Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Great traction when wet, simple, mono-color design, huge durability factor.
Cons: Textured footbed uncomfortable, straps are stiff and tight – caused chaffing, took a long time to break in.
Best Uses: Casual rafting or kayaking, light hikes/walks, biking around town, coffee runs, eating out, camping, puddle jumping and stream crossing.
The Chaco Flip Sandal was the most durable sandal we tested. However, it was not our top pick mainly because other sandals just were more comfortable. We prefer the Editors' Choice winner, the Olukai Ohana Sandal, or the Reef Fanning Sandal if you are on a budget. That said, it is a great investment for those that demand a lot out of their sandals and feel this flip is comfortable enough. While it is, at heart, a flip flop, it is the closest thing we’ve seen to a sport sandal while still keeping its casual profile. It is lightweight and supportive with a simple, monochromatic design. If you need a flip flop for more active pursuits, and absolute comfort takes a backseat to absolute stability, the EcoTread is the one for you.
Looking for the best flip flop? See our complete Best Men's Flip-Flop Sandals Review.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Chaco Flip is a great flip for more active pursuits. We chose it for water sports such as rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. Or just walking around the creek with a dog. Even in wet terrain our feet rarely slipped, thanks to crisscross grooves in the footbed that seemed to channel water right off the shoe. Also, the straps sit tighter over the foot and never stretched out, making our feet more secure from above as well. The Ecotread is surprising lightweight for being so tough, which came in handy when we needed to keep them on for hours at a time.
Most of the reasons why I liked the Chaco in certain situations are also the reasons I disliked it overall. The grooved footbed wasn’t all that comfortable. While it helped in wet situations, or on casual hikes, it wasn’t what I wanted for just hanging out. Same thing with the straps – while they helped me feel secure they were also quite tight and stiff, and even caused some chaffing in the early days. Overall, this flip is stiff and rigid, which is reassuring for action, but just not “everyday” comfortable.
Most importantly, they may fail the most important test of a flip flop: the ability to slide it on without bending down and using your hands. Maybe it was because we sized ours a little tight, but we couldn't just slide our feet in these at first because the strap is too tight and too flimsy. Over time, it got a little easier, but still, it was never as easy as the Reef Fanning Sandal, which offered a similar high performance once it was on.
Chose this flip flop for more active pursuits and anything involving water.
For a supportive, extremely durable flip, $50 is a good price if you really abuse your sandals. It is the most burly flip we tested and will likely last for years of heavy use. After a year of use they almost look like they just came out of the box!
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 11, 2013
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