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Chaco sandals became an item of debate when I first started planning for round-the-world travel nearly 15 years ago.
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 travel 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 despite their touristy vibe and uglier style, and I stick by my decision. They’re a great travel shoe regardless of the opposition.
Best-selling Chaco Sandals on Amazon
Thinking of getting your own pair? We love the Chaco Z Cloud sandals because they are travel-ready with a super soft pillow-top layer on top of their durable midsole.
Check out these two cute designs!
Chaco Women’s Zcloud X Sandal
“Live [sic] these sandals. They look great and help keep my plantar fasciitis at bay.” – Wicked Hot
Chaco Women’s Zcloud 2 Sport Sandal
“Amazing shoes. They fit perfectly, straps are adjustable to get a perfect fit of your foot. Great for wear in water. I wore them hiking to a waterfall and in the waterfall and it was great, no complaints. Easy to hose off when they get dirty. 10/10 would buy again.” – Casey Anne Carotenuto
Chacos Fit, Straps, & Warranty
The great thing about Chaco sandals is that their straps let you adjust to fit your feet perfectly. First time Chaco buyers may not know about this, just like Being Barton in the video below.
She was able to try out the left sandal in the store and since so many people have tried it on, it was already adjusted and fit her foot perfectly.
However, she was dismayed when she got home and tried the sandal on the other foot because it was super tight on her wide feet.
Luckily, she saw the instructions on how to adjust the straps and now she feels like she’s not wearing anything on her feet when she’s in her Chacos.
Do you have narrow feet?
Here’s K Briellen modeling some Chacos. Also check out her hack for the straps so it doesn’t stick out too much!
Did you also know that Chaco offers a lifetime warranty on their footwear?
That means if the soles become unglued or the straps get damaged, you can just send your sandals to the company and they will repair it with no additional fee.
Are Chacos Right for You?
The Chacos Opposition:
Chaco sandals are butt ugly!
I know the standard Chaco sandals 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 popular fashion looks silly 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 big hiking days 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 mark, but the pair I bought in 2007 lasted many, many years before I finally donated (not trashed) them away.
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.
My Chacos Position:
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 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?
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 rugged travel 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.
- Check out these Birkenstock slides for a different type of travel sandal.