Chaco’s are great for so many things, but do they make the cut as an all-around shoe for hiking? Let’s find out!
Chaco’s are more popular than ever — they’re a great choice for everyday wear, and are even marketed as water shoes. So the next logical question is – are they hiking shoes? Turns out it’s not quite that simple!
It depends on what you’re looking for in a shoe, as well as how much time you’re planning to spend hiking. If you’re looking for a shoe that can handle a lifetime of wear, Chaco’s aren’t a bad choice. But if you’re planning a multi-day hike, it may be worth looking at other options.
Let’s take a quick look at what we’ll be covering:
What are the Pros? What are the Cons? Who will like Chaco’s for hiking? Are They Good For Hiking?
What are the Pros?
- 1.1 The obvious advantage to Chaco’s is that they’re extremely comfortable, and are built for intense use. They’re constructed with soft, leathery materials and breathable mesh, so your feet stay cool when you’re active — even on the hottest of days.
- 1.2 Because of those materials and special construction methods, they’re also incredibly durable. They’re resistant to water, and can be worn in pretty much any kind of weather. You don’t have to worry about walking through mud, or stepping in a puddle — Chaco’s are built to keep your feet absolutely dry.
- 1.3 They’re also durably made, with the leather being completely waterproof. That means that they don’t just repel water — they’ll actually keep your feet dry no matter what you’re doing.
- 1.4 Chaco’s are extremely versatile! They’re great for pool parties, lakeside picnics and river rafting. They can even be used as water shoes by people who have to wear dress shoes all day, but still have to walk through the rain to get to work. But they’re also a good choice for hikers. They’re tough enough for strenuous hikes, but still comfortable enough that your feet won’t get tired after a few hours of walking.
- 1.5 They’re easy to get on and off, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling with laces or buckles.
- 1.6 They’re lightweight, which is great for people who spend long periods of time on their feet — especially if you live in an area where it’s hot all year round. Chaco’s are extremely water resistant, and they’re also very breathable because they’re made of mesh.
What are the Cons?
- 2.1 Chaco’s only come in one size, so you may need to order a half-size bigger than you’d normally wear if your feet are on the larger side. They also don’t have a lot of arch support, which can make them uncomfortable over long distances if your feet aren’t used to it.
- 2.2 Because they’re so versatile, they’re not suited for a very specific purpose. If you’re looking for shoes specifically for hiking, you should look elsewhere. Chaco’s are also not good for technical hikes that require a lot of traction and sure-footedness — but we’ll get more into that in the next section.
- 2.3 Chaco’s aren’t made for hiking in the snow — when your feet get cold and wet, they’ll quickly absorb it and lose their moisture-wicking properties. That’s a pretty big distraction if you’re hiking through snowy fields!
Who will like Chaco’s for hiking?
- 3.1 If you want a shoe that’s made to keep your feet dry and comfortable, Chaco’s are the way to go! They’re incredibly durable, and they do an excellent job of repelling water. Chaco’s really shine when it comes to versatility — you can wear them all year long, in any kind of weather.
- 3.2 If you’re a beginner with little hiking experience, Chaco’s are a good choice for you! They’re designed to keep your feet comfortable and dry no matter what you’re doing — walking through puddles, for example — and they have soft leather that’ll stretch a bit as your feet grow.
- 3.3 If you’re an adventurer looking for a shoe that can handle anything, Chaco’s will do the job! They’re great for people who work in beach cafes and have to walk through puddles every day. You can use them in the rain, or at the swimming pool, and they’ll be comfortable no matter where you take them.
- 3.4 Chaco’s are AWESOME for people who want a shoe that can be worn casually too. They’re very versatile, and if you want to wear them in everyday life, no one will say anything about it!
Are they good for hiking?
The best part about Chaco’s is that they’re built for comfort and function. They’re extremely durable and comfortable, so long-distance hiking isn’t going to be a problem. They’re also great for casual wear, which is perfect for people who spend long periods of time on their feet.
But there are some drawbacks to Chaco’s as well. They’re not expensive, so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on a shoe, but they’re also not the all-around best purchase for hikers. The reason is that they’re not made for wearing in all conditions.
Because Chacos are great for hiking in general — warm weather, rain — it can be easy to overlook the fact that they’re not made to handle snow or technical terrain well.
How long can you wear them before your feet get tired?
Your feet will actually get more sore over time because the leather portion of the shoes will stretch out and cause the shoes to lose their form. (If not properly “sewn” back into shape by a shoe repair shop. They are not an easy fix yourself.)
What kind of terrain can they handle?
Chaco’s are not really good for hikes in a forest or over rocks. Many people have had their toes smashed because the toe box is very narrow and there is little to no support. Also, because they are rubber-soled, there is no traction on wet rock surfaces (also dangerous if you are hiking alone) and it’s hard to have confidence when walking on slippery surfaces.
To Sum Up!
Chaco’s won’t take you very far in a technical environment, especially if you’re not used to wearing them. Chaco’s are also not good for hikes in the snow — when your feet get cold and wet, they’ll quickly absorb it and lose their moisture-wicking properties.
They’re great for people who want to wear shoes all day long, but don’t want to worry about tying laces or carrying a bulky bag full of shoes with them to work (or anywhere else). They’re also great for year-round use and if you don’t have a lot of hiking experience.