Merrell MOAB 2 Ventilator shoe

Over the years I've had a love-hate relationship with Merrell. I had a pair of the Sawtooth that were, as far as I know, one of the first civilian 'tactical' boots used by the military on a semi-official basis. Mine fell apart after a few months use and never felt really comfortable. Then I bought the MOAB ventilator mids in both GTX and non-GTX and they felt so comfortable and light I bought a pair of the low versions. Within a few months they stopped providing any kind of underfoot cushioning and actually started to hurt, and possibly damage, my feet. The pain in my foot arches was intense after wearing them for even short distances. I stopped using them, sold them off and swore I'd never use Merrells again. 

Then I saw a YouTube video showcasing a new, improved version, the MOAB 2. The video explained that they had improved the arch support and put extra padding in the heel. I was sceptical but after seeing a pair of the lows on offer I thought I'd give them a try seeing as how the weather was hotting up and I needed a pair of summer hikers.

Boy am I glad I got them, these things have hardly been off my feet for nearly three months now. Same light weight, comfort and breathability of the old style but 1000% more arch support and gentle kindness to my footsies. No more pain in the soles of my feet, happy to go miles in these things without any discomfort. I cannot recommend them highly enough as a hot-weather walking shoe.

These are the 'Beluga' colour, most 'tactical' colour I could find 

 

Post dog walk, filthy 

 

 

Same sole design as the first model but feels more rigid

 

Much better insole with far improved support (so much so I went half a size smaller as my feet seemed to flatten out more in the older models, or maybe my feet are just weird.

 

Downside - clearly not waterproof, your feet will get soaked just walking through wet grass but they are a summer shoe and they dry relatively quickly.

Grass seeds, etc, will cling to these babies and work their way inside your skin, not pleasant and a PITA to get them out as they seem to weave into the very fabric.

 

Any questions let me know.

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

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Standard Ventilators lasted me 4 years, i added Superfeet. On my 2nd pair for daily offduty wear.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

I had a pair of the Merrell Moabs-Mids. A new dog chewed them up, turning the mids into something along the lines of a slip on, but wife tossed them, knowing I'd try to salvage them!

I ordered a pair of the Moab-2 mids last week, thru pro-Merrell, so they should be here this week. Good to know they garnered such a good review. 

I had two pairs of the low Ventilators. I really like them because they were light  and comfortable.  As you noted, they are not waterproof, but living in the desert  they are exactly what I need. Unfortunately, both pairs lasted under a year before materials started to fail. I wasn't too upset since they are a very lightweight shoe. I didn't expect them to last like combat boots. I'll probably pick up a pair of the new ones now. Thanks.

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"One of the nice things about being around other soldiers is they will suffer your bullshit gladly, knowing sooner or later you will shut up and listen to theirs." - Jim Morris, War Story

 

"The military was strange like that. In the middle of the night you run into a major problem that requires you to put your faith in someone you never met before and probably would never see again. But that person knocks himself out to do his job and helps you get on with yours." - Harold W. Coyle, Team Yankee

I've worn the Moabs for years, and generally had good results with both the "waterproof" and ventilators. I just ordered a pair of the 8" for duty use. We'll see how they hold up. 

 

 

Joined: 04 May 2003         Location: Western South Dakistan

 

 

 

Bought my first pair awhile back and I'm loving them.    They got soaked a couple of times on my recent trip to Costa Rica and they seem to be holding up fine.  I would love to get the tac boots for duty use, but I don't do side zips.

"A cop's last shift before retirement should include either a UFO sighting or Bigfoot report and a stolen car full of coked up, naked strippers."

Been wearing the all black tactical lows for about two weeks. Two big thumbs up. Zero break in required. Super comfy. Worked a private security detail earlier in the week--retail store w/concrete floor. Big difference from either Blauer Clash boots or Danner Melees.

 

CJS

But I read it on the Internet! You mean it's not true?

I wore a pair of the original ventilators for almost two years, which included daily wear and lots of hiking. By the end of it the soles were worn almost flat. Due to the comfort and ability to grip rock pretty well (at least when dry), I bought a pair of the 2's about half a year ago. Still going strong so far.

I have their winter version as well, and those have worked great for winter wear and snowshoeing.

The only thing I would add is that they seem to be sized according to running shoe size, not boot size.

It's funny how I used to think Oakley boots were so comfy after coming from regular issued desert boots. After spending time in the Moabs, Oakleys feel big and clunky by comparison.

The Rat posted:

I wore a pair of the original ventilators for almost two years, which included daily wear and lots of hiking. By the end of it the soles were worn almost flat. Due to the comfort and ability to grip rock pretty well (at least when dry), I bought a pair of the 2's about half a year ago. Still going strong so far.

I have their winter version as well, and those have worked great for winter wear and snowshoeing.

The only thing I would add is that they seem to be sized according to running shoe size, not boot size.

It's funny how I used to think Oakley boots were so comfy after coming from regular issued desert boots. After spending time in the Moabs, Oakleys feel big and clunky by comparison.

Are the Goretex versions noticeably warmer that the non-Goretex versions?  

I expect to be posted to hot/arid climates for the next few years and could do without sweaty feet if the lined versions are only best in the cold/wet.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

jcustisredux posted:

Are the Goretex versions noticeably warmer that the non-Goretex versions?  

I expect to be posted to hot/arid climates for the next few years and could do without sweaty feet if the lined versions are only best in the cold/wet.

Yes, quite a bit. I wear them in the winter in New England.

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

If its desert, get the non Goretex. I'm in Texas, 70 to 100F most of the year,  standard Ventilators are awesome. 

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

jcustisredux posted:
The Rat posted:

I wore a pair of the original ventilators for almost two years, which included daily wear and lots of hiking. By the end of it the soles were worn almost flat. Due to the comfort and ability to grip rock pretty well (at least when dry), I bought a pair of the 2's about half a year ago. Still going strong so far.

I have their winter version as well, and those have worked great for winter wear and snowshoeing.

The only thing I would add is that they seem to be sized according to running shoe size, not boot size.

It's funny how I used to think Oakley boots were so comfy after coming from regular issued desert boots. After spending time in the Moabs, Oakleys feel big and clunky by comparison.

Are the Goretex versions noticeably warmer that the non-Goretex versions?  

I expect to be posted to hot/arid climates for the next few years and could do without sweaty feet if the lined versions are only best in the cold/wet.

Mine are, but my Goretex ones are also the winterized ones, so it stands to reason. They're also noticeably heavier than the summer weight ones.

There's also a Goretex/waterproof summer hiking boot, which I have not tried. That seems like an AO-specific thing to me. Most of my 3-season hiking doesn't deal with much water or moisture, other than the occasional "oh shit I slipped into a creek/lake." As such it's my preference to have something that breathes well and will dry out quickly. When wearing REI hiking socks and Ventilators, there have been several times I've slipped into some water, kept walking, and after a half hour or so the sloshing feeling was gone. My feet are still moist when I take my boots off at the end of the hike, but they definitely aren't retaining water like I imagine a waterproof version would.

That enough good gouge to make a decision. Thanks gents.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Thanks to the input from this thread, I went shopping online for a pair of these but didn't commit.  I happened to hit the Henderson Hall exchange today and found them for a screaming hot deal of $63.00.  I had to do a double take before I grabbed a pair.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Forgot about this - Since starting this thread I also got myself a pair of the mid GTX versions. Now I am a year-round Merrell fan again.

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

I did a 43ish mile adventure race with these boots.  I broke them in with a few 6-9ish mile hikes but was feeling somewhat ambivalent going into the hike.  Long story short, they worked awesome.  I did get a couple of hotspots (right heel and both between big and next toe) but slap some tape on and it was fine.  They feel a bit 'sloppy' when compared to military boots, but really grip well and felt great.  I actually did some rock climbing with them as part of the race, they worked well.  Highest recommendation.  

 

On a separate note, Leukotape and Injinji socks are highly recommended for blister prevention. 

I have a pair of mids (waterproof) that are going on 6 years of use, some cracking in the soul but other than that, no issues.  Still by far the most comfortable shoes I own.  Just picked up another pair for squad/ems work.

"Do not pray for easy lives.  Pray to be stronger men" - JFK

Anyone else have issues with Merrell's plastic heel backing? I had two pairs that were great except for that. The fabric eventually wears off and the top of the plastic (right at about Achilles heel height) would come through and scratch the holy shit out of me. It got to the point I had to toss them.  

RIP HM2 Chris Walsh KIA Al Anbar 04SEP2006 HN Chad Kenyon KIA Al Anbar 20AUG06 Gone, not forgotten

I get that with Merrells

I just put it down to stamping the shoes onto my feet every morning and kicking them off when I'm done, all without undoing the laces. So probably my fault.

I generally get 24-36 months from a pair. I'm getting that way with my current pair of chameleons. Probably time to start looking for a new pair. MOAB2 look good

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wanderintom posted:

Anyone else have issues with Merrell's plastic heel backing? I had two pairs that were great except for that. The fabric eventually wears off and the top of the plastic (right at about Achilles heel height) would come through and scratch the holy shit out of me. It got to the point I had to toss them.  

Not with my Merrells, but with similar style shoes.

And yes, loosening up the laces and putting them on the way they were meant, may increase the lifespan.  I used to jam my feet into old shoes unnecessarily.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Had the issue with my last pair of Moab's, early on.  Wrote to Merrells CS, never heard a word.  I do unlace before removing.  

I have about a month on a pair that were price to well to pass on, 1/2 size larger, so far so good. 

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“Speak softly and carry a big stick;  you will go far. “

 Theodore Roosevelt

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Joined: 29 May 2008          Location: AZ

I tried unlacing on the second pair I'd bought, and faithfully used a shoehorn to put them on to keep from tearing up the heel while donning them.  That didn't work though. The plastic heel cup chewed through again and tore up my feet. Never bought Merrells since. 

RIP HM2 Chris Walsh KIA Al Anbar 04SEP2006 HN Chad Kenyon KIA Al Anbar 20AUG06 Gone, not forgotten

Merrell MOAB 2 mid GTX in the snow. Tick. 

(Hey, it's a novelty where I live!)

Good grip and no damp ingress.

 

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

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My ventilators had the same issue but after 4 years... not worried. I got my $$ out of them.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

That's good to hear, my initial impressions with the old model was the shoe as well as factory insert were too soft. So I'd either go with a more rigid shoe and/or add a Superfeet. Apparently I have wide feet so Merrells seem to accommodate my toe box better than North Face or most Salomons. Although I did get a good pair of the latter from Brad's group buy. Like most here my Merrells lasted me a couple years with regular to heavy use.

Joined: 4 April 2005                Location: South Bay Armpit

I went to superfeet, i meant the plastic at the rear and wearing out there.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

I think I'm developing a Merrell Moab 2 problem.....

Although the same design, the tactical version has different material in the upper to make it more durable so I'm guessing these are going to take a little longer to wear in as they feel 'stiffer'.

Time and miles will tell.

--------------------------------------

 

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

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Those are my next purchase if I ever need to go that route and the look is no worry.  They look nice.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Sinister posted:

I can't seem to get Merrell, Adidas, or Under-Armor boots to last longer than a year before toe cups or upper stitching gives way, or the upper starts to de-laminate from the sole.  Currently breaking in a set of Oboz Sawtooths from Bozeman.

My Moab 2s have not aged well (after a year of moderate, only on the weekend wear) and at least with my feet, aren't the most comfortable.

Meanwhile, I'm wearing a pair of Scarpa hiking shoes that I bought in 2013 and have put through the ringer. Tread is worn and they are not for hard use anymore, but still comfortable and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

Merrells cool guy discount is nice but for my next pair of shoes, I'm going back to Scarpa...

When life gives you lemons, say f*** the lemons and bail...

wanderintom posted:

Anyone else have issues with Merrell's plastic heel backing? I had two pairs that were great except for that. The fabric eventually wears off and the top of the plastic (right at about Achilles heel height) would come through and scratch the holy shit out of me. It got to the point I had to toss them.  

Just had this happen for the first time in about 10 years of Merrells. I got about a year out of that pair. I bought another as I love the MOAB shoes...so do my feet. Might have been a production issue?

I bought a pair of the black tactical line MOAB 2 boots for LE patrol use.  Been wearing them a few months.  I have been a HUGE fan of Merrell boots for years and probably have 6-8 pairs of Merrells sitting on the shoe shelf.  The LE boots make my feet sweat like nothing I've ever experienced.  Much more than any of the Danners I've worn for work before or any of the Merrells I've worn for non-work stuff.  

Blessed be the Lord, my rock

who trains my arms for battle,

who prepares my hands for war.

 

Psalm 144.1

The tactical Moab's have Merrell's house brand waterproof barrier, I have a different pair with the same liner.  Yes, they suck for breathability.  I only wear mine when it's very wet out.

 

Joined 12/2/02          Location: Puyallup, WA

 

"malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem"

Thomas Jefferson 1787

standeasy posted:

I think I'm developing a Merrell Moab 2 problem.....

 

Although the same design, the tactical version has different material in the upper to make it more durable so I'm guessing these are going to take a little longer to wear in as they feel 'stiffer'.

Time and miles will tell.

Nice, $66 with the Merrell Pro discount!

 

“There are two ways to do most anything- right . . . and again.”  Pat Rogers

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