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Chaco and Merrell move up and down footwear line

by Erich Volkstorf
September 7, 2011


Back in 1989, Chaco introduced its line of now classic water sandals. Chaco now offers even more watersport footwear protection, including these new shoes for spring 2012.

Many paddlers started out wearing classic Converse Chuck Taylors as water shoes. Chaco's Tedinho series takes that inspiration and combines it with the support and comfort of its own LUVSEAT platform.

The Tedinho Bulloo and Tedinho Pro are high-topped, lace-up, river boots designed for serious whitewater enthusiasts. Both are made from a quick-drying polyester canvas and have a molded rubber toe for protection and a removable footbed.

The Tedinho Bulloo has a non-marking, sticky Vibram sole, while the Pro goes a step further with an even stickier Vibram Idrogrip rubber sole for extra grip, at the expense that this sole will make your passage known on expensive floors. 

Two more Chaco additions — Torlan Bulloo and Vade Bulloo — can handle water and trail. The Torlan Bulloo is a lace-up with a Nubuck leather upper and articulated panels for fit and water drainage. The Vade Bulloo has a mesh and suede upper for more ventilation. Both shoes have a non-marking Vibram Bulloo outsole for wet and dry grip.


Merrell started at the other end of the footwear line, building classic leather hiking boots. Over the past 20 years, the Merrell line has diversified. This year, it goes even lighter, expanding its barefoot collections beyond running.

For 2012, Merrell's barefoot-inspired offerings will include Barefoot Run, Barefoot Water, Barefoot Train, and Barefoot Life.

These shoes are totally flat with zero drop soles, and have the wide roomy toe that trail and road runners will appreciate. The shoes in this fast growing category are lightweight and will appeal to those who like the feeling of running barefoot with the added protection of a shoe.

  • Barefoot Run: New Merrell Access running designs are designed as gateway running shoes with a zero-drop, foot contoured design, and an 8mm M-Bound cushion.
  • Barefoot Water: Shoes, sandals, and flips with Vibram soles for extra traction and performance whether scrambling through rivers, canyoneering, or on standup paddleboards or boats.
  • Barefoot Train: The men's Embark Glove Gore-Tex and Sonic Glove soft shell barefoot shoes and women's Lithe MJ Glove are made for yoga, circuit training, Cross Fit, and other fitness activities.