Like most Merrell footwear, the Chameleon II Kahuna sandals feel great on the foot. The sole is a well-cushioned and stiff unit that resists the pounding from hard concrete or rock surfaces. There’s a good, grippy outsole lug pattern for a sandal, meaning these allow you to keep moving when the campsite turns muddy. The straps are leather with neoprene padding and they are very comfortable. The straps provide far more protection to the foot than most, which is ideal for when you are wearing these on paths all day and not quite sure what your feet may come up against. These are very comfortable sandals that protect the foot effectively, as well as looking stylish. They are good for use at campsites and for travel. But the leather straps are going to be relatively slow to dry. So the Chameleon II Kahunas are not the best for river crossings and being out in summer showers. There are only two points of adjustment even though there is a substantial heel strap, and that wide forefoot straps does not really offer much adjustment. The result is that these either fit straight from the box or they don’t.
Upper pigskin leather straps, neoprene padding
Sole Microban antimicrobial footbed, Vibram outsole
Sizes 7-13 (men’s); 4-8 (women’s)
Weight 720g (pair, size 11)
Made in Vietnam
Stores in the UK 350+
Verdict: The Chameleon II Kahuna is a comfortable sandal, which protects the foot well and has a good sole – but faster-drying straps with more adjustment would be better.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009