Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes?
Display Avatars Sort By:
James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes on 02/13/2011 19:08:30 MST Print View

I purchased a pair of these in August 2009 & wore them on one trip which was a thru hike of the GSMNP on the AT (72 miles) over that Labor Day weekend. Mine were not the GoreTex type. They were worn with green Superfeet insoles & Smartwool PhD socks which is a combo I have used in many other trail runners ( namely GoLite & New Balance) for years without problems. The Moab Ventilators would not dry much & it seemed that the "nubuck" leather reinforcements & hindfoot padding actually retained moisture. Needless to say, I developed 3 blisters on each foot, each of which was larger than any I had ever had previously. I pretreated my feet with BodyGlide & changed socks each midday to no avail. I totally agree, as others have stated, that they are treacherous on wet rocks! I'll stick with my GoLite Comps which dry incredibly fast, are lighter, & also have a huge footbox. Also, my feet were paresthetic (numb) for 2 months after that trip in the Ventilators. Never again!

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth1) - F
Merrell vs. Keens on 02/14/2011 05:56:59 MST Print View

Thanks, yeah, I guess I have done a lot of hiking. Sorry, I can't post a gear list right now as I am still travelling.

I think there is a big technological difference between the Merrell and the Keens. The problem with the Merrells is that the sole compresses much faster than with the Keens. If the rubber sole has been compressed by walking it does not provide much cushioning/padding anymore. The result is that your feet will hurt quickly.
As I have mentioned before this process takes about 4-5 weeks (800 - 1000 km) with the Merrells, whereas the Keens last about 6 weeks and longer (1000 - 1500 km).
After 2 years in Keens I have changed back to an old pair of Merrells last year on the Florida Trail - bad decision. The Florida Trail has a lot of road walking and with the Merrells my feet hurt like hell.
There is nothing wrong with the Merrells - just keep in mind that they won't last that long. You will need at least 4 pairs for the PCT. To prevent foot problems I would change shoes every months on the PCT.
I suggest you have a look at the Keens Voyager as well. They have a similar fit as the Merrells and are only a bit more expensive.


Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
eva midsole moab on 02/14/2011 09:33:18 MST Print View

The Merril compression molded EVA mid sole is what breaks down fast it is also what makes it so cushy feeling when you first put them on. When I sold running shoes I would see and feel the same problem. In shoes like New Balance,Sacunoy, Nike that had cut slab thick Eva mid soles then most companies went to the compression molded EVA that solved the problem some what in running shoes. Lowa use a Polyurethane midsole that dose not break down as fast is more stable.

The outsole for the Merrill's Just don't wear well at all on trail or street. I don't know how it works if
Vibram licenses out lug design or rubber compounds? If it both Vibram may have different hardness of rubber compounds for out soles I think Merrill use a softer compound. That may explain why you get a sole that wears out faster than a harder rubber compound shoe.
New balance for example use to uses a eva mid sole with carbon rubber Infused in to the eva in the out sole they would wear out faster. Than a running shoe with a thin harder compound rubber out sole. That is why the average running shoe had life span of only 90 to 200 miles depending on the manufacture.

I have also had some bad results with out soles on Asolos and Adidas hiking boots that de-laminated because the glues soften in 90 degree weather at Joshua tree national forest. They started to flop around like a dogs tongues. Back about 15 years ago it was quite funny since I was near my car kind of cartoon like my hot dog feet were done.

Just remeber the only true thing about hiking shoes or running shoes is some kind of degradation over a period of time is built in to all shoes to keep the shoe companies in business.
So you will buy more, It up to you is the instant comfort a trade off worth the price for shoes that degrade faster or do you prefer a shoe that degrades slower but is less comfortable.

Here's some tips for buying shoe go shoe shopping at the end of the day when you feet are swollen up , Also take the socks you will be wearing , walk around that store and do al kinds of forward, backwards, stopping and starting, lateral movements to mimic trail use and wear them for at least 30 minutes minimum in the store before you buy them. Try all kinds of shoes on and to figure out what is best shoe for you before buying. Then you will be happy with your shoe purchase.
When you find a shoe that works buy a couple pairs because most companies changes something about each shoe in their line every year and it may not be the same shoe.
Happy shoe hunting,


Edited by socal-nomad on 02/14/2011 09:48:43 MST.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Has anyone had any experience with the Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes? on 02/14/2011 13:22:31 MST Print View

I got a pair of the midtops a few years ago and they are my goto hikers. I've put a few hundred miles on them and they're still going strong, though the nubs are almost worn off of the bottom. The thin sheet insole was squashed flat almost immediately, but since I'm flat footed and like the fact that the insole is now perfectly contoured to my feet I haven't replaced them.

I did Bucksking/Paria in them with lots of water crossings every day and they held up well, though they smell a little mildewy now, unlike my keens that delaminated after not much use and only a few stream crossings. They worked well in the Sierra, nice and grippy on rock.

James S
(HikinNC) - F
Re: Merrell on 02/15/2011 19:12:12 MST Print View

I have the Merrell Moab Ventilator in mid-height light hiking boots, and I love them. I've had the non Gore and the Gore-Tex versions. Unlike others, I've had great experience with wet rock, wet wood and tree roots and have never had an issue with slipping. My friend in his Oboz on the other hand, can't walk down a wet boardwalk without slipping.

Love the Moabs! Will buy again and continue to do so until something else comes along that's great enough to take me.