Are Chacos Good for Hiking

Are Chacos Good for Hiking: Everything You Need to Know

When people think about hiking footwear, what often comes to mind are hiking boots. But, recently, hiking sandals are gaining popularity amongst hikers. Hiking Sandals, like Chacos, are now designed with lugged soles, arch support, and some of the attributes that make a piece of footwear trail-worthy.

Chacos hiking sandals are known to be very comfortable, but what inquisitive hikers really want to know is if Chacos are good for hiking? The simple answer is yes!

Why Are Chacos Good for Hiking?

Chacos are good for hiking because they offer support and extra comfort. The Chacos comfortable footbed is orthopedic, has durable support, and great arch support. Also, it is certified by the American Paediatric Medical Association. For more difficult terrains, it even has a rugged Chaco grip outsole with all-terrain traction.

The Benefits of Hiking with Chacos 

Are Chacos Good for Hiking

Bye-Bye Blisters

Making use of boots and trail runners, even the so-called comfortable shoes, means your feet are confined in an enclosed space all day. With boots, your feet will perspire no matter how breathable they claim to be. Sweaty feet combined with inevitable friction result in painful blisters, which can quickly ruin a hiking trip. 

With a pair of hiking sandals, your feet are well exposed, so there's sufficient breathability. Also, they have the ability to dry easily if they get wet.

Although the friction as a result of straps rubbing on feet can cause hotspots, there are easy hacks to solving this problem. For instance, you can cushion the effect of the straps on your feet with an athletic tape placed in between them!

Lighter Weight 

You expend 5 percent more energy for every one-pound load on your feet. Therefore, it makes sense to shed the extra weight, like swapping a 3 pound pair of shoes for a 1 pound pair of sandals to conserve energy, especially if you tend to pack heavy for hiking trips. 

Cross Streams 

When you're hiking and you have to cross a stream with hiking shoes, you often have to remove them along with your socks. That means that after river crossings you have to wait for your feet to dry before putting them on again. With sandals, you can simply waltz right across any collection of water and even feel refreshed after. 

However, it's advisable to always carry along a small pack towel to wipe off any excess water.

Pebbles and Debris 

Aren't tiny rocks and pebbles being stuck in boots the most annoying thing ever? It increasingly becomes frustrating until you have to sit down, take off your boots, and get rid of the disturbance. But, with Chaco sandals, you can easily get the pebbles out by adjusting your leg accordingly to guide the stone out! 

Disadvantages of Hiking with Chacos

Exposed Feet 

As we discussed earlier, there are a lot of advantages that come with the feet exposure you get from sandals. However, now we’ll address the potential downsides. Downsides as a result of potential dangers like loose rock, sunburn, poison ivy, thorns, snakes, and cold climate. However, there are safety precautions you can follow in order to protect yourself against some of these potential hazards.

  • Sun: Applying SPF sunscreen every few hours in hot weather will keep the top of your feet from burning until you get a solid base tan.
  • Loose Rocks: Kicking a loose rock into your heel can hurt and can sometimes break the skin. The only preventive measure is to be careful with your steppings while hiking.
  • Cold Climate: Wearing hiking sandals in the cold weather can be bothersome due to getting cold feet. Though this can be easily rectified by wearing a pair of hiking socks (any tough socks like wool socks will do) with your sandals, it might feel weird at first.
  • Bites (Snakes or Insects): While it’s true that snakes and insect bites might be rare with either boots or sandals, it’s true that sandals leave your foot more vulnerable to such attacks. Snakes generally don’t want to interact with people, so you should be safe as long as you stay away from them. You can watch this video here to know how to handle snakes while hiking!

Damaged Strap 

While you can power through breaking a lace or wearing a hole in hiking boots, that's not the case with outdoor sandals. With sandals, all the straps need to be in place for the footwear to be fully functional.

Although a high-quality hiking sandal like Chacos uses reliable strap materials that are difficult to break, accidents can still happen. Therefore, if you've decided that hiking in sandals is your thing, a healthy backpacking practice would be to carry along duct tape for any potential field repairs!

Best Chacos for Hiking 

Chaco Z/1 

The Chaco Z/1 are the regular Chaco which is best used with Unaweep tread to gain more traction. It doesn't have a strap around the toe. Hence, you'll have more freedom of movement, but you'll be vulnerable to higher chances of pebbles and dirt. 

Chaco Z/2

This Chaco offers more stability because it's designed with a strap that loops over your big toe. It's a bit limiting in terms of freedom of movement, but you might appreciate the fact that you don't have to occasionally get rid of dirt and pebbles.

Chaco Z Cloud

The Z Cloud is designed with an additional layer of cushioning to an already comfortable Chaco.


When it comes to hiking footwear, there is no one-size-fits-all. It's all subjective and based on factors like personal preferences. But, no matter what, Chacos are good for hiking!

Chacos are a practical alternative to boots and trail runners. Browsing through what has been discussed above, including the pros and cons of using a Chacos sandal, should help you make a decision on which Chacos to buy for hiking!