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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all,

i just thought i'd post a small (heh) review on my new sandles i picked up a few days back.

this will be long.

i had previously worn a very much adored pair of doc marten fisher type sandles. they were of course adorned in cows skin and well, i DID wear them quite a lot last summer (vegan of 2+ years). but i just didn't feel comfortable with the idea of wearing them and advertising my veganism with the patches/stickers/buttons/clothes as i have taken to doing.

i owned these for maybe 6 years, and they were very expensive. i ended up just donating them in a splurge decision to the thrift store i work at. funny, i never did see them after that? either they got bought up real quick or someone in back had their way with them....hmm. i often wonder...


the Chaco sandles...right.

my choices when i went out looking locally were vegan birkenstocks (we just got a birkenstock store in town...woo hoo!), or some model of tevas.

i scoped out the birks. and well, the fake leather looked tacky imo. and anyhow, i didn't like the way they looked, nor the slip on type of sandle like that, or the obvious "i'm a college student" stereotype
. i do a lot of street treking it should be known. not lounging and car driving. next i went into a sporty place not far away called fontana and had a look at their choices. sure they had the tevas....i got to thinking...these things are probably made in some wayward country by unskilled, opressed peoples (i haven't checked this, if fact or fiction). and well, this time around for me buying new clothing type things i am making a concious effort to support fairer businesses. they also just looked cheap, cosmetic, the tevas. my thoughts were confirmed by the person who helped me out.

but wait, the unknown savior! a sandle i had NEVER ever heard of before. and look, wow! spartan simplicity at that is what they first spoke of to me (a good trait in anything, keep it simple...before anything else).

i wasn't going to just buy them outright, but i looked at the various models, and blah, blah. decided to do my reresearch on this company when i got home (was kind of poopy feeling, not in the consumerizing mood). so far though it looked promising from a leaflet i picked up, and the inspection i gave of the sandles.

here is a paragraph explaining some of their values from their website http//


Based in rural Western Colorado, Chaco offers a concise line of footwear for the comfort obsessed. We are not a division of Nike, Proctor and Gamble or The Gap. We dont advertise, sponsor extreme athletes, or trade on the NYSE. Were proud of our independence. We live and breathe footwear.

To maintain our sanity and resist schizophrenic design impulses, we work within carefully defined parameters. All Chaco footwear must exhibit quality of the highest standards. From glue bonds to stitch lines to polyurethane formulations, Chaco products are second to none in quality. This type of quality translates into durability and longevity; our products are built for the long haul. In addition, all Chaco footwear can be resoled, a process that saves resources and dollars. Running parallel to quality are fit and function. The highest quality footwear is worthless if it doesnt fit well, provide the support necessary for all day comfort, and meet the functional needs of the day. To achieve this, we address the dynamics of the stride with a combination of footbed contours, function specific materials and outsole geometries designed to enhance the walking motion.


i did my research. and was happy to find their gorgeous website. now that i think of it, i didn't do any more than that. there was very little doubt in my mind that this wasn't a very loved company and brand of sandles. they have 3 different models of sandles, and you can choose from 3 different soles and about 6 different strap colors. do the math! lots of choices, which i found was a problem visiting the local dealers....i initially liked the look of the chong (which is displayed as the z2 on their site in some places...). and the eden and midnite color straps. i had more of an idea of their choices...but i wasn't sure exactly what i was going to get. NOW, i am SOOO glad i just didn't go and buy these online from what i had saw visually on their site. i would have been really disapointed in my choice i think. there are many merits to supporting local business if you have them, and who can argue with the tactileness of a physical product in your hand for your own critical assesment?

well, i have had decent luck buying online...but these would have been my some extent. as when i got to fontana i discovered quite a lot, by just trying these sandles on.

so went out the next day to try some on (hadn't done so the night before). try some on. first thing. these sandles are infinetly adjustable. the strap loops under the footbed in a continously ingenous foot supporting way. its really neat actually. i tried on the z1 and z2, they didn't have the chong. the difference being the z2 has a toe loop for more support. i was kind of turned off by the toe loop initially. as it seemed to me that i could never wear socks with these sandles. but...after a nice chicky volunteered that "she was an owner...and was very exuberant about how she felt about these sandles" i asked about the toe loop. and she showed me that it can be flattened out and then you basically have a z1! i was so in awe! ok. that dissmissed that concern. now the z2 was looking really great! i liked the added flexibility. and this chicky (do not mean to offend anyone) told me that the z1 didn't give her enough support and her foot slid around to much in less secure sandles...though she only mentioned tevas...hmm.

try, try. well. then i run into the issue of to much choice. of the 3 soles, the terrno is the most aggressive and suited for street walking/hiking. the colorado is less aggressive, not as thick, somewhat softer, and stickier. the 5/10 is really just for water sports and wasn't stocked anywhere i went.

now, fontana did have the terrno in the z1 and z2 model. but only in limited band colors. black only in the z2. ugh...that really turned me off. i don't want to comprimise i think to myself. no. so, i leave there thinking i will do some more research into buying online, and other stores in town that may carry these sandles. the college student helping me out, was not a very good shoe salesman i should add. but to his credit he was decent, if not overly helpfull. i mentioned that "you probably are the only store in town that stocks these, right?". "oh yes, absolutely". what a wanker...hehe. there turned out to be 7 other places in town! but, i figured he was just not really listening to me nor really "there"...entirely. you know? hehe. i am like that too at times.

that night, look around online. find more stuff. sandles are no cheaper online, more variety. the cost of shipping, and just waiting. nah, i like the idea of supporting locals. even if i have to comprimise a bit. thats cool.

call around the other places. same thing i found at fontana. none had EXACTLY what i was looking for. egh, in fact fontana seemed to have the best selection i decided after that. and it was convenient to get to. so back i went...intent on buying.

go back. try stuff on. this time i got the resident expert to help me out
. and wow, i'm so glad he was there! he had so much good info to offer! i left there with a z2 model with a colorado sole and a midnite (musk) color strap, and a size 2 times larger! than i had initially considered myself to be. it turns out that your feet stretch out under load, and feet are flattening out as they stretch quite a bit more than what is normal
. i didn't know this, and was very gratefull to know and get a very detailed description and to hear this gentlemans own experience with his feet. he made it very clear that this could cause me problems, and had a whole slew of ideas on things i could do and things that i should just take notice of. like how i walk, if my feet ever hurt when walking on hard floors barefoot.

blah, blah.

so i've had the sandles 2 days now. what are my impressions? well, it takes some time to adjust them well. it is a bit tricky, but a good tip that the second guy who helped me is that you pull on the straps outside of your feet to tighten, and the inside to loosen. my feet will definetly need some time to adjust to these. the toe loop feels kind of weird, but seems ok. my only concern that i noticed yesterday was that the left ball of my big toe was rolling forward and back as i was walking normally. the result being a very painfull blister if i wasn't carefull. i tried tightening the fit on that one, and it got a bit better, but didn't go away. no problem at all in the right big toe.

another thing is that it seems my heels are 2 different widths or the sandles are themselves....hmm. as my right heel was tending to roll againts the upraised portion of the places where the strap went into the footbed (it was reinforced and upraised a bit).

otherwise. these are great! should note that they are infinetly repairable to boot! there are only 3 parts to the entire sandle! a sole, the footbed, and the strap! oh! and they look rawkin! spartan simplicity!

lastly. all vegan! the small logo patch would be the obvious place for leather. but in its places is a small piece of soft plastic with their modest logo.

these were pricey ($90+), but i am certain i made a good investment and choice here!


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thats great richbebe! i hope to give mine similar treatment this summer at a place called devils lake! its not the grand canyon, but the crater of an old volcano. the sides of it are strewn full of HUGE boulders that are great for rock hoping...though a bit dangerous.
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