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||Top-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metrics||Incredibly lightweight, comfortable||Good value, extra toe protection, solid traction, out-of-the-box comfort||Budget oriented, soft and comfortable, quality insole|
|Cons||Not waterproof, not enough support for long or heavy backpacking trips||Expensive, not as great for hot and dry climates||Less durable than heavier models, thin sole||Below average stability, not very durable, lacks good breathability||Decreased stability, not most breathable|
|Bottom Line||This budget offering from Merrell is a good choice for day hikers and casual backpackers who will be traveling through warm and dry climates||The gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trail||This mid-top hiking boot is ridiculously lightweight, though it offers excellent stability and traction for fast and light objectives||A solid hiker that features great comfort and toe protection in an inexpensive package||This wallet-friendly model provides the support and traction of a boot, with the comfort normally reserved for a hiking shoe|
|Rating Categories||Merrell Moab 2 Vent...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||Salomon X Ultra Mid...||Keen Targhee II Mid||Keen Targhee III Mid|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Merrell Moab 2 Vent...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||Salomon X Ultra Mid...||Keen Targhee II Mid||Keen Targhee III Mid|
|Weight per Pair (Size 11)||2.41 lbs||2.90 lbs||1.85 lbs||2.37 lbs||2.38 lbs|
|Boot Type||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot||Lightweight Hiker/Day Hiker||Lightweight Hiker/Day Hiker|
|Width Options||Regular and Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular and Wide||Regular and Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||None||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex||KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane||KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane|
|Upper||Suede and mesh||Leather, nylon||PU coated leather||Waterproof nubuck leather||Oiled nubuck leather|
|Last Board/Shank||Molded nylon arch shank||4D Chassis||Molded shank||Torsion stability ESS shank||Torsion stability ESS shank|
|Midsole||EVA||EnergyCell||SensiFit||Dual density compression molded EVA||Dual-density EVA|
|Sole||Vibram TC5+||Contagrip||Contagrip||Non-marking rubber outsole||Keen all-terrain rubber|
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