Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Vs Merrel Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe and Boots Review

Apart from protecting your feet from strain and injuries, a good hiking boot is comfortable, durable and resistant to external elements.

Without a doubt, these are all qualities that can be pinned to Merrel’s Moab line of hiking boots and shoes.

Two of the most popular products in the aforementioned line are the Moab Gore-Tex hiking boot and the Moab Waterproof hiking shoe.

In order to help you figure out which one is the best for your personal needs, this guide will compare both products.

Quick comparison: Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Vs Merrel Moab Waterproof

 Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
Our Best Pick
Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe
MaterialsLeather and MeshWaterproof leather and mesh
Sole TypeVibram TC5+Rubber
Cushioning SystemAir cushion heelECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed
Foot FrameCompression molded EVACompression molded EVA
Weight2lbs 1oz1lb 8oz
Lug Depth5mm5mm
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Video Review

Merrel Moab Waterproof Video Review

Water Submersion

Before beginning to compare both hiking boots, it’s important to clarify that there is an important difference between them regarding submersion abilities. Simply put, the Moab Gore-Tex model can be submerged while the Moab Waterproof cannot.

While the materials and construction of the Moab Waterproof can block rainwater and splash water, they are not designed to be submerged in water. We are talking about footwear that will keep your feet dry under regular walking conditions and reasonable levels of humidity.

In other words, they can keep your feet dry while walking in the rain, but they can’t keep your feet completely dry if you decide to walk through a creek.

While the Moab Waterproof can’t protect your feet from getting wet when submerged, the strategically-placed Gore-Tex membrane in the Moab Gore-Tex hiking boot provides a huge amount of waterproofing. This allows you to walk through water without getting your feet soaked.

Waterproof Construction

Both of these hiking boot models are made with water-resistant materials. At the same time, they both feature a bellowed tongue that is sewn to the sides of the boot, preventing water from passing through.

While the materials and the bellowed tongue of both models can block rainwater from passing through, only the Gore-Tex model’s internal membrane can prevent water from passing through during submersion.

As a result, the Gore-Tex model has the higher ground when it comes to sheer waterproofing abilities. However, both models should work just as well for waterproofing during normal conditions.

Resistance and Durability

Because they were specially designed for intense hiking, both models are extremely tough.

Their leather and mesh construction is tight and solid, easily blocking external elements. At the same time, they are extremely resistant to the wear and tear that’s to be expected from their use. In both cases, the result is an impressive durability.


Because it’s placed on the inside of the boot, the Gore-Tex membrane does not wear down as quickly as other waterproofing membranes. However, Gore-Tex is not very breathable, often causing internal moisture problems.

The Waterproof model has an M Select Dry membrane that was specially designed to allow for the internal moisture to be released. This is a huge advantage on the Gore-Tex model since it does not allow moisture out in any way.


As all hikers know, comfort is hugely important when it comes to walking through difficult terrains for extended periods of time.

Luckily, both the Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Boot and the Merrel Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe are extremely comfortable. This is largely due to their sleek, ergonomic construction and refined materials.

Both models feature a compression-molded EVA foot frame that provides an extra amount of cushioning. However, the Moab Waterproof also has a molded nylon arch shank that absorbs shock, enhancing comfort and increasing stability.

Traction and Stability

Thanks to a proprietary patterned design, the 5mm lugs that both models feature help provide great stability.

In addition to stability, the lugs of both models give an incredible level of traction in any type of terrain. Neither model has lugs beneath the arches, helping you flex your foot in a healthier, more natural way.


Both these models are hefty and sturdy. For that reason, it’s not surprising that they are somewhat heavy in comparison to other types of shoes. However, they are not heavy enough to cause strain or discomfort.

Weighing 2l pounds and 1 ounce, the Moab Gore-Tex is somewhat heavier than its 1 pound and 8 ounces counterpart. Even though it may not seem like much, these few ounces are really apparent when comparing both models side to side.

Price Comparison

Being high-quality, technologically-advanced hiking boots, both these models are less affordable than most similar products on the market. However, considering their superior quality, durability and overall value, they are actually very affordable.

It should be noted, however, that there is a difference in pricing between both models. Because of its special features and additional materials, the Moab Gore-Tex is slightly more expensive than the Moab Waterproof.

Final Verdict

Before offering a final verdict, this reviewer must admit that both models are very similar in terms of functionality, usability and general quality. Comfortable, durable and efficient, they are both great hiking boots.

While the Gore-Tex model has excellent water-submersion abilities, the M Select Dry Waterproof is very breathable. In the end, the choice between the Moab Gore-Tex and the Moab Waterproof will rest on the type of activity you will be likely to engage on.

Put bluntly, if you are expecting to walk through rivers and creeks, the Moab Gore-Tex is the one for you. However, if you don’t expect to do such things, it’s best to go with the regular Moab Waterproof.


Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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