Chacos: A Love Story for Your Feet
My first encounter with Chacos was in the desert along the Pacific Crest trail. As I sat huddled under my tarp for some shade during the heat of the day, I saw a pair of feet walk by. The feet were those of a guy named Sad Fish, who I would later meet, hike with, and walk across the border into his friendly arms. I remember thinking at the time “who the hell would thru hike in sandals?” I would meet few others that also opted for Chacos but I never heard a bad word about them. Those who had tried them, had never gone back, swearing by their sandals.
It wouldn’t be till I was halfway done with the Appalachian trail when I wised up and got a pair for myself. I loved them. I could walk through rivers without worrying about my shoes and if they ever got muddy, I could stand in a creek for a second. The straps dried overnight which meant never putting on wet or frozen shoes in the morning.
The benefits were endless. Not to mention the price! I could find a good pair of Chacos in my area for about $85, and sometimes on sale for $50. When comparing them to the $100-$120 trail runners that others were buying, I was incredibly pleased. They also lasted a lot longer than the average trail runner. A pair of Chacos can last an entire thru hike if the webbing stays intact. The tread lasts an amazingly long time. Thinking I could save around $400 a thru hike, I could get used to anything. Luckily, there wasn’t much of a difference from the trail runners I had been using. It seemed as though all that was missing was the top of the shoe which was great for those hot days when your feet wanted to breathe.
I finished the Appalachian trail with my faithful Chacos and decided to take them on my next thru hike of the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand. They’ve lasted 2000 kilometers (roughly 1200 miles) and are still going strong. I plan to finish the next 1000 kilometers with them and hope they last for a bit of the Continental Divide trail later this year.
So, when you’re looking for the perfect shoe, check out the Chacos! You won’t regret it!
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