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Chaco Z/1

Posted: Aug 23 2009 4:40 pm
by joebartels
After all the hoopla I really figured it was time to give Chacos a try. The true pushing factor was a blistered pinkie toe. Even my Teva Terra Fi 2's wouldn't work as that's the one toe they side up against.

My first impression when the gal at REI handed me the box was dang these are heavy. I gave them a longer than normal test walk. The weight didn't seem to be an issue and they seemed fine. The Vibram sole was reassuring as before I wore Tevas I had a pair of Merrell sandals with Vibram soles I loved but they stopped making in the mid 90's. So off to my first hike. Admittingly I was pretty excited heading out.

The single strap system seems to work very well and is definitely a one-up on Tevas. Especially in water I'm thinking. The first couple miles were a little rough. I felt clumsy to put it mildly. But figured this must be how others are when they first get into Tevas. Towards the end of my hike the back of my foot was really beginning to hurt. Somehow either I walk with an outward curl I never noticed or something but it pinched the heck out of my lower right back heel.

It's been a couple days and I'll try them on other surfaces and such to see if it's more of a breaking in period. However at this point I'm not very impressed. Aside from the fruity look I flaunt with my teva tan lines they really aren't "as one" with your foot as Terra Fi 2's. They are not easy to get on and off like Tevas. On the pro side they're non porous so they won't absorb foot odor, though I never really had much of a problem with that on Tevas. Perhaps for people in non dry climates?

ahh... we'll see

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Aug 23 2009 5:14 pm
by fotogirl53
As someone who frequently gets pinkie toe blisters (Merrill brand shoes mostly), I carry an ample supply of corn pads and tape in my backpack! ;)

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Aug 23 2009 6:04 pm
by Al_HikesAZ
The Chacos are heavy but da bomb for Grand Canyon River Hikes. I took a pair of Keen and they were OK but I had problems with the sand in the clips. Chacos are so simple that they don't have the problem. The Keen are great in town and I'm wearing them as I type this :)

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Aug 23 2009 10:13 pm
by PaleoRob
Chacos are the best thing to hit the feet since anything, in my opinion. I had a pair of Tevas for years, and they were not nearly as comfy and much more smelly than any of my Chacos. I wore them all the time with the condor job until I replaced them with Chacos and boy am I glad I did.
Don't give up on 'em yet Joe. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you go Chaco, you never go back is what I say.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 6:27 pm
by joebartels
Despite all the accolades I took them back to REI today. I gave them an honest try in varying conditions. Never did they feel comfortable. I can sleep in Teva Terra Fi sandals, I couldn't stand sitting at my desk in Chaco Z/1.

I tried them on the sharp jagged rocky terrain at Squaw. The stiff sole is nice for that terrain. However I felt wobbly.

I tried them on a longer distance easy trail on South Mountain. They just aren't comfortable for me.

After Al's rave on Grand Canyon River hikes I enthusiastically took them to Tonto Narrows. I wore shoes through the desert(already knew I didn't like them in the desert) then changed into the Chacos stashing my shoes. In Houston Creek the tiny pebbles felt razor sharp. Janelle can attest I was not a happy That extra stiff non odor absorbing foot bed of of the Z/1 means absolutely NO cushion! The sand was just outright annoying. I have neither of these issues in Teva Terra Fi. Nevertheless I kept my hopes in high gear as we approached Tonto Creek, just water and boulders (no sand or pebbles to deal with) Holy cow, there's no way you can jump boulder to boulder in Z/1s like you can Terra Fi's. This slowed my progress down to a snails pace. Then the worst imaginable... after only TWO miles the straps were rubbing the tops of my feet raw.

Janelle lent me her wool socks and it felt soooo much better on the return two miles. I couldn't believe I could even walk based on the tenderness of my raw feet. I could continue to wear socks and they wouldn't rub and it does keep a majority of the pebbles and sand out. However I don't see the point. People don't buy sandals to wear socks! I only tried these do to a blistered pinkie toe caused by Salomon XT Wings. This whole experience reemphasizes how much I LOVE my Teva Terra Fi sandals! I do agree nearly all the other sandals Teva is currently putting out are CRAP. Luckily I have at least a five year supply in case they stop making or screw up the Terra Fi.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 6:38 pm
by imike
I still use an old version of Chaco's... from the mid 90's.... and they required that you had vested through the blister phase... but once adapted, I did like them. I'd always use them for variation during long days. They were a step up from the flip flop, non-strapped sandles I used to wear on finger rock that would attract too much attention from passing hikers. It boils down to what works for each of us... and, we are all different.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 6:50 pm
by joebartels
imike wrote:It boils down to what works for each of us... and, we are all different
Very true
I know plenty that have tried Teva's without luck (though I think most of them are not trying the Terra Fi)

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 7:33 pm
by trekkin_gecko
hey joe
where can you get the terra fi in the valley?
i'm about ready for a new pair of tevas
would rather try them on than order on line

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 7:45 pm
by Al_HikesAZ
joe bartels wrote:After Al's rave on Grand Canyon River hikes . . .
Hmmm. We were wearing hydrosocks with titanium because of the cold water so we didn't have those problems. :doh:
I've never tried Teva. Maybe next time when I retire these Keen. I just don't like the Keen buckle in sand.

The Chaco were really comfortable when we were sitting on the rafts with our feet up and a Tecate.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 9:13 pm
by nonot
Al_HikesAZ wrote: The Chaco were really comfortable when we were sitting on the rafts with our feet up and a Tecate.
You're a hell of a salesman Al, I'm sold! :sl:

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 9:33 pm
by joebartels
:oops: I thought the recommendation was related to hiking

In response to trekkin gecko:
I couldn't find them in my size last time and had to order on-line. I haven't a clue on their return policy so I can't recommend it.

The Keens look intriguing. I looked at an H2 pair tonight. Probably my next test. Just not sold on the life of that little plastic dohickey.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 08 2009 10:03 pm
by BobP
I've put about 100 miles on my keens and love them.... with and without socks...I had one problem when I did Humphreys via Inner Basin...I cranked them too tight and my feet were a little numb.

Re: Chaco Z/1

Posted: Sep 09 2009 8:28 am
by writelots
I don't hike in sandals (with my clumsy foot drag, my feet would be shredded in minutes), however I walk all over the city in my Chacos and I love them. I have to admit, the first month I had them, they were a bit of a pain and I had to get used to walking different. But, because I have trouble with my arches I figured they were the best way to still be able to wear sandals all day and not have plantar fascia pain.

Now I love them and am missing them horribly since the dog at the straps. Luckily, Chaco will re-strap the soles relatively cheaply. Just have to remember to bring them to the office one day so I can ship 'em off.

I never had good luck with the Tevas - and I tried a few different pair. My husband prefers them, but he has massive foot stink problems with both the Tevas and the Merrels. I think it all depends on your foot, your gait and your individual needs. Lets face it, if there was one shoe that fit everyone, lots of folks would be goin' out of bidness!