People have preferences – it’s what gives us our character, our personality, and our style. This is the same when it comes to hiking footwear. Hikers often have their own personal reasons why they choose the type of footwear they want, whether it’s regular hiking shoes, boots, or even chacos.
But what are chacos anyway? Are they good for hiking? How should chacos fit? Every once in awhile, I use chacos instead of hiking shoes or boots, and today, I’m going to share why.
What Are Chacos?
First of all, what are chacos anyway and why do they sound familiar or popular? Well, Chacos is actually a brand of footwear that is best known for their adjustable Z-strap sandals that are meant for outdoor and water use such as hiking.
Sandals for hiking? Preposterous.
I know, I know. It may seem kind of ridiculous the first time you think about using sandals for hiking. I mean, when it comes to protection alone, it seems to already fail compared to hiking shoes and boots. But after using these for quite some time now and through a number of different hikes I’ve taken, I’ve found that they (along with any other brands of hiking sandals for that matter) have merits and benefits in their own right.
Why Choose Hiking Sandals?
So despite what you may think about hiking sandals, there are some benefits. For one, they help keep your feet cool, which is really important for someone like me who tends to get hot really easily. The simple reason is that since it’s open, your feet get to breathe.
Another great thing about hiking sandals are those times when you have to cross a river or a stream on the trail. Even though some shoes and boots are waterproof, the truth is, they aren’t really completely waterproof and if the water is strong enough, it will find a way to get inside no matter what.
One of the feelings I hate most in the world are wet socks trapped inside equally wet shoes. With hiking sandals, you just go straight into the water and since it is open, your feet will dry out quickly. Usually what I like to do is just sit down for a second, and wipe my feet and sandals with a towel and I’ll feel good as new.
While a lot of people argue that they are incredibly hideous, surprisingly, the whole trend of “Jesus Sandals” has become quite popular, with celebrities incorporating them into their wardrobe. So if “ugliness” is your concern, fret not, there are tons of people wearing equally strange looking sandals with you.
So, How Should Chacos Fit?
To make the most out of your “Chaco sandals experience”, it’s important that you make sure they fit right. This is the same when it comes to any hiking footwear for that matter.
Simply, get the right shoe size for you. When you try them on, your feet should fit exactly on the rubber sole with no excess on the front or on the back. The great thing about Chacos is that you can adjust the straps so it fits properly. If it isn’t comfortable, chances are your straps just aren’t adjusted right.
Adjusting The Straps For Styles Without The Toe Loop
- Start with the top strap. Pull it from the inside of your feet until it feels snug and comfortable. Not too tight though or else the straps will rub on your skin and it will hurt!
- Tighten the buckle strap from the inside
- Close the buckle
Watch the video here:
Adjusting The Straps For Styles With The Toe Loop
- Start on the strap on your big toe. Pull the inside of the strap and tighten the loop
- Next, tighten the buckle strap from the inside until you feel comfortable and it fits snug enough for you
- Close your buckle and you’re good to go!
Watch the video here:
You can also check Chaco’s website for a pretty cool step by step guide on how to properly adjust the straps of your sandals.
Properly fitting Chacos won’t slide off your feet or rub too tightly on your skin. If you feel like the straps are biting into your skin that they could cause blisters, loosen it up. If you feel like the sandals slip off your feet too much, tighten the straps or try a pair that’s one size smaller.
Get Your Chacos
I think I’ve gone on for far too long. Just grab your pair from Amazon and try it out yourself to see if Chacos are comfortable for you! Are they worth it? For me, yes. For you, try it out!
Get it here (men’s): Chaco Men’s Z2 Classic Sport Sandal
Get it here (women’s): Chaco Women’s Z2 Classic Athletic Sandal
While I don’t recommend you wear these things out on really rough and rugged terrain or when climbing, they’ll be fine for most easy to moderate day hikes on relatively even terrain. But these will do great on hikes with bodies of water you need to cross.
Just make sure that when you purchase your Chacos, take the time to learn how to properly adjust it so you get the most off your sandals. If you have any further questions about this or anything else in my blog, feel free to drop them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you and talk to you!