ECCO Yucatan - Women's Review
Cons: Inflexible sole, heavy, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
After reading a zillion positive reviews, we had to give the ECCO Yucatan a try. There is a lot of shoe here, and while we found this model to be comfortable, we ultimately didn't think it was worth the hype. Read on to learn why.
The materials of the Yucatan's footbed and straps feel good against the skin, and these sandals took virtually no time to break in. We did notice a few persistent points of discomfort where the linings of the straps overlap, creating thick pads of fabric that press into the foot (this is a bigger problem for those with narrow feet, who will have to tighten the straps more than the wide-footed).
This sandal is comfortable while walking around town or on mellow trails. For more technical pursuits, the Yucatan suffers. With bulky, lined straps and lots of side coverage, there is a lot of sandal-to-foot contact, and our feet got uncomfortably hot on steep hikes. The Yucatan's relatively hard, stiff sole felt jarring underfoot while carrying a heavy pack. For a sandal that's just as supportive but a lot more comfortable over technical terrain, we love the Chaco Z/Cloud 2.
The Yucatan features a molded footbed and wide straps, so our feet felt totally stable within these sandals. That said, this model's sole is among the thickest and least flexible we tested, so when walking on rough trails, the sandal had no give to cushion our legs from uneven terrain. Imagine hiking with your feet encased in bricks: You're foot's not going anywhere inside the brick, but the brick isn't taking on any of the trail's roughness for you. The Yucatan's certainly aren't bricks, but their soles are a little brick-like.
We were generally impressed by how well this sandal performed in this category. On granite and steep trails, the Yucatan's durable rubber sole held its own against the more technical sandals in our test group, and its footbed material held our feet steady. Unfortunately, the rigid sole makes it really difficult to bend the toe box downward, so it's hard to grip uneven surfaces. By contrast, the super-flexible sole of the Bedrock Cairn Adventure provided superior grip over uneven rocks.
The Yucatan isn't recommended for water use, but we thrashed it through a few streams for you anyway. The footbed definitely becomes more slippery when wet, and the sole didn't provide great traction over wet rocks. If you're looking for a model with superior traction on wet and dry ground alike, check out the Chaco Z/Cloud 2.
The Yucatan has three adjustable Velcro straps: one across the top of the foot, one across the toes, and one around back. All of them are easy to adjust quickly, and all can be adjusted one-handed. Note, though, that the toe strap has a non-adjustable (though slightly stretchy) lining, so it's only really possible to tighten this strap, not loosen it. Our narrow-footed tester was fine with this, but those with wide or even regular feet may find the toe strap uncomfortably tight.
The Yucatan is a fine sandal for around-town use, but it underperformed for most technical applications compared to the rest of our test group. This is also one of the heavier and bulkier models we tested, so we wouldn't choose it as a camp sandal for backpacking trips or tuck it into a carry-on.
This model does have the all-important ability to accommodate socks, so for car camping trips, yard work, or even just chilly mornings at the dog park, the Yucatan is a decent option.
Style is subjective, so you can decide based on the photos in this review whether the Yucatan is a good lookin' shoe for you. We can report that the friends and family we surveyed weren't huge fans of this model and that its overall clunky shape left us feeling less than stylish when wearing it around town. On the upside, the Yucatan has 13 colorway options, so you can pick what works best with your wardrobe.
This model performs best around town, or perhaps on a nature trail or a flat, mellow hike. It's also an easy sandal to slip on for gardening, yard work, or other chores around the house.
We think $135 is a whole lot to pay for a sandal that's not suitable for technical use. That said, the Yucatan is undoubtedly durable and is made of quality materials, so if you're looking to buy the last around-the-yard sandal you'll need for a long time, this could be worth the investment.
The ECCO Yucatan is a comfortable, durable sandal that could be a great choice if you're planning to stick around town, but it's not a good option for those who also want to hike, bike, swim, and generally get dirty in their sandals.
— Joanna Trieger