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Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot – A Detailed Review

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Rating : 8.8/10
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Performance Breakdown

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Bottom Line

Made with waterproof full-grain leather and an arch-supportive footbed, the Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot will keep you walking comfortably without compromising your safe footing.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • High-traction Vibram outsole
  • Side zipper
  • Very comfortable cushioning and support

Cons

  • Side zipper doesn’t look very sturdy

Material

Waterproof leather and ripstop textile

Type of Toe

Soft Toe

Weight

2.8lb / 1.3kg / 45.86oz

Waterproof

Yes

Shaft Size

8 inches

Outsole

Vibram TC5+

Boot type

Tactical

Manufacturer

Merrell

Safety certifications

Yes

Price range

$189.99 to $299.00

Summary

A tactical boot needs to have the strength to withstand challenging conditions yet remain comfortable enough to be used for long hours – and the Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot stands out in both aspects. I appreciated the solid feel of the premium construction as it not only kept my foot protected against hazards in different outdoor settings but also showcased a top-notch look that can’t be found in lower-quality footwear. The waterproof full-grain leather ensured that my foot didn’t get soaked when I worked in exceptionally wet conditions, sealing out moisture for continuous comfort and protection. The bellows tongue helped secure the boot’s interior against moisture seepage and debris entry, keeping my foot protected against these unwanted elements that would’ve disrupted my comfort. I discovered that the sections of ripstop textile increased the boot’ strength, making it more resistant to scratches and scuffing when exposed to abrasive objects in tough surroundings.

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The combination of leather and textile gave the boot a rugged appeal that I was able to maximize in challenging outdoor conditions and it also gave me the confidence to wear the boot in indoor settings without worrying that it would look out of place. This boot offered a remarkably comfortable experience, with a proprietary footbed design that delivered support in specific foot zones to maximize comfort while keeping my foot surrounded by ample cushioning to ward off pain for the entire shift. I loved the foamy feel of the heel that showcased the exclusive air cushion design, giving enough bounce to prolong the comfortable feel so I had more energy to keep walking as needed throughout the day. The side zipper made wearing the boot a lot more convenient since I didn’t need to spend a lot of time and effort dealing with laces – although I have some concerns about the zipper’s strength and whether it’s built for long-lasting use.

When it comes to outstanding durability and comfort, this boot delivers so much more than what you’d expect.

Ideal For

  • Those who are after a very comfortable tactical boot with a premium design
  • Extremely wet outdoor conditions and job settings
  • Slippery or unstable environments that require high-traction boots

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Performance Breakdown

Comfort

I assumed that the Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot wouldn’t be that comfortable because of its aggressive silhouette, but this was one of the times I was so glad to be proven wrong. I found this boot to be really comfy even though it was a bit heavier than most tactical boots that I’ve tried. I believe most of the credit for this boot should go to the sole that’s composed of flexible and padded components, making it much easier to walk for long periods without suffering from intense pain. I was impressed with the KINETIC FIT footbed that cradled my foot with enough padding to protect it from being painfully pressed into the hard surfaces I walked on. This footbed at the same time delivered targeted arch support, preventing my foot from falling flat, which would’ve resulted in a great deal of discomfort, especially when I needed to stay on my feet for extended periods. I appreciated how the arch support helped relieve the stress of walking and standing all day, even as it worked doubly hard to keep my foot in a properly aligned position, protecting my calf and foot muscles so they didn’t get easily fatigued.

I loved the air-cushioned feel of the heel area that’s fitted with the exclusive Merrell air cushion, as it produced a bouncy sensation, returning the energy to my steps so I got to stand and walk for longer periods of time without my foot becoming too uncomfortable in the process.

This heel cushioning enhanced the foamy feel of the boot interior and cradled my foot most comfortably while also helping to secure my heel, so it didn’t easily slide even with continuous walking on unstable surfaces. This heel area took on the role of being the boot’s shock absorber, taking in most of the impact resulting from all-day walking on unforgiving surfaces and distributing the force so it wasn’t focused on only one area. The nylon arch shank offered reliable support underfoot, stabilizing my foot’s movements over a variety of ground conditions.

I liked how the flexible shank helped make the boot’s base flexible, promoting almost effortless walking because there weren’t inflexible materials on the sole getting in the way of my natural movements.

Even the upper didn’t feel as stiff as it looked, which was my assumption considering the obvious strength of the thick leather and ripstop textile. The materials adapted to my foot’s actions with enough pliability, enabling me to walk comfortably without the durable upper materials biting into my skin with each step. I welcomed the stability arms that were fitted into the sides, as these components worked to significantly increase the boot’s strength, giving it a more stable structure that made walking on uneven terrains easier. This led to confidence that I wouldn’t easily lose my footing in the challenging ground conditions. The side zipper offered a comfortable and convenient way of putting on and removing the boot because I didn’t need to tinker with the laces with every boot use.

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Weight

The sturdy Vibram TC5+ outsole featured grooves and spikes that I usually associate with hiking boots’ soles, so I wasn’t surprised at this boot’s strong grip on different surfaces. The outstanding level of traction helped me with maintaining my stable footing on slick or unstable ground conditions, enabling me to walk and move with the confidence that I wouldn’t easily slip even while I was walking at a rapid pace to increase my productivity and efficiency while on duty. The enhanced stability kept me going over the trickiest terrains without compromising my safety and comfort.

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Traction

This boot is true to its size. I went for my usual size 10 and immediately achieved a comfortable fit that wasn’t too tight, leaving enough room for my foot to budge inside the boot when necessary to relieve discomfort, especially with hours of continuous boot-wearing. The comfy fit also left enough space for my toes to wiggle, enabling me to avoid toe cramping when I used the boot for the entire shift. I was relieved when I pulled on this boot easily, which wasn’t what I was expecting with an 8-inch-tall boot since I usually have trouble putting on footwear with this shaft height.

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Fit and Sizing

The waterproof leather blocked mud, water, muck, and other liquids, preserving the dry boot interior even with extended hours of exposure to exceptionally wet conditions. The exclusive M-Select DRY lining further enhanced the boot’s waterproof capabilities, sealing out excess moisture so it didn’t have a chance to seep in and cause uncomfortable wetness. I recommend this boot for use in extreme weather conditions, such as outdoors while it’s raining and other settings that have heavy exposure to wet elements.

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Waterproofing

The leather upper is enhanced with DWR (durable water-repellent) treatment, delivering an extra layer of protection to resist water, mud, and other wet elements so they won’t easily get into the boot. This protection kept my foot dry during times of accidental exposure to limited liquid quantities, such as a light drizzle when I was working outdoors.

However, because it doesn’t have waterproof materials, this boot is inappropriate for use in exceptionally wet surroundings, as it can easily let the moisture seep in, especially with long-term exposure.

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Breathability

I appreciated the mesh lining that worked hard to sustain a breathable interior, especially since the 8-inch leather upper didn’t exactly allow plenty of air to get into the boot. The mesh lining enabled the air to circulate inside the boot, preventing the build-up of excess warmth and moisture so that overheating was easily prevented even with prolonged boot use in hot or high-humidity locations.

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Quality and Durability

I appreciated the Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot’s solid construction not only because of the functional benefits it offered but also because of its aesthetic value. The thick leather upper exuded a premium look that’s rugged at the same time, making the boot versatile enough to be used in tough environments as well as in more reserved settings. I got the chance to maximize the toe’s polishable quality when I needed to improve the boot’s looks, so it becomes more appropriate for more formal indoor surroundings after being used in challenging outdoor conditions. The ripstop textile sections strengthen the upper, making it more resistant to premature damage, leaving me without any worries about using the boot heavily, since I know it can withstand being used and abused in difficult environments.

I liked the bellows tongue construction because it stopped debris from getting in, especially when I was working outdoors and in other dirt-filled areas. I was surprised that this tongue structure didn’t make the boot difficult to put on because this was what I previously experienced when I used boots with the same gusseted tongue design.

What made the boot considerably easy to put on – even with the tongue being firmly attached to the upper – was the side zipper, enabling me to slip the boot on in the most convenient way without requiring a lot of time and effort. I just noticed that the zipper construction doesn’t look very sturdy, so this component may have durability issues with long-term use. The mesh lining allows air to circulate inside the boot to stop overheating while also helping with sweat and heat dispersion, prolonging the cool and fresh feeling for longer even in high-temperature locations. The KINETIC FIT footbed was an impressive component that significantly contributed to the boot’s comfort level, delivering exceptional support to targeted areas so I was able to enjoy pain-free walking for hours. This footbed softened the impact of walking on unforgiving surfaces, providing ample cushioning to cradle my foot comfortably while also working to deliver strong arch support so I didn’t need to suffer from the pain that can come from having fallen arches. I also felt this footbed working to maintain my foot’s proper alignment and secure position inside the boot for enhanced stability.

I loved the foamy, bouncy feel in the heel area, with the exclusive Merrell air cushion returning the energy to my steps, enabling me to walk comfortably for much longer.

I recommend this tactical boot for exceptionally wet outdoor conditions, as the waterproof leather stops the wet elements from entering, so I was assured that my foot wouldn’t get soaked even with long-term exposure to wetness. The proprietary M-Select DRY membrane delivered additional protection against moisture, preventing it from seeping in to guarantee comfortable foot dryness regardless of the length of time I needed to stay in challenging settings. I liked the stability arms that were built into the boot’s sides, as they gave increased support, making the boot stronger so it easily stabilized my steps, especially when going over rough or slippery surface conditions. The exceptionally strong traction delivered by the Vibram TC5+ outsole supported me as I maintained my stable gait on a variety of ground conditions, avoiding slipping while I navigated tricky surfaces. This boot has an electrical hazard safe design, offering increased protection against electrocution if there’s unintentional contact with open circuits in dry conditions.

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Other Versions

The Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot is available in black leather. It has a version that’s enhanced with a composite toe cap.

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The Challengers

Bates GX-8 Side-Zip Gore-Tex Boot

The Bates GX-8 Side-Zip Gore-Tex Boot is constructed with waterproof leather that stops water, mud, and other liquids from entering, helping sustain a dry boot interior for increased foot comfort even with long hours of exposure to wet conditions. The GORE-TEX lining offers maximum waterproofing to further guarantee that wet elements won’t have a chance to get in, giving you the confidence to continue working in wet surroundings without compromising relaxing foot dryness. The extended height offers improved coverage against safety hazards that you may be exposed to in challenging outdoor settings, at the same time stopping water from sloshing into the boot from the top, especially when you’re wading in puddles or over muddy ground. The moisture-wicking membrane encourages good ventilation by dissipating sweat and heat, promoting a cool feeling for longer to stop overheating while you’re in humid or extremely warm areas. The EVA midsole provides extra cushioning and stability from underneath, enhancing the comfortable walking experience as the foot is allowed to move naturally without rigid materials that can limit mobility. The side zipper offers a more convenient way of wearing the boot, eliminating the need to spend more time on tying and untying the laces with every use. However, the boot’s construction makes it a bit hard to put on, even with the help of the side zipper.

Magnum Panther Steel Toe Boot

The Magnum Panther Steel Toe Boot is built with a strong leather upper that’s designed to maintain a tough shell around the foot, protecting it from safety hazards that may be encountered in different outdoor settings and other work environments. The upper is fitted with sections of mesh, promoting increased breathability by permitting air to come in, so that the interior maintains its fresh feel for longer as heat is allowed to disperse. The moisture-wicking lining encourages continuous sweat evaporation, preventing it from building up inside the boot, which protects you from an excessively sweaty feeling. The steel toe cap delivers reliable protection against impact and compression threats, creating a barrier over the foot to keep it safe from being seriously harmed in case these safety hazards are accidentally dropped onto the boot. The insole is designed to follow the shape of the foot, providing ample cushioning to keep it comfortable while relieving pressure points that may otherwise develop into blisters, especially with long hours of nonstop boot use. It’s worth noting that it can be challenging to put this boot on without first untying the laces at the top.

Under Armour Micro G Valsetz Leather Waterproof Tactical Boot

The Under Armour Micro G Valsetz Leather Waterproof Tactical Boot features waterproof leather that stops wet elements from penetrating, ensuring that the foot will be able to enjoy long-lasting dryness no matter how long you’ll need to work in extremely wet settings. The waterproof boot liner adds another layer of protection from wetness, blocking moisture so the interior maintains its comfortably dry feeling for a long time. The Micro G foam midsole delivers responsive performance, adding a bit of bounce to return the energy to your steps so you’ll feel comfortable walking or standing for extended periods. The Contoura Support footbed offers remarkable shock absorption, soaking up the force produced by continuous walking to stop foot fatigue problems from setting in. This footbed comes with anti-odor properties, making it easier for you to focus on the tasks at hand without dealing with stinky feet issues even with all-day boot use. The lightweight profile makes this boot ideal for long hours of use, since it doesn’t drag uncomfortably on the foot with excess weight. However, the plastic lace hooks don’t look as robust as metal parts, so these might not keep up with heavy use.

Skechers Work Markan Bovill Boot

The Skechers Work Markan Bovill Boot’s upper features strong leather and Cordura panels that deliver long-wearing performance to protect your foot against abrasion and other threats in various environments. The mesh panels welcome cool air and help disperse warmth from within, helping to maintain the cool interior for longer to prevent an uncomfortably overheated feeling. The cushioned collar promotes a snug fit, keeping the ankle secured in place so it won’t easily be twisted if you’re walking quickly on uneven or slick surfaces. The removable memory foam insole follows the curves of the foot to deliver a customized feel even as it protects from pain by easing pressure points so that blisters can’t easily develop. The midsole offers strong shock absorption, preventing foot fatigue by dispersing the force across the boot instead of leaving it concentrated in the heel area alone. The relaxed fit design gives the foot and toes enough room to move when needed so it’s easier to prevent cramps from developing, especially with all-day boot use. The side zipper eliminates the need to fiddle with the entire lace system but doesn’t totally make the boot easier to pull on because of the way it’s constructed.

Original SWAT Alpha Fury Boot

The Original SWAT Alpha Fury Boot has the look and feel of an athletic shoe, with a lightweight structure that makes it an ideal choice for all-day walking or standing since it doesn’t heavily weigh down on the foot. The exclusive rapid lacing system saves you precious time, enabling you to adjust the fit to achieve a comfortably snug feel without exerting a lot of effort on the task. The dual-density EVA midsole absorbs the impact that’s produced by standing or walking over hard surfaces, preventing foot fatigue development by distributing the force throughout the boot. The gusseted tongue stops debris and other unwanted elements from entering for superior foot protection in tough outdoor settings. The upper made with PU and microfiber mesh promotes a cool interior with its quick-drying structure, allowing more air to come in for proper ventilation inside the boot. It’s worth mentioning that this boot is quite hard to pull on, though, mainly because of the heel counter that locks in the foot as soon as it enters.

Conclusion & Verdict

The Merrell Moab 2 8-Inch Tactical Response Waterproof Boot is an exceptional choice if you’re looking for a premium waterproof tactical boot that’s also superbly comfortable. The high-quality materials and construction create a strong boot that’s tough enough to withstand challenging outdoor environments, while the waterproofing ensures lasting foot protection against uncomfortable wetness. This boot is very easy to put on and doesn’t feel too heavy, making it suitable for walking or standing for long periods. It offers outstanding value for money, given the top-notch construction and the technologies that work to deliver remarkable aesthetic and performance benefits.

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Luke Davis

Luke is the lead author on WorkWear.org. He has a vast experience in construction engineering and project management in California and Texas, where he had the chance to put to test a wide range of safety boots and PPE. Outside work, Luke is an avid hiker and not surprisingly a DIY fanatic!