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I normally don’t like to write gear- reviews. Usually if something rocks ,then it speaks for itself. However, after owning three pair of Chaco’s over the past decade, I think I am probably pretty qualified to give a valid opinion. Recently after a tragic gruver accident on the Green River trip, I got rid of my old Merrell Chameleons and went back to the Chaco’s.

I loved Chaco’s and was excited to get another pair. My first two pairs lasted a total of 10 years and that was with almost every day use. I used them hiking, backpacking, going to the dentist, wearing them in Ukraine, in Chicago and every other place where you wouldn’t want to expose your feet to the ground (yeah the Gruver experience was that bad).

I got my third pair, with a great deal of enthusiasm and was looking forward to the end- of- year tan that would mark my feet as a Chaco loyalist. Similar to the first two pairs, this third pair rarely left my feet. However, the disappointment and realization set in, because this Chaco company was not the same one that made the first two pairs. Maybe they lost their desire to make the best product, maybe they decided to go fashionable instead of functional.

After less than two months of everyday use, the soles were cracking. For my last two pairs, it took several years before a crack developed that went all the way through the soul. The sad part is, due to my wife’s injury, I didn’t use them nearly as much as I had used the other pairs. They were used more to walk around town, to go to and from work, but not for aggressive hiking or doing rivers, for which they they were originally made.I guess I love the idea and memories of Chaco’s as they were, not what they have become. I would highly recommend avoiding buying Chaco’s. When I find a suitable replacement, I will let you know.