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Merrell Mesa Ventilator

rated 5 of 5 stars

The Mesa Ventilator has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2024.

photo: Merrell Mesa Ventilator trail shoe

I have never had a more durable, reliable, and comfortable shoe, that was put to the test in some of the harshest terrains and weather in the world.

Truly a shoe worth buying again and again! I purchased my first pair of Merrell Mesa Mid Ventilators in July of 2004, prior to my first deployment into Iraq, while contracting for BlackWater Security. I purchase my second pair in March of 2006 prior to my deployment too Afghanistan. I have never had a more durable, reliable and comfortable shoe, that was put to the test in some of the harshest terrains and weather in the world.

Why do companies always have to try and fix what is not broken (some corporate knuckle head)? It is unfortunate companies such as Merrell, who produced a great product, that has been tested in the real word, feel they have to try and reinvent the wheel over and over?

Source: bought it new

No break-in time!! The best shoe I have ever worn. I wear them for work and casual. The cushion my knees beautifully. I have had other shoes where the uppers began to separate from the soles in the first week. I have a pair of Mesa Ventilators that I have practically worn the soles off and they won't separate from the uppers.

Unfortunately, I think Merrell has replaced these with the Moab Ventilator, so I was expected the same fit/comfort, so far, NOT SO. The top of the heel has been irritating my achilles tendon within 20 minutes of wear. I found a new pair of Mesas on Ebay, wore them all day with no discomfort and they were even technically half a size too big for me.

Use: Everything!
Break-in Period: NONE!!
Price Paid: $60

The Best Hiking Shoes—period!


  • No break-in time
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Trail running

This is the best shoe ever! Everything that other reviewers have mentioned. I have owned several pairs since 2005. Used them for 5-7 years straight. Great for trail running. I have run through creeks and thoroughly enjoyed it. No blisters ever.

Like another reviewer mentioned not sure why Merrell had to change something that is so perfect!


Tons of miles on the Trails. 1-2 long day hikes every week for 5-7 years. I even backpacked in these in CA, Utah, and AZ.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $72

This is a great shoe. I just completed the Oxfam Trailwalker event in Sydney Australia (100km /63 miles in 24 hours). They are super comfortable. I had no blisters or bruised feet/toes. They held up well for the event and the several hundred miles of training. I expect that they should do around 1000 miles before I need to replace them. Can't recommend them highly enough !!!!

Use: long day hikes ( 20 -60 miles)
Break-in Period: none needed
Price Paid: US $85

Can't recommend these shoes highly enough! Absolutely no break-in time, comfortable right out of the box. I wore them on a 26 mile hike through the Sawtooths in Idaho, and had no hot spots or blisters. By far the most comfortable boots I have ever owned.

Price Paid: $60

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