11 best Chaco hiking sandals

Based on reviews from 23 experts and 30,344 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Chaco hiking sandals. Updated Jun 2019.

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A hiking trip is going to infuse your daily routine with the adventure and excitement it needs. But before you head outdoors, it’s crucial to own the right kind of gear. One such piece of equipment you may need to perform better is a pair of Chaco hiking sandals.

When should I use my Chaco hiking sandals?

best Chaco hiking sandals

Best Chaco hiking sandals - August 2018

The brand’s line of sandals is perfect if you’re going on a light hike. Their open-toe design and lightweight construction make them the ideal partner for a quick and fun outdoor experience. This footgear is ideal if you’re going to a place with a minimal number of trail obstacles, such as jagged rocks and exposed tree roots. Since these challenges are absent, you can enjoy your hike without worrying about a nasty case of stubbing on the trail.

Using a pair of Chaco hiking sandals makes sense if you’re not going to carry a backpack. Since this type of footwear doesn’t offer ankle support like that of burly backpacking boot, the load you’re going to bring should be as light as possible. Also, this footgear type is a lifesaver if you’re in a warm environment. The sandal’s open design helps your feet breathe better and prevent them from sweating too much.

When shouldn’t I wear my Chaco hiking sandals?

This footwear is made for most environments, no matter how comfortable, light, and breathable it is. In most cases, a pair of hiking shoes or backpacking boots will more than suffice. Shown below are some scenarios wherein your Chaco hiking sandals wouldn’t be suitable.

  • You’re better off using sturdy boots if your hike is going to last more than a day or you’re carrying a backpack. These models offer an upgrade when it comes to support, durability, traction, and protection. These vital footwear qualities help improve your performance in a more challenging environment.
  • Speaking of protection, you shouldn’t expect these Chaco hiking sandals to deliver this benefit that much. If your hike is filled with sharp rocks, large roots and critters, it’s best to go with hiking boots. In doing so, your feet will be protected well when you’re outdoors.
  • Taking a hike in a snowy environment can be disastrous if you choose to go with your Chaco hiking sandals. You might suffer from a nasty case of hypothermia if you do so. You need competent insulation only a pair of winter hiking boots can give.
  • Conquering great heights requires the most robust gear available. Unfortunately, a pair of Chaco hiking sandals won’t have much use for any mountaineer due to the steep angles one must climb. Mountaineering boots should be the only option if you’re going to embark on this kind of outdoor activity.

Perks of the best Chaco hiking sandals

Fit and comfort

The footgear you’re going to use on your hike should fit you comfortably. Chaco hiking sandals are equipped with components and features to achieve this feat. The footgear’s upper consists of a toe loop, heel riser, and an adjustable strap. The loop and heel riser hold your foot in place while the strap allows you to customize the fit. The footbed grants comfort and cushioning to your every stride. It also adapts to the contours of your foot to prevent it from moving around.

How can I get the precise fit when trying on a new pair of Chaco hiking sandals?

  • The brand’s sandals are available for men and women.
  • Men’s sizes are around 7 to 15. Chaco hiking sandals for women range from 5 to 12.
  • You won’t be able to try on the company’s sandals if you’re ordering online. There’s a chance you might receive a pair that won’t fit you. What you should do is determine your foot’s exact length in centimeters. Once you have obtained that piece of information, you can then match the measurement to its corresponding size in the brand’s sizing chart. This tip will help you save a lot of trouble when you are purchasing from online stores.
  • Some outdoor junkies prefer to wear socks and sandals at the same time. If you are among these enthusiasts, you need to consider the extra girth a sock adds to the overall fit.
  • Your foot swells just a little bit over the course of a day. It’s important to include this detail when ordering the Chaco hiking sandals online.

Support

Even though a simple day hike isn’t too demanding, you’re still going to need all the support you can get from your footwear. Chaco hiking sandals are designed to provide this requirement for your trip. The straps and toe loop prevents your foot from moving out of place. The sandal’s footbed locks your heel in place and provides sufficient arch support. Furthermore, the footgear’s dual-density polyurethane midsole reduces shock and grants cushioning. All of these components work as one to give you competent support during a hike.

Traction

No matter what kind of trail you’re going to traverse, there will still be all kinds of challenges in it. Chaco hiking sandals are engineered to keep your feet planted on the ground and prevent you from slipping. Take a look at the outsole, and you’re going to see an aggressive lug pattern. These lugs bite deep into different surfaces well. The brand’s best sandals have a 3.5mm lug depth, helping your foot stay planted on the ground. Thanks to these qualities, you can hike over different trail conditions without the fear of slipping.

Durability

You’ll always encounter challenges that can affect the quality of your footwear. Fortunately, hiking sandals manufactured by Chaco are sturdy enough to withstand these obstacles. The upper of the best sandal models uses sturdy polyester jacquard webbings to lock your foot in. Both the footbed and midsole are made of polyurethane, making it resilient to wear and tear. Chaco hiking sandals are equipped with heavy-duty outsoles that can handle constant contact with varied ground conditions. Overall, the brand’s open-toe footwear is worth the investment regarding durability.

Advantages of the best Chaco hiking sandals

Popularity

Chaco is a relatively young brand in the outdoor gear industry. The company started when its founder, Mark Paigen, envisioned a sandal that can easily dry his foot and provide it with sufficient support. Paigen then produced these sandals on his own. The distinguishing feature of these custom sandals is a continuous pull-through strap with a buckle, instead of a common Velcro variant. He sold his first pair to a friend and decided in 1991 to start a humble store in Colorado.

During its early years, the company was known as Gecko. Paigen changed the brand to its current name to commemorate the Chaco Culture Historical National Park. In 2009, Wolverine World Wide bought Chaco and moved its operations in Michigan. The said company also operates famous footwear brands, such as the Merrell (which also offers hiking sandals), Bates, Keds and Saucony (a company popular for its running shoes) among others.

Chaco is among the top names when it comes to outdoor sandals. The brand has accumulated several awards over the years for its remarkable footwear. Furthermore, a number of reputable online stores offer Chaco hiking sandals to consumers all over the world. The company’s products are also present in almost every area in the United States, making them accessible to the American market.

Technologies

  • ChacoGrip. A ChacoGrip outsole uses the brand’s own tread design to render traction. These outsoles have a wider surface area on both ends for an optimal grip, making them handy on dry and wet surfaces.
  • Luvseat. This is the company’s proprietary footbed technology. The design adapts to the contours of your foot and provides sufficient arch support and comfort. The American Podiatric Medical Association certifies Chaco hiking sandals with Luvseat footbeds.
  • Chaco Strap Adjuster. Chaco hiking sandals feature a continuous strap that allows you to customize the footwear’s fit. This strap system secures different areas of your foot without any complications.
  • Cloud 2.0. Select Chaco hiking sandals are equipped with Cloud 2.0 technology. This midsole is made of polyurethane, making it durable. A Cloud 2.0 midsole also grants adequate underfoot comfort.
  • Ecotread. Chaco’s patented outsole technology uses 25% recycled rubber in its construction. The outsole also contains lugs with a depth of 3 mm to help you traverse a wide variety of ground conditions.

Frequently asked questions about the best Chaco hiking sandals

I want my Chaco hiking sandals to last for a long time. What can I do to achieve this feat?

It’s imperative to clean your footwear on a regular basis to maintain its quality. As such, here are some simple tips to help clean your Chaco hiking sandals.

  • The outdoor company recommends cleaning the footwear once a month if you actively wear it every day.
  • Since you are not dealing with shoes or boots, you can toss these sandals inside a washing machine, along with your regular laundry. Set the appliance on a gentle cycle and use a mild fabric detergent. You can also mix baking soda and cold water to clean your footgear.
  • There are certain substances you should not use on your Chaco hiking sandals. Some examples are vinegar, bleach, alcohol, ammonia, chlorine, and hydrogen peroxide among others. Any product containing these ingredients will corrode your sandals, especially its straps and buckles.
  • Don’t place your footwear inside a dryer. It’s recommended to leave your sandals in an airy spot to dry.
  • Get a container and mix water with one part of unscented liquid fabric softener. Place your Chaco hiking sandals in and leave them to soak for a full night. After the given amount of time is done, pull the footgear’s webbings. This act will get rid of any trace of dirt or debris stuck inside. Rinse your sandals with water once you’re done flossing them.
  • The footbed needs to be de-odorized from time to time. Apply a little bit of baking soda and water onto the footbed. Get a soft-bristled brush and scrub it thoroughly. Rinse it with water and leave it to dry.

Do I still need to break in my new Chaco hiking sandals?

You need to break your new strappy footgear in to be on the safe side. Otherwise, you’re going to get blisters while you’re out for a hike. The break-in process entails wearing your Chaco hiking sandals in a controlled environment for a short amount of time every day. Once you feel comfortable, you can use this footwear and walk for a few blocks in them. Performing this act will help your foot adapt to the new sandals and soften its materials so you can perform better when you’re outdoors.

4 best Chaco hiking sandals

  1. Chaco Z/Cloud 2
  2. Chaco Z/1 Classic
  3. Chaco Z/Cloud
  4. Chaco Z/2 Classic
Author
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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.

paul@runrepeat.com
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