Why Chaco Sandals Are So Expensive (Explained)

Paying a hundred bucks for a pair of outdoor sandals might sound like a bad idea, but that’s not the case when it comes to Chacos. Here are a few reasons why Chaco sandals are so expensive.

Chaco footbeds are more durable than regular sandals

One reason why Chacos are so expensive is due to their durable footbed. Chaco makes all of its footbeds out of Polyurethane (PU) compounds, which is a harder foam material.

Unlike disposable foam, PU doesn’t break down or compress with wear. This makes for a durable, long-lasting pair of outdoor sandals that are better for the environment.

A friend of mine who works in the REI footwear department told me that “soft and cushy” is not the way to go when you’re looking for a shoe to hike or otherwise exert yourself in.

The human foot was designed to walk on dirt, not sand (but also not concrete), so it needs a forgiving yet sturdy surface to support it. Chaco sandals emulate such an environment. 

Although they may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, I think the firm footbeds of Chaco sandals last much longer than regular sandals, so think of it as an investment.

As my friend once told me, “You don’t break in Chacos, they break in you!”

Podiatrist-approved arch support

You can find outdoor sandals almost everywhere, but you’re not going to find plenty that are fitted with properly designed arch support on the footbed.

This is another reason why Chaco sandals are expensive. Their sandals are known for their extreme arch support that is designed for people with extremely high arches.

In fact, Chaco takes arch support seriously, since every single style of Chaco sandals has been accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association

If you’re someone with high arches, you’re likely to have trouble finding shoes with enough arch support. Normal shoes leave you with a lot of pain in your feet for extended lengths of time.

Chaco sandals might be expensive, but once you replace your usual flip-flops with their sandals, the strong supportive arch will help discourage overpronation.

It’s also great for plantar fasciitis.

One continuous strap design (unique)

Most outdoor sandals use Velcro as a secure lacing system. If you’re a keen observer, however, you’ll notice that Chaco sandals don’t use Velcro to secure their straps.

I’ve seen a Chaco sandal cut apart. It’s actually one long strap looping around the foot through the sole of the shoe. I think it’s very cool and unheard of, as far as outdoor sandals go.

You might need to fiddle around with the straps until they fit in the right place, but once you’ve gotten accustomed to the straps, Chacos latch onto your feet as no other sandal can.

I’ve once worn my Chacos during a 10k trail run and they didn’t slip whatsoever. I did get some mild chafing from the straps afterward but it wasn’t too bad, all things considered.

Compared to my Reef-like flip-flop sandals that ripped apart on me in the middle of a vacation that left me walking barefoot, my Chacos are still going strong with no signs of slowing down.

Pro tip: Get your Chacos nice and wet to soften up the straps so you don’t get a blister. Wear them in the shower if you don’t have a beach, river, or lake nearby. 

Unbeatable warranty in the footwear industry

Paying somewhere around $100 for a pair of outdoor sandals might seem expensive, but some of that money goes to an unbeatable warranty service for the entire life of the product.

According to Chaco, they stand behind their products. If a product fails because of a defect in materials or the quality of workmanship, they will repair or replace it free of charge.

Of course, if you wish to get a free repair or replacement, your Chaco product must be evaluated by their specialists first-hand for warranty determination.

Based on my experience, however, they’re very considerate.

A few years ago, my sister got involved in a terrible car accident. When they rushed her to the ER, they took her Chacos off. Turns out, they kept them but they cut them off.

I explained what happened to Chaco and asked if we could send them to be fixed. They replied and asked me what her size and favorite color were.

A few days later, a brand new pair of Chacos came in the mail.

How do you beat that level of customer service? From that point on, I was a customer for life. They have my business and I’m sharing what I think about the company on this website.

Chacos are worth every single penny

If you think Chaco sandals are expensive, let me tell you that they’re worth every single penny.

First of all, they last forever. I’ve had a pair going on 11 years and you can barely tell. The footbed material has broken in a bit, but that’s only made them more comfortable.

They’re practically indestructible, offer great support, and they float.

For amphibious activities like outdoor hiking, beach camping, or a day at the lake, I can’t think of a better shoe. For anything else though, they probably aren’t the best.

However, I must warn you. Chacos aren’t for everyone. Their sandals are popular for their extremely high arch support, which may feel painful for people with no arches or low arches.

If you’re paying $100 for a pair of sandals, you better make sure they fit you well. It’s worth trying on a pair and walking around the store for a minute.

Many have tried Chacos and did not like the way they fit their feet.

Some people prefer Tevas over Chacos because of the softer footbed, but I also know a lot of people that prefer Chacos or Tevas. If you can, try on both.

Or, you could shop around for cheaper Chaco dupes that don’t break the bank. If you do get a pair of Chacos, make sure you clean them once every two weeks otherwise they’ll smell bad.