this version is made with performance suede leather.

This means that what the Moab 2 trades in durability, it makes up for with increased flexibility and comfort. It also lacks a break-in period, whereas the original Moab’s rigid dura leather makes the fit around your foot a bit stiffer.

Looking for the newest version? Check the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof review, and the low-cut version of the same shoe – Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof.

How Does it Compare with Other Products?

1. KEEN’s Targhee III Mid

KEEN Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot

Keen Targhee III Mid is made with KEEN.Dry technology, while Merrell uses M-Select Dry technology.

Both products have membranes that pull water away from your feet. Additionally, both hiking boots are pretty darn waterproof without sacrificing their breathability.

So, on that front, it all comes down to personal preference. However, where these hiking shoes come in strong is with their Vibram TC5+ outsoles.

The Targhee III uses Rubber Non-Marking outsoles, which are subpar when compared to the traction the Vibram provides in messy weather. Overall, this hiking gear comes out on top for utility and reliability.

2. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Hiking Boots

When comparing against the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, the utility of the Moab pulls it ahead once again.

The Salomon brand has five Contagrip outsoles for every major terrain type [2].

However, the Merrell boot has the advantage of being able to handle most of those same terrains with just one sole design.

This means you’d be spending less money for just one universal set of footwear.

3. Columbia Crestwood Mid

Similar to our boot, Columbia Crestwood Mid, is designed with leather and mesh uppers and is meant to be worn as an all-purpose hiking shoe.

However, a glaring difference between these two products is that while the Crestwood has excellent cushioning, due to its Techlite lightweight midsole, it’s not made with the same flexible material.

The Crestwood has to be worn for at least several miles worth of hiking before they start to feel natural around your feet. In terms of fit and ease of use, the Merrell is superior.

Where Does the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Perform Better?

tread of merrell moab 2 mid GTX hiking shoes

These hiking shoes excel on simple and well-kept trails. The grips of the hiking boots are intended to dig into surfaces like mud, snow, and loose sediment. Also, they display the effectiveness of their heel, arch, and toe supports at moderate hikes of up to 15+ miles and beyond.

If you want to test the maximum benefit of this footwear, then taking these on your regular day-hiking trails is a great way to see how useful all of its features are.

Excluding mountainous, dry, or physically demanding hikes, these provide above-average performance all throughout the hiking season.

Custom Reviews

We want to show you what people have written about this product even though we rely on client feedback and our testing procedures.

Do We Recommend It?

In the end, yes, we definitely recommend it. My experience with these hiking boots over the trails I’ve hiked since Kulen Mountain has been amazing.

As I’ve said before, while these boots held well on most terrains, they performed better on simple and manageable hiking routes. The level of protection isn’t adequate to tackle hikes longer than a day or trips that would be better suited for heavy-duty boots.

However, for a beginner or intermediate hiker, it lives up to its potential as an all-purpose hiking boot.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof

We also like that they fit on various hiking boots and footwear, giving everyone the confidence they need to walk outdoors in icy areas securely. 

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof


What Does Moab Stand For?

The Moab boot got its name from the town of Moab, Utah, a picturesque place on the outskirts of Grand County with gorgeous mountains, trails, and national parks. However, some people think that MOAB stands for Mother Of All Boots.

What’s the Difference Between the Moab and Moab 2?

The difference between the Moab and Moab 2 is that the Moab 2 makes use of performance suede leather for flexibility and an M-Select Fit.Eco+ Footbed with a nylon arch shank for increased comfort and stability during day hikes.

Where Are Merrell Moab 2’s Made?

The Merrell Moab 2 boots are made in several countries, including the United States, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and China.

Merrell Moab is such a popular shoe due to its consistently high-quality designs, affordability, and versatility, which go a long way in gaining consumer favorability.

To become comfortable and adapt to your feet, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid typically requires a short break-in period, often just a few hikes or outdoor activities.

Are There Any Specific Care Instructions to Maintain the Waterproof Feature of These Boots Over Time?

To maintain the waterproofing, it’s advisable to clean your boots regularly and apply a waterproofing treatment as needed, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Christina Utz

Christina Utz

Christina Utz is a professional writer, mountain addict, and hiking enthusiast. She successfully finished a rock climbing class and a wilderness survival course, and by the age of 24, she hiked more than 1800 miles and finished over 260 different trails! Her expertise in hiking and outdoors helped numerous people to fulfill their adventurous spirit!

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