Gear Review

3 5

Nice sandal, but what's the point?

Chaco Z/1s are serious sandals, without a doubt; the soles are burly, great traction, pretty comfortable, etc. However, I question the whole concept of this sandal. First and foremost they are HEAVY, surprisingly so for a pair of "sandals." My size 12s weigh 2.41 lbs, which is more than my Keen Newport sandals (2.23 lbs) and even more than my Keen Targhee II hiking shoes (2.19 lbs)! You hear about people using these on strenuous day-hikes and even backpacking trips, but I question the wisdom of having my bare feet, especially toes, exposed and vulnerable to everything a backcountry trail has to offer (rocks, roots, holes, critters, UV rays, who knows what). The straps can chafe on extended walks so these sandals haven't cornered the market on comfort, either. Thus, I can't quite get the point; they are too heavy to carry just for camp shoes and too unprotective, unsupportive, and uncomfortable for serious hiking and/or backpacking...so where do they fit in? Even if you're an ultralight fanatic why wouldn't you wear a very nice light hiking shoe (like the Keen Targhee II) that actually weighs less, covers your whole foot, has an equally high-performing sole, and offers no less (arguably more) support and comfort? Hmmmm....if I'm missing something someone please educate me.