Chaco Men's Z/1 Unaweep

Priced: $59.99 - $100.00 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 150 reviews.
Chaco Z/1 Unaweep
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Color: Brown Two
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Chaco Z/1 Unaweep -

"The Chaco Z/1 Unaweep sandals are the greatest sandals ever made! I can walk around them all day and never get any foot fatigue. I take them whenever I go camping or fly fishing, and on rare occasions I've even been seen dancing in them. That is about as allusive as getting a picture of bigfoot!"

The Men's Z/1 Sandal by Chaco is a classic sport sandal that provides unbeatable active performance and the comfort of your favorite casual sandal. The Chaco Z/1's comfort features include a open-toe design, heel-leash for added stability, adjustable instep strap, and a BioCentric footbed with awesome arch support. Designed and crafted to meet the demands of avid outdoor enthusiasts, this Chaco men's sandal is constructed with the Vibram Unaweep outsole that offers a rugged combination of slip resistance and traction that is great for use in wet and dry conditions. This Chaco footwear is awesome for that next adventure along your favorite rocky river, or hike to a peaceful mountain lake.

FEATURES of the Chaco Men's Z/1 Unaweep Sandals.
SPECIFICATIONS of the Chaco Men's Z/1 Unaweep Sandals.

Wash and Care:

  • Toss into washing machine for easy cleaning or clean by hand with scrub brush, baking soda and water; avoid bleach

Support and Cushioning:

  • New lighter weight polyurethane midsole/topsole units offer durable, dependable cushioning and support
  • Supportive BioCentric footbed cradles the foot for a comfortable stride
  • BioCentric footbed design provides superior arch support, lateral stability, and natural shock absorption
  • Durable polyurethane footbed supports the arch and never compresses
  • BioCentric™ footbed design with molded arches offers extra support, reliable stability, pronation control and all-day comfort


  • Half sizes order down


  • Sculpted heel riser provides foot stability and greater heel-side comfort


  • Vibram® Unaweep outsoles combine the features of both the classic Chaco Colorado and Terreno outsoles into a versatile new hybrid


  • 360° Wrap-Fit firmly secures the foot, preventing slips and slides
  • Anatomical strap placement for a biomechanical fit
  • Custom Adjust’em Fit.


  • Nylon tension-lock buckle adjusts for a secure fit
  • Polyester webbing dries faster than nylon and maintains a consistent fit in all conditions
  • Infinitely adjustable polyester strapping system uses pull-through design to give you a secure fit while avoiding the bulk of extra buckles and straps
  • Polyester jacquard webbing upper wraps around the foot and through the midsole for the ulitmate customized fit


  • Adjustable and durable high tensile webbing heel risers

Traction and Grip:

  • Non-marking rubber lugs are spaced for virtually self-cleaning performance; outsoles deliver dependable traction on land and submerged underwater
  • Nonmarking Vibram Unaweep tread for dirt-shedding slip-resistant traction
  • With Vibram durability, the Unaweep outsole is a great combination of slip resistance, traction and light weight
  • Non-marking Unaweep outsole with Vibram TC-1 rubber and 4.5mm lugs for maximum traction and durability on land and water


  • Made in China or Dominican Republic


  • Open-toe strap design allows for use with socks or booties


  • BioCentric footbed has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association)
  • LUVSEAT X01 platform.
  • Sandal design can be resoled for a lasting relationship and easing of environmental stress
  • Custom injection molded ladder lock for a secure hold
  • Vegan.
  • Chaco has taken the most intelligent features from their Colorado and Terreno soles
  • Durable LUVSEAT polyurethane footbed with slip resistant classic diamond pattern design
  • Heel-leash for front-to-back stability
The Chaco Men's Z/1 Unaweep Sandals keep your feet happy on hikes with their light weight and grippy lug pattern. The sandal's Vibram Unaweep outsole's self-cleaning technology offers steady footing on dry trails or river beds. Chaco's BioCentric contoured footbed molds to your foot's shape for optimal support while the polyurethane development with air bubbles cuts weight making the shoe lighter. The Z/1 strap configuration features an open toe design for those who like unfettered toes or wearing socks under their sandals.
Chaco's Z/1 Unaweep Sandal is a comfortable and performance-oriented sport sandal. It has an open-toe design and a non-marking Vibram® Unaweep Outsole. The soles are durable, and wearers can also have the resoled as needed. A contoured LUVSEAT™ platform keeps the feet comfortable for long periods of wear. These sandals are lightweight yet incredibly durable and versatile. The webbed polyester straps allow an adjustable custom fit. These sandals are also completely vegan. They are ideal for everyday wear or for walking, hiking and water sports.

Al's Sports
A deep lug grip, contoured LUVSEAT platform and open-toe design provide a level of comfort and performance seldom found in a sport sandal. A single buckle and Custom Adjust’em fit adjustable straps hold feet securely in every condition.
Chaco Z/1 Unaweep Sandal Features: Polyester webbing.LUVSEAT X01 platform.Custom Adjust’em Fit.Vegan.Vibram Unaweep Outsole. Resolable. Non-marking.Style number 100015
Open toe design allows for use with socks or booties.
Soft polyester webbing dries faster than nylon and maintains a consistent fit in all conditions.
New lighter PU formulation makes this sandal as light as competitive products made with less durable EVA.
Chaco BioCentric™ footbed, in two widths, provides all-day comfort and controls pronation.
Chaco's taken the most intelligent features from their Colorado and Terreno soles and built them into the new Unaweep hybrid. Lug pattern and spacing make this sole virtually self-cleaning, and with Vibram® durability, the Unaweep is ready for the trail: sand, stone, or submerged.
Aggressive arch support controls pronation.
Sculpted heel cup centers the foot's natural shock absorbing pad under the heel bone.
Heel riser increases lateral stability.
Multiple widths ensure a proper fit.
Oregon Mountain Community
The Chaco Z/1 Unaweep is still the go to sandal for river guides and wilderness professionals. With the BioCentric footbed and sock-friendly open-toe design, the Z/1 provides a level of comfort and performance seldom found in a sport sandal. A single buckle and easily adjustable pull-through strap system holds your feet securely in every condition, making this ultra-durable style a top choice for outdoor adventurers.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
The water- and land-friendly Chaco Z/1 sandals feature durable dirt-shedding Vibram Unaweep outsoles, fully adjustable pull-through straps for a secure fit, and BioCentric footbeds for all-day support and comfort.

Country of Origin: Imported

The Z/1 from Chaco gives more comfort and a better fit than you'd ever imagine you could get from a sandal. The original design that's still the "go-to" sandal for river guides and outdoor professionals.


Sporting a lightweight design and high-performance outsoles, Chaco Z/1 open-toe sandals set a high standard of comfort.


Massey's Outfitters
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Also available for: Women
Adjustable Forefoot Straps:Yes
Adjustable Heel Straps:No
Average footwear weight (pair):1 lb. 14 oz.
Avg. Weight (Pair):1 lb. 13 oz.
Footbed:BioCentric footbed
Footwear Type:Hiking/Backpacking, Casual, Sandals, Slip-On
Footwear closure:Buckle
Material:Polyester Webbing
Midsole:Durable LUVSEAT polyurethane footbed with slip resistant classic diamond pattern design
Outsole:Non-marking Unaweep outsole with Vibram TC-1 rubber and 4.5mm lugs for maximum traction and durability on land and water
Shoe Sole:Non-marking, Vibram Yampa, resolable
Shoe Upper:Polyester webbing
Sole:Vibram Unaweep Outsole, Resolable, Non-Marking
Strap:Width 25mm
Toe Style:Open Toe
Toe coverage:Open toe
Upper:Polyester jacquard webbing upper wraps around the foot and through the midsole for the ultimate customized fit
Weight:16.2 oz / 460 g
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Chaco Z/1 Unaweep Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Former Teva Owner Switches Teams

I started out wearing Teva's the very first year that they made them. Any of you who used to own a pair of the original Teva's know that they weighed a ton and had a tendency to curl up like a piece of old tire rubber. I have since gone through several pairs of Teva's, but no matter how often I wash them, they always smell bad. My friends kept trying to get me to try the Chaco's, but every time I tried them on they felt like they didn't fit right, so I simply passed on them, figuring that it was all hype. Then I ran into an REI employee who took the time to help me find the right size and width for me. I regularly wear 10.5 or 11 in shoes, but it turns out that the perfect Chaco fit for me was 10 Wide. I guess they run a little big, because the 10 Wide's fit me like a glove. I'll admit that they are a little bit heavier than Teva's, but for my flat feet, the arch support is phenominal. I have been wearing them virtually non-stop for the last several weeks, in every type of situation, and my arches couldn't be happier. What I originally thought was a bunch of hype eventually turned out to be true, once I found the correct size and width. For those of you who have tried them on in the store and not liked them, I suggest that you go a size (or more) smaller, and perhaps try a different width. It's important to get that arch support to hit right in the sweet spot of your foot, otherwise they will feel just plain uncomfortable. I am still getting used to the straps, which are infinitely adjustable thanks to the one, continuous loop. They tended to chaf a little bit at first, but I think that I've finally figured out how to adjust them for ultimate comfort. And stink? So far, there hasn't been any, thanks to the closed cell rubber footbeds. These Chaco's seem to work for me, and now my Teva's have been retired to a box in the basement.
Shed at REI on 08/08/2009

I have worn Chacos for 11 or 12 years now. I still remember first coming across them many years ago. The salesman couldn't say enough good things about them. I had fith in the guy, but I really wondered if they'd live up to the hype.
I still have my first pair. They've been resoled twice and restrapped once. The footbed is a little worn, but are now as comfortable as my favorite flannel sheets.
However, what really won me over is what they did for my back. I've broken my tailbone once (rebroken it twice). Skateboarding for over 20 years did some number on me... and my back paid the highest price.
After wearing them straight for the first couple weeks I noticed my back feeling more relaxed. My posture felt more natural. Its a difficult phenomenon to explain. I never expected shoes or sandals to have such a dramatic effect upon the rest of my body... but still, to this day, if I go a while without wearing my Chacos I can feel my back begin to somehow overcompensate... and tension and lower back pain inevitably comes back. I can't say enough about the comfort of Chacos. Not just for your feet (which feels amazing)... but for the rest of your body.
If I were going to find something to criticize I would say that after wading in the ocean for a week, and then going home and doing nothing in particular to dry them out, the soles began to delaminate after a few weeks. Water will stay inside them if you do nothing about it, and it will ruin the adhesive holding the sole to the footbed. Take some time o let them dry properly... move the straps around, pull the slack out of the sandals and help wick the water out.
Chacos are the single most comfortable shoes or sandals I have ever owned. There is no close second. They've done wonders for my posture and my back. Also, while its anecdotal, I think they are still the only sandals certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Also, you get the cool tan lines. Anyone who wears them knows this...

Banning Lyon at on 09/06/2013

Great casual and light activity sandals

First, these are great sandals. Great for kicking back, moderate walking, or all day casual use.
Second, they should never be worn for hiking any uneven or rocky trails.

I've never understood why people where these when hiking rough trails. Sure, the straps are comfortable and keep the foot secure to the sole...but not secure enough to prevent foot movement while stepping on uneven terrain like a rocky trail. You can crank down on the entire strap, toes to ankle, that cuts circulation and is uncomfortable. The same advice goes for canyoneering, rocky stream bottoms, or anything requiring real support. These are a recipe for twisted ankles and bruises when worn on rough terrain. (Some people would greatly disagree, I don't care). Also, beware sand and wetness between your foot and the straps, bad news.

With that said, let's talk about what's great. Wear it like a flip flop, or if you want, tighten them and you've got a comfortable sandal that wears comfortably all day. I've walked moderate distances (4 miles) in these AFTER they were broken in and never felt too much fatigue in my feet. I would not recommend much more than that because the soles are not good at shock absorption.

Wear them to work, school, shopping, hanging out, before and after hikes, approaches, whatever light activity you can think of and you will be amazed at how comfortable these shoes are.
madjohnbo at REI on 04/04/2010

The One

This is a true classic among sandals. I have worn this sandal design since the mid 90's, when they were called Geckos. If you want a shoe that can function like a flip flop or a sturdier, strapped-in modern gladiator sandal, this is The One, in my opinion. The heel strap can be worn loose allowing you to slide in and out with ease, making it feel and function like a flip flop--this is how I wear it 99% of the time. The strapping is durable yet soft and pliable. If I need more mobility, and to even run a bit, I just cinch down the straps to my foot. The vibram sole gives awesome support--I have flat feet and these sandals make me forget I have any foot problems. I have tried plenty of other sandals including Tevas while growing up and continuing to live here in Southern California, but they don't compare. If you're active and want a pair of sandals that are so well-designed, comfortable, durable, and supportive that you often forget that they're on your feet day in day out, give these a try. My only advice to Chaco is to offer more strap designs--sometimes they don't carry the cool strap models when I'm looking to buy new ones when my old ones wear out.
manzanita moonster at REI on 09/09/2007

It's Chaco

Great sandal. One of the best. The firmer foot-bed does not absorb foot sweat like other foamer foot-beds making it less prone to foot stink. Easy to wash and care for. I have worn mine all around the world and they have never let me down. The Vibram soles have barely begun to wear. I have worn them for a total of 10 months for EVERYTHING. The hardest day I put in them was probably a 10 mile day with a pack doing trail work. I would also recommend the Chaco Z/2 sandal for heavier hiking, swimming, or climbing because it has the big toe strap and offers better stability. There are really only two issues with them. First they do take a while to break in because of the solid foot-beds. I would say about a month and a half to two months of straight wearing to really break them in good. The only issue with them as listed in my Con was that the sole has started to pull away from the foot-bed or delaminate. I assume this is due to the newer lighter type of rubber that Chaco is using in the Unaweep soles. I am certain that Chaco will relaminate or replace the soles through their excellent return & repair program.
Montana Explorer at REI on 09/09/2007

I wear these every single day. Really.

I wear some form of Chaco sandal every single day. When the weather's fairly warm I wear a pair to work. At the very least I end up slipping on a pair of the leather Flip to take the garbage out or to go get the mail.

Since I live in a warm climate, I can wear them all year round. My favorites are Z/1 and ZX/1, but I find that the model is all just personal preference.

I prefer not to have the strap on my toe, others prefer the strap because it holds the sandal in place tightly. I do have Z/2's (the model with the toe strap) and will opt to wear those if I'm going to be in and out of water and really need the control you get from having your toe strapped down.

If you wear Chacos often they're going to stink after a week or so, so keep in mind that you can throw them in the wash with towels or anything else durable. Don't dry them obviously- they'll air dry fine overnight. If they really stink, you might want to pull the straps so that the part that's usually under the sole is exposed and can be thoroughly washed.
Mark McKnight at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 09/09/2008

Chaco for Life

Chacos are great. Period. They are costly, and heavy, but once broken in they will change your life. I have been a loyal Chaco customer for over 10years, and have had at least half a dozen chacos. Some with toe straps, some without, even the chaco leather flip flops. All great. Used climbing in low grade climbs, i.e. 5.funs. As a river shoe, camp shoe, going out to dinner and its too hot to wear closed toe shoes.

IF YOU ARE NEW TO CHACOS: Understand there is a break-in period, and it may be longer than what you'd expect for sandals. The sole, and the straps rubbing on your feet in new places will take a bit of getting used to/break-in but worth it.

I've stopped taking these as my camp shoe when backpacking only because of the weight. Some people worry about camp shoes needing to have closed toes because if you are walking around at night and slam your toes into something that ruins your feet....well your walking trip just became miserable. However, I don't fret. BUT, Chaco has come out with a lighter chaco, so that might be something worth looking at as a camp shoe.
Brenden Phillips at REI on 10/10/2013

Good Sandals

I purchased this in Sacramento in the summer 2008. Prices here in Canada are outrageous so I decided to get this when I visit California. The prices are on the high side and I cannot get it lower than US$ [$].I only wish if this was in the range of US$ [$], I would have bought 2 pairs. Chacos should have this made overseas to make the price lower and become more affordable and competive against other popular brands and available to a lot of people. I would say that this brand only caters to specific group of consumers who have extra dollars in their pocket.A lot of my friends say that this sandal looks great but when I mentioned about the price, they were shocked about it. I have a NIKE ACG sandal for 3 years and the footbed feels softer compared to Chacos which is bit hard, and I know the soles this will last for a very long time because of the brand "Vibram".My overall impression about this sandal is great, the style is unique but the price is on the HIGH SIDE or too expensive.
pinoy_eh at REI on 09/09/2008

Perfect, for someone else's feet

The outboard anchor points of the forefoot straps on these sandals are set further aft than on sandals I've previously owned, which is great because they don't chafe my pinky toes like those other sandals did. The two vertical straps which come up below the ankle, however, are set just a bit too far aft for me and chafe against the sides of my heel a bit. The adjustment strap also leaves a very long tail hanging out from the buckle, which drags on the ground if I don't tuck it under another strap. They have nice grippy Vibram soles with decent lugs, and they seem as bombproof a pair of sandals as I've ever owned. They're as close to perfect a pair of sandals as I've found for outdoor activities with a chance of getting wet, but once again, I find myself settling for a pair of sandals that is not quite a perfect fit for my super-wide funky-shaped Flintstone feet. I wear a 10-1/2 EEE in Florsheim loafers and a 12 in Adidas running shoes.
Nizrael at REI on 08/08/2012

DO believe the hype. Worth the money.

Bought the Z/1 to take when I go camping but found them to be extremely comfortable and use them to wear year-round. Used them initially as camps shoes when the weather warmed up or when changing out of wet, wading boots but it's clear that Z/1s are designed for much heavier use. These are solid, superbly designed, well built sandals that are made to last. The straps do a fantastic job securing the foot, are easily adjusted, offer excellent support and stablity, and don't chafe the skin. The non-marking Vibram, Unaweep soles are tough but somehow still maintain excellent grip on both, dirt and wet surfaces. I noticed complaints about the straps chafing, uncomfortable fit, and some quality issues with the soles but I have not come across any of those. The way I look at it, if the fit is not right, that's not the sandals fault. Like with any product you have to wear, they can't be all things to all people. If they don't fit, go finding something that does. Great product from Chaco.
A.Alvarez at REI on 10/10/2009

Negative Reviews:

Ouch! Something changed.

My first pair of Chaco's a few years ago were amazingly comfortable... I could literally run 2 to 3 miles in them without a problem, and I usually wear orthotics, so that says a lot to me.

When I replaced them (the dog got hold of the first pair) I assumed everything would be fine, but, in spite of a very similar appearance (maybe the name changed, but the strap arrangement, sole and arch look pretty much the same) these new ones are virtually unusable and have nearly ruined a couple of great vacations... the strap near the big toe chafes horribly, no matter how you adjust it, and by the time you are dealing with wet skin, sand and humidity, it creates a nasty blister that cannot recover while you wear the dang things.

Chacos have gone from best ever to worst ever in my book - used to recommend them highly, but no more. I might fare better with the toe wrap version, but I'm afraid to even try at this point. I was tired of Tevas, seemed like after inventing the format that everyone copied, they fell behind in comfort and durability (plus, I fractured a big toe while wearing them 10 years ago - slipped while bouldering and the toe went over the front edge - no protection. Still works, just arthritic, now.) But, maybe it's time to look at Tevas again. I really like Keens, have several pair of both shoes and sandals, but it is nice to have a pair of water sandals without a toe cap to allow better drainage.

Time for some research, Chaco, you are losing a once well deserved rep.
yebdox at REI on 09/09/2009

I bought a pair in 2006 and wore them almost daily in the warmer seasons. They were really comfortable and I replaced them in mid 2011 because the tread finally wore flat. I bought what visually look identical to my old pair (aside from the tag saying "Made in China" and not the USA), but the new ones rub the sides of my toes raw and just below my ankle. I woke up this morning to find blood all over my feet from wearing them for 12 hours over the weekend. I followed the strap adjustment instructions that came in the box, and I have been trying to adjust the straps as needed with no luck. I've had my current pair for a year, but I can only bare to wear them about 8 hours and then have to wait for the scabs to heal until I can wear them again. Other than the pain, they are great for canoeing and river walking, I just wish I could get back what I once had. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I loved the Chaco brand and look, but I can't see me buying these again. Also, after wearing them for a few months, adjusting the straps becomes impossible. They will not move. I wear a size 14, normal width.

Johnny at on 09/03/2012

Thick, heavy, and stiff

Chacos are thick, heavy, have high, uncomfortable arches, and are truly the most impractical sandals ever. They weigh more than a hiking boot.

They were once made in the USA by a small company for rafters - and they were perfect for this. They are were waterproof, great protection over sharp, wet rocks, and built to last. I remember them in the 90's going on rafting trips. Then they got a bit mainstream, and eventually sold to a large corporation who moved production to CHINA. In the process, they have gotten bulkier, heavier, uglier, and more poorly made. But they haven't gotten any cheaper!

Don't fool yourself. These are not a good choice. Hikers and other active people know that minimalism and weight are important when choosing gear. Also, these "Chaco" sandals are really made by a large, faceless company that owns many other shoe brands, but their marketing and website will still have you believe they are a quirky, small outdoor company.
antiquity at REI on 03/03/2012

Don't believe the hype

I tried these out for 6 months after hearing good things about them. Previously, I've owned Merrell and Teva sandals. Perhaps they were made for the anti-Jeff's feet, because I had a bad, bad, bad experience with these. Backpackers: these are very heavy sandals, and will add significant weight to your pack. I hiked 12 miles with these while traveling in Costa Rica, and the next day I thought my feet were going to die they were so sore. The soles are very stiff, and the foot bed is not supple. My arches were killing me. And then the straps started to bite in. If you've been around a campfire or traveling the tropics and see people with band-aids over their toes, dollars to donuts there's a pair of Chacos nearby that caused the damage. I'm heading back to the loving embrace of Tevas.
That one guy, Jeff at REI on 03/03/2008


I bought these for a 80 mile trip into Kings Canyon in 2007. I only planned on using them at the campsite and did not do any hiking with them. The biggest problem was that any moisture contact (i.e. cross a small creek or step in a puddle) and the nylon straps caused considerable chaffing along the ankles and across the top of my feet. By Day 4 or 5, I could no longer tolerate to wear them.

So, the soles were great, but I could not adapt to the nylon straps. Now on the flip side, I had a friend wear them exclusively on the Annapurna Circuit with little problems, so to each their own. Just beware, these things ate my feet up.
Jason P at REI on 03/03/2008

Very disappointed.

After owning the old Teva knock-offs of these for a few years and loving them, I went ahead and got a pair of the Z/1's recently. I'd read so much good about them that they had assumed near-mythical proportions for me. Unfortunately, after adjusting them in every way imaginable and wearing them for 3 days in a state of denial, I finally admitted to myself that these things suck for me. They were just plain uncomfortable. To add insult in injury, after shelling out [$] for these I found a pair of no-name sandals [$]that felt better all around. If that's not a kick I don't know what is.
Starscream1690 at REI on 07/07/2008

These are not the Chacos you bought five years ago. Chaco sold out in 2009 to Wolverine World Wide and moved manufacturing to China. The quality is no longer there and worse the customer service is absolutely gone. I had a simple quality issue and was completely blown off. I had three pairs of the made in Colorado shoes but would not buy another junk Chinese made shoe. I could actually accept the realities of difficult times and lower quality but I can’t accept poor customer service. I recommend you consider another brand and spread the word.

cstein401826556 at on 06/18/2012

Chaco is a no-go

I would not recommend buying these shoes. I needed some shoes I could go hiking with and not worry about them getting wet, so I took an interest in Chacos. A few of my friends have some and they told me they were great shoes. I went onto the REI website and read the reviews. All the reviews were bad, but unfortunately, I didn't pay attention. I went and bought them the next day. They are not too good. Buy some Keens or Tevas.
Benjaminandrewhorton at REI on 05/05/2010

Don't waste your money

Since Chaco went to the new(er) Unaweep sole the quality of all of their sandals has gone out the door. I assume it's the new glue they started using. The glue fails after a couple months of average use. I have gone through two pairs and will not attempt third. Trendy=Sellout=Chaco=Joke. (Of coarse I am comparing this to the Terrano sole from back in the day= AMAZING!)
Not bad at REI on 06/06/2008

Causes heel blisters after 2 years

This is my 2nd pair of Chaco sandals. My previous Z2 sandals, that I've had for over 12 years, are fantastic. My new Z1s are too narrow at the heel and cause blisters, even after extended use (over 2 years). Sadly, Chacos are now made in [*] and not in the USA as my Z1s were.
CSI Jim at REI on 07/07/2012

Neutral Reviews:

Rugged and Grippy with some issues

I recently thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, a 500 mile route through the Rockies from Denver to Durango. The vast majority of the trail is above 10,000 feet, with frequent climbs to 13,000 and over. My average camp elevation was about 10,500 feet, highest was 12,500, and lowest was 6,000. Temps ranged from 80F near Denver & Durango, down to below freezing, probably 25-30F, at some spots. Average temperature was probably 40-45 at night and 60-65 during the day. This trip took me a solid 34 days of hiking to finish. It was a great test of all my equipment, and I thought I would share this knowledge here for the benefit of those considering the same equipment.

After a few days of excruciating tendinitis from a pair of trail running shoes, I bailed off the trail and got myself a pair of Chacos to replace them. These Chacos served as my primary hiking shoe/sandal for 450 miles of the Colorado Trail. They were probably the only reason I was able to finish because of the damage to my Achilles tendon from my previous shoes. I wore socks with them to add extra padding to my heel.

The sandals were great, with the usual soreness from so many miles on the trail. Blisters were only an issue for the first week, after that my feet got used to the straps and sole.

There were occasional problems with the straps creating pressure points on my joints, specifically the junction of the toe strap and middle strap, where it meets next to your pinky toe. The pain was exacerbated by long rocky downhills, and got so bad at one point that I had to pad the toe with 2 layers of moleskin. After the joint healed, I had no more problems.

The other major issue I had was after about 2 weeks the straps stopped adjusting. No matter how hard I pulled on them, they were so gunked up with dirt and sand underneath the rubber that they wouldn't budge.

Finally, the combination of black rubber soles, bare feet, and sunny, warm days would cause my feet to sweat like nobody's business. This made them quite uncomfortable to wear, and very stinky after a couple hours. Now I only wear them with socks as the sweatyness is too much to bear.
MAVanWey at REI on 09/09/2009

It's a mixed bag...

So my experience was a lot like a girl/boy friend who was almost right...could have been perfect...but then when the going gets a little tough you get to see her/him for what they really are.

I bought this style a few years and in the beginning, things were good. We enjoyed going out, to the beach, and hanging out on weekends. It didn't matter what we were long as we were together.

Then about a month ago I lost my job which gave me even more time to spend with my chacos. We went wade fishing in the river, hiked around a lake. went out for coffee, and hung out around the pool. At first my chacos were comforting, reassuring, almost a symbol of my new freedom.

Then today we heard about a local pond with mythical bass fishing hidden by an "easy" mile hike through a nature preserve, so off we went. Along the way we encountered broken trails and dried up and craggly creek beds but we finally found the pond. I took about three steps out into what quickly became slightly soft mud (not quick sand or super-suction mud by any stretch). The chacos sunk down and when I stepped out of it, the straps on the left sandal snapped.

They say in tough times you learn what your relationship is made of..and yes, perhaps a boot may have been a better choice if I had known the conditions...but I believed the promises my chacos made to me, that we were going to be together forever.

The chacos changed...I didn't recognize them anymore. Instead of a steady and true outdoor/water sandal I was left with a really awkward flip flop.

SO in sum, the chacos like to go out on the town, to the store, hangout with friends, and relax on the weekend and do some light recreation. But if you push them out of their comfort zone a little too long--despite their promises of durability--I think they will fail you. And after two years I thought we were onto something special. I guess I need to keep looking. I hope I don't get burned again.
Ole the Viking at REI on 09/09/2010

OK Product, be careful about heel fit

I live in Thailand and wear sandals all the time. I bought this model instead of Teva since it was on sale. Everything is fine except one thing.

The soles have a substantial bump where the heel straps connect to the sole. I presume it's for strength and didn't think much about it when I bought them as I figured my feet would get used to the slight bite back there. However, after a month I still have a little bite in that area. I don't walk that much each day so I've been waiting for it to go away (using other sandals on some days). But the bite hasn't gone away and if I had to walk more than a couple miles in a day, it might turn out to blister. So if you notice a little bite back there when you try em on, don't be so sure you'll just get used to it and maybe try a different sandal.

Happy Shopping
Uncle-Eric at REI on 12/12/2011

Require some getting used to...

These are great sandals, don't get me wrong. However, I've had a few problems with them. First, my feet always complain when I first put them on after not having worn them for a while. There's the arch to get used to, which I actually like, but beyond that the footbed is just rough on feet that haven't been toughened up or that have been worn raw from, say, running long distances in other shoes the day before. Second, my straps don't stay adjusted. It's common for me to have to loosen the strap going across my toes after a long walk because it has tightened en route. Some websites recommend repeatedly washing your Chacos to prevent this from happening, as washing helps remove the wax that the straps come coated with. Maybe I just haven't broken in the straps enough?
jbviau at REI on 10/10/2007

wide size was not comfortable for me

I love Chaco Z/1 sandals and still do. But, when it was time to replace mine (repairing straps and soles would have been almost as expensive as a new pair), I noticed they have "wide" sizes. Since my foot tends to be wide and I normally buy wide size shoes, I ordered these new Z/1s in the wide size. I immediately noticed that I did not like the feel as much - the arch support simply did not feel as good, especially just forward of the heel. I went and tried on a regular-width pair and they felt good. So I returned these and bought a regular-width pair. The moral of the story is, don't assume you want wide-size Chacos just because you wear wide sizes in other shoes. Even regular-width Chacos are pretty wide.
kaibaber at REI on 03/03/2013

Rough at first, then great

I was always a Teva guy, but when I had to buy new sandals I decided to try the Chacos.

Had a really hard time with those for the first two or three weeks. The straps chafed and gave me blisters and I almost gave up on them.
Then suddenly they worked and fit perfectly, and now I wear them almost every day, and have been for the last year or so.

My only complaint is that they are (for sandals) very heavy, which makes it impossible to carry them with you as camp shoes when backpacking.

Otherwise they are my favorite shoes when traveling and for everyday use: Convenient for the TSA, walk around town and for easy hiking in the woods.
Koinseb at REI on 01/01/2011

Out the door disappointment

This is a good strong durable product and comfortable. But I am disappointed. The strap is so long that it drags on the filthy ground. To correct this I have to personally modify this brand new product or pay CHACO $30.00 extra dollars to modify it. I don't think I would like to buy a new car and have to repair it at my expense before I drive it.
Thornton at REI on 08/08/2013

What do I do with this funny strap?

I like the way the straps can be adjusted to personalize the fit. However, a snug fit makes the sandal difficult to put on. Also, when I tighten the strap across my ankle, I end up with a long tail that flaps around.

The sandal is very comfortable and the sole should provide good support and traction. It is heavy, however.
DWNSHFT at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 12/12/2008

Tough break-in

The sandal is hard rubber and I walk with a lot of weight on my heels. So the sandals were killing my knees. I used an exacto knife to replicate a couple of years wear on the heels. Now they are comfortable.
Longfield at REI on 08/08/2012

Chaco Z/1 Unaweep Sandals - Men's

It is on a heavy side. My feet gets tired wearing it for few hours.
Eke at REI on 08/08/2013