User Review: Chaco Men's Z/2 Unaweep
Use: short hikes, river walking, canoing
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $50
I have been searching for the perfect water shoe for a long time. I'm still looking but like these Chacos as much as any other shoe I have worn.
The plus side, they are virtually indestructable. After three years, the sole hasn't peeled or separated, and the webbing is in great shape. The webbing is also very adjustable and snugs with virtually no hardware. The strap over the big toe takes some getting used to but provides tremendous stability in wet conditions.
They don't use neoprene or other padding that could tear away or degrade. The open design of the strapping sheds water and debris better than any other water sandal I have worn. And, despite using them in the rankest of stagnant water, they don't pick up any odors. In terms of overall comfort, I love the strapping system (but see below re: the big toe strap).
some design and style choices that may not compare well with other water shoes:
-the footbed is well-contoured but on the stiff side, particularly the high edges near the arch. for me, a person with flat feet, these high arches can cause blisters on a very long or overly rugged walk. they are available in "wide," which i may check out if these ever wear out.
-the vibram "unaweep" sole is fine for regular walking; Chaco sells the sandal with a sticky rubber for hard core river rats. i would go with the sticky rubber next time around.
-unlike Keens and a few other brands, your toes are exposed.
-the big toe strap that makes these so secure can tighten over time. this is adjustable but can be uncomfortable. the Chaco Z/1 avoids this by omitting the big toe strap.
This, along with the Keen Newport H2, has become my mainstay water shoe.