View Full Version : merrell chameleon stretch 3 or 4?

04-07-2014, 01:01
I need to decide whether to get the "Chameleon 3 Stretch" or "Chameleon 4 Stretch". I heard that one of the Chameleons had a weak heel counter.

A little about me:

Merrell shoes fit my feet extremely well. I wore a pair of Moabs to failure on the trail (at least 500 miles). I now have Merrell Geomorph Stretch shoes. I hiked at least 200 miles in them, and have worn them in civilization for a year or 2. They are the best sneakers I have worn. Their comfort and durability are far superior to the Moab. I then looked at some Chameleons. They have better treads and are probably more durable.
Shoe companies often radically change their designs without trying to create a better shoe. I don't know of any companies that don't make these random changes. It demonstrates indecisiveness and a desire to annoy me. I want to stock up on some good shoes before they're gone.

On the trail I carry 2 pairs of shoes: flimsy water shoes and sneakers. I prefer to hike barefoot. I often wear one of my shoe pairs. It depends.

Odd Man Out
04-07-2014, 15:37
I loved my Moabs but the Merrell stretch models just don't work for me. One thing to look for, the last time I shopped for Merrells, I found a big difference between the waterproof and regular versions. The waterproof ones lacked structure in the area behind the toe box - the place the shoe bends when you take a step. As a result, when I took a step, the shoe would fold in half at that point and pinch the top of my foot right at the base of the toes - very painful. Don't know if you would be looking at the waterproof or regular version, but you might want to check that out. I could also tell the difference without trying them on. If you hold a shoe with one palm on the toe and your other palm on the heel. Then push your hands together. The sole of the offending will fold in a sharp crease behind the toe box. The good one would bend in a gentle arch from the back to the front. Don't know why the waterproof ones were such a problem. This was a couple of years ago so maybe that have fixed this. But it might be something to look out for.

04-12-2014, 18:21
I prefer non-waterproof, but either is fine.

05-28-2014, 16:05
I just inspected my shoes for any wear and tear...I am ditching Merrill after being a big fan of their shoes for years. As mentioned above I have had several pair of Chameleons that were very uncomfortable at the toe box as you described. However, after a few miles on them the issue seems to resolve itself. My biggest beef is that they are inconsistent in fit and the shoe quality varies widely from shoe to shoe of the same model. Last pair of Chameleons the sole around the toe box and at the arch fell apart after 215-230 miles. The current pair I have now have less than 100 miles on them and the soles are separating at the left and right side of the heel on both shoes... I love the fit but I need to find a better quality shoe..