User Review: Merrell Men's Moab Ventilator
Materials: mesh panel fabric, suede
Use: Short-day hikes, street wear
Break-in Period: A couple of days general wear
Price Paid: $115 CAD
A satisfactory trail hiker when used for light day hikes along well-cleared trails. Absolutely NOT designed for backpacking with any weight - will not provide much support or underfoot protection. Negative reviews by those using them for this purpose are meaningless as this is not what the shoe is constructed for.
Fit true to size (unlike most Merrels it seems which fit small). Wide toe-box, medium volume bordering on the high side. Comfortable EVA midsoles, but poor underfoot protection against hard objects like rocks, stones and sticks due to a lack of shank and soft midsole. Little to no arch support, nylon arch shank is not-apparent what-so-ever.
If you over-pronate, like most of the population, you will find the shoe allowing your foot to flatten substantially and turning inwards. An aftermarket insole with a rigid arch-support (e.g. superfeet) corrects this, but a shallow heel pocket may raise your heel a bit high, increasing the likelihood of slippage. My Superfeet orange JUST barely works with this, but is necessary for me. Stock foot-beds are initially very cushioning but compress in days, and provide little support or cushion after this.
Vented design works okay, my feet which generally sweat a lot still sweat in these quite a bit, but if there is a stiff breeze or you are moving fast the ventilation is great. So far durability has been good, but they have seen only mild trail use and mostly street-use. Vibrams outsoles are sticky and very grippy even in wet-conditions. The trade-off is that they wear very quickly, especially on pavement.
If Merrell improved the arch design with a stiffer arch shank and provided a light-duty nylon half or 3/4 shank for better overall stability, these would be a fantastic shoe. A slightly taller heel pocket would be appreciated.
Would consider buying again, but competition with Keen Voyager makes this a tough call.