For footwear, the Chaco Z/1 Unaweep is my top favorite for a sandal, and in my Top Three of any footwear option I own.
I bought my first pair back in 2008 when it became obvious I needed better arch support in my shoes. Chaco was a much higher price-point than I had been used to, but, wow, has it been worth it.
Why I love them
Awesome Arch Support
The Z/1 Unaweep offers their most sturdy and supportive sole. If you’re like me and need that “agressive” arch support, they feel wonderful. The rugged, thick sole is great for hiking on rocks, on gravel, in riverbeds, and other uneven or tough surfaces.
The Straps Dry in a Flash
My Chacos go everywhere with me in the summer — in and out of canoes and kayaks, in rivers, in the rain. 15 minutes in the sun and the straps are dry. No more waiting overnight like other sports sandals.
They’re Machine Washable
When I come home from camping or hiking and my Chacos are full of grime, no problem. I spray a little Shout on them, throw them in the wash and they come out good as new.
They’re Soooooo Comfortable!
I can wear them all day every day, whether I’m in the city or in the woods. I personally can’t wear the toe strap versions for more than a couple hours (although I know others find them very comfortable), but the Z/1s are amazing.
I know some prefer good ol’ neutral black. But I love the fun colors. Blues, greens, reds, oranges, purples, browns, combos. Even more cool? You can create your own custom pair if you don’t see the color you want in the model you want.
Where to buy them
They’re available directly from Chacos’ website. That’s where you’ll find the best selection of colors and styles. That’s where you’ll need to go if you want a pair customized for you.
However, for your first pair I recommend finding a local retailer that carries them so you can try on the different styles to see if you like them. The arch support doesn’t work for everyone (my sister, for example).
Chacos.com has a store locator, which makes it easy to find the nearest retailer to you.
Buy through OutdoorPlay and I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). If you choose this option, thank you!
The final word
I love my Chacos!
These are made for active outdoor women like us. Rugged, supportive, colorful. They’re expensive — $100+ for this model — but well worth it, especially as we get older and need better support.
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Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.