Verdict from 3 experts and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • A majority of wearers liked that Merrell used a Vibram outsole for the Chameleon 7 Stretch. Some even noticed that it became grippier than past offerings from the Chameleon line.
  • Several individuals appreciated the beefed up toe box of this version compared with previous releases.
  • Many buyers said that the shoe felt very comfortable.
  • Numerous owners attested to the decent support this footwear has given them. 
  • Lots of users believed these were sturdier than the previous iterations.
  • This Merrell footgear floored experts with its remarkable breathability.
  • Plenty of verified purchasers were impressed that this hiking shoe fits great.
  • A good number of people noticed that these became their everyday footwear.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A large number of buyers were annoyed with the squeaky sound that the Chameleon 7 Stretch produced.
  • Several adventure seekers reported that this hiking shoe showed wear and tear just after a few outings.
  • A couple of wearers were not pleased with the raised arch since it made their feet hurt.

Bottom line

The Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch is best-loved for using a Vibram outsole. Its wider toe box has been a welcomed change. It is also praised for being comfortable and great fitting. However, despite the good points, this shoe also has flaws. The squeaky sound, premature wear and tear, and the unpleasantly-raised arch were among these imperfections. Overall, this model has the features that potential buyers can maximize to tackle different challenges on the trail.

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

Good to know

  • Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch offers protection and stability in a lightweight package. It features a breathable construction through its mesh lining and panels.
  • Working together to give wearers shock absorption and stability is the EVA midsole and the heel area’s Merrell Air Cushion. The Lightweight Flexplate provides torsional rigidity while its Vibram TC5+ outsole offers grip on a variety of terrains. Merrell categorizes this product under Flex Grade 2 shoe which means it is highly flexible.

Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch is a hiking shoe for men and women that is relatively true-to-size. Both versions are offered in regular lengths and standard width. Its stretch collar, elastic cord, and lock lacing system work together for a snug and secure fit.

Chameleon 7 Stretch is equipped with the Vibram TC5+ outsole. This component includes oval-shaped, 3 mm lugs that deliver traction and slip resistance even on wet surfaces.

Working together with the Vibram outsole is the Flexplate technology's outsole pods. This provides stability, protection, and integrated grip.

Offering lightweight foot stability is the Flexplate technology of Merrell. Its material composition allows one end to create stability and the other to deliver flexibility.

The Chameleon 7 Stretch features an EVA midsole for cushioning. Its performance is amplified by the air unit found in the heel area.

Finally, it uses a Kinetic Fit Base insole. It is contoured like the foot and delivers a kind of support that’s intuitive and flexible. As a result, foot movements are connected and protected.

Giving the Chameleon 7 Stretch a combination of durability and breathability is the nubuck leather and mesh upper. It is partnered with a mesh lining for ventilation.

This slip-on model uses a stretch collar for an easy on and off. The elastic cord and lock lacing system allow quick management of fit. A rubber toe cap also protects the shoe against scuffing. Lastly, a molded TPU heel counter grants stability.


How Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 14% hiking shoes
All hiking shoes
Top 17% Merrell hiking shoes
All Merrell hiking shoes
Top 12% backpacking hiking shoes
All backpacking hiking shoes


The current trend of Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch.
Compare to another shoe:
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.