Noel and I have gone on several hikes this summer where hikers in serious looking, ankle high boots wielding telescoping trekking poles have given us skeptical and somewhat infuriated looks as we pass them up on the trail in our open-toed, care-free Chacos. Most recently we were in the Tetons and after completing a 9.3 mile hike a group of hikers asked us, “How did you manage to get to the top in inappropriate footwear?” (It must be noted that they did not actually make it to the top themselves). Inappropriate footwear? Granted there were a few snow patches, but Chacos have much better traction than the inquirer’s white Reebok sneakers and lack the blisters that accompany any pair of hiking boots I’ve owned. I guess I’m just getting kind of tired of people thinking I am a sissy, froofy-girl who has never set foot on a mountain – I was even about to challenge this one guy to a race up the mountain last weekend, but luckily Noel stopped me.
Admittedly, I too used to think it was silly to hike in sandals, but after having my very own pair of Chacos for a year I too am converted. My broken in running shoes are experiencing tough competition. For those who are still skeptical, Noel and I compiled a gallery of “appropriate” Chaco usage . . . also Noel just pointed out to me that Chaco now makes hiking shoes too (for occasions where there is more than the occasional snow patch).