(4 out of 5)
The Chaco Classic Flip offers what you would expect from a simple flip flop sandal with some Chaco webbing flair
The flip flop sandal is a basic yet versatile summer footwear option. They let your feet breath on hot days, they are easy to get on and off, offer a quick solution for slipping on before taking out the trash, can be worn between burns in the gym or at the crag, or even work as a shower sandal. The Chaco Classic Flip can do all these while also looking a bit more classy than some of the cheaper options on the market.
If you know anything about Chaco, you likely equate the brand with comfort, durability, river guides, and/or a variety of other crunchy personalities and pursuits. The Classic Flip holds true to the brand look and feel without quite so much beef in the footbed, all while donning the iconic webbing straps. It’s a comfortable, no frills sandal that does the job. If you like the Chaco style, you will like this flip but it still leaves something to be desired given the price.
$65 | Where to Buy
The Chaco Classic Flip is a solid option if you are looking for a slightly more rugged and durable sandal compared to Rainbow or Reef flips. They scream that you like the outdoors given the nature of the Chaco brand, if that is your thing. They are also easy to stash in a pack, making them easy to whip out to give your feet some relief from technical footwear during an adventure. While they are tried and true, they require a few days to break in and are more pricey than most flips on the market.
Comfort & Simplicity
It’s a flip flop. It doesn’t have a bottle opener incorporated in the sole or any other flair besides the coloring worked into the webbing straps. That doesn’t mean they aren’t comfortable. Chaco integrates their LUVSEAT™ arch-support in the footbed which is to say they have some support without overdoing it. At the end of the day the profile of the flip is slimmer and lighter than the famous line of Z/ sandals, making them comfortable for simple strolls.
One of the most redeaming qualities of the Chaco Flip is that they are easy to stack and stash in a pack or side pocket during a backpacking or climbing trip. It’s always a delight to take off smothering footwear to slip on these flips without the need to take up a lot of extra space in your pack. They hold up well and offer good grip if you need to make a trip to the stream to fill up on water at the end of the day backpacking or if you want to give you feet a break belaying at the crag.
Maybe it’s the climber in me, but I appreciate the stiff nature of the sole. While these flips don’t offer much in the way of cushioning, they do feel more protective and are less likely to fold over or allow rocks to create a pain point under foot.
Our previous pair of Chaco flips lasted 10 years (though this was the EcoTread model that was sadly discontinued). The webbing eventually started to lightly fray near strongest pressure points and the rubber sole was wearing away, but they were still kicking! Time will tell if anything has changed in the construction and durability of this latest version.
The bottom of the flip offers a nice design for traction on a variety of surfaces. Do note that the space between treads on the bottom are large enough to wedge small pieces of debris. You don’t notice it when walking around but there is the chance of small rocks getting stuck and scratching a surface indoors. The footbed uses a diamond imprinted pattern to help keep your foot from sloshing around and generally feels nice on the foot.
Webbing Strap Colors
You either like it or you don’t but the webbing straps offer a chance to add a little spice in your life with different seasonal color choices.
The Not So Good
The webbing straps will take a few days for your feet to get used to and become less stiff. The first few days we noticed some minimal rubbing and hot spots on the top of our foot on either side of where the webbing connects between your toes. It’s hard to think that any new flip won’t have some sort of break in period, so beware you might want to walk around in these a bit before committing to a full day out wearing them.
Another thing to note during the break-in period was the feel of the straps and landing of the sandal. It felt like the straps just weren’t tight enough and it was resulting in the sole of the sandal striking slightly out of place underfoot. With more wear this isn’t noticeable anymore and we chalk it up to being overfamiliar with our previous Chaco Flips during our decade long relationship. It can feel weird to put on a new shoe for the first time.
Dialing in the size can be tough without half-sizes. We typically wear an 11.5 and opted to size down to an 11 so we didn’t have any extra sandal flopping around. Sizing down was the right call but still leaves no room for play. If the webbing stretches over time there could be some issues with fit.
I guess a tag noting size and country of origin are needed or required on the sandal? Either way, they come with a fairly large tag sewn into the inside of the back portion of the outer strap. We can’t imagine keeping these on the sandal while wearing and opted to cut them off immediately. It hasn’t caused any issues but was rather odd.
Flip flops are a dime a dozen. Look on Amazon and you can find cheapo shower-sandal types for $7 all the way up to the Olukai $80+ regal flip. The Chaco Flip comes in at $65, which isn’t breaking the bank but also not cheap for a simple flip. Given our last pair last 10-years, it was easy to bite the bullet but before buying one should think what they are looking for in a flip and if a cheaper alternative fits your need.
We’ve already noted the the Chaco Flip doesn’t come in half-sizes. It’s recommened to try on a pair beforehand but if that’s not possible we recommend sizing down if you are normally in between sizes.
The Final Verdict
The Chaco Classic fit is…a classic. It’s simple yet true to the Chaco brand. They hold up well outside and are great to slip into your pack when heading out in case you might want to let your feet breathe at some point in the day. The stiffness and traction of the sole makes them ideal to slip into your backpacking pack to sport at the end of the day when you’ve set up camp and are looking to relax. They are also nice enought looking that you can wear them out without looking like you are wearing a shower sandal. If you are in the need for a new pair of flips, spending $65 on the durable and functional Chaco Classic Flip is a good bet.
$65 | Where to Buy