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Merrell Moab 3 Gore-Tex

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Moab 3 Gore-Tex trail shoe

Great waterproofing, better stitching and traction compared to moab 2

Pros

  • Waterproofing works very well
  • Tread design gives good traction
  • Very comfortable
  • Double stitching
  • Wide stance of sole is stable, lowering ankle roll

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Uncertain longevity (small cracks in tread)
  • Gore-tex bootie makes odd crinkling sound
  • Not as grippy as some
  • Tread design collects debris

Bought these to get me through the winter hiking season, and so far they have performed admirably.  I'll be comparing these to my Moab 2 waterproof (non Gore-Tex) boots bought 2 seasons ago.

The Moab 3 Gore-Tex bootie performed great at keeping moisture out. I've worn these snowshoeing, with microspikes and without and as long as you keep water out of the collar, they kept the water out. By comparison, the Moab 2 waterproof boots never adequately kept water at bay.

You can see the before and after of a 12 mile snowshoeing adventure:

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On the trail
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After

My socks are completely dry. I wore gaiters to keep snow out of the collar, but had lots of snow build up on the toe area. The Gore-Tex did its job well! By comparison, I once had to stop mid trail and wring my socks out wearing the waterproof 2's.

Without snowshoes, they performed just as well:

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Stopping for a breather and photo opp

 

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Somewhere mid slope

The traction was enough to avoid having to put on spikes despite a crusty, sometimes post holey hike. And once again, dry feet at the end of this 16 mile, 5000' gain hike in crusty and slushy snow.

Stitching on the Moab 3 is now double compared to the 2. This is a welcome change. However, the area at the toe box, where my 2's stitching has failed is still single. However, the failure area on the 3 is a bit more protected, so hopefully it will not fail as soon as the 2's.

 

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Failed stitching on 2 vs 3

The sole on the 3 is also improved. My 2's were terrible in snow or slick rock. And I would not have worn them without spikes in areas where I now feel comfortable without spikes.

So far, I have also NOT had tread bits come off. This is also an improvement over the 2's, where 2 pairs had lugs literally come off.

 

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2 vs 3. Note lost lug on the right of the 2's

 Unfortunately, I am noticing some tears in a few lugs on the 3's. This makes me a bit leery of how well they will survive long term.

The lugs are larger than many competitors and all the small grooves mean they will fill with mud and debris. You can see there are a few small rocks in a few grooves of the 3's and the 2's could use a cleaning. This will reduce traction in mud or rocky terrain. That and the less grippy sole will limit these to non-technical hiking.

 

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Lug crack

The other odd thing is sizing. I have a pair of Moab 3 shoes, that are 8.5. and all my Moab 2's are 8.5. The 8.5 boot was too tight in the toe, so I had to get 9's in the Moab 3 boot. So be aware of sizing differences between models.

Once sized, the shoes have been instantly comfortable.  My first hike was 15 miles and I had no issues. The insole provides a decent amount of cushion and the thick sole means you won't feel rocks underfoot.

So if you need extra waterproofing and a comfortable boot, I can recommend The Moab 3 Gore-Tex model. Hopefully I'll get many more snowy seasons from them.

 

Background

I own many pairs of waterproof boots and use them often

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 110

Nice comfortable boots, but the Gore-Tex has failed after several seasons.

Pros

  • Comfort right out of the box

Cons

  • Merrells warranty has changed, they really don't back their products any more

Bought these boots a few years back figuring Gore-Tex was a membrane, not a coating that could wear off. After several seasons, the boots started to have some small leaks. I contacted Merrell and was told that their warranty had changed to 1 year only with a receipt. Since I don't save receipts for years I was out of luck. Disappointing considering that they use to stand by their boots for manufacturing defects.

Bottom line, I still find them to be some of the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. The new warranty does not justify their price point, especially for Gore-Tex.  While I can't say I am totally against buying some new Merrells, the price would have to be right to to put up with the less than stellar change to the warranty. I wore these for 10 days on the trails of Philmont scout camp and was the only one in our crew that did not suffer blisters.  They use to make a fantastic product that they stood behind.

Background

I am a 25 year scout leader who hikes every week and at least 1 outdoor camping experience a month.

Source: bought it new

Just the right height (barely over the ankle0, waterproof/breathable, excellent tread wear but TINY cloth eyelets make installing new laces difficult.

Pros

  • Good overall design
  • long lasting quaity

Cons

  • tiny cloth lace eyelets
  • needs more toe cap coverage, less toe mesh.

I'm on my 3rd pair of these great boots. The first pair had a GoreTex waterproof-breathable bootie, the last two have a generic WPB booty lining. Works as well as GTX.

The Vibram soles are relatively long lasting, even on the southern Mojave's volcanic rocks.

Worn with poly sock liners and a 3 mm thick closed cell neoprene divers' socks and gaiters they are warm to 15 F. if you keep moving. This combination gives more warmth than hevy wool socks and keeps sweat out of the lining for more warmth. Gaiters are a must for more warmth and to keep snow out of the boot.

Overall my favorite boot. So much so that I'm also on  my 3rd pair of Merrill Moab Low, unlined shoes as well.

Background

After having quality problems with TWO pair of Danner boots I tried MERRILL boots and shoes and never looked back.

I hike for fitness and backpack. I also hunt and use the boots for hunting in al conditions above 15 F., dry, rain or snow.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: don't remember.Got them at REI

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Specs

Men's
Price Current Retail: $127.96-$164.99
Historic Range: $127.96-$164.99
Women's
Price Current Retail: $160.00
Historic Range: $79.98-$160.00
Product Details from Merrell »

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