• These guys are the absolute best travel sandals. However, sometimes it's tricky to figure out what to order, so I made a Chacos buying guide!

The Best Journey Sandals: A Chacos Buying Guide

While I’ve already written a post about my favorite travel shoes, I get a lot of questions about Chacos specifically. I truly think they’re the absolute best travel sandals in terms of durability and comfort. There are a lot of variations and options, so I thought I’d break them down in a little Chacos buying guide.

This pair below are my babies which have been with me since 2011. They have been to a lot of countries and lasted through some crazy adventures! As you can see, they have a double strap, while others have a single. I like that but it did take some time to get used to. From a distance, it may look like all Chaco’s are the same but they vary quite a bit and when you search on Amazon or in the stores you might be overwhelmed with the styles.

Why Chacos are the Best Journey Sandals

Great alignment, good for all day wear, good arch support

LUVseat footbed technology

Foodbed made of Polyurethane (PU), which doesn’t breakdown or compress, means it’s super durable

Soles are designed for traction and grip

Good for hiking and trails

Amazing for water as they are made from PU, so they don’t need to dry after (just the straps which dry fast). They double as a “water shoe”.

They literally last forever – I have worn them ALL over India for years, all over Uganda, Thailand… you name it! From white water rafting to chasing waterfalls and trekking in the Himalayas, they continue to last.

beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

travel tips jodhpura throwback to 2012 when I wore these all over India – even with a skirt like above!

Best Journey Sandals: A Chacos Buying Guide

Single Strap or Multi Strap?

The multi-strap version takes longer to get accustomed to your foot and get out of line when wet until you get it set just how you like it. The single strap is more secure and easier to get on, but won’t conform to your foot as nicely. If I could re-do purchasing, I would go for a single strap. Unfortunately, these will never wear out (lol) so I don’t get to buy a new pair.

Toe Loop or No Toe Loop?

Not all styles come with the toe loop. I prefer it – and I know a lot of people don’t. The straps on Chaco’s are highly adjustable which means that if you pull one area, another area will get pulled so what can happen is that when you pull to tighten at the top of the foot you could actually pull the toe tight and it does wrap around the toe so it kind of squeezes it. Sounds bad, I know. BUT, once you get it all situated and get a feel for your shoes, the toe loop makes them 100x more secure, comfortable, and it is worth the hassle for me. The hassle only lasts for about one week until you are familiar. If you don’t want to bother, then no toe loop for you! But, I really suggest getting the toe loop.

The Different 3 Styles

They are a “Z Classic” with a double strap and toe loop. I chose this color because I knew it would match most of my outfits simply by blending in. For me, I didn’t want bright colors as I didn’t want them to be noticeable. I wanted to wear them with skirts and dresses, or jean shorts sightseeing, not just for adventures. They are my “everyday” shoe when I backpack.

Classic Z

The classics are a simple design, super durable, and the most common pair you’ll see out in stores. Online, you’ll find more sizes and color options. These are the normal pair, not “light” so they will be VERY durable although they have some weight to them.

Z/Volv

These are the extra soft style (20% lighter than Classic Z). This might be better if you’re not doing super adventurous activities since they are a lighter, less durable sole compared to the Classics.

Z/Cloud

These are the ones with enhanced comfort and more support. If you have problems with your feet/arches then you might want to check out these bad boys.

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2017-08-21T17:30:31+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

7 Comments

  1. Dee Silverman August 30, 2017 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Except the fact that these show are so freakin’ ugly and that no one who gives an ounce about their appearances would ever be caught dead in these f-ugly shoes. You can’t even give us a pic that doesn’t date from 2012. Girl you have wicked fashion so please don’t promote this travesty on fashion.

    • Rachel Jones August 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      lol, you have some strangely strong opinions about these shoes! I so wear them all the time, the pic is the only close up one I have and I was too lazy to go take another when I had one on my PC! You can be fashionable and still have practical things – chillax lady!

  2. Nomad'er the Distance September 18, 2017 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Yikes that comment above is so hostile! Fashion is awesome but I’m not about to wear fancy flats when i’m climbing a mountain or exploring an island. I freaking love chacos….I had two pairs but one was destroyed by my host family’s pitbull in Guatemala :(

    • Rachel Jones September 18, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Lol, I know right!? I was like Woah, I love my chacos! I’m sorry yours got destroyed. Maybe Amazon will do a huge sale one day!

  3. […] can say my first night out in Mumbai when I put on a past-the-knee skirt, t-shirt, and Chaco’s, and the other Indian girls put on high heels and short tight dresses, I sighed thinking, “Crap, […]

  4. Jill June 3, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Rachel! Hello!! I happen to LOVE your helpful advice and have shared it with multiple people who have traveled abroad and appreciate it just as well!!! I have a question if you have time to answer…. do you happen to know if any of the Chacos have a heel that is elevated? It seems as though most of them sort of start to go down a bit in the heel area. Just wondering. I need a sandal that keeps the heel UP. THANKS IN ADVANCE! God Bless.
    Jill D.

  5. Vera June 27, 2018 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    Can you tell me what style has the pebble shaped sole? I don’t like the little diamond bottom.

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