For years, the Moab has been one of Merrell's top ranking shoes on the market. This year's updated version of the women's Moab is no exception. These boots are an excellent option for those newer to hiking or for those who do not want to overthink the boot-purchasing process. They are comfortable right out of the box, fit a wide range of foot widths, and are breathable and well-padded. There is nothing too revolutionary about these boots; it is their consistency that is their strong suit.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP - Women's ReviewPrice: $130 List | $129.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable
Cons: Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable
Bottom line: The Moab 2 Mid's strongest feature is their consistency and comfort right out of the box; unfortunately they fall short in terms of durability and water resistance.
Weight Per Pair (pounds): 1.96 lbs
Upper: Suede and mesh
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Merrell Moab II Mid scored highly in many of our rating metrics for their simple, supportive, and comfortable design. The Vibram soles provide decent traction, but it is in water resistance and durability that the Moab II falls a tad short. The mesh sides and lacing system are areas of weakness that were a concern when looking at the longevity of these boots.
Where the Moab II Mid shines is in the comfort these boots provide right out of the box. Much like the Vasque Monolith UD and our other favorite in comfort the Keen Targhee III Mid, these boots are comfortable and well-padded while remaining light on the foot. The amount of padding in the tongue of the Moab II's makes these boots super comfortable on the top of the foot and in the ankle. For us, we particularly enjoyed the Merrell Moab because the boot's toe box shape is very accommodating for a wide foot. For a boot that is better suited for a narrow foot, check out the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX. All in all, the Moab II Mid provides incredible comfort in its simple, ultra-cushioned design.
In a similar design to the Vasque Monolith, the Moab II Mid has a relatively low ankle shaft height, which in some cases may detract from the overall support of the boot. That aside, the Moab is constructed with an air cushioned heel and a Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA footbed that provides added arch and heel support. This design provides lots of support for the heel and arch of the foot, even on long days on the trail. The heel height of the Moab is comparable to that of the Ahnu Sugarpine and the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX - Women; each of these boots provides support to the ankle 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.
Weighing in at 1 pound 15 ounces, the Moab II Mid falls on the heavier side of the majority of boots in this review. The Moab II lands between the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry, at two pounds, and the Hoka One One Tor Ultra, at 1 pounds 13 ounces. Though the Mid is heavy, they do not provide the ample padding of the Hoka nor do they provide the sturdy support of the OBoz Bridger. This is why the Moab II's scored a bit lower in this category since it's hard to rationalize their heaviness - their bulk doesn't add much to their design in the same way as these other heavier boots. On a positive note, the Moab II's seem to have a light feel when they are on, even if the numbers on the scale tell us otherwise. In this way, they are more closely comparable to the Ahnu Montara, which also weigh 1 pound 13 ounces (only two ounces less than the Moab Mid).
With Vibram TC5+ outsoles, the Moab II Mid provide enough traction to keep you upright on rocky terrain. The boots performed well on the slippery granite trails of Yosemite Valley, though it's hard to find a boot that will provide traction on rocks covered in dirt and gravel. These were the only situations where we found the Moab Mid's fell a bit short, and we felt our feet skid out from under us a few times. The traction of the Moab is better than the Merrell Capra Bolt Mid and falls more in line with the Ahnu Sugarpine or the Vasque Monolith. Both of these boots performed decently well regarding traction, but all of them require a bit of extra attention when walking on loose gravel and slick rocks.
Because of their mostly mesh upper, the Moab II Mid risks falling short regarding water resistance. Surprisingly though, they performed quite well in this metric, falling alongside the Keen Targhee II Mid. Both the Keen Targhee II and the Merrell Moab have a low ankle height, which plays into water resistance, as water can easily leak inside, even if the upper and tongue is waterproof. Initially, the Moab II Mid's were waterproof, but we have concerns that the mesh will eventually lose its waterproof coating over time with repeated exposure to water. This is something we also took into consideration with the Vasque Monolith UD, which has a similar upper construction.
Just as water resistance was a concern with the mesh construction of the Moab II Mid, durability is another aspect of the boots' design that we were concerned with. The sides of the boot, where the toe box is the widest, is mesh and prone can be prone to blowing out quickly. Additionally, the lacing system of the Moab is made of fabric and mesh, rather than leather, which takes away from the durability of the laces. In this way, the Keen Targhee III is a much more durable option than the Moab. The Vasque Monolith UD has a more substantial and durable lacing system, much like the Targhee III.
These boots are a reliably comfortable, easy to break in, and inexpensive. All of these factors combined make them a great all-around boot, especially for those newer to hiking. They are not as durable as some but will do the trick for moderate day hikes, or even longer day hikes carrying mid-size loads. They offer support and breathability, which is great for warm weather, but their mesh uppers may lose some of their ability to repel water over time.
Sold for $130 online, the Moab II Mid is a boot of incredible value. They are the same price as our previous Best Buy Winner, the Vasque Monolith, and only $15 more than this year's newest Best Buy Award Winner, the Keen Targhee III. For the price, they will last a long time and provide comfort and support to your feet, with very little break-in time.
Overall, the Merrell Moab II Mid is a high scoring boot with only a few downsides. The boots are very comfortable, especially for those with wider feet. They also have substantial support in the heel and underfoot, though the ankle height is low. In terms of weight and durability, the boots' weight does not match their durability, as the boots are relatively heavy and are not as durable as boots of the same weight. That said, they feel light on the foot and are some of the least expensive boots in this review.
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Most recent review: November 15, 2017
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