Verdict from 96 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Reassuring midfoot: Numerous hikers are attracted to the Chaco Cataluna Explorer for its mighty supportive arch zone.
  • One-to-one fit: This incredible boot runs true to size, based on many reports.
  • Comfy: Experienced trail-goers find the Cataluna Explorer “so comfortable.”
  • Watertight: While it lacks a waterproof liner (e.g., Gore-Tex), the boot’s leather upper does a remarkable job of barring out moisture.
  • Cute: Its posh design is a hit with the ladies.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Long break-in: The Cataluna Explorer takes time to loosen up, according to several purchasers.
  • Questionable closure construction: One of its lace hooks snapping way too soon is a big disappointment to an owner.

Bottom line

Sleek, stunning, and bold—this description encapsulates the adventurous Cataluna Explorer. Yes, in this compelling Chaco piece, you can meet whatever the trail demands with pulsating panache and rugged-specific performance. All you have to do is tame this stylish beast and you are good to go!

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

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.


How Chaco Cataluna Explorer ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 14% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Top 1% Chaco hiking boots
All Chaco hiking boots
Bottom 12% day hiking hiking boots
All day hiking hiking boots


The current trend of Chaco Cataluna Explorer.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.