Written by: Opt Outdoor Staff
Category: Waterproof Mid-Cut Hiking Boots
Weight: 2lbs 4oz (1.02kg) (Men)
Upper: Suede leather and mesh
Sole: Vibram TC5+
What We Like: Very comfortable; highly breathable; outsole provides lots of traction.
What We Don't Like: Provide minimal ankle support; not very waterproof; slight durability concerns.
Best For: Casual day hikers who want out of the box comfort.
Final Verdict: Budget-friendly boots that focus on breathability and comfort.
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP is a highly popular mid-top hiking boot, loved by hiking enthusiasts all over the world for decades.
The popularity comes from being incredibly comfortable. Merrell named these boots after the town of Moab in southeastern Utah.
They designed the original Moab boots for mostly dry, rocky environments. These days, they come in both a waterproof and a non-waterproof “ventilator” version.
To learn more about the different types of hiking boots, check out our expert guide here - Best Hiking Boots – Find the Right Pair for You.
In this article, we will help you figure out if these boots are a good match for your future hiking trips. This complete review of the shoe will walk you through the different features of the Moab 2.
Plus, we’ll let you know where the shoes shine and where they fail to meet expectations. By the end of it all, you should have a pretty good idea of if these are the right hiking boots for you.
Who Are the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Best Suited For?
The Moab 2 is a well-rounded hiking boot that performs decently well in a variety of conditions.
The Moab 2 is a mid-top hiking boot, which means it’s best for day hikes. While there are people who use them for longer backpacking trips, it is not made for that activity.
Since the Moab 2 is a mid-top boot, it doesn’t offer the ankle support most backpackers need for carrying a heavy load.
Although they are ideal for day hiking, the mid-top design makes them lightweight and very comfortable.
How do the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Fit?
The Moab 2 has a pretty standard width (shoe width size D), so it’s ideal for people with regular to slightly narrow feet.
However, you can buy them in a “wide” model, which accommodates people with wider size E feet.
As far as sizing goes, the Moab 2 is surprisingly true to size. But, it’s always a good idea to try on hiking boots before you take them on their first outing.
The Moab 2's material is a mix of suede leather, synthetic fabrics, and mesh. This means it has a very short break-in period.
Unlike full leather boots, which can take up to a few weeks to break-in, the Moab 2 feels comfortable right out of the box. Some of our team members stated they didn't break theirs in before a big hiking trip. However, they can't attest for all types of feet.
We still recommend taking your new boots on a few walks around the neighborhood before going on a big hike.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Construction
Much of the versatility of the Moab 2 is due to its unique construction. With the Moab 2, Merrel mixed comfort and functionality into one compact package. Here’s how they did it:
The Merrell Moab 2 is built with suede leather uppers. Integrated into these suede uppers are large mesh panels.
The mesh panels add lots of much-needed breathability for hiking in warm climates. They are some of the most breathable hiking boots on the market today.
These shoes even feature large, bellowed tongues for comfort. Made with closed-cell foam, the tongue on the Moab 2 helps provide a snug, secure fit for a full day of hiking.
The bellows on the tongue also help keep water and dirt out of the boots, which is a bonus for off-trail travel.
Constructed with an EVA midsole, the Moab 2 offers a lot of cushioning underfoot. Merrell even inserted a molded nylon arch shank into the midsole. This offers hikers additional stability underfoot for tricky terrain.
The heels of the Moab 2 also use Merrel air cushion technology. This provides some shock absorption perfect for those long downhill sections of your hike.
For the insole, Merrell used an “M Select Fit. Eco+ blended-EVA footbed” for the Moab 2. In reality, this is little more than a thin piece of foam with a fancy name.
The insole that comes with really does nothing for your feet except take up space in your shoe.
However, we can’t fault Merrell for slacking off when it comes to the insole in the Moab 2. In reality, the vast majority of shoe companies do not create good factory insoles.
Merrell is no exception to this rule. If you truly want underfoot arch support while you hike, you’ll want to buy some better insoles. Consider insoles like Superfeet, for your boots.
The outsole is one of the places where the Moab 2 shines. Constructed using Vibram TC5+ outsole, this tough material provides great traction in rocky terrain.
Plus, the sole on the Moab 2 has large 5mm lugs. These lugs allow for surprisingly good traction, even on wet ground.
Waterproof Breathable Membrane
The “WP” in the Moab 2’s name means that it features a waterproof breathable membrane to keep your feet dry.
For the Moab 2, they did not use Gore-Tex as the standard waterproof membrane. Merrell uses its proprietary waterproof breathable membrane instead.
However, the Merrell M-Select Dry membrane doesn’t live up to the high standard of Gore-Tex in truly wet conditions.
In general, the M-Select Dry membrane tends to wear out quickly with regular use.
Merrell did later come out with a Gore-tex version, but, from our experience, the waterproofness could not withstand prolonged exposure to wet/snow conditions. It could be because of their use of the mesh material.
On the one hand, the mesh is what makes the boots super comfortable. However, if the mesh is compromised, it could lead to ineffective waterproofing.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Performance
Like any hiking boot, the Merrell Moab 2 has its advantages and disadvantages. Below is a breakdown of how they perform in the real world.
The Merrell Moab 2 didn’t become one of the most popular hiking boots in the world by being uncomfortable. As far as comfort goes, the Moab 2 often makes it feel like you’re walking on a pillow, even at the end of a long hiking day.
Of course, your feet will still hurt once in a while. But these boots have a lot of underfoot padding, which is helpful on long downhill sections of the trail.
The best part? The Moab 2 doesn't need weeks-long break-in time. They are comfortable right out of the box.
Since the Moab 2 has an upper with large mesh panels, they’re highly breathable. Even after long days of hiking in the summer heat, they keep your feet happy and well ventilated.
But, since these boots have a waterproof breathable membrane, it won’t be as breathable as a non-waterproof model.
So, if breathability is your top concern, we’d recommend the Moab 2 Ventilator Mid boot instead.
The Moab 2 has large 5mm lug soles and Vibram TC5+ rubber. In particular, the lug soles offer fantastic traction on slippery terrain. They can provide a great grip on mud and wet rock.
Plus, the TC5+ rubber performs well on dry rocks because of its super sticky properties.
Even though they have a mid-top design, the Moab 2 doesn't offer a lot of ankle support. Of course, you can’t expect a mid-top boot to have as much support as a high-top model. But, even then, they don't do much for ankle stability.
In many ways, it sacrifices ankle support for comfort. The upper fabric is very soft and pliable. This means it doesn’t provide the ankle support that some people expect from their boots.
This is why we recommend them mostly for day hiking.
Alternatively, if you need ankle support for carrying a heavy pack, a dedicated backpacking boot is best. Learn more about Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX in our in-depth review of backpacking boots.
As we’ve mentioned, the Moab 2 has an upper design with large mesh panels. While these mesh panels provide ample breathability, they are not very durable.
In general, mesh paneling tends to rip and fray much more quickly than leather or other synthetic fabrics. This means it doesn’t hold up well after a lot of use.
We’ve seen pairs of Merrell Moab 2s that have lasted only a year with regular use. Of course, if you’re going to buy a pair of boots, you want to be sure that they’ll last.
So, if you do a lot of off-trail hiking and bushwhacking, these boots might not be durable enough for your needs.
The Moab 2 WP comes with a waterproof breathable liner. Yet, it provides surprisingly little water-resistance. Sure, if you step into a small puddle, your feet will likely stay dry.
But, if it starts to rain heavily, you’ll find that you have wet feet after an hour or so. Since they are a mid-top boot, water tends to pour in around the ankle.
This is especially true if you’re wearing rain pants without gaiters. In general, while it's raining, water drips down your rain pants. It will eventually make its way into your mid-top boots during a heavy storm.
However, this is true of any mid-top boot, and not a fault against the Moab.
A bigger concern with the Moab is that the large mesh panels on the boots’ upper can easily tear on rocks.
If this happens, your boots will have a big hole in them, in which case they certainly won’t be waterproof.
Are the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Good Value for Money?
At a price point around $135, it is one of the more affordable hiking boots on the market. With this in mind, we’d say that the Moab 2 provides a good value for the cost.
Sure, the boots tend to wear out more quickly than other, more expensive models. But, for hikers on a budget, it’s hard to beat these boots when it comes to value.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP isn’t what you’re looking for? The Keen Targhee III Mid WP might be a better option for a similar price.
The Targhee III features an upper that’s mostly made from leather, so they’re more durable over time. Learn more about Targhee III in our in-depth review. However, this does mean that the Targhee III are a bit less breathable than the Moab 2.
Ultimately, you need to decide what you want to focus on. Do you want breathability and comfort or durability when shopping for boots?
See more recommendations in our buying guide - Best Hiking Boots – Find the Right Pair for You.
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP is a reliable, all-around boot for day hikes in warm climates.
Although it isn’t the most durable or supportive of boots, they are lightweight and comfortable.
This makes the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP ideal for casual day hikers. For people who prioritize comfort above all else in their hiking boots.
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