Published on February 11th, 2016 | by Andrea Bertoli
Chaco Does Green Business Right
For years, I’ve teased my partner about his choice of hiking gear. He swears by his Chaco sandals, and patiently ignores my remarks about them being a little goofy looking. He’s been seriously devoted to his Chaco sandals for over decade, and I’ve never understood it. But after he carried me and my inappropriate dryland hiking shoes across yet another river, he decided that it was time for me to get my own set of Chacos. And I’m so glad I did!
Chaco make some great gear for adventurers like us, and the company prides themselves on their long-lasting and durable footwear technology. Not only are the soles designed for arch support inside and great grip outside, the outsole is 25% recycled rubber. The footbeds are made out of polyurethane, so it doesn’t breakdown or compress, leading to a longer-lasting product. When your Chaco’s do eventually wear out, they can be repaired with minimal cost, leading to a product that stands up to tough conditions and that can be fixed if you’re a bit too tough on them.
Scott has had his set of Chaco’s for over a decade, and finally they came apart on the hike in the photo above (probably from the extra girlfriend weight!). He did some research, found out that they do repairs and re-soling of their sandals for a small fee of $40. But, even though he’s had his sandals for 10 years, they said the repair was still under warranty, and the repair only cost him the shipping fee. They repaired both the soles and the straps, making them essentially brand new sandals with as little waste as possible.
Not only are their products are exceptionally well-made and will stand the test of time, they continue to make efforts to reduce their waste and packaging. This is the new pair I got, packaged in a collapsible cardboard box with no glue and no tape (thus fully sustainable and recyclable). The shoes were packed with recycled shoe-stuffers and simple brown paper, for very minimal packaging waste.
I’m already really happy with my new kicks: I took them on a hiking adventure right out of the box for some volcano hiking on the Big Island of Hawaii. The shoes held up great, were grippy and supportive, and let me worry a little bit less about getting my toes wet. There were no rivers in Volcano, but I look forward to crossing them on our next backpacking trip– this time on my own two feet!