With the summer now fully upon us, what better excuse than some decent weather to head for the hills and do some walking.
Merrell, long-time maker of walking and trail shoes thinks its latest offering, the Merrell Chameleon II Leather, are the answer to blister free comfortable walking. We put a pair to the test.
Coming in two colours, grey or brown, the shoe's design is clearly for walking; the leather uppers is a twist on the other Chameleon II models. The robust design is made mainly from leather and injection molded rubber and this means that it is likely to last you some time.
The Chameleon's feature the popular Merrell Vibram Chameleon Sport/Versa TC1 Dura Rubber Soles and these offer good grip in a variety of situations.
In our walks we found that the very solid sole offers plenty of support, however not much flexibility and it's something to bear in mind depending what the terrain requires.
While the leather upper does offer longevity (we've still got a pair of leather Merrell's from 10 years ago) we have found temperature an issue, as the Merrell's can get hot. For spring or autumn rambles, this is going to be a bonus point!
Also, if you are going to be showing your shoe to any water, then you'll need to proof them (with something like NikWax) to stop them absorbing too much. Otherwise, the leather is both attractive and durable.
Comfort-wise, the shoes are very comfortable and in our tests both on country walks, off track and even in the city (the toughest jungle of them all some who say) we found our feet stayed blister free and well-supported.
The Merrell Chameleon II Leather walking shoes are a tough set of shoes. Officially, they fall into the approach category, but the addition of the leather uppers puts them in place around town as well as country.
Those looking for a tough shoe rather than boot would do well to check them out - its versatile sole and ample support will stand you in good stead.