Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"What's in your suitcase?" Wednesday: Chacos

Alternate Title: "Ode on a Pair of Chacos"

Thou sturdy straps and rubber

How have we come this far?

Through rain and dirt and all things foul,

You truly raised the bar.

Never shall my suitcase be

Without your faithful fill.

For never shall I go a mile

Unless my feet you still.


Ok, that's enough of that. I thought maybe a beautiful poem would offset the picture of my feet after a day walking around Rwanda. I probably will wake up tomorrow and wonder why I embarrassed myself like that (with both the picture and the poem). Haven't written anything close to poetry since high school. Good to know I'm still just as bad. Here are the less poetic reasons why I packed my Chacos:

1. Good support

Yesterday I stepped in a hole wearing these babies and boy was I glad they were on my feet. Those of you who know me well are aware of my weak ankles. Stepping in a hole could put me on crutches for days. That would not work too well on this fellowship. However, because I was wearing my Chacos with lots of support meant I merely turned it, needing some ice and ibuprofen for a few days, nothing more.

2. All weather comfort

I'm also extremely grateful for these when it's raining, hot, or filthy on a long walk. They can stand up to these elements and still be as comfortable as tennis shoes.

3. Culturally appropriate

Many travel blogs suggest that you bring shower shoes, but I opted for Chacos instead. They can serve this process while still being a durable and culturally appropriate footwear option. Some countries view cheap flip flops as house shoes and would look down upon them being worn out in public.

4. Easily adjustable

For those of you who don't know much about Chacos, they are incredibly durable sandals with completely adjustable straps. Each spot where the straps connect to the sole, the straps can be pulled through. Then at the back of the ankle there is a strap to tighten all of the straps entirely.

5. Totally customizable

You can buy all kinds of different Chacos - thin strap, double strap, thick soled, colorful, or neutral. For packability, I bought the ultra-thin version. I think this also makes the shoes look more appealing and less bulky. This also means that I can pack them into my suitcase, between the bars on the bottom or in an outside pocket, and they take up absolutely no space!

All in all, I think they are the absolute best travel shoes out there. They're pretty easy to clean on the go as well. The final thing that I have personally liked about these is that they actually look pretty fashionable with all of my outfits. That was important to me, but maybe not to everyone. If it is, be careful about your color selection. That will make all the difference.

Of course there's a catch with a product this great. Chacos can be extremely pricey. My secret is Sierra Trading Post. I mentioned this site in a previous post, but for Chacos it is almost always a goldmine. Visit the site here, and just search for "Chaco." You can then use the filtering options on the left to find exactly what you want. You will almost always save at least 30% on these shoes at Sierra Trading Post. That's often the difference betwen a $100+ pair and a $70 pair. You still get the lifetime guaruntee, though!

If you want the exact kind pictured here, look for the "Fantasia" sandal. These are no longer sold by Chaco itself from what I can tell, but Sierra Trading Post has a few left here for the ladies!





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