Chaco sandals became an item of debate when I first started planning for round-the-world travel. When doing so (planning for long-term travel that is), you think hard about what you’re going to pack as you want to carry the least amount of stuff with the most value. Shoes, obviously, became a problematic item as I could easily see myself bringing flip-flops, walking shoes, hiking shoes and a pair of dress-up shoes to cover all possible occasions.
But, my backpack did not like the idea… my back hated it even more. So, I made the tough decision to downgrade.
My final choice of shoes became shower flip-flops, Chaco sandals and a pair of Keen light-hikers (waterproof with thick soles).
Yes, Chacos made the cut on my packing list, and I stick by my decision in the face of opposition.
Chaco sandals are butt ugly!
I know they are not the nicest looking sandals; the soles are big and black, and the straps can be quite chunky as well. I was apprehensive at first, too, but I actually found that I liked the way they looked more when I had them on.
Perhaps it was just a matter of the look needing to grow on me (I often think fashion looks dumb until I see it on everybody, every day for a while).
They look like you’re walking on tires!
Yep, sure do, but that thick sole means you can attack just about any type of terrain and deal with it like you’re wearing proper shoes. The soles won’t wear down, they’re easy to clean, and they are actually more comfortable than you think! I definitely wouldn’t recommend hiking in these sandals, but long days of walking are generally fine. Try that in your flip-flops!
People will know I’m a tourist!
Chances are people will know you’re a tourist with or without Chaco sandals. With that in mind, I’d much rather walk around in comfortable sandals in hot countries than be suffering with closed-shoes that make my feet sweat.
They cost so much money!
True. These sandals are not cheap coming in around $100, but I payed for mine back in 2007 and they’re still going strong. These sandals were made to last, so instead of having to chuck some cheapies and find new ones at every market you hit, these stay alive.
I think Chacos can be cute!
I might be in the minority, but I personally think Chacos can be cute for girls. I’ve sported them with jeans (of the not-too-tapered type) and skirts. They come in all sorts of lovely colors, and you get these fun little strap tans on your feet. As my friend put it: “It looks like you wrapped your feet in ribbons!” Cool, right? There’s even a Facebook group for that.
Chacos are versatile!
I wore them out to bars, to restaurants, on light hikes, to the beach, in the shower; I dressed them up with a skirt and a scarf, and I dressed them down with my cargo pants.
Chacos are worth it!
I definitely stick by my decision to buy Chacos. What about you? Be sure to share your Chaco experiences by leaving a comment.