OR - Merrell Ventilators - Josh Breslow
Men's Merrell Moab Ventilator
Owner Review by Josh Breslow
Name: Josh Breslow
Height: 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight: 170 Pounds (77 kg)
Email Address: jbreslowsubs [at] gmail [dot] com
City, State, Country: San Diego, CA, U.S
Backpacking Background: I am fairly new to the backpacking world, having done it now for about 8 months. But I have been an avid hiker for many years. I mostly take weekend trips to the San Bernadino Mountains with an occasional trip to the desert. I am trying get my pack down to about 10-12 lbs (4.54 kg - 5.44 kg). An aspiring "gram weenie".
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.merrell.com
MSRP: $90.00 US
Listed Weight: 1lb 14 oz/pair (850g)
Shoe Type: Corss-training
Footwear Height: Ankle
Footwear closure: Lace-up
Upper: Leather/Nylon Mesh
Lining: Nylon Mesh
Support: Nylong Shank
Measured Weight: 3.5 oz (98 g) for S/M size
Available Colors: Earth, Walnut, Beluga/Denim blue, Black night, and Granite/Kryptonite
Available Sizes: 7-15
Available Width: Regular
The men's Moab Ventilator from Merrell is a breathable hiking shoe that is on the lighter side of hiking shoes. The pair of shoes come in a nice but 100% recyclable cardboard box with the company's logo and slogan on it. Upon opening the hinged lid, there will be more recyclable material, this time in the form of paper that is snugly wrapped around the shoes protecting them during shipping. After removing the shoe from its secure cocoon of crinkly recycled paper I first notice that I have an awesome, well constructed shoe in my hand. I gave it a smell, it smells wonderful, almost like a new car. The second thing I noticed is that there is a cardboard foot in the shoe already. This too is 100% recyclable, and is used to help keep the form and shape of the shoe. The third thing I become aware of is that the shoe isn't fully laced up. This wasn't a problem for an outdoor enthusiast like myself so I went ahead and lace them up.
There are 6 eyelets that the shoe lace runs through; The 4 lower ones are fabric loops while the 2 upper ones run through the full thickness of the shoe. The laces themselves are not ordinary laces, they are thick 3/16" (4mm) and round, not flat like ordinary tennis shoe laces. There is a loop about halfway the way up the tongue to feed the laces through, which helps keep the tongue in place.
The toe and heel of the shoe is well protected with a leather and rubber toe cap/heel counter. This will protect the shoes as well as my toes from any toe-stubbing impacts while on the trail. The overall body of the shoe is comprised of both Dura leather and mesh. The leather helps protect the shoe and give it support while the mesh helps it breathe. The heel is fitted with a nylon loop to assist with foot entry.
The inside of the shoe is constructed of some very thick padding that is held in place by some very soft nylon mesh fabric. My foot rests on a .18in (4.5mm) footbed that is anatomically shaped and helps to provide extra cushion and support while wearing them all day. The footbed is removable. There is a nylon shank which is constructed of ballistic nylon that sits under the arch of the shoe. It prevents the arch from falling and adds extra support when carrying heavy loads.
The outsole is constructed of "Vibram Multi-Sport Sole/TC-5+ Rubber" and when new has a .2in (5mm) sole lug depth. (This is basically the depth of the tread.) The midsole has Merrell's "Air Cushion" technology which is responsible for shock absorption and runs the length of the shoe under the insole.
I have used these shoes for about six months now. I have taken them across part of the Southern California desert, in the lakes and rivers of Yosemite valley, across snow banks, rivers and rocky terrain of the Sequoia National Park, and on very long treks in the San Bernardino mountains. They are fantastic shoes, are remarkably comfortable, hold up very well, and dry quickly.
- Yosemite Valley (7/2013) - Unfortunately I didn't get to hike in them as much as I would have liked to in Yosemite. I did use them as my river shoes though. Because of the mesh uppers they dry so quickly that there really isn't any reason not to wear them in the water. I did hike up a granite rock with them being about 80% dry and the dampness did not affect the traction what-so-ever. The weather was warm, about 80 degrees (26C) and dry.
- Sequoia National Park (6/2013) - This was a 4-day backpacking trip, pack load of approximately 22 lbs (9.98kg), with mixed terrain. There was road walking, hiking on well groomed trails, through streams, across snow, boulder hopping and across fields of loose rocks. While walking on roads, the shoe does seem a bit stiff and doesn't seem to roll with the foot like a less stiff should would. Once you hit the trails that feeling goes away and you welcome the solid structure. They work very well crossing streams and do not retain water. My shoes were dry in no time. The shoes fit so well that even when wet they stay attached to your feet and do not slip and slide around which have caused blisters. They have incredible traction even when wet or snow covered. The extra protection on the toe-box is great when you have to kick-step in snow. It was a warm day, about 85F (29C), so I did not notice my feet getting cold from the snow or streams. They seem to insulate fairly well, even when wet.
- San Bernardino Mountains (5/2013) - It was a long 3-day backpacking trip, pack load of about 20lbs (9.07kg) over 38 miles and my feet were the only thing that didn't hurt. Hilly/mountainous terrain with a mix of ground cover; from pine needles and leaves, sand, pebbles, rocks, boulders, etc... I felt that the shoe offered me lots of support while walking over loose rocks and gravel. My foot planted solidly and did not feel like it was rolling around. The tread on the shoes are enough to grip while on slippery terrain like pine needles and leaves. The weather was hot, about 85F (29C), and dry.
- Southern California Desert (2/2013) - This was a one day, 20 mile hike through part of the Southern California desert. The weather was hot, about 90F (32C) and dry as usual. I carried a 10 lb (4.54 kg) pack. The terrain was dry desert gravel with lots of rolling hills and a descent ascent/descent. The shoes are wonderful cross-country shoes and are very comfortable even after such a long hike. Because they are "Ventilators" I had very dirty feet after a day of hiking.
I have one issue with these shoes that I have also had with other Merrell cross-training shoes. There seems to be a fabric seam at the back of the shoe towards the top of the ankle. I only seem to notice it on my left foot, so maybe there is something different with my left foot but it rubs me the wrong way for the first few times I wear the shoe. After that it seems to go away and doesn't bother me anymore.
I love these shoes and will continue to buy Merrell shoes. They hold up remarkably well in just about any terrain. They offer support and structure like nothing I have felt in another other hiking shoe. They dry fast when wet which allows me to not worry about getting my feet wet. They grip very well to most surfaces, even some-what smooth surfaces. They are stylish and can even be worn around town with jeans (preferable before they get dirty). Above all they are uber comfortable. I would buy again and recommend to a friend.
- Dry fast
- Amazing structure and support
- Look good
- Come in a wide range of colors
- Fabric seam in back of the shoe which can bother some people