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Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Review (2023) Is It Any Good?

We put these hiking boots to work on a three-day hiking trip to Teton Crest and were glad to see that Merrell has delivered yet another reliable model with good arch support and a comfortable midsole.

Our Verdict

It is a hiking boot designed to provide good traction, comfort, and protection for most trail runners and backpackers.

Merrell Moab 3 Mid Hiking Boot

It features a waterproof membrane that helps keep feet dry if worn in rainy conditions, and many hikers find it more solid than the competition.

However, this boot pair is a tad heavy compared to alternative models built specifically for long hikes, which come in more lightweight versions.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof review and see how it performed during our testing.

If ankle support is not something you are looking into, check our review of Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof, where we analyzed the low-cut version of the same shoe.


  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Upper Material: Pigskin leather/mesh
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Outsole: Vibram TC5+


  • The waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry in rainy weather
  • Thanks to the upgraded EVA foam midsole, you can walk for hours without experiencing foot fatigue
  • Solid traction on slippery surfaces with the Vibram sole
  • Ideal for hiking or walking in cold weather due to the heat-preserving pig suede leather upper


  • Breathability is not the best in hot weather
  • It may take a while until you get accustomed to the boots’ weight

Things We Tested When We Reviewed Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof

merrell moab 3 mid waterproof boot for hiking

1. Durability

Moab’s success stands in durability, which is visible in these hiking boots. The Moab 3 are made with genuine pig suede, known to be one of the toughest materials used to make premium hiking footwear for women and men.

It combines well with the rubber heels and toe protection box designed to successfully face abrasion.

Even after exploring the Teton Crest Trail, with its technical terrain, and using these hiking shoes for work around the house, I haven’t noticed any major scratches or other issues with the material.

2. Traction

boot tread

The Moab 3 Mid pair comes with a Vibram® TC5+ outsole with deep lugs and quite an aggressive tread pattern that makes it efficient on slippery areas.

Walking in these hiking boots on a rainy day will give you stability and solid grip not to keep your muscles clenched every inch of the road.

What I noticed, though, is that the lugs tend to collect mud and lose a bit of the grip, but this only happens if you go well off the path.

3. Weight

While these Moab boots aren’t the lightest hiking or trail running shoes on the market with just over 2 pounds per pair (we weighed a size 7 model), their average weight is not necessarily a downside.

For me, the extra weight offered more support, and since this model includes an EVA foam midsole, I could perform better on more difficult trails.

4. Comfort

In terms of comfort, these hiking shoes are unmatchable. The suede upper is soft and flexible and easily takes the shape of the foot, while the mesh on top leaves in just enough air not to get your feet cooked.

The generous molded rubber toe box allowed my toes to rest comfortably and protected them as I hiked for hours on routes with sticky roots and rocks.

This hiking footwear is flexible and will take you a long way with its padded Bellows tongue, comfortable ankle cuff design, and sculpted insole that cups your foot, offering impressive arch support for such a well-priced model.

5. Breathability

closeup of the hiking shoes toe cap

This hiking footwear has a breathable mesh upper with small webbing loops that combine with suede, providing good breathability in moderate heat and on short to medium-length day hikes.

Wearing them on mountain paths was comfortable, with good airflow that helped sweat evaporate and prevented skin rubbing.

Yet, as with most hiking shoes featuring a waterproof lining, when the sun blazed, my feet suffered.

6. Waterproofing

moab 3 hiking boots full picture

For this hiking boot, Merrell doesn’t use the Gore-Tex liner you will find in more premium models but goes for an in-house developed waterproof liner instead (there’s also a Gore-Tex lining version the company offers for a slightly higher price – the Moab 3 Mid GTX).

Based on my observation, if you go trekking in the summer, late spring, and early autumn, this waterproofing level is the right one.

The suede repels water, but when crossing creeks or a patch of wet grass, I noticed that the mesh upper material soaks it, and it takes it quite a bit to dry.

The good news, though, is that it doesn’t drip into your shoes.

7. Support

providing better ankle support than normal hiking shoes

Since the Moab 3 Mid is a mid-top boot model, its collars stop just below the ankle.

This feature provides good ankle support while allowing your ankles to move and flex freely.

After putting it to the test, we noticed that the soft ankle cuff, the heel’s molded nylon arch shank, and easy-adjustable laces make all the difference, particularly during uphill or downhill hikes when high-top models just cannot do the trick.

8. Fit and Sizing

The removable contoured footbed, along with the soft suede and lace-up closure, provides plenty of room for adjustment, so usually, this boot stays true to size.

From my experience with pigskin leather boots, I knew it could take a while until they adapted to my foot’s shape, but with the Moab 3 Mid, the break-in time was no longer than a short test walk around the block.

How This Hiking Shoe Evolved?

comparison of merrell moab 3 mid wp and merrell moab 2 mid wp hiking boots side by side

The Moab 2 Mid Waterproof is a great boot that offers fantastic value, but the Moab 3 Mid brings a few improvements that can not be overlooked. With a focus on comfort and stability, the Moab 3 Mid features a Vibram outsole, which provides better traction on wet surfaces.

The new liners are also more qualitative and supportive right out of the box.

With a new contoured footbed for medium support as well as the Merrell Air Cushion in the heel for shock absorption and stability, the Moab 3 Mid works well on any type of terrain.

Overall, the Moab 3 Mid Waterproof hiking boot is more comfortable than the previous version and a better fit for long distances.

How Does it Compare with Other Products?

1. Oboz Sawtooth X Mid B-Dry Hiking Boots

Oboz Sawtooth X Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot

The Oboz Sawtooth X Mid B-Dry boots weigh just about the same as the Merrell Moab 3 Mid but come with a grip difference on uneven terrain.

The Sawtooth outsole offers medium-depth lugs that don’t collect dirt the way Merrell Moab 3 does, so this boot is more efficient in rainy weather.

On long hikes, we found that the Oboz Sawtooth X Mid B-Dry boots provide better arch support. However, although they offer an accommodating fit and good cushioning, they are not as comfortable as the Merrell Moab shoe.

2. KEEN Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots

KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The Keen Targhee III Mid is a more rugged option designed with a double-density Eva foam midsole as opposed to the Merrell Moab boot, which provides regular Eva foam only.

This extra cushioning enhances relief on longer hikes, but the Targhee 3 Mid has a drawback that somewhat offsets it.

Unlike the high-quality Vibram outsoles of the Moab boot pair, the Targhee 3 Mid is equipped with regular outsoles that offer subpar performance on slippery terrains.

Similar to the Moab pair, they are waterproof, and our research showed no difference in the waterproofing level.

3. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX hiking boots

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex boots are a great option if bad weather comes your way.

This boot features a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane that perfectly seals it, allowing you to cross creeks and walk through puddles without getting wet.

As opposed to the leather construction of the Moab 3Mid, this shoe’s upper is a combination of synthetic and textile that dries faster in case rain reaches it.

We tested the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX on a 5-mile hike, and their midsole Advanced Chassis technology did a great job in providing all-day comfort.

Where Does Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Perform Better?

The Merrell Moab 3 Mid is a versatile hiking boot well-suited for day hiking and trekking in muddy conditions, thanks to its waterproof membrane and durable construction.

If you are exploring rocky or steep trails, its deep lugs and strong sole pattern will keep you out of trouble, biting into rocks and preventing slippages.

Additionally, the heel protection and wide-toe box ensure the ideal level of relief. Based on the quality of this hiking shoe and its wide toe box, we’ve placed this model as the winner of the best wide feet hiking boots.

Where Does the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Fall Short in Performance?

snapshot of apache trail arizona

One potential issue with this hiking shoe is that its waterproof membrane, while effective at keeping moisture out, can also trap heat and moisture inside the shoe.

This can lead to sweaty or uncomfortable feet, particularly in warmer weather or during strenuous activities.

However, using a good pair of hiking socks would reduce this small inconvenience.

Although we found this hiking shoe to offer a good level of protection, some users described the Merrell 3 Mid as lacking sufficient arch support or cushioning for their needs, especially if they have flat feet or are prone to foot pain.

Custom Reviews

Although we primarily rely on customer reviews and our testing procedures, we still want to share some online reviews of this product with you.

Do We Recommend It?

Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof

Although pretty rugged, these mid-waterproof hiking boots have a more casual design, so they are a good choice for everyday use, as well. Plus, they are made from recycled materials, which leads to increased sustainability.

Merrell Moab 3 Mid Hiking Boot

The Merrell Moab 3 Mid boots were my best friends on my multi-day backpacking trips, even if there were patches of the trail where they struggled a bit.

The sole didn’t give up when I encountered small stones or twigs on the way, and I felt the comfort provided by the Air Cushion heel cup.

The ankle rolls are well padded and soft, and the suede quickly molded to my foot’s shape, allowing me to tackle more abrupt descents without getting tired.


What Is New in Merrell Moab 3 Mid?

The latest third-generation model from Merrell brings several new and improved characteristics, including an updated midsole with advanced EVA foam, a new Vibram® EcoDura outsole, and a redesigned upper with improved breathability and durability.

When did Merrell Moab 3 Come Out?

The Merrell Moab 3 was released in 2022 as an improved version of the Moab 2. The series includes one non-waterproof and two waterproof options – the Moab 3 WP with an in-house developed membrane and the more expensive GTX version.

Are the Merrell Moab Shoes Suitable for Trail Running?

No, I wouldn’t recommend it as I found their weight to be a significant drawback for trail running. They lack the agility and lightweight design that dedicated trail running shoes offer, leaving room for improvement in this regard.

Catalin Geangos

Catalin Geangos

Catalin is a writer and outdoor specialist who has been traveling in over 35 countries so far. He loves spending time in nature, enjoying mountains and nature adventures, and ultimately inspiring people to travel more. In his time off, he is testing, analyzes, and reviews hiking and other outdoor gear and accessories.

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