Chaco Z/2 Yampa Sandal Review

Chacos and Injinji  hiking in Teanaway, Washington
Intro:
On April 3rd, 2015, I had a bunionectomy and a osteotomy on my first and fifth metatarsal (Big toe and pinky toe). For those who are more picture orientated, the picture bellow shows what was done on only one side of my right foot. Main reason I got surgery was due to the fact that my feet were growing wider and out of my shoes and boots. What does this have to do with the Chaco Sandal? Well... it was the first shoe I could comfortable put on my foot even with the massive swelling in my right foot. I still have quite a bit of swelling in my right foot but the Chaco sandals have been a life changer as my foot transitions from recovery to being completely healed. 


First metatarsal bunionectomy and osteotomy
How it Fits:
The Chaco Z/2 or Z/1 come in standard widths or wide widths which means they cater to a large audience of people of different size feet. Due to the unique webbing system of the Chacos, one can lighten or loosen different parts of the sandal for a custom fit. The Z/2 is the model with the toe strap while the Z/1 doesn't have a toe strap. Even with my right foot being a swollen, club, foot I can still hike fairly decently and are perfect for everyday activities. Honestly, I probably wouldn't be able to hike so shortly after surgery, let alone live a normal life, if I didn't have my chacos. I'm enjoying my Chacos so much that I'm considering getting a second pair. The chacos provide enough arch support that I don't even think about how i'm not wearing orthotics. Few if any shoes provide such support!


Chaco Z/2 tightening or Loosening
Performance:
I've had the best luck with pairing my Z/2 chacos with Injiji toe socks for hiking, particularly, since I have to leave the straps fairly loose for my foot swelling. Literelly two months and four screws later, my wife,  my friend Kyle, and I followed the Bean Creek Trail in the Teanaway area to the climbers path to Earl Peak. Just shy of 4000 gain, the Chacos hiked like a champ even in the chossy loose scree below the summit.

Chacos on Earl Peak, behind is the Stuart Range
Another trip the Chacos performed great was on a beautiful hot day just north of Carbon River entrance of Mount Rainier National Park. I hiked to Summit Lake and the ridge behind to it access some spectacular views of Rainier and of the Lake. Fairly easy hike of 1800 gain and 6-7 miles roundtrip. On this trip I didnt wear my toe socks and I got a few blisters, mostly on my right post surgery foot. I'm thinking its more of a personal issue than a product issue. I used the chacos again for the seven lakes basin loop in the ONP. 3 days of backpacking and around 24 miles later, the Chacos worked perfectly with my injinji toe socks.

Chacos doing Chaco type activities near Summit Lake
Getting the Z/2 one with the toe strap vs the Z/1 that's toe-less is more of a personal preference, but the toe strap is nice on slanted scrambling for keeping your feet snug to the sandal

Summary:
Anyone looking for a durable, reliable, sandal that hikes well and is comfortable for everyday wear should consider getting a Chaco Z/2 or Z/1 Sandal. So good, I'm getting a Z/1 to compliment my Z/2 Chacos!

Pros:
  • Burly and can be resoled
  • Comes in different widths
  • Able to customize your own chacos including sole material
  • Respectable pricing compared to Keens or Tevas 
  • Awesome Arch Support!!!


Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Straps take awhile to familiarize

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