The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Chaco Flip EcoTread - Women's Review

This is a colorful and durable flip flop that has good traction and excellent water resistance.
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Price:  $65 List | $38.73 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Water resistant, durable, available in fun colors, easy to clean
Cons:  Textured footbed can cause discomfort, heavy, not super stable
Manufacturer:   Chaco
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 14, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support & Stability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

This flip-flop is one of the best you can choose if you plan to get dirty or wet regularly. It's highly water resistant, extremely durable, and super easy to clean. Chaco has built a reputation for being one of the best brands for navigating rugged terrain and water, and the Flip EcoTread is no exception. While not as secure as a version with a heel strap, this flip is still a solid choice with decent enough traction for an active and unpredictable lifestyle. And with a ton of color and pattern options available, the fun factor is high!

If you live for flip-flops but also love the security of an ankle strap, be sure to check out our Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling, the Astral Rosa. Like the EcoTread, it's made from high-quality rubber and webbing, but it has the bonus of a removable ankle strap, giving you a flip-flop and sandal all in one!

New Version

Chaco discontinued their Flip EcoTread and replaced it with the Playa Pro, which you can read more about below.

August 2019


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $38.73 at REI
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$71.99 at Amazon
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$64.90 at Amazon$74.95 at Amazon$64.95 at Amazon
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Pros Water resistant, durable, available in fun colors, easy to cleanAttractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapExcellent traction, built in orthotics, very stableAnkle strap, water resistant, durable, lightweightVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stable
Cons Textured footbed can cause discomfort, heavy, not super stableStiff, breaking in takes timeRuns big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to itContouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slipSporty look, runs a bit big
Bottom Line This is a colorful and durable flip flop that has good traction and excellent water resistance.A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and some of the most personalized comfort a shoe can offer.A seriously impressive flip-flop with pronounced arch support and excellent traction.A fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip-flops and sandals and wants everything combined in one shoe.If you're looking for a durable flip flop that feels amazing, this is an all-around great shoe to own.
Rating Categories Chaco Flip EcoTread - Women's Birkenstock Gizeh Vionic Tide II Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana - Women's
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
10
Support & Stability (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Durability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Traction (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs Chaco Flip... Birkenstock Gizeh Vionic Tide II Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana -...
Sole material Non-marking EcoTread 25% recycled rubber compound EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) TPR (thermoplastic rubber) Granite Grip rubber Non-marking rubber or gum rubber
Footbed material Women’s specific LUVSEAT polyurethane Cork lined with suede EVA Dual-density EVA Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed
Strap Material Polyester jacquard webbing with high-tensile webbing toe post Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Woven textile fabric and leather with foam lining Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit
Width of Strap (inches) 1" Varied: .75"-2" across top of foot, vertical strap starts at .75" and finishes at 1.5" over toe post 1" Main: .625"-1", add-on webbing strap: .5" 1"
Length of size 9 (inches) 10.5" 10.625" (size 39) 10.25" (size 8) 10.5" 10.75"
Length of toe box (just above toe post) (inches) 1.75" 1.25" 2" (size 8) 1.75" 1.75"
Weight (pair) (ounces) 15.6 oz 13.5 oz 12.8 oz (size 8) 12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps) 13.7 oz
Dry time after being fully submerged Footbed 3 min, straps only slightly damp at 32 min Damp but very wearable at 26 min, underside of strap over an hour to fully dry Footbed 4 min, straps only slightly damp after 30 min Footbed dry to touch at 7 min but damp with weight until 15 min, main straps dry in 22 min, webbing straps damp but good at 30 min Feels damp but good by 11 min, fully dry in 40 min
Unique features Made with partially recycled materials Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet Built-in orthotic Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed
Animal products? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Playa Pro vs. Flip EcoTread


Chaco replaced the EcoTread with the Playa Pro, which has deeper lugs and a more aggressive tread pattern, and uses a sustainable waterless dyeing process on the webbing. The new flip flop is $5 more than the previous version, retailing for $70. Compare the two below, with the Playa Pro shown first.


For now, you can probably find the Flip EcoTread at a discount. The review from here on tells our experience wearing that sandal.

Hands-On Review of the Flip EcoTread


If a fun spring and summer are synonymous with water and dirt for you, then the Flip EcoTread is a smart and fun flip-flop to consider. Highly durable and water resistant with decent traction, this sandal has a reputation for ruggedness and longevity for a reason. It's easy to clean, easy to wear, and hard not to love.

This flip-flop is at home out in nature on rugged terrain.
This flip-flop is at home out in nature on rugged terrain.

Comfort


The Flip EcoTread is by no means a plush or pillowy sandal. Its compact rubber sole is nicely shaped but doesn't provide much cushion, and the textured footbed can be uncomfortable when brand new or if you're not used to it. The polyester jacquard straps seem to have a lot of variability from pair to pair as far as tension and texture (this is the number one discrepancy noted in online reviews and when talking to other Chaco owners). Additionally, the straps have been mounted into the top of the footbed making the available area near the arch noticeably more narrow — a non-issue for some people and very aggravating for others. We had no problems with our tested pair, finding them flexible and supple and overall quite pleasant. Our straps were soft right from the get-go, and because they were a bit loose, we had no chaffing issues.

While not plush or cushioned  the Flip EcoTread is an adequately comfortable sandal.
While not plush or cushioned, the Flip EcoTread is an adequately comfortable sandal.

Support & Stability


The Flip EcoTread offers decent support and stability, but it isn't the best. The straps are loose enough to allow quite a bit of sideways movement and the footbed thins at the front, leaving the toes a bit more exposed. The classic Chaco shape and feel will appeal to some people and not be enough for others, so it's good to try it on if you're unsure.

The Flip EcoTread is a well made flip flop  but the design does allow for more sideways movement than some other more supportive models.
The Flip EcoTread is a well made flip flop, but the design does allow for more sideways movement than some other more supportive models.

Durability


The EcoTread is one of the most durable models in our entire review. It's a well-conceived design with rubber compound soles and polyester webbing, materials known for their longevity. Despite the rigorous tests we put this shoe through, its appearance remained brand new the entire time.

Both the Vionic Tide II and the Chaco Flip EcoTread are great sandals to choose for durability and longevity.
Both the Vionic Tide II and the Chaco Flip EcoTread are great sandals to choose for durability and longevity.

Water Resistance


Water resistance is another category in which the EcoTread excels. The nonporous EVA footbed dries within minutes no matter how soaked, and the straps take about a half hour.

To assess how well our tested flips were able to handle some serious water  every pair got a chilly river bath on a hot day. Here we see some of the contenders with the Chaco Flip EcoTread - an easy top performer for this metric - on the far right.
To assess how well our tested flips were able to handle some serious water, every pair got a chilly river bath on a hot day. Here we see some of the contenders with the Chaco Flip EcoTread - an easy top performer for this metric - on the far right.

Traction


The EcoTread has fairly decent traction, particularly when on dry terrain. Chaco's and dry rock go together like peanut butter and jelly. Wet slick terrain can be difficult for all shoes, but the relatively smooth sole of the EcoTread feels a bit more slippy than some of our other models. Additionally, the waffle-pattern texture on the footbed is very slick when wet, though it does dry quickly. All in all, this flip is decent, but if you're going to be hiking and scrambling a lot, we recommend getting a version with a back strap.

When on dry rock the EcoTread is fantastic for traction  but when the shoe gets wet it can temporarily feel quite insecure.
When on dry rock the EcoTread is fantastic for traction, but when the shoe gets wet it can temporarily feel quite insecure.

Style


The Flip ends up in the middle half of the group for style. It's got a sporty enough look that it doesn't appeal to everyone, yet also has a strong fan base and a bit of a cult following. The number of strap patterns and colors available from Chaco also means that you can customize your look, anything from all black to lighter and brighter like our tested model.

Sporty and fun  the Flip EcoTread has a well established look that's available in tons of fun colors and patterns.
Sporty and fun, the Flip EcoTread has a well established look that's available in tons of fun colors and patterns.

Best Applications


This flip flop is a great choice if you think you'll get wet or muddy frequently. It's super water resistant, and cleaning is as easy as hosing it off or wearing it straight into the shower. While we recommend considering a Chaco model with a heel strap or a hybrid model like the Astral Rosa for long serious hikes or technical river activities, the Flip EcoTread is a solid piece of footwear well suited to a variety of outdoor activities yet also cute enough to dress up for a casual night out.

Value


The EcoTread is moderately priced and lands about in the middle of our test group. It's not an inconsequential amount of money, but it's also not outrageous, especially considering the high-quality, durable shoe you will receive. This flip will last you for many, many years.

Conclusion


The Flip EcoTread is a solidly designed sandal that easily stood up to our months of testing. We did have a few issues crop up, such as lack of support in some scenarios, traction insecurities when the shoe was wet, and a textured footbed that caused discomfort for some. But overall this is a durable and fun sandal that you won't have to worry about falling apart or damaging. It can take some abuse and is a fun and capable shoe to consider adding to your summer footwear arsenal.

The Flip EcoTread isn't plush or cushy  but it's a durable and waterproof shoe well suited to an active and unpredictable lifestyle.
The Flip EcoTread isn't plush or cushy, but it's a durable and waterproof shoe well suited to an active and unpredictable lifestyle.


Penney Garrett