For those of you who have come to our summer camp in any of the past years, you may have seen our guides wearing a specific type of sandals called Chacos. Many of our summer guides have these shoes at our camp because of their durability and strong grip that is necessary for the types of adventures we lead our campers through. Many of our campers ask about these Chaco sandals and it can become confusing with the different types and which is better for what activity. However, we at Rock-N-Water are experienced with these sandals and are here to help!
The Different Types
First off, you may have seen the letter Z in front of different Chaco sandals and a number after that as well. This can be confusing, but it really doesn’t pertain to the shoe type, its merely the straps. The Z1 sandal has no toe loop, the Z2 has the toe loop, and the ZX2 has double strands instead of one solid strap. These differences are more for personal preference because some people feel that the toe loop is uncomfortable, while some like the toe loop because it secures the foot in a little bit more. The straps are important for the overall comfortability of the sandals, but are not that different like the soles of Chacos are.
Over the last 10 years Chaco has has had many different soles on the market. Currently, the Chaco company has come out with three different types of soles: ChacoGrip, Terreno, and Colorado soles. ChacoGrip is the companies perfected sole for their active sandals. This sole has an ultra sticky outsole, and is designed for dry and wet traction. They created new tread designs that are consolidated into a single men’s and women’s outsole. There is an increased surface area in the heel and toe to maximize grip and balance performance across the land and water. The next type of sole is the Ecotread sole. This sole is a lightweight sole that is made out of 25% recycled rubber, and is mainly used for the chaco flips and some low profile sandals. This sole is for light hiking and casual wear. The Colorado is designed for wet or slick surfaces and designed for casual wear. While it is currently a staff favorite, it’s important to know that the Colorado is only available for custom made Chacos. The Terrano is great for aggressive, heavy and rugged terrain. The Terrano is also only available on custom made Chacos.
Any of the sandals that Chacos makes are going to be top quality and are great for any type of wear. Even if you weren’t going to go adventuring at all, Chacos are worth the buy for their support alone. Not only are these sandals durable and grippy, they have a great arch support while still being comfortable.