Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Cushioned and comfortable, good fit for wide fit, very breathable
Cons: Not waterproof, not enough support for long or heavy backpacking trips
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Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid
|Price||$109.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Cushioned and comfortable, good fit for wide fit, very breathable||Comfortable out of the box, fast and nimble, great stability, support, water resistance||Best choice for rock and snow travel, durable, breathes well||Amazing comfort, stable, great traction||Comfort of a trail runner with more support and stability, good all around performance, lightweight|
|Cons||Not waterproof, not enough support for long or heavy backpacking trips||Not as good for warm or hot environments, pricey||Wider fit, not the best lace locking system||Not as capable in off-trail terrain, rockered sole feels unnatural at first||Could be more breathable, not great traction on smooth rock|
|Bottom Line||Lightweight and breathable, this hiker performs best in dry environments||This boot is a capable beast of stability and protection without weighing you down||For hikers venturing off trail into rocky or snowy terrain, this boot offers stability and traction that no other boot does||The ultimate in comfort for on-trail enjoyment||A proven performer from short walks to intense thru-hikes, with shoe comfort in lightweight boot form|
|Rating Categories||Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid||Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX||Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX||Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Merrell Moab 2...||Salomon Quest 4D 3...||Scarpa Zodiac Plus...||HOKA ONE ONE Kaha...||Salomon X Ultra...|
|Weight per Pair (Size 11)||2.41 lbs||3.30 lbs||2.65 lbs||2.45 lbs||2.28 lbs|
|Boot Type||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot|
|Width Options||Regular and Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular and Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||None||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex|
|Upper||Suede and mesh||Nubuck leather and textile||1.8mm Suede Perwanger||Leather||Waterproof PU coated leather|
|Last Board/Shank||Molded nylon arch shank||4D Advanced Chassis||BZ last||None||Molded shank|
|Midsole||EVA||Dual density EVA||PU + 3D EVA-MP||EVA||Injected EVA|
|Sole||Vibram TC5+||ContaGrip||Vibram Drumlin / Mont||Vibram MegaGrip||Non-marking ContaGrip|
|Warranty||Condition dependent||2 year||1 year||45 day||2 year|
|Sizes Available||7 - 16 US||7 - 13 US||37 - 48 EU||7 - 14 US||7 - 13 US|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid received mixed scores across our review. While low-performing in metrics such as water resistance and durability, which we placed less weight on, it did quite well and competed against more popular boots when it came to comfort and weight, metrics that received higher weight percentages. Overall, this competitor was the lowest scoring boot in our review, mostly due to its lack of waterproof lining. Does that make it a model that you should overlook and avoid? Absolutely not. This is an exceptional hiking boot for the casual day hiker and light backpacker who spends most of their time in warm climates where breathability is required, and waterproofness is not necessary.
Thanks to its flexible sole that allowed out of the box comfort and its wide, roomy fit the Moab 2 Ventilator Mid got great scores in this metric. This mid-top hiking boot has a well-padded ankle collar that hugs the ankle and provides good support for hauling medium-sized packs. The sole is light and flexible and allows the foot to bend freely, and the outer material, made of suede and mesh, is supple enough to be comfortable without any break-in period.
The included footbed is of reasonable quality, though we would recommend replacing with a more durable Superfeet or Ortholite insole like we found in some of the other models we reviewed. There is only one pair of lacing hooks in addition to the eyelets, making it harder to lace these boots with a customized, comfortable fit.
The Moab 2 Ventilator Mid didn't overly impress in this performance metric due to its lightweight, flexible materials that performed more like a trail running shoe than a hiking boot. With a forefoot width of 4.66 inches, the Moab 2 is as wide as many of the other boots we reviewed and gives a wider base to prevent ankle rolling and slippage. However, it does not have the robust structure gained through the use of a heavier weight outer/collar material.
This flexibility was welcome when we had light packs on day hikes and did not need the increased stability found in more rigid materials. Unfortunately, we felt more vulnerable when carrying heavy weight, opting for a higher boot for these situations.
Using a Vibram rubber sole called TC5+, a multi-sport compound, the Moab 2 has the lowest profile sole in our review; eschewing heavy lugs common to heavy-duty boots, this model has a smoother lug pattern. This makes the boot more capable on the sand and slick rock trails common to hikes in the desert Southwest, and less effective at hiking in variable terrain including mud, snow, and scree.
The Moab 2 Ventilator Mid earned a low score in water resistance. It earned this low score due to its lack of a waterproof membrane. Waterproof/breathable membranes like Gore-Tex are typically used in hiking boots. However, to gain waterproofness, breathability is often sacrificed. The Moab 2 is the most breathable boot in this review and is the most adept at traveling comfortably through hot and dry environments. When faced with water crossings, prepare to have wet feet.
The Moab 2 Mid weighs 2.4 pounds per pair in size 11 US, mostly due to its use of mesh, lower density sole, and a molded nylon shank. It is indeed lighter than beefier boots but does not provide a notable improvement in performance over our Top Pick for Lightweight Hiking Award.
The Moab 2 did not demonstrate great overall durability, and earned one of the lowest scores. The lessened durability comes from the lower quality suede and mesh outer, which began to show wear after only days of use on rocky trails, nylon lacing eyelets that wear out quicker than metal ones, and a softer rubber compound that is less durable than the harder compounds used in other boots. Is the added durability worth it for your adventure? If not, at least the lack of durability is reflected in the Moab's wallet-friendly price.
The Moab 2 Ventilator Mid is the least expensive option in our review, but it is also limited in usefulness. Its value is dependent on your need for waterproof materials.
A lightweight day hiker that can carry a moderate amount of weight, the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Mid is a good option for those on a budget searching for their first pair of hiking boots, and for those spending the majority of their hiking time in dry desert climates - where a waterproof lining is not required.
— Ryan Huetter