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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > Chaco Z1 Sandals > Owner Review by Jeremy R. Laporte

December 13, 2008


NAME: Jeremy R. Laporte
EMAIL: jeremyrlaporteATjeremyrlaporteDOTcom
AGE: 27
LOCATION: Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.A.
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 163 lb (73.90 kg)

I grew up in France by the sea, camping and backpacking for as long as I can remember. Three years ago I moved to Idaho U.S.A. discovering new environments: wilderness, arid lands, forest, mountain, and snow. I also started to learn rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. Because of many contacts I had with the military I thought they had the best gear available but I recently befriended some hikers and became aware of lightweight backpacking. I'm slowly migrating to that style and learning more about the various environments surrounding me.


Manufacturer: Chaco, Inc
Year of Manufacture: N/A
Manufacturer's Website:
Listed Weight: 28 oz (790 g)
Measured Weight: 31.5 oz (893 g)
Other details: Sandal size 9 with Unaweep Vibram™ sole, black strap and medium width


Those sandals featured a Unaweep Vibram™ outsole with a BioCentric™ molded footbed. The 1 in (25.4 mm) strap makes a continuous loop. The strap is tightened through a buckle which tightened the continuous loop all around the foot.

It's a bit easier to explain with a picture:

Picture of my Chaco
My Chaco

The strap is available in different color / pattern which change over the seasons. Currently two outsole types are available. The Unaweep Vibram™ and the Pro outsole which is less slippery in wet environment but leaves marks on the floor.


Locations: Rexburg, Idaho Falls, various campgrounds in Idaho and Kelly Canyon Mountain
Locations description: Urban, forest, dusty mountain trails, rivers and lakes
Weather conditions: very wide range from hot 98 F (37 C) to snow


I bought my pair of sandals two years ago and since then I'm wearing them most of the time I'm outside, unless the weather is too cold to be with open shoes. I use them mostly in town where they provide great traction and are very comfortable. The soles have big gaps between the lugs so rocks don't get stuck in the gaps and don't scratch the floor once home. The combination of sweat and dust sometimes make a gross 'dough' under my feet. To remove it, I just drop the sandals into the washing machine with my colored clothing and they are clean again. No need to put them in the dryer, they dry really fast on my feet.

What's amazing with those sandals is that I can adjust them exactly to my foot size with just the single strap. They are very comfortable; I never had a blister or a strap burn from them. They are also extremely durable. I have worn them a lot over the last two years and they still almost look new. If wanted I have the possibility (see on the website) to have them resoled or restrapped. They are great to wear whenever the weather is not chilling my feet, even in the rain. Having wet feet is not the most comfortable feeling but my feet dry very fast. They are also very sturdy; I used them for rock climbing to set up rope before putting my rock climbing shoes on and the soles adhere quite strongly to the rock allowing precise footing as much a sandal can provide.

In addition to urban use and rock climbing I took those sandals backpacking. I took them over the last two years on about 27 overnighters and one 6 day long hike by the Grand Teton. I solely used the sandals in camp or for lunch break to get my feet breathing out of the boots. What I also like about the Z/1 is that the strap doesn't have a loop which goes around the big toe so I can wear warm socks with those sandals when it's cold.

I also used them for river crossing while backpacking and they protected my feet, adhered to the rock very well and dried fast.

Finally I took them on one all-day mountain hike. I knew the trail would not be rocky and not too steep (elevation gain 1,400 ft or 427 m for a maximum altitude of 6,400 ft or 1,951 m) and was planning on spending the whole day on the mountain exploring every side of it (the mountain is 6 miles or 10 km wide). It was an extremely warm summer day so I didn't really want to enclose my feet in warm boots. My feet got very dusty but it was easy to get rid of most of the sand. I had to often stop to remove little rocks stuck under my feet though. Also at the end of the day my legs were extremely sore.

In conclusion these sandals are the best I have ever had and I will keep wearing them. They are great in town and at camp, but lack some foot protection for hiking.


Don't give blisters
Totally adjustable to my feet
Dry very fast
Ability to wear with socks


Lack of protection from little rocks and open toes (but they are sandals)

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > Chaco Z1 Sandals > Owner Review by Jeremy R. Laporte

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