Long-term Chaco Z/Cloud Review
The Chaco Z/Cloud are an excellent pair of do-it-all sandals that strike a thoughtful balance between performance, durability, and comfort. Over the past 2.5 years of use, these sandals have become my go-to choice for everyday wear and are arguably one of the best adventure sandals available.
Footbed: LUVSEAT PU
Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0 mm
Fit: True to size
Manufacturing Country: USA
Warranty: Product lifetime
Length of Test: 2.5 Years
Acquisition: we purchased the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals with our own cash.
Climate(s): Tropical Savanna
Weather: Hot and Humid + Light and Heavy Rain
The Z/Cloud is designed for:
The Z/Cloud isn’t designed for:
Construction: the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals are made with a thick layer of cushioned foam and a proprietary ChacoGrip rubber outsole that are glued together to form an ultra-durable shoe. Even the polyester jacquard webbing and plastic hardware that were selected, prioritize durability and comfort above all else.
After using these sandals in a variety of conditions (from the Thai jungle to urban city streets), the only damage that has occurred is purely cosmetic. Unfortunately, the color is starting to fade in both the ChacoGrip outsole and LUVSEAT PU footbed. Otherwise, the stitching and grip on each sandal is still in solid condition.
If I had to guess, these sandals still have a couple years of life left in them, but due to the color fading, I’ll only use them as hiking and camp shoes from now on.
Traction: I’ve climbed waterfalls and have even hiked during Thailand’s monsoon season with the Chaco Z-Cloud sandals. On muddy and slippery trails, these sandals performed admirably as the 3mm lugs on the ChacoGrip outsole keep you feeling suction-cupped to the ground.
During urban use however, the outsoles don’t perform as well on wet concrete. The sandals are by no means slippery, but you’ll have to be more discerning with each step you take. Alternatively, when the concrete is dry, you’ll be able to run in these sandals without any concern for slipping.
It’s also worth noting that in wet conditions, the PU footbed doesn’t become slippery (at all) because it doesn’t absorb water and dries incredibly quickly.
Fit: the Chaco Z/Cloud’s suction-cup-like traction is supplemented by a comfortable yet snug one-pull adjustment system that moves with your feet but keeps them properly stationed.
For additional foot stability, the sandals have a sculpted heel design that helps control over pronation and provides some arch support to counter-act discomfort from plantar fasciitis.
Comfort: the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals were built for comfort as the cushioned footbed feels like a cloud underneath your feet (the name sort of gives this away). At first glance they might seem clunky, but don’t let the rigid build fool you – they’re sturdy while being simultaneously comfy.
After 2.5 years of use, I’ve never experienced any rubbing, chafing, or hot spots with the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals. Both the smooth webbing and plush PU footbed ooze long-lasting comfort.
Just be aware that Chacos are quite heavy – actually, ridiculously heavy when compared to minimalistic sandals like the Xero Shoes Z/Trail. The heft of these sandals are 100% noticeable when wearing them and that might be an issue for some, but for most its likely a non-issue.
While the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals were designed for a crossover appeal thanks to their overall minimalistic design, they still have more of an outdoorsy vibe to them.
Aesthetically, the Z/Cloud look best in the great outdoors but can still be used in urban environments without anyone looking at you weird. Given their overall versatility, they’re a great choice for travel sandals so you won’t have to lug around multiple pairs with you on a trip.
As for colorways, you can buy the Z/Cloud in all-black or in multi-color combinations.
For some, it might be hard to justify the expense of a pricey sandal, but with Chaco… you get what you pay for which is: superb durability and thoughtful design that’ll last for years of use.
If you’re interested in the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals but want a different strap design, we highly recommend checking out the Z/Cloud 2 – it’s the same sandal, but it comes with a toe loop.
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The Chaco Z/Cloud sandals are exceptionally durable and comfortable, plus they perform well in a wide variety of environments – even slippery conditions. For hiking and general day-to-day use. the Z/Coud sandals are hard to beat unless you’re looking for more of a “barefoot” experience.
Overall, I consider the Z/Cloud to be one of the best do-it-all adventure sandals available. I highly recommend them to anyone that’s interested in a versatile pair of footwear that can take a beating while still looking good in action.
Yes, just be sure to give the footbed time to completely dry out after use – at least a couple hours of direct sunlight
Comfortable out-of-the-box and didn’t require much break-in time.
The Chaco Z/Cloud sandals are still in decent shape, but the colors are starting to wear out.
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