Chaco Sandals Buying Guide
We’ve tried to describe the differences between our favorite types of Chaco Sandals clearly. But we realize that it’s difficult to keep track which pair has what types of midsoles, outsoles, etc. Which is exactly why we wanted to include this handy chart, courtesy of Chaco, to help you better understand the key features of each model in our overview:
If you want to find your perfect fit, knowing your ‘Chaco Basics’ is essential. Many reviews carelessly throw around terms like ‘LUVSEAT™ PU footbed’, expecting readers to instantly understand the meaning and importance. We think that unless you’re already a Chaco expert, all that fancy terminology can be straight-up confusing. Which is exactly why we want to give you a crash course in ‘Chaco lingo’, which will help you better understand some of the footwear’s key features, as mentioned in our product overview:
Footbed / Midsole
A Chaco hiking sandal/shoe can have 3 types of footbeds, also referred to as the ‘midsole’: Z/Classic, Z/Cloud, and Z/Volv.
The Classic footbed is made of regular polyurethane and features the brand’s special ergonomic LUVSEAT™ design. This means it provides outstanding contoured arch support and is certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
The Cloud footbed also features the special LUVSEAT™ design but is made of special dual-density polyurethane for extra cushioning and outstanding comfort. As its name suggests, this footbed is extra plushy, like walking on clouds.
The Z/Volv footbed also features the special LUVSEAT™ design, only with less prominent arch support. The Z/Volv footbed is also 20% lighter than the Z/Classic and Z/Cloud, ideal for hikers who want minimum weight, maximum comfort.
All 3 Chaco footbeds are made of lightweight polyurethane compounds (PU). Unlike other types of disposable foam, polyurethane is less prone to degrading, breaking down, or compressing under pressure. This makes it an extra-durable choice to keep your feet supported, even with intensive usage.
Chaco hiking sandal/shoe can have 4 types of outsoles: ChacoGrip™, EcoTread™, Colorado, and Terreno. Each type of outsole has its special characteristics and lug depth, but all are designed to provide excellent traction and grip, even on challenging undergrounds.
The ChacoGrip outsole is made of a non-slip, non-marking rubber compound. The sole’s lug depth and added traction on the toe help provide outstanding grip on both dry and slippery surfaces. Note: the lug depth of the ChacoGrip outsole may differ per style, which is something to be aware of.
The EcoTread outsole is an environmentally-friendly choice in hiking footgear. The sole is made from 25% recycled rubber, adding a ‘green’ touch to your outdoor adventures. This type of outsole is mostly found in Chaco’s flip-flops or more casual sandals and has a more moderate lug depth (for example 2 mm). This makes this sole more suited for leisurely walks, the beach, and moderate hikes; instead of heavy-duty trails and challenging undergrounds.
The Colorado outsole is a light, low profile choice especially suited for slick or wet environments. The design maximizes surface area to provide extra traction when on slippery surfaces.
The Terreno is the most heavy-duty Chaco outsole. This high-performance sole has a 4.5 mm lug depth for increased traction on any type of trail. The thicker, more sturdy design is big on durability and offers superior grip on rocky and unstable terrains. Made in the USA, it adheres to the highest quality standards and is a favorite amongst hiking enthusiasts.
Chaco Strap Adjuster
You’ll notice that most Chaco’s hiking sandals feature one continuous strap, instead of separate straps and buckles. According to Chaco: ‘This strap system secures different areas of your foot without any complications.’ The strap is fully adjustable, allowing you to customize the tightness and fit based on your exact preferences. More information on how to configure your Chaco sandals is available in Chaco’s handy Strap Adjuster Guide.