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OWNER REVIEW - Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes

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  • Travis Beals
    This is my first owner review. Be gentle :-) ... Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes June 26, 2006 Reviewer Information: Name: Travis Beals Age: 25 Gender: Male
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 26, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      This is my first owner review. Be gentle :-)

      ------------------------------
      Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
      June 26, 2006

      Reviewer Information:

      Name: Travis Beals
      Age: 25
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)
      Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
      Shoe size: 9.5 US (9.0 UK, 43 EU)
      Email address: trbeals (at) gmail (dot) com
      Location: Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background: I've been camping since I was a kid, and was
      a Boy Scout for a while, but only really got into backpacking about
      four years ago. I started with "traditional" pack weights of 40 lb
      (18 kg) for a three-day trip, but have now pared down to 25 lb (18
      kg) total weight, or about 14 lb (6 kg) base pack weight, putting me
      in the light-to-ultralight range. My wife and I do several trips year-
      round, ranging from overnighters to up to five days. We usually
      backpack either in the Sierra Nevada range, but sometimes also do
      snowshoe trips in the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Coastal range
      in the winter. When I'm not on the trail, I'm a physics graduate
      student.


      Product information:
      Manufacturer: Merrell, www.merrell.com
      Year: 2005
      Weight (listed): 2 lb 3 oz (993 g)
      Weight (as measured): 2 lb 2 oz (975 g)
      MSRP: $99.95
      Description: Merrell bills these shoes as being for "speedhiking" and
      general outdoor recreation. The shoes have Vibram soles, Nubuck /
      mesh uppers, an elastic lacing system, and a snug, stretchy collar to
      keep out debris. As compared with the regular Merrell Chameleon II,
      the Stretch version has more mesh and more flexible soles and uppers.


      Review Summary: Although generally a good shoe, I was disappointed by
      the amount of wear the Chamelleon II Stretch showed after 8 months
      and roughly 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers). Unlike other
      shoes that need "breaking in", these shoes are what-you-feel-is-what
      you get. This is a good thing, but don't expect minor fit issues
      noticed at the shoe store to go away with wear.
      Pros: Excellent breathability, collar keeps out dirt, no blisters
      Cons: Poor durability, no wide sizes available, somewhat heavy for
      trail shoes


      Fit and feel:
      My feet pose quite a challenge for most shoes, as they are wide (US
      "E" width), and have very high arches. These shoes felt great in the
      store, with only a few minor issues apparent at the time, which I had
      expected to disappear with use. What I didn't realize is that these
      shoes don't have the usual break-in period found in most other shoes,
      and so those problems never went away. Most people probably won't
      have the same issues I had, but keep this in mind when trying Merrell
      shoes. On the positive side, even though my feet tend to sweat
      heavily, the excellent ventilation in these shoes keeps them
      relatively dry.

      Field testing:
      I tested these shoes in a wide variety of conditions. While I
      initially purchased them for dayhiking and ultralight backpacking, I
      ended up using them as "everyday" shoes for four months in the winter
      while visiting Calgary, Alberta, Canada, since the other shoes I had
      brought weren't up to the snow and ice. Considering it wasn't what
      they were designed for, these shoes handled Canadian winter
      conditions very well. This use comprised the bulk of the miles I put
      on these shoes.

      I used these shoes for a lightweight overnight trip in Point Reyes
      National Seashore, California, U.S.A, as well as a few dayhikes at
      the same location. Tested terrain was easy to moderate dirt paths,
      sandy in places, with occasional bushwacking. The shoes handled all
      of this well, and the elastic collars kept out the worst of the sand
      and dirt. The weather was dry with no rain, and only a small amount
      of mud, which might otherwise have posed a problem for the mesh. On
      the longest of the dayhikes (10 mi / 16 km), the soles of my feet
      were quite sore, although I didn't have any blisters.

      More recently, I tested the shoes on a steep trail in Mount Diablo
      State Park, California, U.S.A. This trail had a lot of stretches with
      loose dirt and gravel, and some short rocky bits. Ascent was no
      problem. On the descent, the shoes did quite well on the solid rock,
      but only average on the loose stuff, slipping and sliding in a few
      places. During the descent, my feet would occasionally slide forward
      far enough for my toes to touch the front of the shoes even though
      the shoes fit snugly. This wasn't a serious problem, and may be an
      unavoidable consequence of the stretchy nature of the laces and shoe
      uppers.

      These shoes seem well-suited for light to moderate trails dirt trails
      with a light pack, and are also capable of handling a fair bit of
      scrambling in rocky conditions. Although breathability usually comes
      at the price of water resistance, after applying a water-proofing
      treatment, these shoes were also able to handle short exposures to
      water without soaking through.

      Durability:
      Lack of durability is my biggest criticism of these shoes. The right
      shoe has developed holes in the inner lining material in the heel
      area (see picture, temporary URL http://tinyurl.com/zh6qe ), and the
      left shoe shows signs of wear in the same place. This is after an
      estimated 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers) of use, most of it
      on gentle terrain.
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 28, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
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        Jennifer P, the mentor coordinator, at (jennifer.pope@...).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
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        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
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        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
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        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
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        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello Travis, Your edit follows. I thought this was a good first OR, and the majority of cavils I have are quite minor. I d like you to edit as suggested
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 4, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Travis,

          Your edit follows. I thought this was a good first OR, and the
          majority of cavils I have are quite minor. I'd like you to edit as
          suggested below, and then put the edited version on this list with
          "REPOST" substituted for "EDIT." A version in HTML form in the Owner
          Review folder on BGT at

          http://tinyurl.com/7p4t6

          would be helpful. You will need to log in first, or register if you
          have not done so.

          Best,

          Ted

          BGT OR Editor


          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Travis Beals <trbeals@...> wrote:
          >
          > This is my first owner review. Be gentle :-)
          >
          > ------------------------------
          > Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
          > June 26, 2006

          ### EDIT:

          Owner Review Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
          June 26, 2006

          >
          > Reviewer Information:
          >
          > Name: Travis Beals
          > Age: 25
          > Gender: Male
          > Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)

          ### EDIT: 6' 0" [space]

          > Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
          > Shoe size: 9.5 US (9.0 UK, 43 EU)
          > Email address: trbeals (at) gmail (dot) com
          > Location: Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
          >
          > Backpacking Background: I've been camping since I was a kid, and was
          > a Boy Scout for a while, but only really got into backpacking about
          > four years ago. I started with "traditional" pack weights of 40 lb
          > (18 kg) for a three-day trip, but have now pared down to 25 lb (18
          > kg) total weight, or about 14 lb (6 kg) base pack weight, putting me
          > in the light-to-ultralight range. My wife and I do several trips year-
          > round, ranging from overnighters to up to five days. We usually
          > backpack either in the Sierra Nevada range, but sometimes also do
          > snowshoe trips in the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Coastal range
          > in the winter. When I'm not on the trail, I'm a physics graduate
          > student.

          ### EDIT: We have a limit of around 100 words in this section. I
          suggest dropping the last line "but sometimes also do snowshoe trips
          in the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Coastal range in the winter."
          This could be rewritten in fewer words if you wished.
          >
          >
          > Product information:
          > Manufacturer: Merrell, www.merrell.com
          > Year: 2005
          > Weight (listed): 2 lb 3 oz (993 g)
          > Weight (as measured): 2 lb 2 oz (975 g)
          > MSRP: $99.95

          ### EDIT: MSRP: $99.95 US

          > Description: Merrell bills these shoes as being for "speedhiking" and
          > general outdoor recreation. The shoes have Vibram soles, Nubuck /
          > mesh uppers, an elastic lacing system, and a snug, stretchy collar to
          > keep out debris. As compared with the regular Merrell Chameleon II,
          > the Stretch version has more mesh and more flexible soles and uppers.

          ### EDIT: A little more information on the construction of the shoe
          would be useful here. Height on the ankle, lace type, a bit more about
          the way the lacing system is constructed, and so on. This doesn't have
          to be technical; I'd just like to see a bit more information than is
          provided.

          >
          >
          > Review Summary: Although generally a good shoe, I was disappointed by
          > the amount of wear the Chamelleon II Stretch showed after 8 months
          > and roughly 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers). Unlike other
          > shoes that need "breaking in", these shoes are what-you-feel-is-what
          > you get.

          ### EDIT: "what-you-feel-is-what-you-get."

          This is a good thing, but don't expect minor fit issues
          > noticed at the shoe store to go away with wear.

          ### EDIT: This sentence is mildly projective, telling the reader what
          their experience will be rather than describing your own. I'd suggest
          a rewrite as:

          "This is a good thing, but I found that minor fit issues I noticed at
          the shoe store did not go away with wear."



          > Pros: Excellent breathability, collar keeps out dirt, no blisters
          > Cons: Poor durability, no wide sizes available, somewhat heavy for
          > trail shoes

          ### EDIT: While a "pro and con" section is not absolutely essential,
          it is helpful as part of the summary of conclusions. However, usual
          practice is to put the summary the end of the text. This is not a hard
          and fast rule, but as it is the form followed by 90 percent of ORs, I
          think it's better to be consistent.

          ### EDIT: Missing here is a section on field conditions. I do realize
          that you touch on some (but not all) of this in your text below. It
          doesn't necessarily have to be broken out under a separate heading
          (though many do), but should run along these lines (quoting from a
          recent OR I wrote):

          "The lowest temperature at which I'm comfortable wearing the ... is
          around 20 F (7 C), and I've worn them up to about 85 F (29 C). This
          pair has been used almost entirely in mountainous terrain, on outings
          between 500 ft (152 m) and 5000 ft (1520 m), in the Catskills and
          Adirondacks. I estimate that they have seen somewhere in excess of 75
          days of hiking and backpacking, in rain, snow and shine, both on-trail
          and off."

          You don't need to copy this format exactly, but weather, temperature
          range, elevation range and type of terrain in which testing was
          conducted is essential information to a reader evaluating how your use
          matches theirs.


          >
          > Fit and feel:
          > My feet pose quite a challenge for most shoes, as they are wide (US
          > "E" width), and have very high arches. These shoes felt great in the
          > store, with only a few minor issues apparent at the time, which I had
          > expected to disappear with use. What I didn't realize is that these
          > shoes don't have the usual break-in period found in most other shoes,
          > and so those problems never went away. Most people probably won't
          > have the same issues I had, but keep this in mind when trying Merrell
          > shoes. On the positive side, even though my feet tend to sweat
          > heavily, the excellent ventilation in these shoes keeps them
          > relatively dry.
          >
          > Field testing:
          > I tested these shoes in a wide variety of conditions. While I
          > initially purchased them for dayhiking and ultralight backpacking, I
          > ended up using them as "everyday" shoes for four months in the winter
          > while visiting Calgary, Alberta, Canada, since the other shoes I had
          > brought weren't up to the snow and ice. Considering it wasn't what
          > they were designed for, these shoes handled Canadian winter
          > conditions very well. This use comprised the bulk of the miles I put
          > on these shoes.
          >
          > I used these shoes for a lightweight overnight trip in Point Reyes
          > National Seashore, California, U.S.A, as well as a few dayhikes at
          > the same location. Tested terrain was easy to moderate dirt paths,
          > sandy in places, with occasional bushwacking.

          ### EDIT: bushwhacking

          The shoes handled all
          > of this well, and the elastic collars kept out the worst of the sand
          > and dirt. The weather was dry with no rain, and only a small amount
          > of mud, which might otherwise have posed a problem for the mesh. On
          > the longest of the dayhikes (10 mi / 16 km), the soles of my feet
          > were quite sore, although I didn't have any blisters.
          >
          > More recently, I tested the shoes on a steep trail in Mount Diablo
          > State Park, California, U.S.A. This trail had a lot of stretches with
          > loose dirt and gravel, and some short rocky bits. Ascent was no
          > problem. On the descent, the shoes did quite well on the solid rock,
          > but only average on the loose stuff, slipping and sliding in a few
          > places. During the descent, my feet would occasionally slide forward
          > far enough for my toes to touch the front of the shoes even though
          > the shoes fit snugly. This wasn't a serious problem, and may be an
          > unavoidable consequence of the stretchy nature of the laces and shoe
          > uppers.
          >
          > These shoes seem well-suited for light to moderate trails dirt trails
          > with a light pack, and are also capable of handling a fair bit of
          > scrambling in rocky conditions. Although breathability usually comes
          > at the price of water resistance, after applying a water-proofing
          > treatment, these shoes were also able to handle short exposures to
          > water without soaking through.
          >
          > Durability:
          > Lack of durability is my biggest criticism of these shoes. The right
          > shoe has developed holes in the inner lining material in the heel
          > area (see picture, temporary URL http://tinyurl.com/zh6qe ), and the
          > left shoe shows signs of wear in the same place. This is after an
          > estimated 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers) of use, most of it
          > on gentle terrain.



          >
        • edwardripleyduggan
          This is a resend, as a couple of points got garbled. Hello Travis, Your edit follows. I thought this was a good first OR, and the majority of cavils I have are
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 4, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            This is a resend, as a couple of points got garbled.

            Hello Travis,

            Your edit follows. I thought this was a good first OR, and the
            majority of cavils I have are quite minor. I'd like you to edit as
            suggested below, and then put the edited version on this list with
            "REPOST" substituted for "EDIT." A version in HTML form in the Owner
            Review folder on BGT at

            http://tinyurl.com/7p4t6

            would be helpful. You will need to log in first, or register if you
            have not done so.

            Best,

            Ted

            BGT OR Editor


            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Travis Beals <trbeals@...> wrote:
            >
            > This is my first owner review. Be gentle :-)
            >
            > ------------------------------
            > Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
            > June 26, 2006

            ### EDIT:

            Owner Review Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes
            June 26, 2006

            >
            > Reviewer Information:
            >
            > Name: Travis Beals
            > Age: 25
            > Gender: Male
            > Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)

            ### EDIT: 6' 0" [space needed]

            > Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
            > Shoe size: 9.5 US (9.0 UK, 43 EU)
            > Email address: trbeals (at) gmail (dot) com
            > Location: Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
            >
            > Backpacking Background: I've been camping since I was a kid, and was
            > a Boy Scout for a while, but only really got into backpacking about
            > four years ago. I started with "traditional" pack weights of 40 lb
            > (18 kg) for a three-day trip, but have now pared down to 25 lb (18
            > kg) total weight, or about 14 lb (6 kg) base pack weight, putting me
            > in the light-to-ultralight range. My wife and I do several trips year-
            > round, ranging from overnighters to up to five days. We usually
            > backpack either in the Sierra Nevada range, but sometimes also do
            > snowshoe trips in the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Coastal range
            > in the winter. When I'm not on the trail, I'm a physics graduate
            > student.

            ### EDIT: We have a limit of around 100 words in this section. I
            suggest dropping the last line. and also "but sometimes also do
            snowshoe trips
            in the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Coastal range in the winter."
            This last could be rewritten in fewer words if you wished.
            >
            >
            > Product information:
            > Manufacturer: Merrell, www.merrell.com
            > Year: 2005
            > Weight (listed): 2 lb 3 oz (993 g)
            > Weight (as measured): 2 lb 2 oz (975 g)
            > MSRP: $99.95

            ### EDIT: MSRP: $99.95 US

            > Description: Merrell bills these shoes as being for "speedhiking" and
            > general outdoor recreation. The shoes have Vibram soles, Nubuck /
            > mesh uppers, an elastic lacing system, and a snug, stretchy collar to
            > keep out debris. As compared with the regular Merrell Chameleon II,
            > the Stretch version has more mesh and more flexible soles and uppers.

            ### EDIT: A little more information on the construction of the shoe
            would be useful here. Height at the ankle, a bit more about
            the way the lacing system is constructed, and so on. This doesn't have
            to be technical; I'd just like to see a bit more information on the
            shoe than is provided.

            >
            >
            > Review Summary: Although generally a good shoe, I was disappointed by
            > the amount of wear the Chamelleon II Stretch showed after 8 months
            > and roughly 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers). Unlike other
            > shoes that need "breaking in", these shoes are what-you-feel-is-what
            > you get.

            ### EDIT: "what-you-feel-is-what-you-get."

            This is a good thing, but don't expect minor fit issues
            > noticed at the shoe store to go away with wear.

            ### EDIT: This sentence is mildly projective, telling the reader what
            their experience will be rather than describing your own. I'd suggest
            a rewrite as:

            "This is a good thing, but I found that minor fit issues I noticed at
            the shoe store did not go away with wear."



            > Pros: Excellent breathability, collar keeps out dirt, no blisters
            > Cons: Poor durability, no wide sizes available, somewhat heavy for
            > trail shoes

            ### EDIT: While a "pro and con" section is not absolutely essential,
            it is helpful as part of the summary of conclusions. However, usual
            practice is to put the summary the end of the text. This is not a hard
            and fast rule, but as it is the form followed by 90 percent of ORs, I
            think it's better to be consistent.

            ### EDIT: Missing here is a section on field conditions. I do realize
            that you touch on some (but not all) of this in your text below. It
            doesn't necessarily have to be broken out under a separate heading
            (though many do), but should run along these lines (quoting from a
            recent OR I wrote):

            "The lowest temperature at which I'm comfortable wearing the ... is
            around 20 F (7 C), and I've worn them up to about 85 F (29 C). This
            pair has been used almost entirely in mountainous terrain, on outings
            between 500 ft (152 m) and 5000 ft (1520 m), in the Catskills and
            Adirondacks. I estimate that they have seen somewhere in excess of 75
            days of hiking and backpacking, in rain, snow and shine, both on-trail
            and off."

            You don't need to copy this format exactly, but weather, temperature
            range, elevation range and type of terrain in which testing was
            conducted is essential information to a reader evaluating how your use
            matches theirs.


            >
            > Fit and feel:
            > My feet pose quite a challenge for most shoes, as they are wide (US
            > "E" width), and have very high arches. These shoes felt great in the
            > store, with only a few minor issues apparent at the time, which I had
            > expected to disappear with use. What I didn't realize is that these
            > shoes don't have the usual break-in period found in most other shoes,
            > and so those problems never went away. Most people probably won't
            > have the same issues I had, but keep this in mind when trying Merrell
            > shoes. On the positive side, even though my feet tend to sweat
            > heavily, the excellent ventilation in these shoes keeps them
            > relatively dry.
            >
            > Field testing:
            > I tested these shoes in a wide variety of conditions. While I
            > initially purchased them for dayhiking and ultralight backpacking, I
            > ended up using them as "everyday" shoes for four months in the winter
            > while visiting Calgary, Alberta, Canada, since the other shoes I had
            > brought weren't up to the snow and ice. Considering it wasn't what
            > they were designed for, these shoes handled Canadian winter
            > conditions very well. This use comprised the bulk of the miles I put
            > on these shoes.
            >
            > I used these shoes for a lightweight overnight trip in Point Reyes
            > National Seashore, California, U.S.A, as well as a few dayhikes at
            > the same location. Tested terrain was easy to moderate dirt paths,
            > sandy in places, with occasional bushwacking.

            ### EDIT: bushwhacking

            The shoes handled all
            > of this well, and the elastic collars kept out the worst of the sand
            > and dirt. The weather was dry with no rain, and only a small amount
            > of mud, which might otherwise have posed a problem for the mesh. On
            > the longest of the dayhikes (10 mi / 16 km), the soles of my feet
            > were quite sore, although I didn't have any blisters.
            >
            > More recently, I tested the shoes on a steep trail in Mount Diablo
            > State Park, California, U.S.A. This trail had a lot of stretches with
            > loose dirt and gravel, and some short rocky bits. Ascent was no
            > problem. On the descent, the shoes did quite well on the solid rock,
            > but only average on the loose stuff, slipping and sliding in a few
            > places. During the descent, my feet would occasionally slide forward
            > far enough for my toes to touch the front of the shoes even though
            > the shoes fit snugly. This wasn't a serious problem, and may be an
            > unavoidable consequence of the stretchy nature of the laces and shoe
            > uppers.
            >
            > These shoes seem well-suited for light to moderate trails dirt trails
            > with a light pack, and are also capable of handling a fair bit of
            > scrambling in rocky conditions. Although breathability usually comes
            > at the price of water resistance, after applying a water-proofing
            > treatment, these shoes were also able to handle short exposures to
            > water without soaking through.
            >
            > Durability:
            > Lack of durability is my biggest criticism of these shoes. The right
            > shoe has developed holes in the inner lining material in the heel
            > area (see picture, temporary URL http://tinyurl.com/zh6qe ), and the
            > left shoe shows signs of wear in the same place. This is after an
            > estimated 250 - 300 miles (400 - 500 kilometers) of use, most of it
            > on gentle terrain.

            ### COMMENT: Wear in this area is often evidence of heel slip.
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.