If you are not familiar, Chaco is a famous footwear best used for outdoor and water use. However, a lot of new hikers tend to ask if can you hike in Chacos? Chacos are super comfortable on the feet, but their durability and ability to protect the hiker’s feet have been a subject of debate from many hikers.
The Chacos will not bring the same type of protection as other hiking shoes offer with the way it is constructed. However, they can certainly be used during the hike, as proven by other hikers and me based on experience. But what are the upsides and drawbacks of using Chacos during the hike? Let us find out in this article.
Chacos are Practical for Hiking
One obvious thing is that the days when hikers and outdoor enthusiasts exclusively used hiking boots during the hike are gone. Now, there are other options to choose from, such as trail runners and of course, hiking sandals particularly Chacos.
Yes, you heard it right; Chacos can also be used for hiking. But just like other footwear, its effectiveness will all depend on the preference of the hiker and the type of hiking environment it will be used.
Chacos offers different type of protection when compared to hiking boots. However, the way they are built also means that they are practical for hiking purposes. The one thing that is absent when hiking in Chacos is the ankle support and the much-needed protection from anything that bites or stings.
The Upsides of Using Chacos During the Hike
The Chaco’s is not just your ordinary hiking sandal. In fact, this footwear is certified by the American Pediatric Association because of the comfort it brings to the user. It comes with a footbed built to provide long-lasting comfort and arch support.
It is also manufactured rugged outsole, which is known for its durability and all-terrain traction. This feature enables the footwear to easily unlock challenging terrain. There are also other benefits when using Chacos on the hike. Please check below.
Provides Excellent Support and Comfort
As I mentioned earlier, the footbed of this footwear is built so that the hiker will be comfortable during the hike. Its durability and excellent arch support are enough to provide comfort during the hike.
Another reason why some hikers prefer Chacos over hiking shoes is that this footwear will not enclose both of your feet all day. Since it is a sandal, your feet can breathe more compared to wearing hiking shoes.
Comfort also means you do not have to keep on changing boots or socks when crossing rivers. Unlike shoes, the Chacos will not hold water inside and dries quickly after it gets wet during the river crossing.
Chacos are Lighter in Weight
Compared to the weight of hiking boots, Chacos are lighter, which means they can indirectly impact your hike. Based on experience, the weight of the footwear you are using during the hike can affect the total distance you can cover.
With that in mind, using Chacos will bring comfort and help increase the amount of distance you can take during the hike. Also, Chacos are lighter than traditional boots, but they offer the exact grip and arch support.
Blisters No more
It is usual for your feet to sweat when using hiking boots or trail runners, especially if you wear socks. When your feet take a lot of friction during the hike and sweat simultaneously, the result can be blisters in one of your feet.
Having blisters on foot can be one of the difficult experiences that a hiker can have during the hike. But using Chacos will let your feet breathe comfortably while also providing air and sunlight to keep them dry, always preventing any chance of blisters.
The Downsides of Using Chacos During the Hike
Using Chacos during the hike will prevent any issues, but sometimes you will end up with many rocks in your foot. Meaning, wearing Chacos can also have some potential drawbacks, which can affect your hiking activity.
Lack of Ankle Support
The drawback when using sandals such as Chaco is the lack of ankle support. In fact, sandals do not support the ankles, which is also an issue. If you are looking for ankle support, the best recommendation is high-rise biking boots.
Lack of Protection
If you are hiking in a place full of snakes and other animals that bites or stings, I am not advising you to use Chacos because the way the sandals are built is not designed to protect both of your feet.
It will not also protect you from other environmental hazards such as pointed rocks, sharp sticks, and thorny plants. Your feet are exposed to these hazards, which can hurt your exposed feet.
Wearing Chacos during the hike will also expose your feet to the environment and to all forms of danger it brings. I have noticed that wearing Chacos will let the straps in and capture it between the foot and the sandals, which can be very uncomfortable.
Can You Hike in Timberlands
Another topic that is subject to significant debate is using Timberlands during the hike. Timberland may be famous for working outdoors or matching an outfit, but can you use these popular boots during the hike?
In general, Timberlands are not built for hiking. It can be used in different types of usage, but hiking is not one of them. The simple reason behind it is that the popular boots are not built for it. The shoes may look like it is built for outdoor stuff but it is not built for hiking.
Moreover, the Timberland shoes do not have the qualities and features that hiking boots have. We are talking about the excellent build, cushioning, support, and comfort of the hiker. Unfortunately, most Timberland shoes do not have the attributes needed to be successfully used in the hiking trail.
Can you hike in Chacos? It is a yes. You can use and wear Chacos when doing a hiking activity. But mind you, wearing Chacos during the hike is all about the preference of the hiker to use the sandals. There are still upsides and downsides that a hiker can consider when wearing Chakos on the trail.