Reviews

4

The Chaco Z/Volv Sandals are more of an evolution…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $78

Summary

The Chaco Z/Volv Sandals are more of an evolution of the classic design rather than a revolution in the design — which means they are very very good. And I like it that way.

Pros

  • Quality Chaco design
  • Versatility
  • Durability
  • Lighter weight than classic design
  • Semi-eco conscious

Cons

  • New material feels less rubbery more plasticy
  • New material is more slippery under the foot

I owned a pair of Chaco Z1 Classics for over 15 years. I wore the sandals as everyday wear, hiking sandals, beach wear, boating shoes, house shoes, fly fishing shoes, etc., etc., etc... I took the sandals on a year long adventure traveling through Latin America. The sandals were truly amazing. After 15 years they finally blew out. I think that I made the mistake of washing the sandals in the washing machine, but then also drying them in the drying machine. Don't dry your Chacos with heat. My bad.

So I was looking to buy a new pair when I came across a model called the Z/Volv. The Z/Volv was promoted at being 30% lighter and made out of recycled materials. Cool. They normally retail for about $110. I found them on sale for $78, so I bought them.

chacos2.jpg

I wore my Chacos on a wet and muddy three-day backpacking trip.

chacos1.jpg

One of my friends used waterproof boots. One of my friends used mesh quick drying hiking shoes. And I used my Chacos. We hiked over 28 miles over three days. My friend's boots were wet and damp the entire trip. My friend's mesh shoes blew out. My Chacos got wet and muddy, but I simply washed them in the lake and they didn't miss a step. Afterwards, I did have some dirt underneath my toenails for a few days, but it was just a nice reminder of my awesome long weekend.

Fit: The fit is just like every Chaco. It feels like part of my foot perfect.

Comfort: The comfort is like every Chaco. It feels like part of my foot perfect. The only thing that I did notice that in comparison to the old model the new model footbed material feels just slightly less rubbery and more plasticky. Because the footbed material feels more plastic, if the straps are worn loosely, my foot slides around a little more. However, the footbed does feels more pillowy and softer with more give than the old model. 

Support: The support is like every Chaco. It has really good arch support and heal support. I really like the way the heal cups my heal which improves stability.

Water Resistance: I use these shoes as water shoes, fly fishing shoes and on occasion public shower shoes. Yes, they are awesome water shoes. The bottom sole grips extremely well. The foot bed grips okay. The strap system locks my foot in extremely well.

Traction: These sandals grip comfortably on concrete, but not so much that they stick and you stumble. They grip very good in the water. On dirt and gravel the lugs provide good traction. 

Temp Control: These sandals keep my feet cool and comfy with their open design. If you leave them under the hot sun, the black surface will get hot, so just don't do that.

Ease of Use: I like the Z1 design, without the toe loop, because I find they stay on my feet fine, do not rub my toe, are more comfortable and I can still commit the sin of wearing socks and sandals. I also like the overall design of the strap system because I can lower the heal strap and easily slide my feet in like a slip on shoe. This comes in handy when I want to wear them around the house, as camp shoes or as public shower shoes.

Features: They have their own unique Chaco web strap design. The Z/Volv model is lighter than the classic model and this is an added value in my mind. The Z/Volv model is also made with some recycled materials, so good for Chaco, good for the planet and good for me.

Construction and Durability: I expect that these sandals will be as durable as my previous model. They feel solid. 

Conditions: I've owned these for about 9 months and have used them to hike, bike, travel, wade, and shower. 

Uriah Hon

Due to some of your comments I just wanted to kindly suggest a different options. As a chaco lover, I MIGHT have found all the goods you mentioned, with none of the bads. Check out specifically the 'Z-Trek'. Its a lighter chaco design that certianly feels very rubbery. Worth looking at considering if your hiking in them, they offer a 5k mile warranty. http://xeroshoes.com/go/Mainerrisms


2 years ago
B. Frost

i have a pair too! ZX2 Yampa for women... I love em' instead of wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots where your feet get all sweaty. Just don't like it when I walk along trails where lots of gravel and sand get underneath my foot then its annoying. Gotta shake out the foot and can easily stub toes on rocks n stuff. But its all good when im don't cause I just rinse my sandals off in the sink and use a toothbrush to get all the dirt and grim and they good as new!


2 years ago
troyfromtexas

Uriah, thanks for the tip. I'm familiar with the xeroshoes, but I have concerns that they would not provide enough support for hikes over rough and rocky terrain.


2 years ago
troyfromtexas

B. Frost, I sometimes where my Chacos loose and just allow all the debris to pass through. Other times I strapped them down to try to prevent the debris from passing through. I typically throw my Chacos in the washing machine and they come out like new. I do not advise to throw them in the dryer, I don't think the heat is good for them overtime.


2 years ago
Uriah Hon

Troy, you are right it might not be for everyone. Personally I am in my third year of transition to being barefoot and this is the first year I have hiked anything of significance. I did get in just over 100 miles here in Maine in one shot and I personally loved them. Last year however, I dont think there was any way I could have made it! Rock is not to bad actually....its the roots! When your feet fold around them its extremely abnormal and can easily tear and twist things.... but with time, like anything, your feet become stronger and what once was not realistic, is now an every day. I might suggest trying something like their 6mm DIY if you dont mind a thong style, or the new ztrail has good rigidity! Watch those toes haha Happy trails


2 years ago

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