Fresh from Merrell’s Mother Of All Boots collection, the aptly named Moab 2 Mid Gore-Tex is the second iteration of Merrell’s flagship women’s hiking boot and serves up some serious comfort-led and weather-resistant moves. Boasting several major upgrades, particularly around cushioning and stability, this performance-driven hiking boot sets the bar high in its category for day hikes, light backpacking and some slightly more challenging terrains and climates. Little wonder then it’s one of the most popular hiking boots available thanks not only to its performance, but also its price-point.
The Women’s Moad 2 Mid Gore-Tex retail for £130 / $165 / AU$199 though there are deals to be had on certain sizes, especially as these have now been available for sometime. It's also worth checking our Merrell discount codes to reduce the cost of your order.
Merrell Women’s Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex review: design
A new generation Moab, it comes equipped with an impressive spec. Taking the comfort-baton from its predecessor and running with it, the Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex refurbs the interior with a blended EVA contoured footbed, plus molded nylon arch shank and EVA midsole — meaning stability and fit are deftly delivered. Its air-cushioned heel is designed for stability and shock absorption.
And, continuing that focus on fit and comfort, like all Merrell boots, the lacing system is highly effective, locking in the foot without tightness or constriction, while its bellows tongue helps keep out debris and external moisture. Supporting this is the addition of Gore-Tex laminate and a breathable mesh on the uppers, making for an elevated weather-proofing experience than the regular Moab 2, with added ventilation to circulate the airflow in and out.
For its outsole, improving upon traction is key here and its superior Vibram TC5+ outsole delivers the goods on a variety of ground conditions. One of the best options for hiking boots, Vibram offers enough rigidity for support and stability, but erring on the side of flexibility too for added support on more challenging trails with loose ground and inclines. To boost stability further, the Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex’s lug spacing is focused on enhancing traction with each stride, while preventing mud from clumping underfoot.
Another notable feature is that it uses an eco-friendly synthetic leather and mesh, so these are vegan-friendly, inclusive hiking boots.
Merrell Women’s Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex review: performance
Itching to get back to the trails after way too much WFH life, the Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex won me over big time from the moment I first put them on, both in terms of instant comfort and a no breaking-in period. With many of the sturdier hiking boots, the wearing-in times can vary from a one hike to many — I still have ones I don’t fully trust.
The focus on fit pays off too, for several reasons. The heel is held in place, cupped perfectly by the midsoles with no slippage even on more challenging downhill gradients. It could do with a little more protective plating under the toes however, as you may feel the ground more on the balls of your feet. That said, the arch feels fully supported which helps avoid any foot fatigue there, while also boosting stability. And, while these boots run true to size, the fit is generous enough to help avoid any toe-banging on downhill climbs, and accommodate any swelling that might occur for a day’s hike, or extra thick socks you might like to wear for colder occasions.
Hitting up some muddier, loose terrain, the heel braking was spot-on and the lugs offered a mostly controlled descent, although for anything more challenging such as scrambling or rougher terrain you’ll likely need a more technical boot.
As a fan of wet weather hikes — don’t ask me why, I’m British — I was glad that I went with the Gore-Tex version of these boots. They easily kept out any moisture, with that thick bellows tongue really coming into play to block any debris entering. Running on the warmer side though which is great in cold weather, these boots would be less ideal if you’re partial to warmer hike climes.
This is a more lightweight boot than some of the others in its class, weighing in at a respectable 2lbs 1oz / 936g, and boasts decent flexibility to traverse looser terrain. However, it definitely feels more heavy-duty than some of the more agile hybrid hike and trail-runners such as its cousin the MQM Flex 2.
Merrell Women’s Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex review: verdict
The Moab 2 Gore-Tex is a super comfortable hiking boot that’s best suited for day hikes and light backpacking. Ready to go from unboxing to hitting the trails, it needed no breaking in and its overall fit and support was a real game-changer for me. A great option for beginner to intermediate hikers, or if you need a little extra ankle support, for more advanced hikers on technical, longer hikes, you’ll be shopping for something more specialized.
The waterproof makes a welcome addition if you’re into all-weather hiking, but as they do run a little warm, for hotter hikes you could easily switch to its non-Gore-Tex sister. If you’re planning on wetter hikes, it’s worth noting that traction could be a challenge in super slippery conditions, as the lugs don’t always hold up in mud or on rocks — particularly downhill, but heel braking felt secure thanks to the chunky rubber sole, and overall they have a solid base for lateral stability.
For an easy, reliable and great all-rounder, the Moab 2 Gore-Tex is excellent value, considering its robust spec and compared to its competitors. You really can’t go wrong with this boot in your kit, and your feet will thank you for it.
Merrell Women’s Moab Mid 2 Gore-Tex review: also consider
Coming in a little more expensive the Keen Targhee III WP Mid is a similar weight but uses its own proprietary waterproofing system rather than Gore-Tex. The higher price may well be down to it using environmentally-preferred leather, so isn’t suitable for vegan hikers.
Weighing in several ounces heavier than the Moab 2 at 2 lbs. 7 oz, the Lowa Renegade offers a more technical hiking experience with enhanced stability and grip, but for double the price.
A more lightweight take, with a similar spec and price to the Moab 2, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex focuses on stability, comfort, and dexterity too, but you may prefer the lacing system on the Moab 2 for complete reliability and ease.