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Merrell Moab Ventilator Review

   
Best Buy Award

Hiking Boots - Men's

  • Currently 3.1/5
Overall avg rating 3.1 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: February 20, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $90 - $160 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Light, breathable, drains well.
Cons:  Not durable, not waterproof.
Best Uses:  Canyoneering, canoe tripping, hot-weather hiking.
User Rating:     
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  • 5
 (3.2 of 5) based on 4 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (2/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Merrell
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 1, 2012  
Overview
The Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid perfectly fills a niche role. No other boot can handle hot weather and soggy conditions as well. It's perfect for activities like canoe tripping or canyoneering. If you've resigned yourself to the fact that your feet are going to get wet, the Moab Ventilator is the shoe you want.

That said, the Moab Ventilator has some distinct drawbacks. It doesn't offer much protection so errant rocks and sticks can be a problem. Because of all the mesh it is not very durable. As you might expect, it's not waterproof, either.

If you are looking for a more durable boot with a similar weight, try the Keen Targhee II, our Editors' Choice in the light book category. It has a similar minimalist style while offering more protection and water resistance. If weight is not a concern, consider our burly Editors' Choice in the heavy boot category, the Asolo Power Matic 200.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Moab Ventilator has a design totally different from the other boots tested. It does not intend to be waterproof, it does not intend to be durable, and it does not intend to compare itself to hikers like the Asolo Power Matic. It has its own, self-described function. It means to fill the niche of hot-weather boot, and at that task it performs beautifully. Because of its mesh design it also drains water quickly, making it useful for canyoneering and canoe tripping.

Dislikes
While we understand why the shoe is not waterproof and not durable, we still don't like it that the shoe is not waterproof and not durable. It's annoying to have to avoid shallow puddles. The Ventilator is popular among canoe trippers, and nearly every one we have seen blows out in the area around the ball of the foot. It becomes an annual purchase.

There is also some danger because of the lack of protection from the mesh. We were canoe tripping in northern Ontario with one of our friends when he was speared in the side of the foot (through his Moab Ventilators) by a stick. He managed to finish the trip, but that was the last time he wore the Moab Ventilator in heavy brush.

Best Application
The Moab Ventilator is perfect for hot and soggy weather and so particularly useful for canyoneering and canoe tripping.

Value
They may not be the all-around best value, but if you want a boot to handle hot, wet conditions, there is no better option.

Other Versions
There is the Merrell Moab Ventilator - Women's as well as a lower cut version called the Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe as well as a Gore-Tex-lined version called the Merrell Moab Mid GTX.

Atherton Phleger

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 20, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.2)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (2)
4 star: 17%  (1)
3 star: 17%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 33%  (2)
Sort 4 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Jul 10, 2013 - 07:17pm
cmaddox · Camper · Alpharetta, GA
I searched for 2 weeks before settling on the Merrell Moabs. I took them to scout camp for 1 week, and owned the shoes for a total of 3 weeks. I am now returning them to the purchase. After only 3 weeks of use, 1 of which was camping - not heavy hiking, the sole is separating from the shoe. It is very disappointing. The shoes worked well, but the quality is missing.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 20, 2014 - 01:44am
I recently bought a pair of these Merrell 'Men's Moab Mid Gore' shoes and after 2 weeks of use the inner layer lining and the insole started to come out when I pull both feet out of the shoes. It seems as if the inner lining has lost its glue and separated. Initially I liked the shoes and it seemed very solid but I really got frustrated as soon as this started to happen. Also makes it worst knowing that I spent $130 to invest in a 'good' shoes and then encounter this issue.

So Disappointed, 1st pair of Merrells

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 26, 2013 - 08:30pm
alpinegeoff · Climber · Seattle, WA
I am on my second pair of these boots in about 6 years. I have worn the soles smooth, and the uppers are still in great shape; unfortunately they cannot be resoled. As far as the waterproof issues goes, there us a gore-tex madel available. I've found the durability to be excellent given the initial cost and the fact that they are light weight mesh boots.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 25, 2013 - 06:22pm
OutlawMike · Backpacker · Bremerton, Wa
February, 2013
I have had these boot for 3 yrs. Love them, very comfortable and there was no need to break them in. I did spray them with some water proofing just to give them a little more durability with backpacking through grass and rain forest areas. The soles are great and don't show any sign of going bad at all.
The one negative about these boots for me (which I will always complain about with any shoe/boot) is that the soles are not sewn to the fabric. My boots started to come apart where the step crease is located. To solve this problem and get the most out of my boot, I have put shoe glue on all around the front part of the sole that connects to the material.
This will be year 4 with these boots. So we will see if they will make it or if I will be looking for an upgrade.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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