Reviews You Can Rely On

Chaco Canyonland - Women's Review

For those on the hunt for a water shoe that functions just as well on the river as it does on a side hike
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Chaco Canyonland - Women's Review
Credit: Chaco
Price:  $110 List
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Manufacturer:   Chaco
By Monica Nigon ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 14, 2024
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Traction - 25% 5.0
  • Warmth - 15% 7.0
  • Versatility - 15% 8.0
  • Sensitivity - 10% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

When it comes to transitioning from raft to canoe to a side hike to town, you can't beat the Chaco Canyonlands. With a classy look and a standard lace-up design, you won't think twice about wearing them on a hike where you'll have to cross streams or even to the post-trip hangout spot. They show more durability than the last Chaco model and seem less likely to separate from the footbed. They demonstrated superior comfort, both with bare feet and with layers, and decent traction across a variety of surfaces.
REASONS TO BUY
Versatile across a few water sports
Stretches enough to layer
Durable for side hiking
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks traction on hard wet surfaces
Inflexible

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line For a shoe with high durability and enough support to navigate a side canyon but also does well in a canoeWith stellar traction and comfort, we reached for the Xtratuf Riptides when navigating slippery terrain in all sorts of temperaturesThere's no match for the Salomons when it comes to comfort, whether in the water or hiking on landFor the avid kayaker, the flexibility and traction in this model is unparalleledThese shoes are an excellent beginner's water shoe, but probably won't hold up on rougher excursions
Rating Categories Chaco Canyonland -... Xtratuf Riptide - W... Salomon Techamphibi... Astral Loyak - Women's DLGJPA Lightweight...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Traction (25%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Warmth (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Sensitivity (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Chaco Canyonland -... Xtratuf Riptide - W... Salomon Techamphibi... Astral Loyak - Women's DLGJPA Lightweight...
Measured Weight (lb per pair, US size 8) 1.25 0.94 0.55 0.87 0.44
Drainage Features Mesh on upper Mesh on upper Mesh on upper, holes on sole Outsole is draining Mesh on upper, drainage holes on sole
Removeable Insole? No Yes Yes Yes No
Footwear Closure Laces Drawcord Quicklace Laces Drawcord
Available Widths Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Upper Materials Synthetic mesh Synthetic mesh Synthetic, textile Hydrophobic canvas Synthetic mesh
Midsole PU molded LUVSEAT EVA, TPU EVA 7mm thick, 45C closed cell EVA foam None
Outsole ChacoGrip PLUS rubber compound Rubber Rubber Flexi-grip, G15 (Astral tech) Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

These are great shoes for side hikes and day rafting, but they aren't the best on slippery, wet surfaces. We think they're great if you need something durable to protect your feet on side hikes.

Performance Comparison


chaco canyonland for women - the chaco canyonlands are a durable, versatile shoe thanks to a...
The Chaco Canyonlands are a durable, versatile shoe thanks to a heavier-duty construction.
Credit: Monica Nigon


Comfort


The Chaco Canyonlands did very well in our comfort metric. The company does what it knows best when it comes to making Chaco's LUVSEAT removable footbed. This gave our testers great protection across rocks and pokey sticks and superior arch support on a longer portage. The regular lace-ups gave us great adjustability for layering with neoprene socks or a drysuit. The mesh was also stretchy enough for that same layering factor with enough durability to bounce back after stuffing a fat layered foot into them.

The raised, comfortable footbed comes at a bit of a cost in sensitivity, however. Our foot didn't curve around a raft tube as well as we might like, and it didn't get anywhere near the flexibility of some other options. It stayed pretty stiff on our side hike, which made for great protection and support but sometimes made us feel a little wobbly. Yet we think some of the other features still make this a worthwhile option.

chaco canyonland for women - the chaco canyonlands were comfortable with both bare feet and layers.
The Chaco Canyonlands were comfortable with both bare feet and layers.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Traction


The Chaco Canyonlands suffer a bit when it comes to traction. While the classic non-marking ChacoGrip makes for tackiness on hard, flat surfaces, it didn't function as well in sand or on a raft tube due to the lack of lug depth.

Boulder-hopping up a side creek was pretty fun in these kicks due to the ChacoGrip scoring high traction on hard, flat surfaces. Yet we spun out a little on a sandy beach while hopping out of a canoe. That being said, we were able to navigate the canoe with relative ease.

Sensitivity


Despite the Canyonlands being fairly versatile, they don't do so well when it comes to sensitivity. The Chaco LUVSEAT, while being a boon for those of us who like cushion and arch support, results in a drop in the sensitivity performance rating.

They were also a bit stiffer than other models; it was a bit tricky to bend them around a raft tube or slippery rock.

chaco canyonland for women - the chaco canyonlands were quite a bit stiffer than other models...
The Chaco Canyonlands were quite a bit stiffer than other models, where they scored lower in sensitivity.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Versatility


The Chaco Canyonlands take the cake when it comes to versatility. Out of all the shoes we tested and researched, these checked all the boxes quite well when we had to jump from a boat to shore, navigate a dicey portage, or even hit the town after a float. They also were great in both warm and cold weather, from still-spring-like conditions on the San Juan to a hot, humid float in southeastern Minnesota in mid-June.

They cruised easily onto shore and up a rocky side hike but struggled a bit navigating curved or sandy surfaces because of the lack of lug depth. That being said, they were easy to pair with different layering and still drained pretty well for this more sneaker-like shoe.

Warmth


It was easy to layer with the Canyonlands due to the stretchy mesh and adjustability of the laces. They drained well, considering the size of the drain holes are smaller than in some other water shoes. We found it easy to wear these shoes with bare feet in a warmer river due to the drain holes' ability to do their job well without letting in small rocks or sand.

Yet the Canyonlands took three hours to dry out in the sun, a bit longer than some other options. Despite this, we think the layering ability and draining power make these shoes score high on warmth.

chaco canyonland for women - the chaco canyonlands have a medium lug depth, which allows them to...
The Chaco Canyonlands have a medium lug depth, which allows them to power through sand and gives them decent tackiness on hard, wet surfaces.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Durability


The Canyonlands seem more durable than Chaco's last water shoe due to seemingly superior stitching from the mesh to the rubber footbed. The mesh didn't stretch out as much, even after layering with neoprene socks and a drysuit.

The sole is Chaco's tried and true LUVSEAT and won't wear down or squish as quickly as something with a softer outsole. The mesh holes were small enough not to take a beating from sharp rocks and sticks on a dicey side hike. While the Canyonlands are a bit more expensive than other models, we think they'd last a bit longer than less expensive water shoe options.

Should You Buy the Chaco Canyonlands?


For a super comfortable shoe that transitions well from river to shore and can be stuffed under a raft thwart or navigate a canoe, the Chaco Canyonlands is a great option.

What Other Women's Water Shoe Should You Consider?


If you need something with a bit more traction on hard, wet surfaces, you may want to consider other models like the Xtratuf Riptide or Salomon Techamphibian 5. These offer more stickiness on all types of surfaces.

chaco canyonland for women - the canyonlands were middle of the road when it came to sensitivity...
The Canyonlands were middle of the road when it came to sensitivity, but make up for it in comfort.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Monica Nigon