13 Jan Merrell Men’s Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up Review
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I purposefully bought a home near a nature preserve so I could enjoy the many trails. Most of the trails are very easy to traverse, but there are a few that will leave you huffing and puffing by the time you reach the top of the hill.
I bring this up to let you know that I walk a lot. I especially love walking in nature. Over the years, I feel like I have learned a few things about what makes a good shoe good. Unfortunately, I’ve learned most of these lessons from poorly made shoes that don’t make the grade. Sometimes you only realize how something is supposed to work when it starts to malfunction.
The good news is that I finally found a shoe that I feel is worth writing about. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will fit your walking preferences as well as they do mine, but I’m willing to bet that you could use a pair of these.
Merrell Men’s Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up Features
That might sound like I’m being hyperbolic, but I really was shocked by the level of comfort that these shoes offered. My feet felt better the second I slipped them on.
Most of the comfort seems to come from two features. First, the Merrell Men’s Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up has a 4.5mm foot bed that offers plenty of cushion during long walks. If your feet ever get sore while you’re out enjoying the world, it’s probably because you don’t have a very good shoe bed. This design from Merrell exceeded my expectations.
The second feature is a 6.6 arch shank located in the sole. The thing about soles is that you want one that is flexible, but you also want one that’s firm. It seems like a lot of companies have a hard time balancing those two. Merrell has gotten it right. You get all the arch support you need during long walks.
I know that some people also have problems with the tops of their feet. Fortunately, I don’t have this problem. If I did, though, I think that these shoes would help. They have a very soft, gentle top that hugs your feet but never strangles them. It’s also pretty easy to move the material around to fit your foot perfectly.
Most parts of the Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up are made with great materials. The shoe includes a lot of mesh, which is a good way to keep your feet cooler on hot days. It also has a mesh lining on the inside that improves the shoe’s breathability.
The real star here is the sole. This shoe shares a sole with the Vibram Chameleon Hiker, which is another top notch shoe that always gets great reviews. The sole is made from TC5+ rubber that is extremely resilient. I don’t know why you would want to, but you could probably kick the side of a big rock all day with these things before the sole started to show signs of wear.
The sole has two other strong features that are worth mentioning. I like that they have a good grip. No one wants to take a tumble while walking in nature. These shoes have saved my rear end plenty of times. I’ve also noticed that the sole seems to stay really flexible no matter what temperature it is. That’s not always the case. I’ve had some shoes that got very stiff during the cold winter months.
Where it can be Improved
The top mesh is a good way to keep feet cool on warm days. Unfortunately, it’s a little on the flimsy side. I’m a little surprised to say this considering how well the rest of the shoe is made. If I’m being totally honest, though, I have to say that this mesh isn’t top quality.
With that said, I haven’t ripped it or anything. I just keep expecting it to rip. Eventually I’m going to get a thorny bush or something stuck in there and that’s going to cause a tear. I think I could fix it if that happened. Still, I wish that Merrell had gone that extra mile to make sure every single piece of this shoe was perfect. They got so close!
Merrell Men’s Chameleon Wrap Slam Lace Up Review Conclusion
This is one of my favorite shoes for walking in the woods and urban areas. If you like taking long strolls, I think these shoes will do wonders for your feet. Since I got my pair, I’ve found that I can walk farther without getting sore.
These are great shoes with one minor flaw. Compared to the other shoes I’ve tried, they are a fine option for walkers and casual hikers.