Hiking Boot Overview
Naturally, you’re interested in the best of the best when it comes to hiking boots. In that respect, after combing over the top brands online, comparing spec after spec, and reviewing every aspect – the absolute top two boots have been picked out for you.
While it’s been limited to just two boots, there’s still quite a bit of ‘difference’ between these two, so here we are to help you pick the holy grail of boots for you. The Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 come out on top on many specific aspects which makes them the perfect pick. However, it can be tough to choose between these premium hiking and mountaineering boots.
In order to evaluate these boots, and decide whether you’re a Lowa Renegade GTX or a Merrell Moab 2 wearer, we really have to dive into the areas that will most affect you on your adventure. It’s fairly difficult to choose between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2. To do that, we’ve broken it down into the below categories, and will explore the pros and cons per category:
Surely we’d start off on the wrong foot if we didn’t jump right into the materials used category. Too punny? Sorry, we’ll give our funny bone the boot, and dig into more serious matters now. Below, you can compare the materials used in Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2.
Merrell Moab 2 Materials:
- M Select DRY
- Suede leather & Mesh
- Rubber toe & Nylon Shank
- EVA on top of EVA (foot lining and midsole)
- Vibram TC5+ sole
Lowa Renegade GTX Materials:
- Nubuck Leather
- ATC Stabilizer + Monowrap combo
- DuraPU Midsole
- Vibram EVO sole
Suede Leather vs Nubuck Leather
Where the Merrell Moab 2 uses suede leather outer construction for a durable, soft feel; he Lowa Renegade GTX uses a more rugged Nubuck leather outer construction that stands up to wear and tear a little more than Merrell Moab 2 boots.
Of course, there’s always a trade-off, and that’s the fact that Lowa renegade GTX boots are just a bit heavier than the Merrell Moab 2. In general one of the key differences between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 is the amount of bulkiness and durability. The right material for you will be the one that suits your specific activity. There is a slight tradeoff to be made between ruggedness and breathability.
M Select DRY vs GORE-TEX
Next up would be M Select DRY vs GORE-TEX technology. Merrell Moab 2’s M Select Dry will allow your feet to breathe a bit more than the Lowa Renegade GTX’s GORE-Tex. The trade-off here is that Merrell Moab 2s will be a little damper if you find yourself trekking through wet areas more often than not. GORE-Tex may keep you drier, but your feet won’t breathe quite as well as the M Select DRY will. This difference is key to take into account when choosing between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2.
This really comes down to where and when you’re going. If you find yourself in wet areas more often, hit up that GORE-Tex. If you’re in a dryer, warmer climate you’ll want to snag the slightly more breathable M Select DRY. When considering the choice between Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2, breathability is an important factor which you should take into consideration.
Both boots come with Vibram outsoles.
The Merrell Moab 2 has Vibram TC5+ soles which offer a comfortable and stable 5mm lug depth with rubber grip technology. While the Lowa Renegade GTX features Vibram EVO outsoles adding to that aforementioned extra waterproofing in the sole of the boot as well, allowing you to better grip in those wet, slippery conditions. The Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 are both excellent at offering state of the art outer soles.
Moving directly into the guts of the sole, you’ll notice that the Merrell Moab 2 has EVA on EVA material. The insole your foot rests in and the midsole are comprised of EVA technology which is more of a light foam vinyl that boosts softness and flexibility to help give you a softer, more conformed support for your foot, allowing you to feel more secure without tiring your legs out from added boot weight.
The Lowa Renegade GTX, on the other hand, uses an ATC insole, and a double injection DuraPU midsole. ATC and DuraPU materials are more of a soft and pliable plastic. These are slightly heavier materials than the EVA technology, and allow for a comfortable but firm feel on the foot, allowing for day hikes and mountain treks alike, but adding a bit more weight to the foot, and showing wear and tear a bit quicker than EVA material. These key differences highlight the choice that is to be between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2.
The Merrell Moab 2 combines a rubber toe, nylon shank, and bellows to help secure your foot. The bellows acting like a nice cushion to keep your boot free of debris, the rubber toe and nylon shank acting as armor and protecting you from rocks, sticks, or other things that can push through or squish your feet with enough pressure.
The Lowa Renegade GTX, on the other hand, goes with a ‘less is more’ approach and instead went with a monowrap construction for a secure fit and framing to keep a tough durable shell, encased in durable leather for extra protection. In terms of stability, both the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 rank very highly.
There is no point in having a premium hiking boot if it can’t last in extreme conditions. Both the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 are built to survive in the toughest terrains. As noted previously, it would seem the Lowa Renegade GTX is built for rough and tumble, wet conditions while the Merrell Moab 2 is built for a dryer perhaps less intense adventure.
That being said, it would be arguable that the Lowa Renegades would stand up longer due to the wear and tear hiking brings. The reality here is that the Merrell Moab is set up to last a bit longer, just due to the construction of the boot. The materials in the Merrell are more flexible and breathable, allowing for give and take in a stride. The Lowa Renegade is built to thoroughly protect your foot from the elements, but the rugged nature needed for that is a bit less flexible and wears a bit easier.
Not that either boot will tap out in a short period of time, but it’s likely the Lowa may be a little quicker to need some sprucing up in the long run. Both the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 are built to last even in tough conditions.
The weight of a boot is a serious topic too.
Any hiker that is pondering choosing between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 will want to know how the weight differences stack up. You don’t want cement boots that leave you tired and sore only a few miles in, but you also really don’t want boots that are so light, they slightly throw your footing off until you’ve gotten used to the weight on your feet.
- The Merrell Moab 2 weighs in at 1.15 pounds
- The Lowa Renegade GTX is weighing in just slightly heavier at 1.22 pounds.
The difference between the two is going to lead us right back to the material. Merrell Moab boots have that more airy, breathy feel, where the Lowa Renegades are a denser, waterproof build. The weight difference itself is not so significant between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 when compared to material differences.
Picking the right boot is huge when you’re looking for comfort and durability in your day to day, or more adventurous activities, but there’s always a price point that somehow delegates which one you pick.
The technology used in hiking boots is usually a newer technology which is usually going to cost a bit more. The Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 are both high-end boots that come with reasonable price tags.
We took the price point into consideration as well, when picking these two boots against the array of boots out there in the market.
Merrel Moab 2 boots have a price tag of just under $90.00 with the more rugged Lowa Renegade GTX boots coming in a little under $200.
This difference means that price will be a significant factor for you to consider when choosing between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2. Overall, your decision should be based on which activities you intend to enjoy so that you can make a purchasing decision which makes the most of your money.
- Leather, Mesh Upper
- Vibram TC5 Outsole; Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, 5 millimeter...
- Molded nylon arch shank
- Merrell Air Cushion, Breathable mesh lining
- EVA mid sole for stability and comfort, 5 millimeter lug depth
- Nubuck Upper
- Textile Lining
- Removable Insole
- Gore-Tex Product
- Vibram Evo Outsole
So where does that leave us?
When it comes down to it, each boot has great pros to consider. Both the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2 have premium features which are highly sought after by all hikers. There are a few ‘cons’ for each one too, but it really depends on what you’re using the boot for. The majority of these cons will depend on the main uses you intend for the hiking boots.
Maybe the Merrell Moab 2 is too wet for you, as a creek runner, but it’s perfect for you as a desert heat hike enthusiast where you don’t really need protection from the water but you absolutely need to allow your feet to breathe without a puddle of sweat swirling around your foot.
The Lowa Renegade GTX is possibly more of a ‘leg day’ work out for you if you’re mostly running, or trekking over flatter lands, but this comes in handy if you’re more of a rugged land enthusiast, climbing and relying on that rugged rubber outer body paired with the tough leather body. That rubber can also aide you in treks through snow, or the rainy season because the outer casing is meant to keep you dry and stable. The strong outer casing is one of the main differences to keep in mind when comparing the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2.
Thankfully, you’re the best person to understand exactly what your climbing and rappelling activities are, and what you expect from your boot. Knowing that, and having this article handy, you should be easily ready to decipher which of these two amazing hiking boots are right for your next adventure, getting you back into the wilderness and experiencing the outdoor life that much quicker. You will now be able to make an informed purchasing decision between the Lowa Renegade GTX and Merrell Moab 2.
Whichever boot you pick for your feet, always remember, if you take care of your hiking boots, they will, in turn, take care of you!