SOCIAL MEDIA

10 September 2014

Chacos in China

When you move to Southeast Asia with nothing but the contents of a couple suitcases, you learn to become exceedingly strategic about the contents of those suitcases.

It's a well-known fact that Westerners often have trouble purchasing shoes in Asia because of our generally larger feet. That's not a problem that really affects Angel and I, because neither of us have particularly large feet, so our sizes are available here, but that still leaves us with the problem that, while inexpensive shoes are widely available, they are generally of poor quality.

Chacos in China

Our lifestyle here means that our shoes take a beating. We walk to the grocery store, to church, to the park, to the metro station--because of our lack of a car, we walk everywhere. This makes comfortable shoes a necessity, and durable shoes that are worth their space and weight in a suitcase because they won't break after a couple months are very much desired. The climate where we live is hot and humid most of the year, which causes us to rebel against any form of shoes that enclose our feet and require socks. This heat and humidity also means that if your feet sweat at all, shoes are even more likely to become smelly than they already are by nature of being shoes. Sidewalks here don't tend to be very clean, and if we happen to be out walking and get caught in a downpour, we've noticed that the road drains can't keep up with the volume of water, which leave us wading through an impromptu stream. Because of this factor--shoes that can be washed are quickly becoming a priority!

Given all of these factors of our new lifestyle: Enter Chacos!

I know there are plenty of die-hard Chaco fans out there, and others who think it's ridiculous to spend nearly $100 on a pair of sandals. I'd never even heard of them when we got married, but Angel already had a pair, and bought me one for our 2nd summer together. He got a 2nd pair last fall because he planned on spending most of his future life wearing Chacos and wanted another color option.

That means, in the photo above: one of the shoes was purchased in 2009, one was purchased in 2012, and one was purchased in 2013. It's not easy to tell by the wear which of the shoes is the oldest, is it?

And yet these sandals haven't sat in a closet for years. They've been worn caving in Malaysia, kayaking in Minnesota and Texas, walking into Lake Huron in north Michigan, climbing trails in Hawaii, and most recently, over miles and miles of Chinese sidewalks.

I fully admit that I'm a cheapskate. And I'm no brand-lover. But I've had enough experiences with cheap shoes spontaneously disintegrating to be highly impressed by shoes that are indestructible, comfortable, and washable.

Yeah, it's a pricey sandal, but in our very scientific experiments, it appears that even after  5 years of regular wear, you can expect your Chacos to be in very usable, even nearly-new condition, and that impresses me. If you're in the market for long-lasting pair of shoes that are ideal in hot climates, Chacos are it!

If you're a long standing fan, where have your worn your Chacos? If you're not, what would it take to convince you?

23 comments :

  1. I don't own any Chacos, but I think I may have to invest in some. I like Keen sandals, though, and they are about the same price. You can also toss most of them in the wash--definitely a plus!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any pair of shoes that lasts you for 5+ years is well worth $100, in my books. Getting shoes, at nearly any price point, to last through five years of regular wear is something of a rare feat (pun mildly intended ;)) these days, filled as they are with fast, cheap fashions galore. It's great that you guys have this brand to avail of and hope that yours last you for not just five, but ten or more years.

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes you did convince me :) Jeez, I didn't realize the weather there was so obnoxious and that shoes become that important. I guess you quickly realize your priorities. At least you bought those shoes here - I'm sure they would've been highly more expensive there, if found, or come with ridiculous shipping fees. :) Hope you guys have fun! Have a great weekend Rachel -Iva

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a pair! I was given mine and they sat in my closet for quite a while because I couldn't get them fitted just right; now, I thoroughly enjoy them and where them quite often! As far as name brand stuff goes: I buy it, not just because it's name brand...I have to like it and it has to be proven that it's good quality; I never buy name brand because it's "popular" - for example, I will probably never own a Louis Vuitton bag. I don't like them, even though I'm sure they're great quality. However I love Michael Kors bags and they are name brand. It's because not only are they super cute, they last FOREVER! You get what you pay for!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love Chacos! My one foot has a stress fracture and have to be super careful about what shoes I wear because it gets aggravated easily. Chacos are approved by the American Podiatrist Association and are the only flip flops that don't hurt my feet. My first pair I had for 5-6 years. I easily wore them exclusively 6-7 months out of the year before a strap broke. So even though they did cost $80, that's a lot better than buying a new pair of flip flops every year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never worn Chacos, but it certainly looks like they are earning their keep!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the look of Chacos, and I've only ever heard amazing things about them! Someday when I live somewhere that doesn't average 40-50 degrees year round, I'm going to invest in some.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for the kind words!
    We love the Chacomania, Chaco

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have such a huge issue with spending that kind of money on shoes but it does seem as though time and time again people sing praises of chacos and they really do seem to last forever!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm a big Chacos fan-- in the summer they're basically permanently attached to my feet! I remember balking a little at the $90 price tag when I bought them in 2004..... but I am still wearing the same pair today and not going to stop anytime soon. Best travel investment ever :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Brand, schmand...but a truly good shoe is worth it's weight in gold. I have paid the price of pain more than once when buying a cheap shoe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've never worn them, but they definitely seem worth it!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Chacos! So many people love them and I have never really tried them to see what I think. I do know that good shoes in Asia is a MUST! When I lived in Korea I had these heavy flip flops on and we got caught in a monsoon and let me tell you one of my flip flops got washed off my foot! I had to chase it down but I did manage to get it.

    For Asia I purchased GladSoles. They are a minimalist sandal. I traced my feet and they cut out a sandal to fit my feet. They are made from vibram and can be washed too. They come with 2 pairs of laces. I'll be sharing more about them next week. So, if I hadn't discovered GladSOles I'd probably be buying Chacos. I'm glad you found good shoes for Asia!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! http://iwillbloom.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/liebster-award-ive-been-nominated/

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been meaning to buy a pair of these. I think you've convinced me :) they are expensive, but you really can't beat quality and comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  16. just found your blog via the crazy internet clicks and loving it! i also looooove me some chacos! i got my first pair when i was 17 and split them with my mom when i became a head counselor at a summer camp!

    my chacos have also traveled through caves in malaysia just 3 weeks ago-crazy! they have also taken me through the great pyramids, on the beaches of thailand, around my neighborhood in oregon, through the pacific ocean as well as the atlantic. anywhere i go, they basically come with me. you are so right that they last and are great for so many terrains! sounds like some adventuring is happening in china-yay!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Our chacos are worn everywhere! Even on our trip to Italy where they weathered 8-10 miles a day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. After seeing that picture I'm sold. I had some college friends who were hardcore in love with their Chacos and heavily mourned the death of a pair. I didn't get it. But I think now I do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't even know what Chacos are. The closest thing I can think of is a Choco Taco. Mmmmmm. Ice cream taco. :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. I haven't tried those sandals, but they're my brother's favorite and he did say that it's the best! I think I must try to use one when trekking..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Chacos are great! I wore them the whole time I was in Semporna, East Malaysia, climbing up and down wooden ladders to flimsy stilt houses and hoping on and off boats. I wear them when cycling, hiking etc... Haha, when people look at me as if I'm crazy to wear sandals to hike I tell them they are "all terrain sandals"

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love my chacos! I do hate that the big toe part starts to tighten as I walk but they are super comfy. They also support my arches better than pretty much any shoe.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've been wanting a pair for a while, but since I don't especially need them right now I just can't justify the price :/

    ReplyDelete