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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,763

    Just bought my first Chaco sandals!

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    I went to REI today with my 20% members coupon today, determined to try Keen Newports, but one look at them and I knew they would be too wide for my A-width feet (despite the fact that my Keen Commuter sandals are a great fit). I really, really needed some super comfy walking sandals for Belize that would also be easy to get sand out of, and ultimately decided that any closed-toe and more covered-up sandals would make de-sanding very difficult.

    Decided to try a couple of pair of Chacos because I remembered it was a beloved brand of Knot's. First style I tried was too wide, straps too loose, etc. Second style was a charm. Absolutely LOVE that I can tighten down the inner straps around my narrow, low-profile foot, and the outer thong part can stay a bit loose. Love the color ("Caribbean", perfect for Belize). Love, love the feel of the footbed, the arch support, the cushy heel. These shoes rock! I think I am really going to enjoy them!

    Here are the ones I got:
    http://www.rei.com/product/812031/ch...sandals-womens
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    You can get them resoled, too.

    One thing to be mindful of. I have several pairs, wear them on river trips. Your feet can get nasty raw spots when sand gets inbetween the sole of your foot and the bed of the sanda. Just be mindful of that.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,944
    Also chiming in - it does take awhile to "wear in" the soles enough that they don't rub the soles of your feet (or maybe you wear in your feet, I'm not sure).

    Also, if you got the ones with the two super-skinny woven straps, they rub a little bit more when wet than the wider strap ones.

    That said, I have two pairs of their normal sandals (one wide strap with the toe loop that are 10 years old, one pair of the super-skinny two-strap with toe loop that are, oh, 5 years old?) and one pair of the flip flops. I love them. I can actually cinch them tight enough to fit. Plus once you've worn them awhile, they stay adjusted even if you don't cinch the strap (so you can slip 'em on and off).

    I hope you enjoy them!!

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Welcome to the Chaco cult

    I've not counted how many I have - probably too many! Wish I could wear the flips - but my feet are too wide...

    Those look perfect for Belize...
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    If you find the straps slipping too easily (tightening at the front while walking is the painful one I notice) you can stand in water next time you're at the beach and floss some sand into the channels inside the sole.

    (pull the straps in and out and drag some sand in there)

    The sand increases the friction on those little boogers and they won't slip tighter on you any more.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Thanks for all the tips! Last year on our trips to Belize I had to change among several different pairs of sandals/thongs every time we went out walking around b/c each one rubbed me in a different place, so I am sure these will also take some breaking in, and I can certainly deal with that. But they are so much more comfy out of the box than most sandals I have now or have had in the past, I'm optimistic. They at least seem far more promising to walk in than most of what I have now.

    I'll always be a multiple-sandal gal, tho, because I like them to at least kinda go with whatever I happen to be wearing that day. So, I'll still have my brown leather Tevas, a few pairs of simple thongs (I have some leather Patagonia ones I got on the cheap at STP that are really comfy), and trail runners for the more rugged stuff. Also have some little slip-on neoprene water shoes. I will probably need a decent-size duffle bag just for shoes!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,249
    Congrats on the Chacos! I've had mine for 5 years now and I LOVE them. They do have a tendency to get stinky when all kinds of stuff gets embedded in the grid on the top of the sole, so I give them a good soak in a warm water and oxyclean solution once per month. Sometimes I use an old toothbrush to get the soles clean.

    Have fun wearing them EVERYWHERE. You will want to
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
    http://action.lungusa.org/goto/larissapowers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    When my Chacos get stinky I throw them in the washer with a pair of jeans.

    That's also what I do before I send them to Chaco to be resoled. (well, actually, now they are sent to Wolverine World Wide to be resoled since Merrell bought Chaco)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,249
    Haha, yeah I could do that, but the sound of thu-thunking sandals in the wash is unnerving to me I'll have to try it.
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
    http://action.lungusa.org/goto/larissapowers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    under the Tucson sun
    Posts
    485
    I've been a proud Chaco owner for 4 years. I, too, went through a (brief) blister-causing breaking-in period, but I wear them more often than any other pair shoes and am pretty fond of my perpetual Z-tan (and holy cow, do I love that they're machine-washable). But, since their repair/resole services have come up in this thread, I feel compelled to share my pretty-bad resoling experience that has tested my faith in the company. (and by now, I've been without my sandals so long that the tan is starting to fade--unacceptable! )

    I have a leg-length discrepancy, and had a custom shoe lift installed by a Chaco-'partnered' cobbler who is in Colorado near their original headquarters. After Chaco was bought out and moved to Michigan, they said they could take care of all repairs (even on customized sandals) in house. So, I sent them off for resoling, and when they returned, my lift had been mangled. Grooves cut into it, glue everywhere (including on the footbed and one of the straps), a split that hadn't been there before (and one that was there before was worse), and some of the height of the lift had been taken off. I was absolutely appalled that they left the plant looking this way. (I have a picture, but I'm already hijacking the thread more than enough.)

    After calling Chaco, they asked me to send them back. A few days later, they call me to say "Oh, yeah, they did look pretty bad, but they had tried to fill a gap they found and the compound got a little out of hand, we've now cleaned them up with a buffer. Oh, and just FYI, this is probably the last sandal with a lift we'll work on, because we're not comfortable with the material." Nope, not good enough. I'm normally kind of a pushover, but I held my ground. They're sending me a completely new pair of shoes via the same cobbler in CO. I'm sure I won't have them for my camping trip in a week, though, and a query about whether I can have my old sandals back to wear in the mean-time has not been responded to.

    All's well that ends well, I suppose. I don't tell this story to be a debbie-downer or to discourage people from buying Chacos, because I still get excited every time I hear someone has gotten a new pair and I am so looking forward to getting my new ones. I just want to provide fair warning that Chaco customer service may not be all it once was. I do sincerely hope that if any of you take advantage of their repair/resole services, that you have a much, much, MUCH better experience than I have.
    '09 Jamis Satellite Femme | stock Jamis Road Sport -- road
    '08 Trek 7.2FX | Terry Cite -- commuter
    '77 Raleigh Grand Prix mixte | stock Brooks (vinyl) -- just for fun!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    When my Chacos get stinky I throw them in the washer with a pair of jeans.

    That's also what I do before I send them to Chaco to be resoled. (well, actually, now they are sent to Wolverine World Wide to be resoled since Merrell bought Chaco)
    Merrell bought Chaco

    I really wish Chaco had stayed in the US and independently owned
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Badger-

    That stinks! Seriously. They're only as good as the worst experience anyone has with them.

    I think I'll be investigating alternative places to have them re-soled.....
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    Quote Originally Posted by jessmarimba View Post
    Also chiming in - it does take awhile to "wear in" the soles enough that they don't rub the soles of your feet (or maybe you wear in your feet, I'm not sure).

    Also, if you got the ones with the two super-skinny woven straps, they rub a little bit more when wet than the wider strap ones.

    That said, I have two pairs of their normal sandals (one wide strap with the toe loop that are 10 years old, one pair of the super-skinny two-strap with toe loop that are, oh, 5 years old?) and one pair of the flip flops. I love them. I can actually cinch them tight enough to fit. Plus once you've worn them awhile, they stay adjusted even if you don't cinch the strap (so you can slip 'em on and off).

    I hope you enjoy them!!

    I've found that when you are in the sand.water day after day, at least for me, there's no such thing as wearing in but everyone's feet are different.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I was very happy with every repair Chaco did to my sandals. (I've got a pair that is nearly 15 years old and still going strong.)

    Wolverine World Wide has done 2 repairs for me. One was less than stellar, but it was an extenuating circumstance with a very abused sandal.

    Dave Page Cobbler was one of the authorized repair guys for the original Chaco, and I wouldn't hesitate to send a lifted sandal to him for repair. He did lifts for Chaco in the old days. http://davepagecobbler.com/
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    under the Tucson sun
    Posts
    485
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I was very happy with every repair Chaco did to my sandals. (I've got a pair that is nearly 15 years old and still going strong.)

    Wolverine World Wide has done 2 repairs for me. One was less than stellar, but it was an extenuating circumstance with a very abused sandal.

    Dave Page Cobbler was one of the authorized repair guys for the original Chaco, and I wouldn't hesitate to send a lifted sandal to him for repair. He did lifts for Chaco in the old days. http://davepagecobbler.com/
    I'm really glad to hear you've had good experiences with the W.W.W. incarnation of Chaco. I know that if my sandals were more "typical" there probably wouldn't have been a problem in the first place... I just felt like my situation was handled badly. If they knew they couldn't do it right, they shouldn't have done it... or, they at least shouldn't have tried to pretend like nothing was wrong when it didn't turn out well.

    I'll keep Dave Page in mind for future needs.

    ETA: of course, I'm very grateful that I'm getting new sandals out of the deal. The ultimate resolution is good... I just wish I hadn't had to go through the heartache first! Now, I'll try to stop hijacking... let's go back to celebrating Emily's new shoes.
    Last edited by badgercat; 05-26-2011 at 08:26 AM.
    '09 Jamis Satellite Femme | stock Jamis Road Sport -- road
    '08 Trek 7.2FX | Terry Cite -- commuter
    '77 Raleigh Grand Prix mixte | stock Brooks (vinyl) -- just for fun!

 

 

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