How to Buy a Pair of Chaco Sandals. Chaco sandals are a popular, high-quality brand of hiking footwear great for active men and women. Chacos come with several customizable options, the first being the footbed and the second being the strap pattern. On the newest models of Chacos, the company has moved to a sole that blends the footbed and strap pattern options, but even more strap choices are available than ever before.
Decide if you want your sandals to have a back strap or not. Hiking Chacos come in two basic types, the "headwaters," which have a strap, and the "cross current," which don't.
Pick out a pair of headwater Chacos by deciding if you want the classic model with a single adjustable strap criss-crossing the sandal or if you want two thinner straps. The original, single strap model is called the Z, while the two-strapped model is the ZX. The ZX can give a more precise and flexible fit, but you should try on one of each to see what the difference is for your fit.
Decide if you want your Chaco to have a separate toe loop for the big toe. The ZX/1 and Z/1 sandals don't have a toe loop, while the ZX/2 and Z/2 models have a place where the strap crosses over one extra time to create a toe loop. Many people prefer the stability of the toe loop, while others like to be free to move all of their toes. Again, try on one of each to see which one works for you.
Pick a color or pattern. Chacos are always coming out with exciting, bright colors for their straps, though you can always fall back on the classic black. If your color fades or you're just in the mood for a change, you can actually send them in to Chaco USA and have them re-strapped.
Pick out a pair of cross-current sandals by deciding if you want the "zong" model, which is like the Z/2 but without a back strap, or the "hipthong" model, which is essentially a thong sandal with some extra crossover straps and a high quality footbed.
Because Chacos has recently created a new look, some older models may still be available from certain outdoors retailers. Look for some great deals online and in retail stores on older Chacos for a chance to get very high quality shoes for a good rate. Make your Chacos last forever by sending them into Chaco USA for repairs. You can get everything from a new footbed to a new sole to new straps from the manufacturer for a small fee, and keep your same sandals running indefinitely.