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 JAWBONE™ (GL2084, GM2080)
A lightweight design for shorter, faster hikes: Substantial midfoot support and traction protects on all types of terrain.
•Synthetic leather and nylon mesh upper materials are lightweight and flexible.
•Midfoot webbing system and midtop hardwear for support and secure lockdown
•Full length compression molded EVA for cushioning
•Internal thermoplastic shank combined with external midfoot shank for torsional rigidity
•Full length Gryptonite™ compound outsole combined with an aggressive lug pattern for unparalleled traction
•Gusseted tongue to keep out debris
•Details- Women's: 13 oz.; Last: LHK; Stainless, Grasshopper (081); $125
Men's: 15 oz.; Last: LHK; Cool Grey, Tiger (066); $125