Merrell Mesa Ventilator II
The Mesa Ventilator II has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2023.
I consider these to be my go-to general purpose outdoor shoes. Whether going on a day hike or even just car camping, I use these for their comfort and good gripping soles. I don't find them suitable for longer hikes, especially on rocky trails, but otherwise they are a great for general purpose use.
- Good gripping soles
- Not enough protection underfoot for rocky trails
- Not waterproof
For a long time I've been wanting something other than my New Balance or Sketcher "sneakers" for light hiking or just romping around in rough terrain. I finally bought a pair of these Merrell Mesa Ventilator II's (though mine are the standard height, not the "mid" height (couldn't find this one in the listing). I don't think this model is made anymore... I found them at the Merrell Outlet store in Vacaville, CA.
I only looked at Merrells because I had a pair of Merrell hiking boots before that I loved ... very comfortable, outstanding traction, etc. These new ones are just like that, though they're more of a shoe than a boot. They're sturdy enough for handling rough terrain. But I probably won't use them when carrying a heavy pack, so for backpacking I'll most likely stick with my heavier regular boots). But for their intended purpose, they're great!
An additional feature of the Mesa Ventilator II is that they are, as the name implies, well ventilated. There are pockets of a thick "mesh"-like material along the sides which help avoid overheating.
I will see how durable they are over time ... I expect they'll get a LOT of use. I eventually had to replace my previous Merrells because they came apart ... something I've read of happening with this brand. Hopefully these will last, and meanwhile I'll enjoy the comfort, the traction, etc.
I rated these a "5" because I consider them "just right" for their intended use - they fill a need for me perfectly. I'm giving Merrell the benefit of the doubt hoping these will stand the test of time.
Materials: nylon uppers with leather trim, vibfam sole
Use: day hikes, maybe backpacking for ultra light backpackers, rough terrain, anyplace requiring good traction
Break-in Period: none!
Weight: 15.5 ounces for one shoe
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $72
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