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Merrell Moab Ventilator Review

   

Hiking Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 3.5/5
Overall avg rating 3.5 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: August 4, 2014
Street Price:   $90 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Good value, plush, lightweight.
Cons:  Lacks support, mushy feeling uppers.
Best Uses:  Light hiking, canyoneering, desert hiking.
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 4 reviews
Recommendations:  75% of reviewers (3/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Merrell
Review by: Tommy Penick ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 28, 2013  
Overview
The Merrell Moab is a solid shoe that we found to be comfortable and versatile, but brought little to the table that made our testers say "Wow." While the shoe is a good shoe, it lacks any specialty that would make it succeed in our testing. The Moab ranked as average throughout all of our testing metrics, although the weight is a standout. The fit is average, and the shoe is comfortable and soft, but lacks arch support, and seemed to miss the sweet spot of sacrificing comfort for performance. The Moab would be a good fit for someone looking for a shoe for occasional light day-hikes and a good casual shoe to wear around town, but it missed the mark for our team of testers who spent the majority of their days outside in the elements. The shoe also fits a nice niche for ultra-hot hiking, or trips where you will be in the water frequently; although we still preferred other shoes such as the North Face Hedgehog Guide, which can also be purchased in a non-waterproof version.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
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Credit: Tommy Penick

Weight
The Merrell Moab was one of the lightest shoes we tested, coming in at just 1.87 pounds per pair. Under our manta of "weight=miles", this shoe should excel in pounding out light and fast miles on decently flat terrain, but when the going gets tough the shoe starts to cower. Some of the shortcuts made to lighten this shoe lead to its demise in terms of support, and therefore comfort; but for some people with lighter applications this shoe can still be a good option. For a lightweight option that also has great support, check out the North Face Hedgehog Guide.

Comfort=
The Merrell Moab is a plush, comfortable shoe right off the bat, but lacks the arch support and fit to make itcomfortable all day. Additionally, the squishy mesh uppers and foamy-feeling footbed leads the shoe to feel more like a casual shoe than an all-terrain vehicle for outdoor adventures.

Support
The support of the Merrell Moab is middling at best. Between a nearly flat footbed, mushy uppers, and a sole lacking any resemblance of stiffness, the Moab falls drastically short of a shoe you can depend on for when the trail turns gnarly. Alhough for a casual shoe to mostly wear around town with an occasional trip out to the trails, it could fit the bill. For a beefier shoe, check out the North Face Hedgehog Guide or the Salomon Exit Peak.

Traction
The Merrell Moab was a solid competitor on technical rocks, and we felt like it was a great shoe for hopping rock-to-rock and running around canyons. Combined with its ability to drain water, this makes a great canyoneering shoe.


Versatility
The soft construction and breathability of this shoe make it a good choice for an everyday wearing shoe, as long as support isn't necessary.

Water Resistance
The water resistance category is simply unfair to this shoe — without a lining, this shoe is not marketed as water resistant. However, some may prefer an unlined shoe, as they drain faster and are extremely breathable. When inevitably the shoe gets wet it dries very quickly.

Durability
The mesh uppers of the Merrell Moab held up marginally in our testing, but leave us a bit concerned about the longevity of the shoe. However, the sole was surprisingly resilient.

Best Applications
Canyoneering, desert hiking, day hiking.

Value
At a super low list price of only $90, the Moab is barely more than half the cost of many of the shoes we tested. This is a great value, but only if the shoe meets your needs.

Conclusion
This comfortable, affordable shoe may be the ticket for some folks, but for the needs of our testers the Moab fell short in support, and consequently, comfort. While we were wonderfully pleased by the weight of the shoe, when our feet are aching from not having support for hours on end, we have a hard time remembering the plushness we felt at first.

Other Versions and Accessories
Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid - Men's, $100
Merrell Moab Ventilator - Women's, Low Cut, $90
Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid - Women's, $100
Merrell Moab Mid GTX, $150
Merrell Moab Mid GTX - Women's, $150

Tommy Penick

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 4, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

75% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 20%  (1)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 40%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 4 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Aug 4, 2014 - 08:21pm
JonF · Hiker · Houston, texas
I don't find this to be a good hiking shoe. Comfortable and stylish for around town. I have hiked and trained in this shoe. I find the heel is always a hot spot, even after just 2 hours training with a pack on the sidewalk. Maybe OK for a light dayhiker, but not for anything serious. If you want a real hiking shoe, look elsewhere.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 4, 2014 - 12:26pm
Lucky Man · Hiker · WPB, FL
These shoes have performed well for me on a 12-day backpack, a five-day backpack and many day hikes, and there's probably what I'll use on the Colorado Trail.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 28, 2013 - 05:32pm
hallofrecord · Hiker · LAKE ORION
I've had these shoes for 3 years based on the recommendation of my podiatrist [who wears them himself]. They fit well, especially since I have a wide foot, and required absolutely no "break in" period for great comfort [if you have to break in a shoe, it doesn't fit you properly].

They have been durable and grip well in many different conditions. The only complaint I've had is that the top eyelets cut the shoelaces which require frequent changing [which is why I didn't rate them 5 stars].

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 8, 2013 - 12:51pm
sol_dog · Climber · Berkeley
I love this shoe. I have used it for years. My last pair lasted me 3 tough years, trekking for 3 weeks in the Nepalese Himalayas (over a 18000+ feet pass), mountain biking in Moab, my approach shoes for hundreds of climbs, day hikes throughout the Sierras, river walks through the Western ghat's of India, on and on.
I have the ventilators and the waterproof version of the Moab's and they both are great (though the waterproof ones have gotten a tad stinky since the river walk). They are super comfortable (my number 1 req) , and durable to boot. They also look nice, so you can wear them around town. I wear these shoes every day.

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