How do you improve one of the grippiest, most durable, most supportive sandals out there? Make it even more grippy, durable, and supportive. That’s what Chaco has done with the Pro, and if you want an open-air hiker, this is it. In collaboration with Vibram, Chaco developed a new rubber formula with less elasticity. The result: a sole that bites into micro nooks and crannies underfoot—in and out of water—almost as well as a climbing shoe, and is even more durable than previous models.
And a polyurethane midsole gives the sandal the underfoot feel of a light hiker that has exceptional arch support. On New Zealand’s Inland Pack Track, one tester reported that it had more support and better traction than the lightweight boots he left at home. "And I didn’t have to take off shoes and socks at each of the 22 river crossings," he says. “It held even on underwater boulders when I was getting pushed off balance by the current."
Desert hikers also loved the Pro, since there’s no upper to trap sand and dirt (but keep an eye out for thorns). It comes in two models: Z/1 (no toe strap) and Z/2 (pictured). $105; 2 lbs.; m’s 7-15, w’s 5-12Women’s and Men’s FEATHER PEAK™ GTX (GL2089, GM2088)
Premium performance hiking and backpacking boot designed for challenging terrain and trekking. Support and stability from the bottom up allows the capability to carry heavy loads over long distances, or day hikes over challenging terrain.
•Vibram® rubber compound with aggressive lug pattern for traction on a variety of surfaces
•Full length polyurethane midsole with TPU footbed and midfoot shank for superior support
•Nubuk leather with high-abrasion synthetic leather overlays and scratch leather toe cap for toe protection
•Quick pull features ball bearing design for friction resistant lacing
•Details- Women's: 1 lb., 7 oz.; Last: HIK; Sesame, Kiwi (204); $190
Men's: 1 lb., 11.4 oz.; Last: HIK; Khaki (203); $190