Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator
Price Paid: $110
Wet, dry, hot , cold... doesn't matter. Rocks, wet turf, tricky, slick... doesn't matter. Long hike... doesn't matter. These are the best shoes I have ever owned.
The support is excellent. Feels like your feet are solidly planted on anything you step on. They stick like velcro to everything, even wet grass. They feel more solid than my soccer cleats. Support and protection around the toe and sides is great for those tricky rocky hikes that can painfully gouge your pups with lesser shoes. TONS of support but they feel really light.
I've used mine to hike, camp, fish along rocky creeks that require some climbing, running on wooded trails and even done a good bit of mountain biking in them!
I've just read some other reviews about break-in time. I did not notice this on mine but to be fair, that's just my experience. I exclusively wear heavy hiking socks, usually smartwool or gander mountain. I just switch to the low cut in Summer. The combo of the socks and the comfort of this shoe is nothing short of amazing. I actually can't wait to put them on. Sounds corny but you have to try it to believe it.
My current pair have gone through 18 months of daily hell and still look good! I sharpened the teeth on my mountain bike pedals to help me when I'm training at the local BMX track with my son. It bit up a couple of the cleats on the soles but I was hitting some really big jumps. Otherwise, you can hardly tell these shoes have been worn. Not like I've been kind to them or anything. They clean up exceptionally well.
I particularly love the construction at the toe. It doesn't wear. You can keyhole your toes on a rock climb or kick them around the rocks all day and the layers of rubber and other materials just never show wear or delaminate at all.
My feet are slightly on the wide side. Once in a while I will buy a wide shoe. In the CV3, I just bought my correct length (size 10) and they fit like a glove with the heavy socks I wear. The fit, traction, support, lightness, durability and waterproof-ness just make you feel like you can do anything. I wish it was the only shoe I ever have to wear again.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Sometimes a boot is too much, that's why Merrell created the Chameleon 3 Ventilator Men's Hiking Shoe. Featuring an easy slip-on design and lightweight support system, it has never been easier to slip out the door and on to the trial. A Merrell air cushioned heel and EVA midsole cushioning keep your feet feeling fresh, and the Vibram outsole provides ample grip on various types of terrain.