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Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boot Review: Comfortable Hiking Boot for a Modest Price

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent is a high-value hiking boot perfect for those time when water-proofing is not necessary, undesired, or when ventilation is a must.

With its lightweight, fantastic venting, solid support and traction, this is a great all-around hiking and camping boot that will fill 90% of your hiking boot needs.

Water ResistanceNA
Overall Value★★★★★
Total Score26/30

Table of Contents

The Best Winter Hiking Boots For 2019

Our Opinion on the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilators

Merrell Moab 2 Vent

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent is a unique hiking boot that often gets lower scores from reviewers because they don’t know what situations this boot shines in.

If you’re looking for a boot that will keep your feet dry on backpacking and hiking trips while providing stiff ankle support, this is not the boot for you.

Rather, if you need a comfortable, lightweight boot that allows breathability to keep your feet dry from sweat or, better yet, allows water to drain out in situations where your feet will be submerged in water, this is a fantastic boot.

We took the Moab 2 Vent out into a situation it feels like it was designed for, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota.

If you do any type of canoe camping, you know that there is no such thing as dry feet. It is actually a safer and more practical practice to submerge your feet when landing your canoe. In the BWCA, after landing your canoe and submerging your feet in water, you have to immediately hike 1/4 – 2 miles of rugged terrain, then climb back in your canoe and paddle for hours. This process can be repeated for the entire day with no chance of dry feet.

During this trip, the Moab 2 Vent was able to allow water to drain from the boot immediately after being submerged and after stepping foot onto land. In situations where the boot remained wet for over 10 hours a day, it never lost comfort, support or added excess water weight while hiking.

While hiking during the day in non-wet conditions, the vent allowed for a foot that was warm, yet sweat-free, comfortable and fully supported.

Comfort: ★★★★★

As a guy with a wider foot, I often expect to put on a new boot and experience some level of discomfort. Especially when buying a hiking boot modestly priced around $100.

From the moment I slid on the Merrell Moab 2 Vents, to the day I got back from my trip and put them on the shelf, I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable these boots really are.

The sole of the boot is flexible enough yet thick enough where hiking over sharp rocks was not an issue. The foot could bend freely without having any pain spots in the sole due to the terrain.

The boot has a thick padded ankle that is comfortable and yet hugs the ankle tightly and provides support in extremely uneven terrain. We experience no failure in ankle support while carrying packs up to 50 lbs along with a 42 lb canoe and 8 lbs of misc gear for a total hiking weight of 100 lbs.

In our tests, the vents allowed for quick drainage when the boot was submerged and allowed the boot to dry quickly during the paddling hours.

Support: ★★★★

The Moab 2 does sacrifice a little in the way of support in order to keep its lightweight and flexible material.

With up to 100 lb loads, we never felt like we didn’t have adequate ankle support, but it did feel as though more would be welcome.

We believe that Merrell knowingly sacrificed in some areas such as support to shine in other areas such as weight, comfort, and breathability.

Weight: ★★★★★

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent is one of the lighter hiking boots on the market. Weighing in at 2.4 lbs for a size 11 boot.

The use of the mesh for ventilation is one of the big reasons that this boot comes in at such a low weight. That, along with the lower density sole keep the weight of the Merrell Moab 2 Vent to a minimum.

The lightweight is great for nearly every application and especially enjoyed when the boots become water-saturated.

Traction: ★★★★

For the average hiker, backpacker and camper, the Moab 2 Vent provides plenty of traction and will not let you down.

I used this pair on a 34 mile trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which took me all kinds of terrain on portages while carrying a 100 lb load. At one point our portage was 1/4 mile up a rocky hill immediately followed by 1/4 down a rocky stream. I experienced no loss of traction while hiking downhill through a rocky stream/portage.

You can see the downhill stream that was portaged while wearing the Merrell Moab 2 Vents in the video above.

That being said, there are hiking boots with better traction out there, which we will have up on this site shortly.

Water Resistance: NA

If you search around for any reviews of the Merrell Moab 2 Vent online you will notice that its ranked low for its water resistance. This comes across as nieve though. It’s a vented hiking boot. This boot is not meant to be water proof.

The Moab 2 Vent will freely allow water in and out of the boots whether the foot is completely submerged or merely stepping in puddles.

These boots are perfect to use in dry conditions where you want comfort and a sweat free foot or in situations where you feet will be completely submerged and a hiking boot similar to a wading boot is needed.

If you plan on using a water-proof boot on a trip where your feet may become completely submerged, the water-proof aspect of the boot will then trap the water in the boot with your foot. This will prevent water from flowing out of the boot and keep your foot wet and uncomfortable throughout the day.

By allowing the boot to vent, water drains immediately and dry begins.

With the lightweight material, I actually found that with wool socks, my feet stayed warmed and would start drying in my canoe during paddling sessions.

Durability: ★★★

The overall construction of the Merrell Moab 2 Vent should allow for regular hiking and camping use for multiple years before durability becomes a factor.

The lightweight materials, suede and mesh vents won’t last as long as other heavier / more durable hiking boots, but that is a sacrifice that feels fair for the lower price, weight, and ventilation.

Overall Value: ★★★★★

With a price tag of $110 at REI, the Moab 2 Vent is a great value for the price.

Most comparable hiking boots are going to start in the $140 price range and go up to $200. It’s rare that you can find high quality, comfortable boots that will accommodate most camping, backpacking, and hiking situations in the $100 range.

Merrell has made an outstanding value boot that should be a great fit for the majority of campers.

Is the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Right For You?

Canoeing in the BWCA

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent has a lot of situations that it is perfect for while others where it is not a good fit at all.

First, if you’re looking for boots that won’t break the bank, the value for your money on these boots cannot be denied.

I would recommend the Moab 2 Vents to anyone who is doing any canoe camping, kayak camping. If your feet will become completely submerged in water, such as crossing deeper streams or shallow rivers, then the venting feature makes these a perfect choice.

If your hiking or backpacking won’t lead to your feet being submerged in water but rather trekking through puddles and wet grass, then a waterproof boot will better serve you.

If you’re looking for the most traction possible or the best ankle support, while these boots are good, they are not great in those categories. There are better (often more expensive) options for increased ankle support and traction.

Finally, if you want a boot that will last for many years of regular continued use, the Merrell Moab 2 Vents may not be your best bet.

My Final Verdict: Good choice for the casual camper, hiker and backpacker. Perfect for canoe, SUP, Kayak and other forms of wet camping.

Merrell Moab 2 Vent Features and Specs

  • Protective rubber toe caps keep the front of the shoe and your feet protected in rough terrain.
  • Merrell air cushion heels help to absorb shock and improve stability.
  • The Vibram outsoles have a 5mm lug depth to help with traction during hikes.
  • Boot Height: Over The Ankle
  • Footwear Closure: Lace Up
  • Upper Materials: Suede Leather/Mesh
  • Lining: Mesh
  • Midsole: EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate)
  • Support: Nylon arch shank
  • Outsole: Vibram rubber
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz

Final Thoughts

The Merrell Moab 2 Vent would easily be considered a great hiking/camping boot for 90% of the campers out there.

Merrell has produced a boot that wonderfully combines price, comfort, durability, and traction while giving ventilation that is great for certain hiking situations.

We give this boot our highest recommendation for Boundary Waters canoe trips, Quetico, and other canoe/kayak camping expeditions.

For general camping and hiking, you can hardly beat the combination of price vs quality.