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Merrell Moab Polar 400 Gram Insulated Hiking Boots Review

The Merrill Moab Polar Insulated Winter Hiking Boot has 400g of insulation and is rated down to 20 below.
The Merrell Moab Polar Insulated Winter Hiking Boot has 400 grams of insulation and is rated down to 20 below.

Merrell’s Moab Polar Winter Hiking Boots have 400 grams of insulation and a wide front toe box that has plenty of room for your toes to splay out. They’re sized more like a regular three-season hiking boot and just come up over the ankles, unlike many insulated winter hiking boots that extend higher up your calves. This makes them easier to walk in and lighter weight, while helping to reduce excessive calf perspiration that can soak your socks when your calves are covered by an insulated boot and a high gaiter.

Merrell Moab Polar 400 gram Winter Hiling Boots

Foot Protecton
Traction
Sensitivity
Warmth
Water Resistence
Sizing
Weight
Durability

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The Merrell Moab Polar is a cold weather winter boot that fits like a regular hiking boot with a wide toe box that provides plenty of room for your toes to splay out. With 400 grams of insulation, these boots will keep your feet warm and dry down to 20 below.

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The base of the Moab Polar is has a waterproof TPU rand that will keep you high and dry even if you’re splashing through slush and shallow stream crossings. There’s a burly toe cap up front and a reinforced heel cup for added protection. The tongue is gusseted to prevent water from getting inside the boots with a gaiter ring at the base of the laces. Metal speed hooks at the top of the laces provide solid purchase but there are no lace locks to prevent them from slipping while you tie your knot.

A thick front toe cap provides extra protection for your toes.
A thick front toe cap provides extra protection for your toes.

The Moab Polar uppers are made with a waterproof breathable suede which is soft out-of-the-box but becomes buttery soft after 20 miles of walking. The interior lining is a soft, super warm fleece which helps eliminate any painful pressure points over the ankles.

The width of the heel and midsole is a bit on the narrow side in a regular width but loosens up with use. Otherwise they’re true to size.

The boots don’t provide much arch support, but the insoles are removable. I’ve replaced them with thicker Green Superfeet Insoles, which fit inside without any issues, in part because the front toe box is so high volume.

Dual density soles provide excellent traction in snow and mixed conditions.
Dual density soles provide excellent traction in snow and mixed conditions.

The Moab Polars have a lightweight EVA midsole that provides extra stiffness and shock absorption. Dual density boot soles provide good traction on snow and in mixed conditions, but if you plan to walk on ice, I’d recommend wearing them with extra traction like a pair of Hillsounds or Microspikes. The rand is stiff enough to wear with spikes that have an elastomer harness without collapsing on top of your toes and potentially causing discomfort or blisters.

With 400 grams of insulation, Merrell’s Moab Polar Boots are best worn between 15 degrees (above zero) down to 20 degrees below zero. If you wear them in warmer temperatures, you’re socks are likely to become noticeably damp with sweat. If you plan to hike and snowshoe in warmer temperatures, closer to freezing, I’d recommend getting yourself a pair of boots with 200 grams of insulation instead for better comfort.

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Disclosure: Merrell provided the author a pair of Moab Polar boots for this review.

Written 2017.

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5 comments

  1. Great timing for this review. My trusty Garmont Momentums are ready to be replaced and are getting hard to find as I believe they are out of production. I like the lower rise on these as I typically have Gore-Tex gators on all winter and don’t need a tall boot. Maybe an early Christmas present. I bought the Garmonts years ago based on your review and love them!

  2. Timing is good and bad. Good in that I have ordered a pair of these to replace my old Columbia Bugaboot’s which are falling apart (after years of good service). Bad in that I pulled the trigger right after your Salomon review, but could have done it from here if I had waited ;-(. REI has 20% discount on item for members so I went ahead. Next time I will try to be a little more patient! I am glad to hear you found replacing the insole was ok. I have the Moab Ventilators for hiking (with insoles replaced with orthotics) and found the same thing, so that is why I went with these hoping it would similar. Thanks for the review.

  3. Hi Philip. I am going on a 4 day trip to Baxter over new years. Do you think if I bought a De Lorem online, it would be ok for just texting, etc? I have Gaia on my phone. Maybe you could give me a call if you have a chance. 401 368 5354. I would like to pick your brain for 10 minutes or so. Thanks, Howard

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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