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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid > Owner Review by Nancy Griffith

February 19, 2008


NAME: Nancy Griffith
AGE: 41
LOCATION: Northern California
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 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: Merrell
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website:
Size Tested: Women's 8
Sizes Available: Men's Sizes: 7-12,13,14,15
Women's Sizes: 5-11
Listed Weight: Men's 1 lb 15 oz (880 g)
Women's 1 lb 13 oz (820 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lb 13 oz (820 g)
Color 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 motion. '

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.

The 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.

Some highlights:
Day Hikes
Mount 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 footing.

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 weight!

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' photo.
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.


Light weight

Great ventilation

Color (Taupe) - This color is identical to dirt, so they never look dirty and still look great.


No dislikes.


Nancy Griffith

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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