shoes

Chaco Rex and Fantasia keeping a low profile

Chaco sandals have gone on a diet with their lightweight offerings this summer.  The Chaco Rex for Men and the Fantasia for Women.

I have been wearing the latest and greatest Chaco sandal, The Rex, for three weeks now. I have had them on pretty much everyday since I received both pairs (Thank you, Chaco). The Rex has a low profile sole unlike other variations of Chacos. While I still like the durability and stability of the larger Z soled Chacos, the Rex is now my go to. Comfort right away but you will need to find the feel of the webbing. The webbing isn’t quite like the Chaco of old. The heel strap was maxed out for a looser feel and my foot volume is not out of the ordinary. My wife, Leigh, cut off the end of her straps as they were way too long when cinched down

The Rex is a slimmed down version of the great Z soles that will find the heart of many. With that said, the Z soles are still the weapon of choice for burlier activities.

His & Her Chaco's Leigh, on her perspective on the Fantasia:

First off, I have to say that I like these shoes. I say that because I didn’t expect to. My first and only pair of Chacos are probably 3 years old, and I always thought they were a bit… clunky. Heavy, almost. These are much better! They still have the telltale toe strap, but the shoebed is much lighter than my previous pair. In addition, they have a really cute color design – soft green and brownish/grey – that seems to match everything. I have worn these around the city for day long excursions, and have been pleased with their performance. The only downside to these, I found, are the somewhat high arch. It’s not uncomfortable, but you do notice it. It took a couple of wears for me to get used to it. I found the arch a little distracting in the beginning. But once I was used to the natural feel, the high-ish arch doesn’t bother me anymore. That’s the only thing I don’t absolutely love about these.

I’d recommend these as an active shoe, when you plan on doing a fair amount of walking/outdoor summer activities.  They still have a rugged feel, but being a lighter version, they can look even cute with a casual skirt or summer dress.  All around a good pick.

Wearing these feels like a flip flop with way more support. If you haven’t tried Chaco products your missing out some great boots, shoes, sandals, and flops.


Chaco multi-sport Balmer shoe

As a longtime Chaco fan, I was happy to receive one of their new multi-sport shoes without exactly knowing their range of use. I easily found that range and it withstood like a hiking shoe, with the comfort of a sandal. The Balmer is very lightweight and flexible while offering a super stable foot bed.  I don’t recommend using this shoe for a long hike while carrying a pack, but it’s great for a relaxed hike of a 2-3 miles. Think of it as a regular Chaco sandal with better foot protection and more cushioning. Normally I am one to switch out insoles immediately- but these insoles are fantastic and also help absorb the additional weight of a daypack, child on your back or rock hopping a dried up stream bed.

My Achilles tendon sat comfortable in the rear of the shoe with an almost wrap-around feel from the upper. The lightweight quality comes from the mesh that is reinforced by leather just above the sole of the shoe.  Speaking of the sole, Chaco uses it’s ever popular EcoTread outsole featuring 25% recycled rubber. I’m a fan of the use of orange for the sole and laces. This shoe doesn’t scream “Take me for a hike” but more like “Go ahead and wear me on casual Friday.”

The breathability of the mesh lining is wonderful and a relief from some of the low cut hikers with Gore-Tex that tend to clam up. I have never been keen on low cut with Gore-Tex, because if you encounter any water over the ankle you’re soaked anyway. The breathability gives this shoe a true three-season use for going to a friend’s BBQ, short hikes, cruising around the urban landscape and wherever you may venture.

Thumbs up to the ever expanding line of Chaco shoes.