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Merrell Moab 2 side zip 8" boots review
#1
Heart 
I had a pair of cheap side zip "tactical" boots I've worn for 3-4 years but the zippers on the side both broke within the last several months. I've been wearing them while working around my property but it was time to replace them.

Been looking at hiking boots for some time since I wore mine out while hiking in Alaska a couple years ago, been making do with my side zip boots.  My wife and I just this week booked a backpacking trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru (5 day hike to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail) for next year. We will be doing some practice hikes on the Appalachian Trail in the spring and hopefully some high altitude hikes in the rockies before our Peru trip.  I need some new hikers.   

 Been looking at buying good boots for that trip.  Research suggested something by Merrell but because of some past ankle/foot reconstructive surgery I need over the ankle boots.  I found out that Merrell had a "tactical" side zip boot that is the same as their Moab 2 hiking boot except is 8" high.  I ordered a pair two weeks ago and they arrived at the end of that week in time for bow season which started on Oct 1. 

After wearing them around the house for several days I took them on a 4 mile hike with a day pack before heading up north to my property.   I was able to cinch them up tight for ankle support. They have a very firm and solid heel cup and a roomy toe pocket.  They were very comfortable on that hike and I had no rubbing, hotspots or sore spots after 4 miles.

Took them north last week and wore them all week while bow hunting and working around the property. Bow hunting typically involves sitting in a stand at dawn, coming in about 10 or 11, working around the cabin, cutting wood and doing other chores during the day and going back out at dusk. That is often wearing them for more than 12 hours a day.  Didn't see anything close enough to shoot but I wore my boots all day for 5 days straight and they were very comfortable. Temps ranged from low 40s in the morning to 60 and 70s during the day.

These particular boots are not rated as being "insulated" but they are padded and waterproof. They were a bit warm on those 60 & 70+ degree days but warm enough in 40 degree weather even after sitting for several hours. They are not intended to be cold weather boots but could work well in moderately low temps with the right kind of socks..

The Moab 2s are typically around $150/pair. I bought mine through Sportsmansguide.com because I had a discount coupon and am a member so I got them for about $30 cheaper.  

Pros

-High quality
-Very comfortable right out the box, no break in required
-Waterproof

Cons
-not cheap
-heavier than comparable ankle or trail shoe height boots

Neutral

-If I didn't have ankle/foot problems I probably would opt for the regular Moab2 ankle height boots or perhaps the hiking shoe instead of the high boots.  As it is however these can also be used for hunting, hiking or "tactical' use whatever that might entail.  

Some people find some ankle height boots uncomfortable because they rub on the ankle bone.

Other Info....

I started backpacking in the early 1970s when hiking boots were big, heavy leather jobs.  Over the years the technology has gotten better to the point these days where hiking boots are nearly like running shoes. These are certainly not running shoes but the heel cup technology, materials and other technology make them much lighter and more comfortable to wear.
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#2
I have a set of the regular Moab II boots. When I was working in the middle east I would typically go through a pair of boots in 3 to 6 months (Oakley, Columbia, Timberland, GA Boot, Danner, Carhartt, Hi-tech, North Face, Red-Head, Belleville, Bates, 5.11 - are all 3-6 month wear limited boots). I got the original Moab boots and they lasted about 13 months before they were done. I replaced them with MOAB II's and they have only seen about 6 months of heavy use and still wear like new. They do show some wear on the topside.

I was walking in gravel, cement pads, and on sharp rocks. It was usually the sole that failed first. The Oakley's were junk from the start and were more expensive than the Moab. The rest had varying degrees of longevity but nothing came close to the Moab.
Tony
Atlanta
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#3
(10-08-2017, 10:13 PM)Tsquare Wrote: I have a set of the regular Moab II boots. When I was working in the middle east I would typically go through a pair of boots in 3 to 6 months (Oakley, Columbia, Timberland, GA Boot, Danner, Carhartt, Hi-tech, North Face, Red-Head, Belleville, Bates, 5.11 - are all 3-6 month wear limited boots). I got the original Moab boots and they lasted about 13 months before they were done. I replaced them with MOAB II's and they have only seen about 6 months of heavy use and still wear like new. They do show some wear on the topside.

I was walking in gravel, cement pads, and on sharp rocks. It was usually the sole that failed first.  The Oakley's were junk from the start and were more expensive than the Moab. The rest had varying degrees of longevity but nothing came close to the Moab.

Thanks for that. It is encouraging to know that I made a sound investment. I don't use my boots near as much or as hard as you do but I did my research and decided not to cheap out this time.  Been doing a lot more hiking and hunting the last couple years and decided to get something good.  My wife and I did a 3.5 mile hike yesterday.  Heading back up hunting on Wed for a 3 days. Looking forward to wearing these boots again.
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#4
I love Merrell, but many of their shoes aren't made in my size. I can wear their barefoot trail running shoes and love them. In the last 3-4 years they have been my everyday shoes. I would love to get a pair of Moabs for outdoor matches.
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