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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Chaco OutCross Evo 3 Trail Shoes > Test Report by Frances Penn

September 01, 2015



NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 59
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for eight years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 22-26 lb (10-12 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have converted to a tarp and bivy sleep system instead of a tent to keep my pack weight down. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.



Manufacturer: Chaco
Model: OutCross Evo 3
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $115.00
Listed Weight: not listed
Measured Weight: 21 oz (595 g)
Size tested: 9 1/2
Women's Sizes available: 6 to 11
Color tested: Violet Quartz
Additional colors available: Marine Green, Majolica (Blue), Mecca (Rusty brown), and Black

Photo from Chacos website


The shoes arrived in a recyclable cardboard shoebox that had instructions for adjusting the Chacos sandals printed inside the lid. No instructions were included for these shoes.

Upon removing the shoes from the box, I immediately noticed how small and lightweight they are. I really like the color. This is the first pair of hiking shoes I have found that come in my favorite color of purple. The accent stripe of gray up the front and around the bottoms is also pleasing.

front view of both shoes

The Evo 3 has an enclosed breathable mesh-lined upper and a synthetic rubber toe cap.

rubber toe guard

The mudguard along the bottom edge of the entire shoe is a similar purple color and design.

bottom mud guard

The heel riser overlay has pull tabs above the heel for easy on/off and the breathable mesh. There are additional rubber support cross strips around the heel.

heel close-up

The outsole is 25 percent recycled rubber non-marking EcoTread™ with 3mm lug depth.

3 mm lug depth

The LUVSEAT™ PU footbed is permanently sewn to the bottom of the shoe. There is no additional insole that can be removed. The barefoot construction EVA layer and Aegis® odor shield is designed to be worn with or without socks.

sewn insole

The material used around the heel and on the tongue is mesh in the same color. The tongue is only sewn at the end with no gussets along the sides. The laces are also a similar color of purple, of smaller diameter than hiking boots and a little stretchy. A jacquard lacing strip runs up the middle of the tongue.

mesh on the tongue

There is also a nylon shank for support and stability.


I slipped on the shoes and went for a one mile walk around the neighborhood. Instantly I noticed the minimalist style of these shoes. I didn't feel much cushioning between the ground and my feet. In the spirit of the barefoot style of these shoes, I wore wicking wool thin liner toe sox without an extra pair of socks for my first walk. The laces are slightly stretchy and needed to be double knotted in order to stay tied. After the walk, I was able to kick off the shoes without untying them. Since I needed to go back outside for a minute, I easily slipped the shoes back on without untying them. With the low cut of the shoes, I had to tie them tightly to prevent them from slipping up and down on my heels during my walk. The shoes do not offer any lateral support that is provided by the high top boots that I have been wearing lately.


I like the overall appearance of the shoes. They are comfortable on my feet wearing the toe socks without an additional pair of socks as an outer layer. I will pay close attention to how much support they offer when carrying a fully loaded backpack.



Trip #1:
Location: Shea Trail in the San Juan Capistrano area, California, USA
Elevation: 200 ft (61 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: on dirt trail
Temperature: 70 F (21 C)
Weather: sunny
Miles Hiked: 6
Hours Worn: 5

Trip #2:
Location: Icehouse Canyon trail to saddle near Baldy, California, USA
Elevation: 7,600 ft (2,316 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on forest dirt trail
Temperature: 70 F (21 C)
Weather: sunny
Miles Hiked: 10
Hours Worn: 12

Trip #3:
Location: Manker Flats trail to San Antonio Hut near Baldy, California, USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: on forest dirt trail
Temperature: 40 F (4 C)
Weather: fog & mist that turned to rain
Miles Hiked: 5
Hours Worn: 6

Trip #4:
Location: Cucamonga Peak near Baldy, California, USA
Elevation: 8,900 ft (2,713 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on forest dirt trail
Temperature: 60 F (16 C)
Weather: sunny
Miles Hiked: 12
Hours Worn: 10

Trip #5:
Location: Butler Peak near Big Bear, California, USA
Elevation: 8,500 ft (2,591 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: on forest dirt trail
Temperature: 60 F (16 C)
Weather: sunny with 2 inches of fresh snow on the ground
Miles Hiked: 10
Hours Worn: 8

Trip #6:
Location: Manker Flats trail to Mt. Baldy, California, USA
Elevation: 10,060 ft (3,066 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on forest dirt trail
Temperature: 70 F (21 C)
Weather: beautiful mountain day with a slight breeze on the ridges and the peak
Miles Hiked: 10
Hours Worn: 12

Trip #7:
Location: Round Valley Campground near San Jacinto, California, USA
Elevation: 9,200 ft (2,804 m)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: on dirt trail
Temperature: 70 F (21 C)
Weather: sunny
Miles Hiked: 10
Hours Worn: 12

Additional local day hike trips:
Number of day hikes completed in this location: 12
Location: Turtle Rock, Irvine, California
Elevation: 500 ft (152 m)
Trail Conditions: dirt trails
Temperatures: 60 F (18 C)
Miles Usually Hiked: 6
Hours Usually Worn: 4


I wore the shoes with my liner toe socks on the first day hike. I was concerned that if I added an extra layer of socks that I would usually wear with hiking boots that the shoes would stretch. The shoes are surprisingly comfortable and supportive considering their minimalist design. I wore the shoes all day and was not in a hurry to remove them which is totally unusual for me. My feet usually hurt after hikes if my shoes do not provide enough support. I am happy to report that my feet felt fine after the first day hike.

Encouraged by the success of the first day hike wearing only the liner toe socks, I continued to wear just the liner toe socks for the majority of the hikes. The liner toe socks continued to work well with the shoes. I wore a pair of thin wool socks on two of the shorter Turtle Rock day hikes just to see if it would make a difference in the fit or performance of the shoes. There was no noticeable difference.

On the Manker Flats trip, the mist and fog on the way to the Hut turned to a complete rain storm on the way down from the San Antonio Hut after my lunch break. The shoes and my toe socks were completely soaked through to the skin, but the shoes provided good grip on the wet rocks. This was early in the test period when there was maximum tread.

The Cucamonga Peak trip was much further than I was conditioned for at that time. I was seriously tired at the end of each day, but I noticed I was not in a hurry to remove the shoes at the end of the day. Usually that is the first thing I do once in camp or back at the car. Considering their minimalist design, these shoes are supportive and comfortable to wear.

View of LA Basin from Cucamonga Peak

On the Butler Peak trip, I wore the shoes even though there was two inches (5 cm) of snow on the ground from a late season light snow the previous day. By the end of the day, most of the snow had melted from the sun and warm weather. The shoes, my feet and my socks got completely wet on the way to the peak in the morning. I took off my socks on the lunch break and wore the shoes without socks back to the car. I wanted to test the barefoot construction of the shoes which states they can be worn with or without socks. By the time I got back to the car, I had a small blister on my right heel and a corresponding small wear spot on the inside of my right shoe. Wearing the shoes without socks was not comfortable on my feet. After this experience, I wore my toe socks for the rest of the trips.

on the way to Butler Peak

After all of the trips on the trails noted above, the shoes are showing some wear as described in more detail below.

The toe of the left shoe is coming loose but is not completely separated yet.
left shoe separation

The tread under the balls of my feet are wearing down and I am noticing increasing slippage in the grip.
tread wear

The insides of the heels are both worn through as shown below.
left heel wear
right heel wear

The reinforced side mudguards are in great shape and show no wear.

With all the wear noted above, the shoes are still comfortable and supportive for my feet while carrying a fully loaded backpack. I will continue to wear them for the remainder of the test period.


The minimalist design of the shoes is a good idea for warm summer trips when walking through a stream with no socks and letting the water run out of the shoes sounds like a great idea. Obviously this doesn't work so well with snow or rain, but I wore them anyway to see what would happen. As is obvious, my shoes, socks and feet got completely wet and cold.

I am not impressed with the durability of the shoes so far considering the separation of the left toe and the wear to my heels. However, I am impressed that the shoes are still comfortable to wear and supportive on my feet with the wear described above. I will wear the shoes until it is obvious they need to be retired.



I wore the shoes on three more day hikes during this test phase. I had to stop wearing them due to the deterioration of the heel lining as shown in the pictures above. I am getting blisters where the wear spots are located. The condition of the shoes makes them no longer comfortable to wear on long day hikes or backpack trips. They can still be worn for one or two more short day hikes. They were comfortable to wear for a little while after the wear spots developed, but the continued use has worn them out. The durability of the shoes is not good for heavy use. These shoes work well for their designed use as light trail shoes that can be worn through streams and continue hiking without stopping to remove them.

In all fairness, I wore these shoes to walk at least a mile every day since I received them. Not all trips were hikes in the mountains. Some use was just walking on sidewalk around town and to go shopping. I really liked wearing these shoes so I put them to the test.

This test series is now concluded. Many thanks to Chacos and for this testing opportunity.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Chaco OutCross Evo 3 Trail Shoes > Test Report by Frances Penn

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