My biggest source of stress while packing for a trip always comes down to footwear.
On a weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina, I once packed five pairs of shoes because I thought I needed fancy heels, sturdy walking shoes, sneakers for working out, flip-flops for whatever, and another pair of heels in case the first pair were too annoying.
I ended up wearing my flip flops the entire time.
When space is an issue, shoes are the one thing I need to scale back on. Now that I’ve tried a few different styles of Chaco’s, I know I never need to pack more than just one pair. This brand of shoe is famous throughout the travel community for their functionality and durability on the road, but women especially like the stylistic qualities they bring to any trip.
Depending on your next adventure, here’s why a pair of Chaco’s should be the only type of shoe you need to pack:
Best for: beach/warm weather destinations, casual summer trips.
Flip-flops are small enough that I end up bringing 4 different pairs for a week-long trip to Costa Rica. I like having something easy to throw on for the beach, but that means I need to bring another pair a bit fancier for dinner or dancing. Chaco’s ReversiFlip has allowed me to pack just one pair of flip-flop-style shoe, because the secret is in the interchangeable straps.
Using their intuitive toggle system, I can use funky and fun neon straps during the day, then switch them out for more subtle, black suede straps if I decide to sip on cocktails at a fancy bar. The straps and the shoes are super light, and the ergonomic design helps alleviate arch strain I get while wearing the $5 Old Navy flip-flops I’ll just end up tossing at the end of my trip anyway.
Best for: days when you’re out and about for long periods of time, easy hiking and swimming activities.
Wearing the ZX/2 sandal is awesome for more active itineraries. They are comfortable and durable enough for hiking through rainforests, and don’t float off my feet when I decide to take a dip at a hidden waterfall. They mold to your foot’s shape so your arches and heels are protected, and the different-colored, adjustable straps mean you can choose a pair to match your personality.
I’m able to last all day in my ZX/2 sandals, which is good because I never have to delay activities to change my shoes because my feet hurt. My grandma even complemented mine when I showed up at a family barbeque, saying they were nicer-looking than the boring flip-flops everyone else wore. Maybe I’ll get her a pair for Christmas.
Best for: tight itineraries involving water, hiking, and other rugged activities, where you can’t carry two different types of shoes.
According to ShoeAdviser‘s Lilly Harvey, a shoe enthusiast and collector, This pair gives the flat-footed runner great support from heel to toe and is efficient at absorbing shock. By far one of the best travelling shoes for flat feet. It is a shoe that is perfect for training thanks to the cushioning provided.
One time, I tried hiking over slipper rocks in flimsy, rubber-slipper water shoes that I had bought at beachside boardwalks. It sucked. Thankfully Chaco’s has created The OutCross Evo2, because now I don’t look like a waterpark newb while transitioning from whitewater rafting along the Delaware River, to a casual cabin lunch.
Part sneaker, part water shoe, the second generation of OutCross Evo footwear (hitting stores in Spring of 2015) is awesome because it’s functional and fashionable. Plus, it cuts down on how many pairs of shoes I have to pack, and their ability to withstand water activities means my feet will be comfy and dry quicker than from wearing sneakers or hiking boots.
Camping soon? Find the sleeping bag that’s right for you.
Special thanks to Chaco for providing these shoes for me to review. All opinions are my own.