Do Chacos Run Big Or Small? 2023 Sizing & Fit Guide

Do Chacos Run Big or Small

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You are aware of how crucial it is to pack minimally for a trip—especially a long one—while also carrying the items that will be most useful and valuable. So when it is time to bring high-quality, appropriate hiking and travel footwear, the name Chacos would undoubtedly come to mind.

You might know Chaco from their Classic Z sandals – a 30-year-old masterpiece.

Mark Paigen, a Colorado rafting guide, created Chaco in 1989. He aimed to develop the ideal footwear for outdoor activities on and off the water. Because of its versatility and ability to fit into any environment, he gave the sandals the gecko symbol.

You can select a specific topic from the table of contents below or read my Chacos fit and sizing guide from start to finish.

Do Chacos Run Big or Small?

The answer is that Chacos don’t run big or small! Chaco sandals and flip-flops run true to size!

If you choose the right size, they will fit you snugly and leave your feet feeling very at ease. With a selection of shoes that also include sandals, flip flops, and sandals in various colors, sizes, and fits, they’re typically all sized true to size.!

I’m are here to assist you in selecting the ideal size for a flawless fit with some tips and suggestions below.

Key Features Of Chaco Sandals Fit And Comfort

Source: YouTube
  • The outsole of Chaco sandals is made of a grippy Vibram rubber compound that offers traction and grip on any surface.
  • There are two styles of footbeds offered by Chaco. The Classic footbed, which will offer a harder fit, is the first type.

    On the other hand, the Cloud footbed will provide a softer feeling beneath the foot.

    In addition, the PU (polyurethane) used to make both footbeds is incredibly robust. But whichever footbed you select—Classic or Cloud—you’ll still experience the tried-and-true Luvseat comfort.
  • Chaco’s flexible pull-through belts that encircle all around the foot and fasten for a personalized fit set them apart from many other brands on the market. 
  • The sandal webbing flows via several channels between the midsole and the outsole, providing a flexible fit for every foot.

Now that you are familiar with the principles of Chaco sandals, let’s go through how to size a Chaco properly.

Chacos Size Will Be Different From Your Usual Shoe Size

Chacos are made with the exclusive, APMA-approved Luvseat orthopedic footbed (American Podiatric Medical Association).

Instead of using the measurement of heel-to-toe distance, which is what most companies do, the company based their size system on the heel and the ball of the foot (arch length) distance measurement.

This is done to ensure that the footbed’s orthopedic curve meets the arches in all the appropriate spots.

The Secret To Fitting Your Chacos – The Arches

The-Secret-To-Fitting-Your-Chacos - The-Arches
Source: YouTube

In Chaco sandals, the arch is so pronounced that it literally raises your foot. So a superb Chaco fits perfectly in the arch. 

The sandal’s arch should ideally match the arches of your foot and not be too far or forward back, depending on the size. With the incorrect size, you would feel the sandal’s arch striking your back quite a ways, which would be very painful. Even problems like leg cramps and weariness may result from this.

Insoles are not an option with sandals and you wouldn’t need them while wearing Chacos even if you could. However, if you suffer from foot issues, you may also enjoy my article on the best insoles for Plantar Fasciitis.

Additionally, Chaco sandals should be worn snugly, with no extra room above or beneath the heel. You may need to try both sizes if you doubt which one to choose.

Consider sizing up if you have high arches so that they will fit comfortably. Chacos are an excellent alternative for those with high arches because of their conspicuous arch.

Chaco sandals only come in complete sizes, not half sizes.

The Loop Option To Control Chacos Sandals Fit

Source: YouTube

No loop models provide a looser fit. They are identified by the designation Z/1 (i.e., Z/1 Classic, Z/Cloud) and are advised for those with delicate big toes or those who just don’t enjoy having a strap around them. The brand also advises individuals with high arches or insteps to reduce additional tension by wearing no-loop designs.

You will notice that sandals with toe loops have extra security when walking on slippery surfaces or in the water (see Z/2 Classic).

Then there are ZX designs, such as the ZX/2 Classic. Rather than a single strap, they have two crisscrosses. These are more delicately attractive and offer even more adaptability. ZX sandals are available with a toe loop (Z/1) or without a toe loop (Z/2).

What Does The Right Fit In Chacos Sandals Feel Like?

The brand eventually re-labeled the Chacos sandals sizing as Wide and Medium, respectively, after first producing them in Narrow and Medium fit options. At the heel, size and breadth are denoted by dots for Medium and dashes for Wide.

  • Forefoot: There shouldn’t be more than 1 cm (0.4 in) of room in front of your toes. Conversely, toes shouldn’t protrude over the edge, either.
  • Underfoot: The footbed should have the comfortable sensation of cupping the foot and lining up with the arch.

Additionally, the heel should feel scooped and not have too much room to slant sideways.

  • Top of the foot: When adjusted, straps shouldn’t feel excessively tight or loose.

How To Measure Foot Size For Chacos Sandals?

Source: Shelemah

If you’ve recently gone shoe shopping, you’re aware that each store has a device with digits. Your foot will be placed on this equipment with the assistance of the assistant to determine the foot’s size.

It is pretty simple to use, so you may either take measurements with a professional’s assistance or on your own.

You’ll find this to be quite helpful, especially if you intend to buy your Chacos online. If you can’t access a Brannock device, you can take measurements by printing out this foot size chart.

Chacos size chart

Quick Tip To Adjust Chacos Straps

There are three stages to adjusting the strap on your Chacos. 

  • Start by loosening the belt.
  • Then, work your way around the toe and the shoe’s outer edge. 
  • Start with the toe and go in the other direction to tighten.

On the official Chacos website, you may have the strap modified if it is too short or too long, causing the edge to drag on the ground.

How Do Chacos Fit As Compared To Teva Sandals?

Sandal Size

The Teva size can be used as a reference point for your Chaco size if you already own a pair of Teva sandals and are placing an online order.

The two brands appear to have the same sizing structure and are probably the same size. Unfortunately, neither is offered in half sizes.

However, depending on the model, there is still a risk that you might require an alternative width or even a different size.

See this article to learn more about Teva sandal sizing: Do Tevas Run Big or Small

Fit Of The Sandal

Both brands use straps to maintain fit.

The main distinction is that Chacos offers a variety of straps, whereas Tevas only offer plain Velcro straps (toe loop, single wide strap, no loop, double strap).

Are you going to be using your sandals on the beach? Check out my article on the best sandals for the beach.

Chacos Sandals Sizing and Fit FAQs

Do Chacos Run Big or Small?

In general, Chacos fit true to size. However, Chacos sandals don’t come in half sizes, which is why many people size down. So, based on your foot type, we advise going down half a size if you’re in between sizes. The straps will help you determine your proper size.

Many people mistakenly believe that their Chacos run large or small because they are still learning how to fit their shoes properly.

Should Chaco Sandals Be Loose or Tight?

There should never be a shoe that is too loose or too tight. I advise that your Chacos fit snugly and that you can leave enough space for your finger to pass below the webbing.

You should be careful not to overtighten the toe loop on the sandal with the toe loop. You may always adjust while wearing it, but you should ensure there is still some movement in that area below.

Do Chacos Have a Break-In Period?

Chaco sandals certainly require a break-in period, just like most shoes do. However, unlike other shoes, you won’t need much time to break them in.

Initially, Chacos may be a little uncomfortable as they break in and fit the shape of your foot. Blisters below your feet simply indicate that you need to be more patient because they frequently signify that your sandals need more time to break in.

Try to alternate between wearing Chacos and some incredibly comfy running shoes to avoid blisters and to give your feet a chance to recover before your Chacos get too cozy.

Are Chacos Better With or Without Toe Straps?

Either style is suitable based on how you like to wear your sandals. No matter how cozy a toe loop is, some people will never let anything go between their toes.

Although some claim that the toe-loop form is more sturdy for trekking, we believe both versions to be cozy and secure.

Are Chaco Sandals Good For Narrow Feet?

Yes. Narrow feet are a fantastic fit for Chacos. Among the only shoes that are comfortable for those with narrow feet are those made by Chacos, thanks to their innovative heel-to-toe adjustment strap system. Simply learn how to adjust them correctly, and they will suit your narrow feet perfectly.

Shop Chacos on Amazon

Chaco Womens ZX/2 Classic, With Toe Loop, Outdoor Sandal, Black 9 M
  • Athletic sandal with jacquard-webbed upper featuring adjustable and durable high-tensile heel risers
  • LUVSET PU midsole. Width: Medium
  • Non-marking ChacoGrip rubber outsole with 3mm lug
  • W or C/D indicated wide width and B or M indicates medium width
Chaco Women's Z/1 Classic Sandal, Black, 8 M US
  • Polyester jacquard webbing upper wraps around the foot and through the midsole for a customized fit
  • Adjustable and durable high-tensile webbing heel risers
  • Antistink property for odor control
  • Women's specific luvseat dual density pu midsole
  • Non-marking ecotread 25%-recycled rubber compound with 3mm lug depth
Chaco Z1 CLASSIC, Black, 9
  • Double-strapped polyester jacquard webbing upper wraps around the foot and through the midsole for a customized fit with toe loop for guard fit
  • Adjustable and durable high-tensile webbing heel risers
  • Luvseat dual density midsole
  • Non-marking Chaco grip rubber compound with 3.5mm lug depth

Chacos Sizing and Fit – My Final Thoughts

Chacos are the most widely used type of footwear for outdoor activities and water sports. The straps serve to secure the foot in place, and they are incredibly comfy.

The orthopedic cushion makes it possible to give the user the utmost comfort and relaxation.

Chaco uses different measures than other companies, making it a little more difficult to get the correct size for their footwear.

If you are looking to purchase a pair of Chacos, I recommend checking out the Chacos sandals store on Amazon. As you likely already know, Amazon’s return policy is very easy. That way you can exchange them if they don’t fit as well as you had hoped.

I sincerely hope that this article has given you some insight into how to size your Chacos!

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