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Can You Hike In Chacos?

Can You Hike In Chacos?

A trend that is gaining traction is the use of sandals rather than boots when hiking. Chaco is a popular brand, making sandals that are lightweight, cooling, and secure to the feet. Many people wonder, can you hike in Chacos?

Yes, Chacos can be used for hiking. They provide good traction on different types of terrain and are stable when crossing streams. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using these sandals for your hike, so you will need to decide if they are the right choice for you.

Read on to learn more about Chacos and whether they are a good option for your next hike.

Can You Hike in Chacos?

Chacos’ main appeal is their comfort and support. The Podiatric Medical Association certifies the Chacos footbed. In addition to being durable and long-lasting, it is designed to provide great support for your arch.

This is one of the most important considerations when hiking. A good footbed can prevent short and long-term pain, as well as blisters and other foot issues.

They are also re-soleable, which means that you can have the tread on your sandals replaced as it wears down. This is a great feature, especially if you are doing a lot of hiking and want to keep your shoes for a decade or longer.

It’s important to look at the benefits and disadvantages of using Chacos for hiking before making your decision.

Benefits of Hiking in Chacos Sandals


Breathability is a key benefit of using Chacos sandals for hiking. The open-toe design allows your feet to breathe, which is important when you are working up a sweat. This can help prevent blisters and other foot issues.


Chacos sandals are also very lightweight, which is a key consideration when hiking. You don’t want to be carrying unnecessary weight on your hike, and these sandals won’t add any extra pounds.


The tread on Chaco sandals provides great traction on different types of terrain. This is important when you are hiking, as you need to be able to trust your shoes to keep you stable on different surfaces.

Quick Water Drainage

When you’re wearing hiking boots in the rain or are hiking through streams, it can be a challenge and time-waster to stop and change your shoes and socks. Furthermore, it can take a long time for hiking boots to dry.

This can lead to fungal issues, odours, and blisters, which can be unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Chacos can quickly and easily drain water, so you can continue on your hike without having to stop and change. Since they drain quickly, they will dry more quickly as well, especially if it is sunny and warm outside. This will lead to fewer fungal issues and less odour overall.

Disadvantages of Hiking in Chacos Sandals

No Toe Protection

Toe protection can be essential when hiking, as you don’t want to stub your toe on a rock or get it caught in a crack. Chacos sandals do not have this protection, which could lead to an uncomfortable hike if you are constantly worried about your toes.

Small Rocks and Debris

As with any open-toe shoes, there is the potential for small rocks and debris to get into your shoes. This can be a problem if you are hiking on a rocky surface or through some brush.

Bugs, Snakes and Spiders

Another potential downside to using Chacos for hiking is that they leave your feet exposed to bugs, snakes, and spiders. If you are hiking in an area where these critters are common, then you may want to consider a different option.

You should also be careful if you’re hiking in areas with poison ivy or oak, as the oils can get on your feet and cause a reaction.

Lack of Waterproofing

Although Chacos drain and dry quickly, they aren’t a good choice if your goal is to keep your feet completely dry. If you are hiking in the rain or through streams, your feet will get wet.

If you are looking for a comfortable and supportive sandal that can be used on different types of terrain, Chacos may be a good choice for you. Just keep in mind the benefits and disadvantages listed above before making your decision.

Insufficient Ankle Support

If you are looking for ankle support when hiking, then Chacos might not be the right choice for you. These shoes actually offer a good amount of ankle support, since the footbed is moulded to your feet. However, some people may find that this support is not enough for their needs.

Are Chacos or Tevas Better for Hiking?

If you’re looking for a pair of sturdy sandals for hiking, you may be considering the popular brand Tevas as well. So, which brand is better for hiking: Chaco or Tevas? Here are some comparisons between the two products, so you can make the best choice for your hiking trips:


There is a considerable weight difference between Chacos and Tevas. There is a large difference in weight between Chacos, which weighs 21.2 oz (over a pound), and Tevas, which weighs 14.6 oz. Both shoes also float in the water.

This means that Tevas are the best choice if you’re looking for the most lightweight option. This lightweight design also means that you will have a thinner and softer footbed, making them more comfortable, however, offering less arch support.


Getting your Chacos to fit just right takes a lot more time than getting your Tevas to fit since they don’t have Velcro straps. But if you take your time, you can make sure they fit perfectly. Tevas use Velcro straps, so they’re very easy to put on and take off.

The anti-slip bed that Chacos makes can also make for a more snug and stable fit. They are also slightly more narrow, so you may prefer Tevas if you have wider feet.


Chacos are more expensive than Tevas. Chacos cost around $100, while Tevas cost around $60. They are both considered to be quite durable and have been known to last for as long as a year of heavy use. Make sure to think about how long you plan on keeping these sandals, so you can make sure that the price is valuable over the long term and not just during the initial purchase.


Both shoes are very durable and can last for a long time with proper care. They can last up to 10 years if used regularly and are well-maintained. You can re-sole your Chacos, but you can’t re-sole Tevas, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about repairing your sandals over time.

Helpful Tips For Using Chacos For Hiking

Learning how to hike in Chacos beforehand will be important because they’re not the most popular shoes among hikers.

For any hiking footwear, especially Chacos, there is always a period of breaking in. Before you take your hiking shoes on the trail, you’ll want to feel as comfortable and familiar with them as possible. It’s easy to do. These are shoes you’ll want to walk in, run in, and sprint in.

Wear them around the house or in the office for short to medium periods of time to warm them up and help them to conform to your feet. You should know how they perform on trails, in various terrains, and under a variety of weather conditions before starting your actual hike.

Bringing foot cream is the next tip. Keep your feet properly moisturized if you aren’t wearing socks. Due to the fact that your feet are open to the air, this will happen much faster than if they were enclosed in footwear.

Finally, bring socks. No matter if you use them or not, it is a good idea. When it’s cool out, socks can keep your feet warm, protect them from blisters, and prevent them from drying out.

Which Chacos Are Best for Hiking and Water?

Go with the Z1 if you plan to use your Chacos more for water activities. Choose the Chaco Z2 if you intend to hike and scramble more with your Chacos. Either will do if you just plan on wearing them daily.

Z1s are also a great go-to camp shoe because they are so easy to put on and take off, and because they are so easy to wear with socks. They are a delight to wear when car camping. Basically, they are a pair of awesome rubber slippers.

Final Thoughts

So, can you hike in Chacos? It depends on what type of hiking you will be doing and what your needs are. If you are looking for a lightweight sandal with good traction and quick water drainage, then Chacos may be a good option for you. Just keep in mind the benefits and disadvantages listed above before making your decision. Happy hiking!

Looking for more helpful tips ahead of your next hike? Check out our how to guides and beginner info.