Top positive review
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Recovering Chaco Owner's 2 Cents
on April 29, 2016
UPDATE: Here it is a year and a half later (added another photo). These things are still going strong. Soles are holding up nicely and show no signs of impending breakage. Love 'em.
I use these for Hiking in Hawaii. I had a pair of Chaco X2s for like, a decade. I even had them "re-webbed" (as they say) after a wandering cur ate the straps off in Cambodia. I only chucked them out after the sole split in two.
Here's the thing: Chacos KILLED my feet if I wore them all day. I would get horrible shin splints on my right leg and in the instep of my right foot (the slightly flatter of my arches). But I put up with it because by nelly I had paid a hundred bucks for the darned things and I was going to wear them.
Nowadays I do a lot of hiking in a wet, rocky place. Everything I read on the internet says that Chacos are still the best. That they are the chosen footwear of river guides. That they dry the fastest and stink the least and all the cool kids are wearing them and blah blah blah. It's cult-like, and I must've gotten sucked in the first time.
When I got them wet, they were heavy and really hard to wade in. I know they're not "water shoes" per se, but they're heavy and there's so much drag with those monstrously thick Vibram soles. When I tried to wear them on a rocky beach in Hawaii, they felt like weights on my feet. Also, when I'm trying to balance on rocks, I like to somewhat *feel* what the bottom of my foot is hitting. The soles of the Chaco sandal are SO thick that there's almost no grip on a smaller curved surfaces, making it hard to balance. Imagine walking on a field of smaller rocks (like, say, a field of textured bowling balls). It would be much easier with these Tevas than with Chacos because of the give in the sole. If I was just wearing Chacos on pavement or in areas where I was worried about stepping on hypodermic needles, they'd work great, but I actually do stuff in nature and need to get a sense of what's under my feet. I hike enough that I would dish out the money on a pair of Chacos again if they were the right shoes. But they're not. So I went looking for something better.
These Tevas have a much better grip than the soles of the X2. The tread has more little grippy parts (indentations? bumpies? Whatever. 😄). I got the cheapest color for my size because, let's face it, all "sport sandals" are ugly as sin. No point in putting lipstick on a pig, as Nana would say. These are comfy straight out the box and have a flexibility I like. I can't say for sure, but I don't know if these will last quite as long as the Chacos. However, price-wise I can buy 3 1/3 pairs over the next decade. Based on the construction and reviews from old people buying another pair, I anticipate they will last longer than three years, so it comes out at a better deal either way. PLUS I don't get leg cramps after hiking any more or feel like I'm balancing on a tightrope when on smaller rocks.