Chaco Cataluna Explorer: Before you buy

Like most urban hiking boots, the Cataluna Explorer can reel you in with little effort just for being aesthetically pleasing. That said, your getting it must depend on something far more substantial, something like the following:


  • Its women-specific fit means its interior is extra snug and contoured in a way that matches the unique curves of the female foot.
  • The boot’s minimally seamed, waterproof leather shell keeps everything on the inside dry in moderate rain and streams of no more than 4 inches in depth.
  • Chaco shoemakers left its collar leather-less to give hikers a bit more flexibility around the ankle.
  • It has an aggressive heel brake, which prevents slips over muddy slopes and the like.
  • The ridge-like texture around the front end of its outsole grants enough stickiness on slick surfaces (think boulders).


  • Its not-so-generous heel loop might make putting it on somewhat of a challenge for some.
  • The Cataluna Explorer lacks a rockered heel, making heel strikes on hard soil or concrete feel a bit unnatural.


The current trend of Chaco Cataluna Explorer.
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.