Chaco vs Teva: Who Makes the Better Adventure Sandal?
I've found myself twice in the past few weeks being asked who makes better sandals, Chaco or Teva? It's a good question, and a question I've already done a ton of research on. I actually own both brands of sandal. I love both, and both have their pros & cons. SO here it is... my review of both sandals and who makes the better pair...
The two sandals being compared: Chaco Z1 vs Teva Hurricane (both pictured above)
(Disclosure: First I have to say that I purchased both pairs of sandals myself and have not been compensated for this review. Also I might as well add that I come from a family that's forever worn Tevas and my first pair of sandals were Tevas.)
The Feel & Fit
Dealing with adjusting your Chaco straps takes much longer than the simple adjustment of Tevas, however, if you take your time you really can make your Chacos fit *just* right. Tevas use a velcro system so they are very simple to strap on. The soles on the Chacos are much thicker than Tevas while Tevas have a much softer foot bed that is heavenly after a long day of hiking or backpacking. Also, since the Teva foot bed is thinner you can feel rocks, branches and other bumps in the trail under your feet as you're hiking (which I personally like). Chacos have an anti-slip foot bed so even when the shoes get wet, your foot stays put on the foot bed which is SO NICE when you're hiking in wet conditions. Tevas are the opposite and I find the second my feet get wet they tend to slip around a lot in the sandal. If I'm swimming or in a river I go barefoot anyways but if I'm hiking over sharp rocks or constantly getting my feet wet I like to have the Chacos because my feet don't move anywhere, even coming downhill. BOTH give me blisters if I hike in them without socks, which surprised me because I didn't expect the Tevas to give me blisters, but they did.
Tevas have a softer and thinner footbed
Chacos are better in wet conditions because of the anti-slip footbed
Chacos are harder to adjust but have more customization when it comes to the adjustments.
Chacos are considerably heavier than Tevas. I've never brought my Chacos backpacking because the Tevas are so much lighter and like I mentioned above, the soft Teva foot bed is wonderful after a long day on the trail. A pair of Chacos weighs 21.2 oz. (over a pound) and a pair of Tevas weighs 14.6 oz.
Quality & durability
Tevas has been in the sandal game forever and were the original outdoor sandal. Both shoes are good quality and very durable. As mentioned, Chacos have a thicker sole on the sandal so they tend to be more durable. Additionally, since Tevas uses a velcro system, sometimes when the velcro wears out you have to throw out the shoe because the straps no longer stick. Also both shoes float, so when you're out in the water you don't have to worry about accidentally sinking a shoe. I'm going to say that both are the same quality for their own reasons. The only thing Chaco has over Teva is they don't have velcro that can fluff out over time.
I went to each brand's website to find the price of the shoe being reviewed. The Teva Hurricane costs $60 and the Chaco Z1 costs $105. So the Tevas are significantly cheaper. However, that's not to say you can't find Chacos on sale or for cheaper! See below for some I found on sale :)
I love both. Really. If you asked me which you should buy I would ask you what you plan to do with them. If you told me you wanted a pair of camp sandals that you could take backpacking, I would recommend Tevas. If you wanted a pair of shoes for kayaking or that could be taken on wet hikes where you'd be hiking with wet feet, I would say Chacos for sure. The verdict: I have no verdict. It's really up to personal preference and style. Like I've already said, I really love both my pairs and I use them both regularly for different reasons. Also, I know this review is for Tevas and Chacos so that's what I'm focusing on but there are SO MANY other shoe choices. I linked some minimalist sandals at the end of the post as well.
But if I HAD to choose only one...
Okay, OKAY. If I had a gun to my head and someone said "Give me your Chacos or give me your Tevas"....... I'd give them my Chacos. The reason being I really, really love my Tevas as a camp shoe, especially when backpacking, because the footbed is so soft and they're much lighter weight. I find myself reaching for my Tevas when heading outdoors, but my Chacos when I’m running errands or headed to a brewery. Because of that, I’d have to choose my Tevas!