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.
a 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.
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.
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.
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.
For more best of posts, check here:
- Best Bikinis for Journey
- What’s the Best Journey Bra?
- Best Journey Shoes
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