After a day in the hills we stash away our boots in a dark cupboard and they'll stay there until the next hike. That's just the way it is, right?
Well, Merrell are looking to change this. With the Chameleon 7, their idea is to offer a suitable, comfortable option that you can wear on the hill and off it; something for people who incorporate outdoor activity into their normal routine.
Along with the Moab, the Chameleon is one of our favourite boot variations by Merrell, so we were particularly pleased to hear about the launch of this latest version of it.
We were even more pleased to be told that we were going to be given the UK's first look, as it's only just hit the shops.
"Merrell have worked with Vibram to deliver a new outsole for the Chameleon that’s far lighter than previous models but still just as grippy."
Our first impressions of it are that it’s comfortable, grippy, and sturdy without being cumbersome; the kind of boot that you’ll find yourself wearing very regularly, safe in the knowledge that it’ll handle the majority of what your active outdoorsy life throws at it.
The key thing is weight. A pair of these weighs just 968g, which is very light considering the protection and performance you can bank on the Chameleon 7 delivering.
We’ll start with the upper which is made from quality nubuck, suede leather that’s layered on top of a breathable and padded mesh. Then underneath it there’s a waterproof membrane. This was Gore-Tex in the case of the pair we tested, however there are also versions of the Chameleon 7 that feature Merrell's M Select Dry membrane.
Onto the sole. Merrell have worked with Vibram to deliver a new outsole for the Chameleon that’s far lighter than previous models but still just as grippy, with its 3mm and multi-directional lugs. For comfort and stability underfoot, they’ve gone for a contoured insole that’s fully removable, EVA foam midsole and a lightweight ‘Flexplate’ designed to protect the foot from sharp rocks and give enough rigidity without compromising on comfort - and indeed weight.
You’ll find the Chameleon 7 in men’s and women’s versions, with two different colourways for each, and best of all, there’s the option to either go for a mid cut boot or a shoe.
We'll be publishing a full, in-depth review of the Chameleon 7 very soon.
Merrell Chameleon 7