Sandals: Chaco Z2 Sandals ? Terrano Sole
I took these sandals with me, brand new, to Wadi Rum. For the whole of the first day I seemed to be flailing around in them and vowed never to wear them on anything other than a flat surface again. At the end of the day I was sat with a bunch of other climbers at the Rest House when an American rolled up and virtually exploded with joy at seeing what I was wearing on my feet. A little perplexed by his reaction to what I had consigned as a poor piece of kit I asked him what the excitement was about. He proclaimed the Z2’s to be the best sandals ever made (and he claimed to have worn a lot of sandals – presumably he was from a hot place!). Quizzical that we were talking about the same piece of footwear I explained to him my frustration at having my big toes tightly held hostage by the toe loops. He laughed, took one of them, and after pulling on the straps a little, handed it back to me to try on. It was miraculous. It was like taking off your walking boots at the end of a long day’s walk, only in reverse. The constricted feeling of having my toe held hostage by the strap was gone. He’d simply pulled the strap through so that it lay flat on the base of the sandal and my big toe was sitting above it. There was still plenty of strapping to hold my foot in place, but the toe loop was gone. Of course it was so simple once you realised that the straps were not stitched into the sole, making for a very nicely adjustable unit, but in the heat of the desert I’d not realised this and persevered over rocky ground as my big toes gradually lost circulation! If you like the look of the sandal, but don;t want the toe loop then the Z1 is pretty much identical, but without the said loop.
So, what’s my opinion now? Excellent. I understand that some strange people like the toe loop and use it on long walks. For me I’ll leave it tucked out of site for the majority of the time. What else? They are a heavy sandal. With the chunky Vibram Terrano sole they weigh in at over 701g (mine are size 10), but they feel like they will last for decades. Never did the strapping feel sweaty or clammy, despite using them in the desert. The ergonomically moulded footbed is very comfortable, and designed to control pronation. Of interest to anyh future buyers, the 2006 model will be lighter weight because the depth of outer behind the lugs has been reduced.
Are they the best sandals in the world? I couldn’t possibly comment as I have only ever owned about 4 pairs, but I can certainly say that they are the best ones I have had…
Reviewed by Matt Heason on behalf of planetFear