Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP ($130)
Weight: 2 lb. 4 oz.
Waterproof: Yes (M Select DRY)
What we like: Great price, fit, and comfort.
What we don’t: Not as supportive for heavy loads or rough trails.
For day hikers and lightweight backpackers who stick mostly to maintained trails, our top value pick is the Merrell Moab 2. What makes this boot so popular is its lightweight and comfortable feel at such a reasonable price. For $130, you get good cushioning underfoot, trusty Vibram outsoles, and a waterproof membrane (an upgraded Gore-Tex model is available for $150). The Moab was updated to the “2” for last year, but they didn’t fuss much with the proven design. Notable changes include a new insole with a higher arch, improved cushioning under the heel, and a more waterproof and durable suede upper.
What are the downsides of the Moab 2 Mid WP? The boot is lacking in support compared to some of the pricier models on this list for carrying a heavy load or scrambling on rocky or rough trails. Second, it isn’t quite as durable or long-lasting. The Moab is a well-built hiking boot overall, but the lack of premium materials means that it may eventually need to be replaced a little sooner than we would prefer. But at a significant $100 less than the Salomon Quest 4D 3 above, the Moab offers the right mix of comfort and performance for most day hikes and weekend adventures. And those who hike in warm climates or prefer a non-waterproof boot should see the Moab 2 Mid Vent