CHACO CANYONLAND LOW EVENT MULTISPORT SHOES
BY JERRY ADAMS
August 09, 2009
jerryaadams AT yahoo DOT com
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
6' 2" (1.88 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Backpacking Background: I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://chacousa.com/
Measured Weight: 38 oz (1077 g) for the pair of shoes
The Canyonland Low eVent Multisport Shoes (hereafter called "the shoes") are lightweight, low, multisport shoes. The shoes are 3.5 inches (90 mm) high at the lowest point at the middle of my ankle.
The shoes have a padded ankle cuff, a padded tongue, leather uppers, some sort of fabric (nylon?) lining the uppers, and 4 nylon stripes on each side that anchor the lace holders. There's an eyelet further up, on each side, but I didn't use this.
There is black butyl rubber over the heels and toes. This is big enough to provide good protection from scuffing against rocks, and water resistance. The "Getagrip™" lug soles are also black butyl rubber. The lugs are aggressive enough to provide a good grip on snow and other soft surfaces.
The "eVent" technology in these shoes is "a state-of-the-art membrane that releases perspiration without letting in outside moisture".
The tongue has a nylon strip going up the middle, with a loop towards the top to put the laces through so the tongue doesn't slide to the side. There is a nylon loop at the rear, to hold onto when putting the shoes on to help get my heel into the shoe.
Inside each shoe is a "BioCentric™ support", a fairly thin, foam support that cups the heel of the foot to keep the heel from shifting to the side.
These shoes weigh less than most other low shoes I have worn, and much less than mid or high boots I have worn.
The shoes are well built - seams even, right and left shoe looked the same, etc. At the most sensitive places, there was a double row of stitching for increased durability.
The shoes are sort of a gray color, with black butyl rubber at the bottom, and pale orange tones in the nylon webbing. I think the color is fairly attractive, generally pale instead of bright.
I got size 12 shoes which fit good, which is consistent with other size 12 boots I've had.
Side view of shoe and top view of BioCentric support:
Front view of shoe and side view of BioCentric support:
I tested the shoes wearing gaiters:
August 2008: first got the shoes. Wore them around the garden and on a few city walks to verify they fit okay. Maybe this was a bit of a break-in period, but didn't walk any significant mileage.
August 10 - 13, 2008: 30 mile (48km) 6000 foot (1800 m) elevation gain backpack near Mount Hood in North central Oregon. 4600 to 6600 foot (1400 to 2000 m) elevation. Mostly dirt trails. A few snow fields - lugs on soles were good for keeping a grip. Some rocky areas - soles provided enough support to spread out load of sharp edges. Temperatures around 70 F (21 C) - the shoes got a little sweaty. No rain and not enough snow to get shoes wet. No blisters or hot spots even though this was my first trip.
August 21 - 25, 2008: 50 miles (81 km) 6000 foot (1800 m) elevation gain backpack around the Three Sisters in central Oregon. 5000 to 7000 feet (1500 to 2100 m) elevation. 30 to 80 F (-1 to 27 C). One day it rained all day, shoes got wet especially on top of the toes. Next day it was dry and warmer, shoes dried out a little.
September 7 - 11, 2008: 27 miles (43 km), 7000 feet (2100 m) elevation gain backpack in the Enchantment Lakes in Central Washington Cascades. 1300 to 7800 feet (400 to 2400 m) elevation. 28 to 75 F (-2 to 24 C). No rain. A couple minor snow patches. Lots of scrambling on granite, similar to the Sierras in California. I had to use my hands at places. I had to stick my foot into large cracks so there was pressure on the sides. There were places where it was steep up, down, or sideways putting pressure on my toes, heels, or side. There were places where I had to put my toe or side on a small ledge. I wouldn't call it rock climbing, but it was more difficult than normal hiking. The shoes performed well. The shoes got a little wet from sweat. There were places on my heels and one little toe that would have turned into blisters at some point.
Observations about these trips:
Blisters - the only thing approaching blisters was on the last trip, where there was lots of steep scrambling. On regular trails the shoes were very comfortable. I am pleased with this performance as compared to other boots I have worn. I have observed that with some boots, they start producing blisters after they get wet and then dry out. The boots shrink and change shape. These shoes didn't do this.
Waterproofness - on the one day I had constant rain all day, the top of the toes got wet, and inside, my socks were a little wet especially at the toes, but not "squishy" like boots sometimes get in steady rain. I would call the shoes water resistant. On hot days, my feet got a little damp from sweat, as do all boots that I have used. Overall, I would recommend that the "eVent" membrane in these shoes is good, but not perfect.
Sole grip - the soles worked good under varied conditions: snow, dirt, granite slabs, and scrambling.
Sole stiffness - the soles are stiff enough so that when I stepped on a sharp rock, it spread the load out enough so as to be fairly comfortable.
Durability - the shoes showed little wear after the 107 miles (172 km) that I used them, although this isn't really long enough to evaluate this. I would expect hiking shoes or boots to last 1000 miles before wearing out.
Ankle support - I have heard some people have a problem with low shoes in that they don't provide enough ankle support. I didn't find this to be a problem. I would rather have the lighter weight of low shoes. Maybe my ankles are just not sensitive to this problem.
Suitability of low shoes for backpacking - I have always worn mid height boots because it keeps rocks and dirt out of my boots. I have heard people swear by low height shoes because of their light weight. This was my test of this. My conclusion is that the low weight doesn't justify the extra rocks and dirt that get into my boots. I had to keep dumping the rocks out of the shoe, and my socks got filthy. I think in the future I'll stick with mid height boots. The low shoes would be good on paved trails or on surfaces with few loose rocks and dirt. I used gaiters, but they didn't completely cover the low shoes the way they do on mid height boots.
I am pleased with the Canyonland Low Shoes. Very light weight, almost no blisters, good grip on the soles, water resistant, and durable (although I haven't used them enough to totally evaluate this).
I think I will not wear low height shoes backpacking, in the future, because they let in too many rocks and too much dirt, but this isn't a knock on Chaco.
THINGS I LIKE
1. Light weight
2. Soles provide good traction in snow and on rocks.
3. Soles are stiff enough to protect my feet against sharp rocks.
4. Shoes are rain resistant.
5. Shoes are better than most at letting sweat vent without getting shoes wet.
6. Never got any blisters, although once I got some hot spots that would have turned into blisters if I had walked further.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1. Low height allows dirt and rocks to get into shoes, which requires removal of shoes occasionally to dump out, and socks get dirty
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