Going through muddy creeks and moist swamps can mean a world of pain if one dares to venture there unprepared. Inspired by the desert terrain of the West, Merrell’s Ventilator Waterproof stands ready to climb rocky foothills as well as to pass through wetlands and all of that is made possible by the great number of special features this boot introduces. If you are looking for a rock solid, rugged performer capable of keeping your feet dry while offering superior trekking and hiking performance, you might just have found the ultimate footgear.

Merrell Moab Ventilator Waterproof outdoor shoot
Tested in the outdoors

Special features

Spend a few minutes to review a short summary of Merrell’s Moab Ventilator Waterproof special features. It is exactly those that make this model the great piece of footwear that it is.

  • Waterproof nubuck leather and mesh upper
  • Bellows tongue keeps debris out
  • Rubber toe cap and heel counter
  • Unpleasant odor prevention
  • Visible TPU shank
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • Compression molded EVA footframe provides cushioning
  • 5mm lug depth
  • Traditional laces
  • M-select dry membrane
  • Vibram sole


The Ventilator Waterproof has awesome features

Without any doubt, this model was specially designed to be able to endure some of the roughest terrains one can encounter. It was meant to withstand external pressure from the forces of nature while hiking and trekking, exploring the vastness of the wilderness or simply going out and about in difficult weather conditions. This model performs exceptionally while put to the test against the cunning combination of hot weather plus excessive moisture. Therefore, on paper, it is supposed to handle rocky terrain, muddy wetlands as well as desert-like climate with a relative ease.


Merrell Moab Ventilator's Vibram Sole
A Vibram sole is a must have when climbing rocky mountains

Having in mind all the long miles these boots are expected to take its wearer, comfort is more than vital. From our tests, we can recognize if not outright acknowledge how snuggly and comfortable the Ventilator boots were from the very get go. The model features minimalist design as well as lower, middle and upper lacing outlets which further enhance the comfort levels over long distance hikes. In addition, it should be noted the boots are available in regular as well as wide size so here we observe and point out the special efforts invested by Merrell to ensure the boots fit all feet types and sizes.


One thing that should definitely be pointed out when it comes to stability is the amount of ankle support the Moab Ventilator Waterproof offers. Compared to other models such as the Salomon Quest 4D GTX, Merrell’s Moab offer significantly less ankle support. That, however does not mean the boots are not stable. If one is passing through moderately flat terrain full of little rocks, roots and low vegetation, Merrell’s Moab performs superbly and certainly does feel stable. This is mainly due to the wide forefoot part of the boots which, in effect, acts as a balancing platform, further enhancing the feel of stability.


A great pair of boots at a really great price

Traction provided by Merrell’s Moab Ventilator Waterproof can only be described as mediocre at best. Extensive tests have revealed that these boots perform well when challenged only by rocky flatlands, desert areas, loose gravel and low vegetation areas. This is as far as the positive notes go when it comes to traction. When put to the test on muddy ground, and wettish terrain, Merrell’s Moab simply failed to impress. Granite and mud terrains revealed a fatal traction flaw, allowing the wearer to slip and slide at will which, depending on the specific circumstances, can be a cause of grave injuries or even death. Therefore, the model only receives a modest traction grade at best.

Water resistance

Judging by the name of the model, one can expect superior water resistance if not anything else. It should be noted that those boots were mainly designed for hot dry areas hiking and not for semi-swimming operations. On the bright side of things, the boots do get dry fairly quickly when they do get wet such as when passing through dew grass which is one instance that will surely moisten your feet. Therefore, the conclusion here is that this model performs very well when it comes to other areas but not quite water resistance. Other models provide much better water resistance if this happens to be very important for you.


Merrell’s Moab Ventilator Waterproof will surely surprise many how lightweight it really is. According to our tests and studies, it is by far the lightest model we have ever come across. A small stack of feathers will likely weight more than those boots. Well, maybe not but you get the point. If you have packed huge amounts of gear and would not want your boots to just add insult to injury, you have found your model. Another argument goes out to speed. If you need to make hasty passings through the terrain, having lightweight boots will help you out for a fact.


men's merrell moab ventilator waterproof boots
A great looking pair of merrell moab ventilator waterproof boots in noir/grey combination

For a trekking piece of footwear, Merrell’s Moab Ventilator Waterproof falls in the category of average when compared to similar products. It would seem that after a few months of heavy usage, one would need to resort to products such as a Seam Grip in order to keep those high wear areas in good shape. If we look at this from the perspective of what hiking boots are all about, durability would surely rank in the top 3 performance criteria. Therefore, it is inexcusable for this model to crack and crumble so fast.


A pair of merrell moab ventilator wateproof boots costs about 150$
These boots are one of our top picks because of their amazing value.

For all its worth, Merrell’s Moab offers good value for money. Most online shops will go about and sell the product at about $110-$150 which is fairly standard for a product of this class and capabilities. Therefore, we firmly believe these boots to have been adequately priced and if you contemplate whether its too much, consider all the features you get for this amount of money and come back to the price once again.


The good

In short, we can outline several features that make this model a solid contender in the trekking footwear’s market. First of all, it has been manufactured by a solid company with many years of experience in the making of such products. Also, these are fairly tough, rugged boots that offer sufficient waterproofing and also great fitting, giving the variety of sizes available to the end user.

The bad

Although the name suggests one’s feet will not get too hot, this is what really happens. If the weather is excessively warm (which the boots are also designed for by the way), people often complain this models delivers overly hot feet, or in other words, the boots do not breathe too well. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to test these claims with the latest model as the pair which we received were sent to us after the Summer.  There  have been numerous complaints about the laces and how fast they wear, something that we believe Merrell should address in the future..


Merrell’s Moab Ventilator Waterproof is an overall solid model able to satisfy the vast majority of its wearer’s requirements. Although there are better models in terms of durability or waterproofing, still, the Ventilator does not lag behind a great deal and we are more than happy to recommend it.

Merrell Moab Ventilator Waterproof review
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