Teva Vs. Chaco: The Debate Continues—So Which Sandal Is Best for You?

teva versus chacos


In the outdoor community, the ever-present debate continues: Chacos or Tevas? Each of these webbed, open-toed sandals has a loyal following who will let you know exactly why their preference is the better of the two. Yet Chaco vs. Teva is more than a battle between sandals—in many ways, this rivalry is a difference in outdoor perspectives. Despite both sides being labeled as outdoor sandals, each shoe has its own utility and purpose that reflects the priorities and lifestyles of their respective wearers.

Regardless of which sandal you chose, you might sport them around town, wear them while wading in rivers, or strap them on for day hikes. Despite the debates, both of these shoes are conducive to healthy living.

Nevertheless, if you haven’t already, you'll have to join a camp. Which will you choose: Chaco or Teva? Let's take a look at each of these options to see which style matches your lifestyle.

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A Quick Look at the Teva Hurricane Xlt2

Teva Hurricane Xlt2

The Teva brand prides itself on being symbiotic with nature. The word "Teva" itself is Hebrew for “nature,” and its iconic hand logo is the Hopi symbol for "friendship" and "water." In practice, Teva sandals prioritize sustainability. Tevas are not only made from verifiably recycled materials, but can also be sent back to Teva manufacturers after use to be fully recycled again. As one of its most durable and iconic products, the Teva Hurricane Xlt2 adheres to these environmental standards. Notably, this shoe's durable and iconic straps are made from traceable, recycled plastic.

The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 has made vast improvements from the still highly functional Hurricane Xlt model. The Xlt2 is a great all-purpose outdoors shoe. Whether you'd like to go on a moderate day hike, take a walk through the park, do some wading in the river, or even set off on some urban exploring, this shoe will do the job and keep your feet breathing all the while. While some Teva sandals lack both midsole and outsole support, the Hurricane Xlt2 has an improved EVA footbed to add comfort and cushion to your midsole. In addition, the slightly raised heel tab provides extra support.

Similarly, the outsole of this new model is a bit thicker and is designed with much better traction than previous models. Perfect for working or spending considerable time outside, these shoes dry easily and won't absorb too much sweat. Like many other types of webbed, open-toed, outdoor sandals, it isn't recommended to wear these shoes on long, strenuous hikes.

SPECS

  • Style: Open-toed, 4 straps, 3 adjustable hook-and-loop closures
  • Materials: Synthetic materials, plant-based materials, recycled plastic polyester webbing, nylon shank, rubber
  • Weight: 15.5 oz. for pair (Womens 7/Mens 9)
  • Sole: EVA foam midsole, rubber outsole
  • Colors and patterns: 13 colors/patterns (22 mm-strap version), 22 colors/patterns (26 mm-strap version)
  • Warranties/replacement: One year warranty, replacement parts not easily available

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What We Like

  • Newly innovated nylon shank bisects the shoe between the midsole and outsole, enhancing mobility in precarious environments
  • Environmentally sustainable and recyclable
  • EVA footbed is breathable and supportive
  • Polyester straps dry quickly
  • Individually adjustable straps
  • Very affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Reviews mention straps being slightly abrasive
  • Ball and arch of foot may lack structural support

BUY: Teva Hurricane Xlt2 - Men's | Women's

A Quick Look at Chaco Z/1

Chaco Z/1

Simple yet reliable, the Chaco Z/1 Classic open-toed webbed sandals have comforted and protected the feet of outdoorspeople for over three decades. Like their Teva Hurricane Xlt2 rival, these shoes serve a multitude of purposes and perform in an array of environments. The most outstanding characteristic of the Chaco Z/1 sandal is its comfortable and high performing midsole made of LUVSEAT polyurethane. Endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association, this midsole molds to your feet and sustains you on day-long adventures. For wearers with arched feet, this midsole will be both comfortable and structurally supportive.

Similarly, these sandals have sufficient support from the thick rubber outsole. The Z/1 Classic has a minimalistic yet durable web strap, which you can adjust by pulling upwards and securing through the plastic buckle near the top of your ankle.

Although parts of the Chaco Z/1 sandal are made with vegan-friendly materials, this shoe is not made with fully recycled materials. Nevertheless, this sandal is durable and can withstand years of wear. Chaco also provides repair services and mails customers extra sandal parts should there be a need for any fixes.

Secure, comfortable, and able to quickly dry when wet, the Chaco Z/1 sandal is a versatile shoe proven to be highly functional and timeless.

SPECS

  • Style: Open-toed, one continuous strap which weaves under the midsole
  • Materials: Polyester jacquard, rubber, polyurethane
  • Weight: 15.4 oz. for pair
  • Sole: Rubber outsole, LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole
  • Colors and patterns: 24 colors/patterns (in medium width), 5 colors/patterns (in wide width)
  • Warranties/replacement: Lifetime warranty pending specialist evaluation for warranty determination, replacement components available for purchase

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What we Like

  • One continuous strap for the ideal fit
  • Rubber sole has traction and is incredibly supportive
  • LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole is endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association, incredibly supportive for your arches
  • Comfortable straps without Velcro, easily tightened

What We Don't Like

  • Not fully made of recycled materials
  • Sweat sometimes absorbs into the midsole and can become smelly without consistent cleaning
  • Generally a bit more expensive, but long lifespan

BUY: Chaco Z/1 - Men's | Women's

Design and Materials

The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 is made with synthetic materials, plant-based materials, recycled plastic polyester webbing (saving up to four plastic bottles), nylon shank, and rubber. All materials are fully recyclable. The Chaco Z/1 sandal is made of polyester jacquard, rubber, and polyurethane.

Verdict: Generally, Teva shoes are considered to be made from more sustainable materials, although parts of Chaco shoes are also made from recycled materials. Nevertheless, Chaco's materials are more durable and normally last longer.

Feel and Fit

The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 is a comfortable shoe with a much improved feel when compared with previous Teva models. An improved heel tab and EVA footbed provides more support than before. Nevertheless, the shoes may feel a bit flat. The shoe has 4 straps and 3 adjustable hook-and-loop closures, which provide a customizable feel. Nevertheless, the Velcro can sometimes be bulky, and some of the straps may be slightly abrasive.

Made with LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole, the Chaco Z/1 is comfortable, secure, and built for walking long distances. Made with one adjustable strap which slides under the midsole, you can customize the fit of the shoe, although you may have to occasionally adjust.

Verdict: Both shoes have a comfortable feel and fit, although the Chaco LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole is widely acclaimed. We recommend you try on both shoes to see which one fits your foot more comfortably and which straps are easier to adjust to your specific needs..

Sole (Outsole, Midsole)

The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 has a comfortable midsole made of an EVA foam footbed. The outsole is made of rubber. The Chaco Z/1 midsole is made of LUVSEAT polyurethane, which is comfortable and dependable. The outsole is made of rubber.

Verdict: Both shoes are comfortable and made with reliable rubber soles with sufficient traction. The Chaco Z/1 may have a slight advantage with the polyurethane midsole, although it may not feel comfortable for all feet, especially flatter feet. Similarly, the Hurricane Xlt2 has a relatively flat midsole.

Weight

  • The Teva Hurricane Xlt2: 15.5 oz.
  • Chaco Z/1: 15.4 oz.

Verdict: The sandals weigh nearly the same—if we are being completely technical, the Teva Hurricane takes this win.

Color and Pattern Options

  • The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 has 22 available colors and patterns.
  • Chaco Z/1 has 24 colors and patterns available.

Verdict: Look at the options to determine which patterns suit your style!

Warranties and Replacements

  • The Teva Hurricane Xlt2 has a one-year warranty. No replacement parts.
  • Chaco Z/1 has a warranty for life, although the company is quite strict about product deficiencies, which are reviewed by experts. There are replacement parts widely available on the Chaco website to help you repair your shoes if needed.

Verdict: Chaco shoes are typically built to last, especially since you can order replacement parts. Made of sustainable materials, Teva shoes aren’t built to last quite as long, but they are fully recyclable when they are worn out.

Who should buy Tevas?

If you are careful with what you buy and want to reduce your carbon footprint, but you also want a reliable shoe to take on many kinds of journeys, the Teva Hurricane Xlt2 will be a great fit. Nevertheless, be aware that this shoe is not best for long hikes. While it performs well during day hikes, it is not fully supported or designed for walking long distances. Hanging out by the campfire, going fishing, or heading out on an easy or moderate hike? This is the sandal for you.

Who should buy Chacos?

If you want a reliable sandal that you can wear on moderately challenging hikes or just a great walking sandal, this will be the shoe for you. Durable and able to withstand years of wear and tear, the Chaco Z/1 is a timeless and versatile shoe. Planning a longer hiking trip? You can bring this along with you if you ever want to give your feet a break from your hiking boots.

FAQs About Tevas Vs. Chacos


Do Tevas or Chacos last longer?

Depending on how well you treat these shoes and how often you wear them, both Chacos and Tevas can last a long time. Nevertheless, as Tevas are made from recycled materials and are considered more sustainable, these shoes will not withstand the test of time. On the flip side, while some of Chaco's components are made from recycled materials, many of these materials are not recycled. As a result, these materials may be more durable and longer lasting. Furthermore, Chaco offers Sandal Care and Repair, a service through which you can receive expert consultation and extra components to fix your shoes. With these repair components, your Chacos will last quite a while.

Are Tevas slippery when wet?

Tevas can be slippery when wet, but Chacos can too. Because both shoes have sleek footbeds which prevent water and sweat from absorbing into the midsole, the tops of these midsoles can get quite slippery. As a result, after wearing these shoes in water be cautious and even consider wiping down and drying the midsole.

Are Chacos good for walking all day?

Resolute and designed with the LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole, Chacos are high performing, comfortable shoes which have been endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association. It is hard to find any similar open-toed sandal with such contoured arch support. That being said, while Chacos may be good for walking all day, be careful where you are walking, as these are open-toed shoes after all.

Are Tevas and Chacos worth the money?

Both shoes are worth the money and have proven reliable for many wearers. Generally, the Teva Hurricane model is less expensive, although retail prices fluctuate. Chacos may last a bit longer and are usually more reliable for the test of time. However, Tevas are fully recyclable, and when you are done with a pair, you can mail them back to Teva to be completely recycled and thus be cognizant of your—and the world's—carbon footprint.

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