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Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid Review

   

Hiking Boots - Men's

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: July 12, 2014
Street Price:   $100 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros:  Cool, light, breathable, great value, good traction on rock and dry trails
Cons:  Uppers wear quickly, thin sole, not waterproof.
Best Uses:  Hot weather hiking, canyoneering, hot weather canoeing
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Merrell
Review by: Brandon Lampley ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 12, 2014  
Overview
One of the lightest hiking boots we tested, the Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid is superbly breathable and thus occupies its own niche. On hot and dry trails, it will keep your feet comfy, dry, and cool. When wading through water while canyoneering or portaging a canoe, it will drain and dry much more quickly than its competitors. Its traction on dry rock and gravel is excellent, and the wide forefoot provides a stable platform. One of the thruhikers we polled reported getting 800 miles out of a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators and said it was the "best out-of-box shoe I've ever worn."

Unfortunately, however, there are some definite drawbacks to this hiking boot. The Moab Ventilator Mid is one of the least durable boots we tested, and its thin sole and midsole provide little protection from pointy rocks underfoot. The mesh uppers can snag sticks and other trail debris, and the collar provides little ankle support. If you hike in muddy terrain, you will be cleaning mud from the inside of this boot.

The Keen Targhee II Mid, our Best Buy winner, is more durable and stable for those seeking a very light, affordable boot. It provides better traction in wet conditions, and it is water resistant. Consider the Editors' Choice winning Vasque St Elias GTX if weight is less of a concern.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Comfortable and uberlight, the Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid excels in the hot weather, but doesn't provide much support. In our old review, it received our Best Buy Award, but in our updated version, the Keen Targhee II (which is a little bit more expensive but more durable and versatile) took home this honor. This hiking boot is a great choice though if you'll be out in the heat and don't need any sort of waterproofing for your boot.

Performance Comparison

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The Moab Ventilator is the perfect hot weather boot for those seeking lightweight comfort.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Comfort
Available in both regular and wide sizes, this hiking boot was comfortable from the first step. The upper cradles the foot in softness; however, the minimalist design is only comfortable over many miles for hikers with strong, trail-hardened feet. It features four lower, one middle, and one upper lacing eyelets for a nice, snug fit.

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Kicking back and enjoying the view. This was one of the more comfortable products we tested. La Poudre Pass, on the Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National park
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Stability
The ankle collar, which is short compared to other boots, provides little ankle support, but the wide forefoot serves as a stable platform on smooth terrain. This boot feels very stable on smooth trails devoid of roots, and small rocks. Consider one of the midweight boots like the Salomon Quest 4D GTX if you need more ankle support.

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Another day in paradise while out testing boots.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Traction
On dry rock and loose gravel, the Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid offers great traction. Our traction testing found that wet granite and mud are not its forte; in this test, we were slipping and sliding. Amongst the lightweight hikers, the Keen Targhee offers better all round traction.

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This boot offers great bang for the buck, but is only ideal in dry climates. Even in our traction tests, it performed well over dry terrain, but fell short over wet surfaces.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Weight
The lightest hiking boot we tested, this product is featherlight on the foot. For hikers whose primary focus is weight, this is a great choice.

Water Resistance
Hot and dry days hiking, this is what the Ventilator is designed for. It will not keep your foot dry even when moving through dew-covered grass; however, it will dry out very quickly when you do get wet. If you like everything about this product, but need waterproofing, Merrell produces a version of this boot with a GORE-TEX liner, and it receives rave reviews.

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If you are getting your feet soaked for sure, the Moab Ventilator dries quickly.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Durability
This was the only product we tested that had seams coming unstitched after two months. Applying Seam Grip to these high-wear areas will increase the life expectancy of this uberlight boot's upper.

Best Applications
Hot and dry trail hiking; hot and wet canoeing or canyoneering.

Value
The Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid delivers hot weather performance at a reasonable price.

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Brandon Lampley, about to switch to some waterproof boots for the mushy meadow.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Conclusion
This was hands down the best lightweight boot we tested for hot weather hiking.

Other Versions

The Merrell Moab Ventilator, $100, is the low cut versions of this shoe. If you're looking for the waterproof low cut version, check out the Moab Waterproof, $110.

The Merrell Moab Mid GTX and Moab Mid GTX - Women's, $150, are the waterproof version of the shoe being reviewed.

Brandon Lampley

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 12, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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Backcountry $99.95
REI $99.95
Amazon $99.95
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