MERRELL MOAB VENTILATOR MID BOOT
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
February 19, 2008
||5' 6" (1.68 m)
||132 lb (59.90 kg)
I've been backpacking since my college
days in Pennsylvania and since then in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and
now in the Sierra Nevada of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or
loops from a few days to a week. I mostly hike in the summer and fall. I've
recently discovered the virtues of lightening the load by updating some older
gear, but I'm not an ultralight backpacker…yet.
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.merrell.com/
Size Tested: Women's 8
Sizes Available: Men's Sizes:
Women's Sizes: 5-11
Listed Weight: Men's 1 lb 15 oz (880
Women's 1 lb 13 oz (820 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lb 13 oz (820 g)
Tested: Taupe (No other colors available for Women)
Other Colors: Walnut
available for Men
Images courtesy of Merrell website.
These are listed on the Merrell website under
'Multi-Sport' and not under 'Hiking'
These boots use
a slip lasted construction. Here's the definition of what that means:
'Slip-lasted - Shoe construction made by sewing the upper into a sock, which is
then glued directly to the mid- and outsole without any board in between. The
resulting shoe is lighter and good for those with rigid feet who need more
These boots are mid height with uppers of a leather and
breathable mesh combination with a mesh liner throughout. The tongue and collar
are nicely padded and are covered with breathable mesh on both sides. The back
of the collar has a loop of nylon for pulling the boot on/off. The tongue has a
double slit in the leather portion for lacing the laces through so that the
tongue doesn't slip. The laces are a roundish nylon and route through loops as
eyelets and end at the top with a set of hooks.
The rubber toe
construction is very durable. I have managed to wear and tear several pairs of
boots in the toe area, but these show no sign of pending problems.
arch has a nylon injection molded shank for support.
I bought these boots late in the summer
of '07 and have used them for a total of 57 miles (92 km) of hiking and an
additional 55 miles (89 km) of backpacking. I have also worn them often for
kicking around just because they are so comfortable.
In order to break
them in, I used them for 18 miles (29 km) of hiking and 14 miles (22 km) of
backpacking prior to taking them on a week-long backpacking trip. However, this
was totally unnecessary. They were completely comfortable from the moment I
tried them on in the store.
Ralston (Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, CA): 8.0 miles (13 km); 6,400 ft
(1951 m) starting elevation; 2,800 ft (853 m) elevation gain. Rocky terrain. Day
pack weight of 5 lbs (2.3 kg). Temperatures were in the mid-50's (13 C). There
was some snow at the highest elevations for approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 km).
Portions of this trail are extremely steep but I had no problem holding my
Sutter Buttes (Northern CA Central Valley): 5.0 miles (8 km);
65 ft (20 m) starting elevation; 1800 ft (549 m) elevation gain. Temperatures
were in the mid-70's (24 C). Day pack weight was 5 lbs (2.3 kg). Foothill grassy
dirt terrain with no trail. Portions of this hike were so steep that we were
sliding (skiing) down on our feet. I never fell although several others in our
group did. I attribute that to my good balance, but it may well be that the
tread on my soles was better.
Tahoe Rim Trail (Northern
Sierra Nevada mountains, CA): 14.0 miles (22 km) with a 15 lb (7 kg) pack.
Terrain varied from rocky terrain to packed dirt. There was no rain. Elevations
were from 7300 - 8350' (2225 - 2545 m). It was summer with temperatures from 50
- 80 F (10 - 27 C).
King's Canyon NP (Southern Sierra Nevada mountains,
CA) : 41.0 miles (66 km) with a 25 lb (11 kg) pack. Terrain varied from rocky
terrain to packed dirt to sandy soil. There was no rain the entire week and only
threatened rain one day. Elevations were from 5,000 - 11,978' (1524 - 3651 m).
The temperatures were in the 30 - 80 F (0 - 27 C) range.
For both trips I
only took these boots. They are so light and comfortable that I just loosened
the laces in camp. I didn't need my Tevas at all saving additional pack
I had never backpacked in anything but mid or heavy duty
backpacking boots prior to purchasing these but I wanted to try a lighter boot.
I was concerned about ankle support and protection from rocks. I have in the
past used a mid-weight boot in PA and the rocky terrain tore many lugs from the
Vibram soles and also bruised the soles of my feet. Since then I've only worn
heavy duty boots. Although these are mid-height, my ankles felt well supported.
I had no problems with the rocky terrain.
The salesman discouraged me
from purchasing these boots when I told him that I intended to use them for
backpacking. Fortunately, I had my mind set and also the woman trying on shoes
next to me whispered 'I always backpack in running shoes and love them. He's
just trying to protect himself.'
I was also concerned that a lightweight
boot would wear out quickly. Granted, 100+ miles (160+ km) isn't an excessive
amount of use, but these boots still look and feel nearly new. There is no
noticeable breakdown of materials, cushioning or support. Here is an 'after'
And an 'after' photo of the sole with virtually no wear.
On a breezy day, I can actually feel the wind through
the boots. This is fantastic on a warm day. Although, I thought that if a breeze
could come through so easily that the Sierra soil that can be as fine as talcum
powder would certainly work its way through too. However, this was never the
case. The inside of the boots and my socks stayed perfectly clean. The top
collar didn't allow anything to slip down either.
Overall, I LOVE these boots. They are
by far the most comfortable, most versatile boots that I have ever owned. I wear
them for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and general use. I hope that
Merrell still makes these when I finally wear this pair out.
THINGS I LIKE
Color (Taupe) - This color is identical to dirt, so they
never look dirty and still look great.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Nancy Griffith This report
was created with the BackpackGearTest.org
Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Merrell gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith