Merrell Chameleon3 Ventilator GTX
Although this boot is not considered a backpacking…
Use: AT backpacking
Break-in Period: short
Price Paid: $150
Although this boot is not considered a backpacking boot, other people are backpacking on trail runners so these are a step up from them. i got only 300+ mi from my last pair before a lug ripped off the heal putting them out of commission. however, they changed the game for me comfort wise.
They breathe well for a goretex boot. this along with changing socks mid-day alowed me to hike blister free for the first time ever. they are very stiff under foot but do bend at the ball of your foot. therfore, i suffered no foot fatigue at the end of the day carrying 30-40lbs over 12-18mi days on the AT in MA, VT and NH. a small amount of moisture did penetrate on the sole seam at the flex point beneath the toebox when contions were very wet or muddy.
My main problem is with the 2010 model. for whatever reason, they made the tongue smaller and took out part of the material connecting the top of the tongue to the boot. this made them uncomfortable in the ankle bone and created blister issues there. the only way to relieve the pressure was to loosen the top of the boot so much that i might as well have been wearing trail runners. this only happened with the right boot so it might just be a lemon.
I am going to return them and give a new pair a try before i give up on them.
Here's what other sites are saying:
Merrell designed the Chameleon 3 Ventilator GTX Hiking Shoe with speed in mind. Featuring Gore-Tex gasket construction and Vibram soles with an aggressive lug pattern, these light hikers will go just about anywhere.
The Chameleon3 Ventilator Shoe will raise your expectations for all-terrain performance. Control is the name of the game on ascents and descents with the molded instep stability arm and footframe GORE-TEX gasket design keeps the weather at bay while a breathable mesh upper and padded gusset tongue keep the air in flow as you go. PRODUCT FEATURES: UPPER/LINING Pig suede leather and mesh upper Bellows tongue keeps debris out External heel and instep stability arm GORE-TEX Performance Comfort Footwear lining protects feet and keeps them dry Lining treated with Aegis antimicrobial solution eliminates odor Ortholite Anatomical Footbed MIDSOLE/OUTSOLE In-Board Compression Molded EVA Footframe with Grade 2 Nylon Insole absorbs impact for trail hiking Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability 4mm Sole lug depth Vibram Chameleon3 Sole/TC5+ Rubber Weight: 1 lb 4 ozs.
- Appalachian Outdoors
This lower profile will raise your expectations for all-terrain performance. Control is the name of the game on ascents and descents with the molded instep stability arm and footframe GORE-TEX? gasket design keeps the weather at bay while a breathable mesh upper and padded gusset tongue keep the air in flow as you go.
- Ramsey Outdoor
If shoes won Academy awards, Merrell's Chameleon 3 Ventilator Mid GORE-TEX® - Men's shoe would be the favorite to win Best All-Terrain Performance. Everything about this shoe has been engineered for high-speed performance. GORE-TEX® gasket construction provides a tight seal against the weather and the occasional loose stone, while a surprisingly aggressive 5mm lug pattern provides all-terrain traction. Add in a mid-height silhouette for greater stability and you have a shoe ready to take you anywhere. " I'd like to thank everyone at Merrell, ...."
- Altrec Outdoors