http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product ... tomTab_1_1
are these the merrells you refer to?
http://www.merrell.com/CA/en-CA/Product ... erproof-II
and that the Chameleon you refer to?
Are those what you are talking about in the minimalist shoe? I plan to go to Cortez, CO tomorrow to buy a pair, since yesterday in Flagstaff, I found only one type of shoe that has a zero heel to toe rise and they were all white and will get dirty fast. I'd like to start to hike in them, in winter or colder conditions in general, and on longer hikes when five finger are not good enough. I like the 5 fingers, but they are not good for me in cold, and on longer hikes I get sore pretty fast. Plus, I want a sock when it is cold.
As I'm getting on in the minimalist/ barefoot thing, I'm finding that I care less about the goofy look and having no sole, then about having a thin one that still helps my deformed/ unformed feet to go long distances, and I really want a completely flat shoe with zero heel rise over the toe. Since I have switched out of traditional high heel boots and sneakers, my feet , knees, and back all feel better. I also want a high level of flexibility, since a stiff boot is hard to deal with. Yesterday, snow booting Elden I had a hard time and found my knees hurting again. I'd like to get a nice pair of completely flat and 5mm to 1 cm thick sandals for warm weather. Let those puppies air out!
I question how long I will want to snowshoe or boot around in snow in an in-flexible boots with a high heel rise, as that seems to be all that exists for winter and mountaineering. I guess occasional or infrequent use isn't too bad, but you kind of have to train and condition at least a little to go out and do a 10 to 12 mile and 4000' to 5000' day in the mountains in winter.
If you're having trail problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but hiking ain't one.