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  1. #1
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    Default Merrell Refuge Core or Ventilator

    I'm looking at both of these in the mid version... I'm really just starting to do multi day hikes. Up to now I've mainly done day hikes in my tevas, which are also really in need of replacement

    Which of the two would you chose and why? I'm kinda leaning towards
    the ventilator.

    peace

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    I love the ventilators. Light, comfortable and no break in time needed. Not being water proof they dry out quickly. Really helped solve my feet problems. Only down side is that the cushion will break down a lot faster than a boot. I usually get around 700 miles on a pair which is fine with me. They worked fine going through NH and ME. Just got back from hiking most of PA and the shoes still did pretty good, but I could tell that it was time to order another pair. Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for the input. I was thinking they should dry pretty quick. The only way they'd get soaked is from rain, which is a concern and can be a daily occurrence in the southor mistep on a creek crossing.

    But I'd hope to get more than 700 miles out of them. I plan on doing some training on the Pinhoti and in the Sipsey wilderness area before I start section hiking the AT... but I'm cheap and really have no idea how long the average shoe/boot last mile wise when carrying a pack loaded...

  4. #4
    Registered User SMSP's Avatar
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    I have both of these shoes in low tops, non-Gortex. I like them both, but they are different beasts.

    The Ventilator is has a lot of mesh material, hence the shoe’s name “Ventilator”.

    The Refuge is all solid material, leather and synthetic mix.

    So obviously, the Ventilator is going to breath more and dry out easier and get wet easier.

    The Refuge will naturally resist some water, but is not waterproof (non-Gortex).

    Both are available in Gortex though, if that matters to you.

    I have lots of trail time in the Ventilators and not much with the Refuge. I mainly wear the Refuge to work and everyday wear. My plan is the wear the Refuge’s casually before I trash them through the woods and such.

    I would speculate that you would not go wrong with either as far as their intended purpose.

    A lot generalizations here on my part, hope it helps some.

    SMSP
    South MS Patriot

  5. #5
    Registered User SMSP's Avatar
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    Well, bad news on the Refuge Core's. I have had the same issues with two pair. The rand is coming loose. Both pair have no trail time. These has been worn casually to work and around town. After the 2nd pair was returned, I gave up and just got another pair of Moab Ventilators.

    Thats been my experience, anybody else have the same?

    SMSP
    South MS Patriot

  6. #6

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    I have the ventilators and i love them. I probably only have 50-60 miles on them but they still look brand new.

  7. #7
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    Ciphoto, after you log onto WB take notice of that SEARCH option in the tool bar. Click it and do a search on threads on individual posts concerning Merrel Moab Ventilators. That shoe was discussed on at least two different threads if I recall correctly

  8. #8
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    my experience with ventilators is mixed:

    the MESA ventilators - the precursor to the moab ventilators - held up VERY well over a lot of miles. though they are pretty worn out, the material is still well in tact.

    i bought a pair of MOAB ventilators 6 months ago and they have pretty much fallen apart and provide little to no support or comfort.

    maybe i just got a bad pair. maybe merrill - like most companies - aren't what they used to be.

    just my 2 cents.

    TV

  9. #9
    Registered User House of Payne's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat, I am leaning towards Merrell for my thru in 2014. At the end of August I have a long weekend planned with about 30 miles of AT in 2 days in the whites. I have been researching the different Merrell models and there are so many pros and cons on all of them. Not sure which one I will get for this 'shakedown' weekend. I like the moab reviews and I like the models that are vents.

  10. #10
    Registered User -SEEKER-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TV View Post

    maybe merrill - like most companies - aren't what they used to be.

    just my 2 cents.

    TV
    I've been looking at Merrills too for next year. I appreciate the pictures, because that has become a big concern for me.
    The past 5 years I have been using Tinberland White Ledge, no break-in needed, but each year that I buy a new pair they seem to break down after fewer miles. The pair that took me 600 miles and included PA held up better than the ones that I used for less than 300 miles from MA to Franchonia Notch, NH. I honestly believe that products just aren't what they used to be. Just like with food you get a smaller quantity for the same, or just a slightly higher price.
    Seek, and you shall find.

  11. #11
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    I have several hundred miles on the Refuge Core with goretex. I'm in wet areas alot. So far my feet have stayed dry. Only issue is with the laces, which I changed out because they became untied too much. They are comfortable, looking to get a thousand clicks from them min.

  12. #12
    Registered User House of Payne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemon b View Post
    I have several hundred miles on the Refuge Core with goretex. I'm in wet areas alot. So far my feet have stayed dry. Only issue is with the laces, which I changed out because they became untied too much. They are comfortable, looking to get a thousand clicks from them min.
    Lemon, how well do your Gore-Tex Refuge boots dry when they do get wet inside?

  13. #13
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    I thru'd in 2010 with Merrell Moab Vents the whole way. My fourth pair started in Monson and finished the trail. They're also my day to day shoes. Fantastic. I did have a problem w/that pair I started out of Monson wearing. The fabric tore at the top of the rand just a couple of miles in. This had been the downfall of my previous pair too. I finished with them, shipped them back, and I am still wearing the replacements. Love'em.

    Your shoes will also get wet if you start out early in the day in grassy areas from dew. I often had wet shoes/feet in in the mornings. I didn't have gore-tex and maybe for those situations they would have stayed dry. However, for me, they dried quickly and I had no problems w/the little bit of wet. FWIW, I also only wore Darn Tough Micro Crew socks.

  14. #14
    lemon b's Avatar
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    House. Haven't walked thru water that went over the top yet. I'm sure once they get wet inside my feet are going to be wet until I can sun them for a good six hours. I can deal with a few days of wet feet long as the temp doesn't go down too far.

  15. #15
    Registered User House of Payne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemon b View Post
    House. Haven't walked thru water that went over the top yet. I'm sure once they get wet inside my feet are going to be wet until I can sun them for a good six hours. I can deal with a few days of wet feet long as the temp doesn't go down too far.
    I was at the outfitters today looking at Merrels. I had the worst time deciding on a gore-tex model or just going with the ventilator models. Of course the sales rep was a trail runner and was pushing the vents all the way but I'm not him. I'm leaning towards a breathable waterproof shoe but we can't have the best of both worlds can we? Anyways, I didn't purchase yet, most likely monday...got anything else to help me decide??

  16. #16

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    I'm off gore-tex for foot wear. I think you're shoes are going to get wet. You're better off getting shoe that will dry faster. In an aerobic activity like hiking, your feet don't get very cold. I'm looking at shoes now, lots of synthetic, quick drying materials, that let water out are the features I'm looking for

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