Merrel Moab 2 Vs 3: What Should I buy?

Becoming the master of outdoor activities ask you to choose the right pair of hiking shoe. Merrell, A famous footwear brand and is known for its outdoor shoes with a variety of options suitable for difficult treks to challenging terrains. 

However, when you explore the Moab Line with models 2 and 3, you may be confused because of almost similar construction but actually these are different models with a main focus on performance and stability. 

So whether you are a seasonal hiker or a new-time adventurer, read this article to explore the adventurous world of Merrell Moab 2 and 3. 

What’s New In Merrel Moab 3:

The New version of Merrell Moab 3 has added an insole for more support and a cushioned midsole compared to the old version of Moab 2. The shoes also have an updated outsole as well as different upper construction with more use of recycled materials than its old Moab 2. 

Moreover, Moab 2 has a waterproof membrane that absorbs moisture while Moab 3 has synthetic construction and is less protective. In simple, the Moab 3 has enhanced durability, comfort and breathability features. 

Comparison Table Between Merrel Moab 2 and 3:

PropertiesMerrel Moab 2Merrel Moab 3
TerrainModerate terrains and well-maintained trailsHiking trails and uneven terrains
SupportGood and adequate arch supportBetter and improved support
Heel stack height28 mm30 mm
Heel-to-toe drop8 mm8 mm
AthletesLight impact activitiesModerate impact activities
MidsoleEVA and nylonNylon and EVA
CushioningModerately cushionedHighly cushioned
Distance15-20 km12-15 miles
WorkoutShort trail running, lightweight training, moderate hiking and walkingWalking, hiking, off-trail hiking and backpacking

Major Differences Between the Models:

Knowing Merrell Moab 2 and 3 in detail is crucial to getting an idea of which model will go better for your hiking needs and which Moab will be a worthy investment:

Material and Design

Moab 2 is known as a hiking shoe and is famous among users who prefer durable footwear without breaking the bank. The outsole of Moab 2 is designed with Vibram TC5+ as well as 5 mm lugs that not only provide extraordinary traction while also trap dirt but not mud because of no visible lug patterns. 

With the blended mesh and pig suede upper as well as tracery, the shoes ensure durability and protection. Other than this, the fortified toe cap with a heel counter also provides special protection and keeps the feet cool.

The best feature of Moab 2 is a waterproof membrane that doesn’t let water enter and the smooth design keeps the moisture out of the shoes without causing any issues. With the traditional lace closure and metal hooks, the shoes look perfect. 

In contrast, Moab 3 has updated features because it is an advanced version of Moab 2. With the updated Vibram ecoDura outsole, the shoes enhance traction on a variety of surfaces. As well as, recycled material is used in the outsoles with a 5 mm lug depth that provides grip on loose surfaces. 

The gold-rated leather, suede and mesh allow air circulation throughout your feet and keep them cool and dry even in wet conditions. However, the protective rubber toe cap keeps the feet secure on challenging and rocky trails. 

However, the midsole construction is quite similar in Moab 2 and 3 with EVA foam and nylon shank that keeps the balance between cushioning and stiffness as well as support on different terrains. 


Moab 2 targets customers who prefer casual hiking so it offers support and stability accordingly. However, the flexible and comfortable feel allows hikers to wear them on mountain trails for easy hiking. 

However, Moab 2 is never recommended for steeper trails and technical terrains. Other than this, Moab 2 are heavy weight so these don’t offer proper support during technical hiking. 

On the other hand, Moab 3 has an updated ankle collar for better protection and offers some space to the ankle for enhanced articulation. Other than this, tying up of laces ensures the secure feel to feet. With the proper and strong arch support, the shoes are suitable for a day-long hike on firm surfaces. 


Both Moab versions are famous for durability but here Moab 3 is the winner because the Vibram Ecodura outsole ensures better durability and traction. So users prefer hiking long and technical distances and want to resist harsh conditions, they should choose Moab 3.

However, Moab 2 is not as durable as its latest version Moab 3 because after few wear, you may see scraps in the toe cap and mesh upper also start damaging. So these are suitable for beginner hikers who don’t want to damage their shoes early. 


Merrel Moab 2 and 3 are designed as hiking shoes on various terrains. With the stiff soles and protective upper, the shoes can handle all harsh conditions. As these features ensure safety and stability but also make the shoes a little bit heavier that may not be a desirable feature for running shoes. Simply put, both of these models don’t allow your feet to move naturally during running

Merrel Moab 2 TOP VIEW
Merrel Moab 2 TOP VIEW

Merrel Moab 3 TOP VIEW
Merrel Moab 3 TOP VIEW


Both Moab models can be suitable options if you have to walk on uneven surfaces, rocks and hills where you need extra support. However, Moab 2 and 3 are constructed as hiking boots so are heavyweight which doesn’t make them suitable for casual walks

Flat feet

With adequate arch support, both Moab 2 and 3 feel satisfied for flat feet. Other than this, the extra stability and cushioning with full protection make them ideal for people with high arches. As a result, these boots don’t cause any foot soreness or injury. 

What Do Customers Think?

Merrell Moab models are designed with the aim to provide durability and adaptability on various terrains so became famous among hikers.

Moab 2 offers instant comfort and a warm feel which boosts its fame among newcomer to skilled hikers. Commonly people prefer these boots for waterproof features and nice looks. Other than this, the better grip and sock-like fit attract many people which makes it easier to go up and down. 

However, when it comes to size, many customers are not satisfied and say these thin and sleek boots are a little bit big to wear. 

In contrast, many hikers from all genders consider Moab 3 true to size and fitted boots. Some trail hikers said these shoes are smooth, padded and stable on all types of surfaces.

Due to versatility and better performance in summer, the shoes become the love of many hikers even professionals consider these shoes for backpacks and don’t report any ankle roll. 

Moab 3 also has a wider fit and becomes comfortable for narrow to wide feet people without causing any complications. 

Frequently Asked Questions?

Is Moab 3 the better choice for wide feet?

Moab 3 is the latest version of Moab 2 and has many updates regarding size and widths so provides a more secure fit to a variety of foot shapes. 

Which Moab model is more suitable for long-distance hiking either Moab 2 or 3?

Both models are designed as hiking shoes but the advanced cushioning and support in Moab 3 allow to wear them for long-distance hiking. 

Merrell Moab 2 or Moab 3, which is better for winter season?

Commonly Moab 3 has a thick midsole with a durable outsole that ensures insulation and traction on a variety of surfaces including icy or snowy trails. However, Moab 2 is also suitable for many winter conditions with proper traction.

In terms of versatility, which model is the winner either Moab 2 or 3?

The Moab 3 with many updated features and a wider fit is considered as versatile for many activities and weather conditions. However, the classic design of Moab 2 and better performance also make it a versatile option. 

Is Moab 3 suitable for backpacking?

Yes, this new version is more protective and supportive so becomes the better choice for heavy-load backpacking. However, for short distances and light backpacking, you may choose Moab 2. 

Conclusion: What Should You Buy?

Whether it is Moab 2 or 3, both are excellent hiking shoes with iconic features, rigid soles and protective uppers that make them good to go for hiking on rough terrains. However, due to more protection and a massive feel, these shoes are not suitable for running. 

Moab 2 is available with a snug fit while Moab 3 is famous as a soft and acrobatic shoe as well as it offer more durability than its predecessor.  

In my opinion, the winner is Moab 3 because it has many updated features that offer the most memorable hiking experience to seasonal or professional hikers. 

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