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Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes?
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Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 01:50:07 MST Print View

I'm trying to figure out my footwear for the PCT, and I've gone through a long list, and today tried on the Merrill Moab Ventilators. I wasn't so sure, but when I tried them on...wow. Wider than most, comfy toe bed, no heel slippage, Vibram outsole, lots of breathable mesh that dries easily (from what I can read...)

Anyone have any experience with these, pro or con?

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 02:48:33 MST Print View

deleted

Edited by Found on 02/13/2011 02:49:11 MST.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 02:48:33 MST Print View

These are generally the most comfortable hiking shoe out of the box bar none. Part of that is achieved through going really heavy on the cushioning. They have an air pocket on the inside of the foot bed than can (rarely) break, leaving a "hole" indentation in the footbed. Also, just lots of padding, which when it packs out, may not work for you. Lots of padding also means that they're slightly slower to dry than mesh shoes with less foam. They've also got a lot of seams that can and sometimes do, blow out.

I've listed the negatives that I know of. And I'll state that they're one of the best hiking shoes on the market. They're a perennial best seller. Part of that is because they seem so awesome in the store, but they also have a large number of repeat buyers. I've known people to thruhike in them too.

I've owned one pair. Not my favorite.

They also come in wides, which are pretty darn wide, and mids.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 02:54:57 MST Print View

I've used the Merrill Moab Ventilator for several years now (on my 3rd pair) and they fit my feet better than anything I've ever tried. I have had many problems in the past with blisters and various other foot problems but once I found the Ventilators, all my foot problems went away.

My only complaint is that the Vibram sole is VERY slippery on wet rocks, to the point of being dangerous IMO. I just live with the problem because they fit me so well but I do hope that Merrill will eventually put a new sole on them. The current model is better than the old model (they changed the sole). The old model was really slick on both wet wood or wet rocks. They stick a little better to wet wood now but still bad on wet rock.

The wear points for me have been the toes and the padding on the heels but I get good mileage out of them and the bottoms never seem to wear out so I'm not complaining. I also find that Merrill's sizing is a bit off and always have to buy a size or size and a half up from what I normally wear but that's not a big issues as I can buy them locally.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 03:20:52 MST Print View

Go ahead and get a pair and start using it for your training. You're going to use a lot of shoes to finish the PCT, so you don't need to try to whittle your list down to one model of shoes.

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Merrell shoes on 02/13/2011 04:35:35 MST Print View

Dug,

I have thruhiked the whole Triple Crown and have gone through a lot of shoes.
I have also hiked with the Merrell Moab Ventilator in the beginning and really liked them then. In the last couple of years I have changed to Keens Voyager though and now prefer them a lot.
The Moab shoes' sole is not very durable and gets compacted very easily. On a thruhike Moab shoes last about 4-5 weeks, whereas I can easily get 6 weeks out of the Keens Voyager before my feet start hurting. I am on my 9th pair of Keens Voyager now....

Christine

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/13/2011 06:40:00 MST Print View

Dug - I wear them because of the fit and they work well for me, but I replace the standard insoles.

Steve Scarborough
(zehnmm) - F

Locale: southern New Mexico
Moab Ventilator on 02/13/2011 07:15:27 MST Print View

I have had mine for about a year and a half now and like them. I have a very high arch, which requires care in selecting and fitting my shoes. Would buy them again.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Moab Ventilator on 02/13/2011 09:01:42 MST Print View

Interesting. I'd actually consider the Moabs to be the wrong shoe for someone looking for arch support.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Moab Ventilator on 02/13/2011 11:21:59 MST Print View

I bought mine at REI and I'm taking them back. They felt great in the store, but as i began breaking them in last year i could feel pain on the top of my right toe. It got worse the more I wore them. I was very puzzled as my wife loves hers. I inspected the shoes and on the men's version the lace holders are much larger and have rivet like heads which in my case were hitting my toe joint directly where I felt the pain. I tried padding the area but it did not work.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
moab on 02/13/2011 11:35:36 MST Print View

I have a pair of Merrill Moab Ventilators and some other Merrill hiking shoes I purchase from the Merrill outlet near my house. They are very comfortable do have a lot of cushion because of the expanded pressure molded Eva mid sole. I wear them all the time but I have one beef about them is the Vibram out sole wear out very fast and does not grip very well when I used them for hiking only. I have retired my Merrill shoes and boots to street use now because of the Sole problems.

I use my Lowa Renegade Lo for backpacking and hiking more aggressive longer lasting Vibram out sole, leather upper,polyurethane mid sole make it a more stable shoe for me for backpacking and hiking.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Wet rock issue/padding compression on 02/13/2011 12:34:40 MST Print View

Since I will be mainly "on trail" on the PCT, will the Vibram slippery-when-wet issue be a big enough issue to nix these? And if worn mainly on dirt trails will the Vibram not devolve as fast as if on pavement?

And I agree, they were fantastic in the store straight from the box. I had average thickness socks on, not my Smartwool hikers, which will add some volume in the shoe around my feet. With the daily craziness of 15-25 mile days every day, do you former/current owners feel the inner padding will mash down in a negative way?

Also, planning on using Superfeet Blues if that makes a difference.

Appreciate the feedback from everyone, thank you.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Both Moabs on 02/13/2011 12:39:02 MST Print View

I own Merrill Moab GTX Mid boots and Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes. Both are very comfortable.

I use the shoes for day hikes and the boots for backpacking. BUT, I've put heat-moldable insoles in the Moab GTX boots and never had a blister in weeks of backpacking. Couldn't say that for my former favs, Danner 453 boots.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Christine's mileage on 02/13/2011 12:43:23 MST Print View

Christine,

you have GOT to be one of the priemer female long trail backpackers.
NINE pairs of Keenes? Wow!

Please post your gear list hre. I'd be very interested in knowing what you carried and in what seasons/climates.

Eric

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
smear on some silicone on 02/13/2011 13:31:57 MST Print View

On seams that wear easily, I cover them with silicone. Silicone caulking in a tube from the hardware store may work but I use Shoe Goo.

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Moab Ventilators on 02/13/2011 15:40:30 MST Print View

I had a pair of these, but they didn't get replaced when the time came. They're very comfortable out of the box, and that's what sold me on them initially. I was disappointed in them for trail use. Midsole is about as flexible as a pair of beat up trainers. After feeling this in my feet, I relegated them to street use and surprise day hikes. They wore pretty quickly as well. I'm a very heavy guy, so the lack of support probably wouldn't matter as much to you. I've been digging my Montrail Sabino Trail Mid GTXes and more recently a pair of New Balance 909s. I had some issues with the Sabino Trails at first, but now that I've gotten used to them I love 'em.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
wide on 02/13/2011 16:40:02 MST Print View

I purchased a pair of the mids as they were offered in a wide size (for some reason kind of a rarity anymore)- comfortable and I found the sole to be decently grippy (mine were purchased in 09 so maybe they are the "new" style???)

They've held up pretty well considering the the number of days they've been worn completely wet (I find that kind of hard on light trail runners)

This last year I picked up a pair of Sabino Trails as they were supposed to run wide in their normal width and I wanted to try a shoe vs a mid- the Sabino Trails fit every bit as well as the Moabs and are lighter, but they aren't as padded either- always a trade-off :)

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: wide on 02/13/2011 18:12:55 MST Print View

I'll agree with you there- the Sabinos aren't as padded as the Moabs, but they are stiffer, which is what makes them better trail shoes for me. Seems easier to add a bit more cushion than to give the shoe a firmer shank. YMMV!

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
. on 02/13/2011 18:25:17 MST Print View

I'll take some time to check those out. Was looking at the 909's a litle, they seem pretty solid, always had good luck with that brand...

Also looked at the Merrell Refuge Pro Ventilator, but couldn't find much on it. Seems like it has the features I want, a little more expensive, but I'm ok with the small price increase...Anyone ever try the Refuge?

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Moab Ventilators on 02/13/2011 18:52:37 MST Print View

I have been using these for the past few years I'm on my second pair and can honestly say they're the most comfortable light hiking boots I've ever worn. I have extremely large feet (16's) and i find most boots to be too narrow in the toe box. I have never had issues with blisters with the moabs.

I too have found that they are a little slick on wet rocks however if you are just wary of where u are putting your steps I see no problem with them at all.

I put about 700 miles on my first pair before they blew out while surfing down a shale slope (bonehead on my part) since getting my replacements I am equally as happy. They are very durable and dry extremely fast. I sectioned hiked the PCT through Washington which lived up to its wet reputation. I found that even when they were soaked at bedtime as long as they were under cover they dried out fine by the morning (a little stenchy though i might add).

Overall a fine piece of footwear for the PCT IMO, once i get done with the whole college thing and I plan on attempting a thru-hike most likely on a pair of moabs. Hope this helps and good luck!
Happy Trails