The Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX boots are what you get when lightweight meets quality.  These boots have exceeded my expectations early on and are a worthy investment.  You may already be familiar with the Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes, and while these shoes are a popular choice, the Moab 2 Mid GTX boots were designed to take on more demanding tasks.

When I was my younger self in high school and first started exploring outdoor activities, I sought a single pair of boots that could be used for everything I wanted to try.  While one certainly could use just one pair of boots for every excursion, there are plenty of factors that would favor a particular pair of boots over another (in the military this is called “mission variables”).  I learned very quickly how big of a difference could be felt when opting for a different pair boots for different types of activities, especially when it came down to weight.

The author rocking the Moab 2 Mid; lighter boots make all the difference when hunting for views like this

The trend is that hiking boots (footwear for light trail use and shorter day hikes) are tailored to be more lightweight to the majority of consumers’ delight.  In contrast, backpacking boots are generally heavier due to the extra material used for durability and support, not to mention more expensive.  The Moab 2 Mid boots sit prettily in the middle of those two types of boots.  If that is what you’re looking for, here are the specifications straight from Merrell’s product page:

Features and specifications

  • GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane, exceptional breathability and waterproof performance
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out
  • Protective rubber toe cap • Breathable mesh lining
  • Merrell M Select™ FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support
  • Molded nylon arch shank
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • EVA midsole for stability and comfort
  • Vibram® TC5+ sole
  • 5mm lug depth
  • Weight: 2lbs 1oz / 936G

 

First impressions

I was surprised at how comfortable these boots were straight out of the box.  Although I did break them in as I wore them everywhere during the first week I had them, they felt like they could tackle on the mountains without a proper break-in period.  These boots are well-cushioned and never felt overly stiff at all.

Aside from comfort, the most appealing part of these boots were how inexpensive they were when compared to other manufacturers’ boots of the same caliber.  The various Moab 2 Mid models range from a MSRP of $110-$150, but can easily be found cheaper across various retailers.  The Gore-Tex’s excellent combination of breathability and waterproofness is what makes these particular pair of Moab boots cost more than other versions.

The Gore-Tex, it works.

The only aspect of the Moab 2 Mid was that I was skeptical about the shorter height of the boots compared to other models.  As someone who has notoriously lived his life incessantly spraining both ankles, I saw this as a potential hazard, especially on more difficult terrain.  These boots would end up surprising me again after some use in the mountains, as I have yet to experience any issues with poor ankle support.  I have worn these on sand, dirt, mud, loose gravel, rocks, and streams of water, so I can testify its impressive performance, at least for this early stage.  The lesser amount of support is noticeable, but not to the degree that I was originally concerned about; as a matter of fact, I plan on using these boots for multi-day trips in the future.

The good…

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Quality at an affordable price
  • Comfortable out of the box

The bad…

If I had to interject a con for the reader, the boots have less support compared to other boots, but nothing for these boots to be considered a disadvantage.

The verdict

I am honestly impressed with the Moab 2 Mids and hope to tackle some harder trips so I can get a much better comparison to other boots.  I am curious to see how they perform during this winter season under harsher conditions and want to see how they would fare during some multi-day excursions.  If someone I knew was looking to start doing some trails for the first time, these are the boots I would recommend to them.  There may be lighter hiking shoes than these, just as there may be tougher boots than these, but the Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX is as close as it gets to a hybrid type of footwear that can accomplish tasks on both ends of the spectrum.

Stay tuned for a follow-up review down the road.  In the meantime, if you own a pair of Merrell Moab boots or other Merrell products, tell us what you think!


Author – Matt Shin is a former U.S. Army infantryman having served as a radio telephone operator, automatic rifleman, and fire team leader. Matt now resides in California where he is back in school studying sociology. In his newfound spare time he enjoys exploring the outdoors, camping, backpacking, shooting, and sports.

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