More than a decade after the original Merrell Moab was released, the brand has decided it’s time to make an updated and improved version – the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day. The ‘Earth Day’ is indicative of a version of the second shoe, which is eco-friendly and utilizes a lot of recycled compounds. The Moab 2 Earth Day has a lot going for it, from durability, design, cushioning, comfort and quality to decent traction and versatile use. However, as with almost any shoe on the market, there are some things that need further improvement over time – such as traction on wet rocks and mud, as well as a little bit more stability. However, these flaws may mean nothing to you, especially if you don’t go on hikes with heavy loads and technical terrain, in which case, you’ll probably find the Moab 2 Earth Day to be an excellent hiking shoe.
The long-awaited Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day features an eco-friendly outsole comprised of the Vibram EcoDura rubber. This compound is made using a minimum of 30% recycled rubber, justifying the ‘Earth Day’ in the name of this hiking shoe. Staying true to its reputation, this Vibram rubber provides efficiency, durability, and slip-resistance, and the 5mm lugs and multidirectional flex grooves create a tread pattern that provides great grip and stability on various surfaces. The arch area of the outsole if lug-free, in order to provide more flexibility to the foot and encourage a natural, unrestricted stride. The general look and build of the outsole is robust, and the rubber continues onto the toe cap and the back of the heel in order to increase the durability of the upper as well.
The midsole of the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day is cushioned and lightweight, with the brand’s Air Cushion technology in the heel for increased shock-absorption and stability. The midsole as a whole is made out of recycled, compression-molded EVA foam that is protected from untimely wear and tear by the outsole configuration. On top of the lightweight, eco-friendly midsole is the removable Merrell Kinetic Fit BASE contoured insole that provides support and flexibility, as well as another layer of cushioning.
Staying true to its eco-friendly nature, the Moab 2’s upper is constructed using full grain leather with ECONYL fiber, which is made of 100% recycled nylon fiber that came from fishnets and other types of nylon waste. The construction of the upper is sturdy and full of stitched overlays that offer support and stability to the foot. The padded tongue is constructed in a way to keep debris out of the shoe box, and the laying system features webbing loops that are attached to individual overlay straps in order to provide a semi-customized and secure fit. The collar is well-padded, providing comfort and support to the Achilles tendon, and the toe area features a protective, rubber cap.
The Moab 2 weights 462g or 16.3oz for a half-pair, which is relatively lightweight for a hiking shoe, but on the heavier side for a trail runner. Of course, if you prefer lighter shoes that you can run in, opting for a traditional trail running shoe might be a smarter choice. However, if you don’t want to sacrifice cushioning for a lower weight, you’ll be more than pleased with the balance between cushioning and performance achieved by the Moab 2. At a fraction over 2lb for a pair, this shoe is ideal for hiking and backpacking on different trails.
As it’s often the case with leather upper, the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day isn’t the most breathable shoe of the bunch. That doesn’t mean, however, that your feet will be drenched in sweat by the end of your hike – the Moab 2 features ventilation holes positioned throughout the sides of the upper, as well as breathable mesh lining that is especially prominent on the collar and tongue. The M Select FRESH antimicrobial agents prevent the reproduction of microbes that cause odor in the shoe and create a healthier environment for the foot. While the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day isn’t a waterproof shoe, the use of mesh lining enables the shoe to dry fairly quickly in hot weather, if it comes in contact with water. However, if you’re really keen on having a waterproof hiker, there is a waterproof version of the Moab 2. All in all, this is a fairly breathable hiking shoe, but the airflow it provides doesn’t come close to some light trail running shoes on the market.
The comfort that the Merrell Moab 2 offers is the same as the one that made the first iteration of the shoe so popular with hikers. The cushioning provided by the midsole doesn’t require any break-in time and offers maximum comfort from the get-go. The tongue and collar are both very padded, which offers all-around comfort during the entire hike. The one thing most hikers noticed as a significant improvement compared to the original Moab is the insole, which is more supportive and comfortable in the Moab 2. The thick, cushioned midsole might seem too high at first, but as your feet get used to the shoe and the terrain, you’ll appreciate the significant underfoot protection more and more, because your feet won’t feel the miles rack up, and the comfort of the shoe will stay the same as during the first mile. Merrell didn’t try to fix what’s not broken, so the overall fit and sizing remained true to size. All in all, the comfort that the Moab 2 provides is even better than the original shoe and you won’t be disappointed with what this shoe has to offer.
The Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day comes in two classic colorways: ‘Monks Robe’ for men and ‘Falcon’ for women. The men’s version features a warm brown color that fits perfectly with the name of the shoe. The women’s version dons a colder, grey-brown hue that is very elegant (in a sporty way) and subdued. Both colorways will blend easily into every hiking outfit. The lace loops feature red, blue and yellow colors, while the small, circular map of the world is positioned on the top of the tongue. The back of the shoe has a green hook loop for easy on/off. The Moab 2 Earth Day avoided screaming colors and spacy, modern design, and decided on taking a more apt, natural route that will be pleasing for everyone who doesn’t like their hiking shoes to be the first thing you notice about them.
While the mesh lining on the upper can be a cause for concern, especially for hiking shoes, the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day holds up pretty well as the time goes by. The sturdy, padded leather upper, along with the reinforced vamp and heel area, provides enough durability for this shoe to last you for a long time, just as the original Moab did. The rocks and sharp objects on the trail might cause some scratches on the suede, but those will only cause permanent aesthetical consequences, without affecting the shoe’s performance in any way. The quality build of the Moab 2 Earth Day makes this hiking shoe a reliable one, that won’t cause you any unpleasant surprises half-way on the trail.
Aside from the general sturdiness of the outsole that protects the entire foot from the outside elements, the main protective properties of the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day are the rubber toe cap and the underfoot cushioning in the midsole. The toe cap protects your foot from impact, sharp objects, stray stones, rocks and roots that might cause pain to the toes upon impact, while the EVA foam midsole with Air Cushion technology offers significant underfoot protection and shock-absorption, which leaves your feet rested and pain-free even after several hours of hiking.
The Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day is a hiking shoe focused on offering maximum cushioning and comfort, instead of providing unnecessary responsiveness. This is due to the fact that hiking shoes aren’t made for trail running, and a hiker doesn’t have a need to develop speed. That being said, it’s worth noting that the cushioning
offered by the Moab 2 does not cause your foot to sink into the midsole cushion and waste energy on taking natural strides; rather, it offers firm, yet soft underfoot support that makes brisk hiking an ease, especially thanks to the light weight of this shoe.
The Moab 2 Earth Day is a neutral hiking shoe made for people who have normal, medium-high and high arches. However, the molded nylon arch shank, together with the Kinetic fit BASE removable footbed, creates a supportive ride that even hikers with mild overpronation issues can enjoy. The sculpted insole provides decent arch support in the midfoot, but if you’re keen on wearing the Moab 2 Earth Day and have overpronation
issues, you can always switch the removable insole for a customized, more supportive one that will adapt the shoe to your needs. The upper is robust and sturdy, and along with the loop lacing system, provides great lateral support for the foot, without creating any unwanted pressure.
The Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day is a hiking shoe, meaning that any kind of trail
– except the very technical ones that require approach or climbing shoes – can be suitable terrain for it. This shoe is made for backpacking and long hikes, so your terrain choices are practically unlimited. Whether you’d like to go on a short hike primarily on grass, or you’re up for some light mountaineering and several-day-long hikes on rocky, uneven terrain, the Moab 2 is the right choice for you. The only type of terrain you should think twice about before taking the Earth Day on it is the wet terrains full of streams, water, and mud. For this type of terrain, we recommend the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof hiking shoe.
Given the durability, versatility and an overall quality-build of the shoe, the price at which it comes is more than reasonable. The Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day will most probably last you for more than one year full of adventures in nature, making the price of the shoe affordable for most people. Given that there are a lot of road running shoes with much faster wear time than the Moab 2, the only reason not to buy the Moab 2 Earth Day is if you don’t like the design or you prefer waterproof shoes. Other than that, there aren’t many reasons not to invest in a high-quality hiking shoe
such as this one.
Continuing the good in the first Moab, the Moab 2 features the same tread pattern as the original and utilizes the famous Vibram rubber as well. This is a wise decision, given that the outsole of the Moab proved to have outstanding longevity and offer good traction on various surfaces. This shoe can provide satisfactory traction
on light trails and some medium-difficulty descents and uphill hikes, but it won’t knock your socks off with its performance on any surface in particular. There are hiking and trail shoes that are grippier on individual surfaces, but the Moab 2 gets passing grades across all surfaces, making it a decent choice overall. The tread pattern is very effective at digging into dirt and mud, providing a confident stride. That being said, the shoe can slip on wet rock occasionally, and the narrow lugs can accumulate a bit of mud, which can be irritating, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker.
Similarly to not having the need for a lot of responsiveness, the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day didn’t focus as much on providing a lot of flexibility to the hiker. However, even without focusing specifically on making the shoe flexible, the Moab 2 bends in the forefoot enough for you to not experience any difficulties with descents, and the upper will adapt to your foot with wear time, bending and flexing along after a few days of wear. The collar and tongue are pretty flexible and will also adapt to your foot with ease. While this isn’t much, it’s more than enough flexibility
for a hiking shoe.
Compared to an average trail running shoe, the Merrell Moab 2 Earth Day offers more lateral stability and prevents ankle rolls, provided you don’t intend to carry really heavy backpacks with you because the upper of the shoe is too flexible to provide stability under added (significant) weight. That being said, the upper is sturdy and stable enough to offer structure and stability
to your foot in everyday hiking circumstances. The heel cup is tight and stable, preventing any unwanted heel slippage during the hike. This heel cup configuration not only stabilizes the heel but also prevents blisters from forming, due to the fact that your foot won’t slide inside the shoe box.
The heel-to-toe drop of the Moab 2 Earth Day is on the lower side, which means that this hiking shoe is ideal for anyone that favors a cushioned ride, but has a midfoot or forefoot strike. However, if you’ve had experience with low-drop shoes before as a heel striker, you can take the Moab 2
on a hike – the ride will probably feel natural, and you’ll get used to not feeling a prominent heel upon strike in no time.
● Vibram EcoDura rubber outsole
● Recycled compounds utilized in the shoe’s construction
● CMEVA midsole with Air Cushion technology
● Merrell Kinetic Fit BASE contoured insole
● Full grain leather with ECONYL 100%recycled fiber upper
● M Select FRESH antimicrobial technology
● Extremely comfortable
● Great price point
● Durable build and compounds
● Trail hiking shoe
● Flexible for a hiking shoe
● Good arch support
● Natural drop
Moab 2 Earth Day is a well-priced hiking shoe that will satisfy a lot of hikers with its versatility and quality build. While there are some drawbacks to the shoe, such as its inability to provide a stable ride under a lot of heavyweight in the backpack, as well as its decent, but not great traction, this shoe is definitely an improvement compared to the original Moab and will be a trusty hiking companion to everyone that doesn’t want to tackle more technical, wet and slippery terrain on a daily basis.