For years now, the Moab has been one of Merrell's bestsellers, and this version of the women's Moab 2 Mid WP is no exception. While they are not as durable as some of the other hiking boots that we tested, they will certainly do the trick for moderate day hikes, or even longer hikes carrying mid-size loads. They offer support and breathability, which is great for warm weather, but their mostly mesh uppers may lose some of their ability to repel water over the boot's life. These boots are an excellent option for those that are newer to hiking or for those who do not want to overthink the boot-purchasing process. They offer well-padded comfort right out of the box, fit a wide range of foot shapes, are sufficiently breathable, and sufficiently grip variable types of terrain. There is nothing too revolutionary about these hiking boots; their simplicity and consistency are their strong suits.Editor's Note: This review was updated on May 18, 2022, with additional product comparisons and recommendations and some fresh perspectives from a recent retest.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable, inexpensive
Cons: Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable
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Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Women's
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|Pros||Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable, inexpensive||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, lugs and outsole for excellent traction||Affordable, super comfortable out of the box, lightweight, superior traction, breathable||Waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweight|
|Cons||Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||More expensive price tag, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lack some durability of boots with thicker material||Doesn't fit all foot shapes, bulky laces|
|Bottom Line||These boots are consistent and comfortable right out of the box, but they fall short in terms of durability and water resistance||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A hiking boot with a minimalist design that saves on weight while delivering high performance and excellent traction||A boot that held its own in all metrics, this model offers good performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...|
|Weight (per pair)||1.96 lbs (size 7.5)
2.15 lbs (size 8.5)
|1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.53 lbs (size 8.5)||1.62 lbs (size 7.5)
1.63 lbs (size 8.5)
|Upper||Suede and mesh||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Synthetic textile||Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular|
|Water Resistant Membrane||M Select DRY||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex|
|Midsole||EVA||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||Molded OrthoLite sockliner|
|Sole||Vibram TC5+||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Moab 2 Mid WP scored highly across many of our hiking boot tests for their simple, supportive, and comfortable design. Our testers love the extra room in the toe box, which increases the comfort for those of us with wider feet. The Vibram soles also provide decent traction, but it is in water resistance and durability that the Moab 2 falls a tad short. The mostly mesh sides and lacing system are areas of weakness that were a concern when looking at the longevity of these boots.
Where the Moab 2 Mid really shines is in the comfort they provide right out of the box. These boots are well-padded while remaining light on the foot. The tongue padding offers excellent comfort for the ankle and top of the foot, and one of our lead testers particularly enjoyed the boot's accommodating toe box shape for her wider foot.
In addition to supporting a wider foot, the contoured footbed and cushioned midsole help increase the comfort of the Moab while moving over uneven terrain. All in all, this boot provides notable comfort in its simple, ultra-cushioned design.
The Moab 2 Mid has a relatively low ankle shaft height, measuring 4.9 inches, which in some cases may detract from the overall support of the boot. For reference, some of the most supportive hiking boots that we tested measure up to 6 inches. That detail aside, the Moab is constructed with a Merrell air-cushioned heel and a Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA footbed that provides added arch and heel support.
The design of this boot provides lots of support for the heel and arch of the foot thanks to the molded nylon arch shank, which increases stability even on long trail days. The heel height of the Moab 2 Mid is high enough to provide support while still allowing for a bit of lateral movement. This comes in handy on uneven terrain where support underfoot is more important than having a super stiff ankle.
With Vibram TC5+ outsoles, the Moab 2 Mid provides enough traction to keep you upright on rocky terrain, but we sometimes wished for a more aggressive lug pattern when we found ourselves skidding out on loose gravel and dirt.
We didn't totally trust our feet when boulder hopping in talus in the Eastern Sierra or moving from loose sand to solid stone in the desert around Zion National Park. If you have plans for particularly technical terrain, we would suggest looking toward a better-tractioned boot, as this one is only average.
Because of the mostly mesh upper, we worried that the Moab 2 Mid WP would fall short regarding waterproof technology or even just water resistance. Surprisingly though, they performed quite well in this metric, despite their lower ankle height. Our testers were grateful for the closed-cell foam of the gusseted tongue that enhanced the waterproof capabilities.
Though the M Select Dry waterproof membrane on the Moab 2 was fully functional at sealing out water and releasing excessive moisture buildup within the shoe, we have concerns that the mesh will eventually lose its waterproof coating over time and with repeated exposure to water. That said, we had zero issues with it during our testing period.
Weighing in at 2.15 pounds for a pair of size 8.5 US and 1.96 pounds for a 7.5 US, the Moab 2 Mid falls on the heavier side of most boots in this review. Although it's rather heavy and bulky, it, unfortunately, does not provide particularly notable support.
For this reason, the Moab 2 Mid scored a bit lower in this category as it's difficult to rationalize their weight when their bulk doesn't add much to the overall design. On a positive note, the Moab 2 has a lighter feel when they are on, even if the numbers on the scale tell us otherwise.
Just as water resistance was a concern with the mesh construction of the Moab 2 Mid, durability is another aspect of the boots' design that is potentially concerning. The sides of the boot where the toe box is the widest are mesh, which can be prone to blowing out. Additionally, the lacing system uses fabric and mesh rather than leather, detracting from durability.
It is worth mentioning that we did not experience any durability issues during our extensive testing period; however, we could see how the laces, which sit on top of the boot and are only contained by mesh, could be a weak point. Other top-performing boots in our lineup use durable metal or synthetic rubber in these key places.
Should You Buy the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof?
Overall, the Moab 2 Mid is a great hiking boot option with only a few downsides. They're very comfortable, especially for those with wider feet. They also have substantial support in the heel and underfoot, even though the ankle height is low, thanks to their supportive, air-cushioned, and blended EVA sole. However, we think they're slightly heavy and less durable than boots of a similar weight. We also found it difficult to trust our feet due to the underperforming sole. They are other boots in our review that inspired a lot more confidence. That said, the Moab 2 does have a lightweight feel and is rather affordable for those that want to stick to a tight budget.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
Though these boots perform well, especially for a lower price tag, we think it's worth spending a few more bucks to attain the excellent all-around performance of a boot like the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. The Keen Targhee III Mid is another option with a reasonable price and solid marks across the board. For only a few dollars more and offering a greater performance within a streamlined and lightweight design, check out the Salomon OUTline Mid GTX as an excellent and affordable alternative to a traditional hiking boot.
— Jane Jackson and Trish Matheny
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