Chaco is a brand of footwear known for its product line of Z strap sandals, usually referred to as Chacos. The sandals were originally intended for use by whitewater rafting guides. In 2009, the brand was acquired by Wolverine World Wide, the company that also owns Sperry Top-Sider, Merrell, and a variety of other footwear brands including the exclusive license to manufacture Patagonia footwear. Under the Chaco brand there are a variety of shoes and sandals as well as other products geared towards fans of the sandals.
Z Strap Sandals
The main strap of Chacos run in a Z shape across the right foot when viewed from the top, hence the product name 'Z'.
The Z/2 sandals have a toe loop. The ZX sandals have two narrower straps rather than one wide strap and are currently only available in women's models. Chacos are available with various soles listed below:
The Colorado is the original Chaco sole and named after the river which inspired it. It is currently only available when ordering a custom sandal or when re-soling sandals through the ReChaco service. This sole is thinner and flatter than the later Unaweep and Terreno varieties. This shape affords it better traction on slippery surfaces. It is a non-marking sole developed and manufactured by Vibram using the rubber compound TC-1.
This sole was developed for durable use on loose and dry terrain (hence its name). It is currently only available when ordering a custom sandal or when re-soling sandals through the ReChaco service. While it can be worn in the water it was developed for its durability as wearers of the original sandal used them in areas beyond whitewater rafting. It is a non-marking sole developed and manufactured by Vibram using the rubber compound TC-1.
Named after a canyon in Colorado, this is currently the standard sole on Z strap sandals. It was developed as a compromise between the earlier two soles. It is a non-marking sole developed and manufactured by Vibram using the rubber compound TC-1.
Diamond Stealth (Discontinued)
Named after the diamond pattern on the sole, these are considered by many to be the highest traction Chaco soles ever produced. It is a marking sole developed by Stone Age Equipment, Inc., the owner of Five Ten Footwear using the Stealth rubber compound.
Developed as a response to the discontinued Diamond Stealth sole, the Pro sole gets its name as a nod to its intended use by whitewater professionals. It has better wet traction than all other soles currently available. It is a marking sole developed and manufactured by Vibram using the rubber compound GM (also known by its trade name "Idrogrip").
Yampa is a light use sole and its name is a reference to the calmwater floating trips that people take on the Yampa River. This sole is sold in several colors. It is a non-marking sole developed and manufactured by Vibram using the rubber compound TC-1.
Many other soles both proprietary and Vibram standard soles are used in lower performance sandals and shoes. For example, the EcoTread is a sole developed and manufactured by Chaco using a portion of recycled rubber. In the "Rex" model, EcoTread is available with sipes.
- "Chaco". Our Brands. Wolverine World Wide. 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Wolverine World Wide Acquires Chaco Footwear". Associated Press. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Cowdin, Christi (22 January 2009). "Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Announces Acquisition of the Chaco Footwear Brand". Reuters. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Resoling? Select Your Outsole". Chaco USA. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "What's Your Sole?". Chaco Blog. Chaco UK. 12 June 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Yampa River". Whitewater Rafting Guide to River Trips. Rafting.com. Retrieved 17 August 2013.