After missing the post van on the Monday it was Tuesday before I was able to lay my hands on my Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slams (now there’s a mouthful) from fitnessfootwear.com who stock a whole range of Merrells
Hmm. At first glance the red and grey panelled top of the shoe reminded me of my Adidas lightweight trainers I use for the circuit class, but on picking them up I instantly felt the difference. These were much more solid beasties.
The inside felt well padded and the sole comfortably cushioned. I flipped them over to check out the underside to find a hefty Vibram with lots of studded grip. The sole wrapped up the front of the toes and the back of the heels which I reckoned would allow me to give a few rocks a good kicking, but on reflection the mesh panels on the top of the shoe suggested they were not really designed for that type of punishment.
The tongue was webbed to the inside of the shoe, which I liked, as it should reduce the amount of small grained materials, eg sand, that could sneak inside. However, the design of the lacing eyelets means that the sides of the shoe do not pull as far as I would like over the top of the tongue. But that’s style for you. For reasons of queer shaped feet I tend to need a bigger size than at least one of my feet would like. I have therefore, a personal preference for shoes with sides that wrap over more to give my feet a bigger “hug”. This improves the stability of the shoe on my foot. Also, like most trainer type shoes of this design, the lower sides tend to gape again reducing the grip on my foot allowing them to pull out slightly when I walk. But they’re new and will more than likely become more flexible over the sides through time.
I would imagine that these will be ideal for sustained normal day to day walking around the streets and capable of being used comfortably for half day walks on surfaces up to that of a forestry road in terms of roughness. Once I get outside with them we’ll see if they match my current view.