Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof ($120)
Type: Hiking shoe
Weight: 2 lb. 1 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (non-WP available)
What we like: Very comfortable and a great price.
What we don’t: It’s not a shoe for technical terrain.
These may not be your long distance or ultra-rugged hiking shoes, but there is a lot to like about Merrell’s flagship Moab. Updated to the “2” for 2017, Merrell stuck with what has made the shoe so popular over the years: a lightweight but planted feel, a comfortable fit, and a value price. Changes include a more durable upper and greater cushioning in the heel of the footbed. The Moab 2’s still are a great value at $120 for the waterproof model, and the non-waterproof Vent shoe is only $100.
What are the downsides of the Merrell Moab 2? On rocky and muddy trails, we found that traction and stability fall short of a performance shoe like the Salomon X Ultra above. And despite a competitive 2-pound 1-ounce weight for a pair, the shoe feels a little slow and cumbersome compared with some lighter weight models. But these are small complaints about an otherwise fantastic shoe, and we highly recommend the Moab 2’s for day hikes and lightweight backpacking.