Merrell Chameleon 2 vs 5, Which is Better for Hiking?

Ready for a long-planned hiking trip? Perhaps you’re still on the fence about which Merrell shoes to purchase. We hear you loud and clear, so in this Merrell Chameleon 2 vs 5 comparison chart, we’ll give you the differences of these two Merrell shoes.

But first, why Merrell shoes? Although these shoes are not particularly the most stylish out there, many users say that their preference of Merrells stems from the fact that these shoes offer a spacious room for their toes, especially those with wide feet. Some brands have a narrow toe area, which clearly doesn’t work with wide feet.

There are many Merrell hiking shoes to choose from, and two of the most popular models are the Chameleon II Stretch and the Chameleon 5. What are their differences? Let’s have a look.

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Comparison Chart: Merrell Chameleon 2 vs 5

This side-by-side comparison chart clearly shows you the differences in features of these Merrell shoes.

Merrell Shoes
Model Check Price » Merrell Chameleon II Stretch Check Price » Merrell Chameleon 5
Lace System Elastic, one-pull Lace-up
Colors Available Kangaroo/Boa; Black/Tan Boulder
Footwear Height Ankle Ankle
Toe Coverage Closed Toe Closed Toe
Best Use Fitness Hiking, Day Hiking
Weight (Pair) 2 lbs. 3 oz. 2 lbs. 4 oz.
Upper Nubuck leather/nylon mesh Pig suede leather/polyester mesh
Lining Nylon Waterproof breathable membrane/polyester mesh
Midsole EVA 2mm, EVA
Outsole Vibram rubber Vibram rubber
Support Nylon Nylon arch shank
Lug Depth 4mm 5mm

Key Differences

Let’s list down the most notable differences between these two Merrell shoes.

Lace System

First, the Chameleon II Stretch is equipped with an elastic, one-pull lace system with friction cordlock to ensure that it stays in place. In comparison, the Merrell 5 has the traditional, lace-up system.

Clearly, there are pros and cons to both systems. With the Chameleon II’s one-pull mechanism, you don’t have to worry about disentangling. But the main disadvantage is the durability of the elastic material. It’s not as durable as the traditional shoe laces.

On the other hand, the Merrell Chameleon 5’s shoestring system has proved itself when it comes to durability. The only problem is of course the inconvenience that may brought about by disentangling.

Outsole and Lugs

Both shoes are equipped with a Vibram rubber outsole, but their difference is the pattern of the lugs. Take a look.

Aside from that, according to online sources, the lug depths of these Merrell shoes are different, with the Chameleon II Stretch having thinner lugs.


Unfortunately, the Chameleon II is not made of waterproof materials. The Chameleon 5, on the other hand, is advertised to be waterproof.

Best Use

The Merrell Chameleon 5 is designed for day hiking / hiking trips while the Chameleon II Stretch is meant for fitness activities (such as running or jogging). Even though this is the case, some people still use the Chameleon II Stretch for hiking purposes.

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Our Recommendation: Merrell Chameleon 2 vs 5

Which pair of shoes is better for hiking? Here’s what we have to say.

Stick to what these shoes are designed for. The Chameleon II Stretch is best used for fitness and the Chameleon 5 is best used for hiking. Its waterproof lining and upper are a big plus when you’re out there in the woods.

Where to Buy: Merrell Chameleon 2 vs 5

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