Chaco is a Paonia, Colorado-based shoe company that makes sport sandals for both men and women. The performance sandals are open-toed, water-resistant shoes that feature a pull-through strap design. Some Chaco sandals are stylish, lightweight flip-flops. Others are more rugged and designed for hikers and river runners. All are designed to stay on your feet as you enjoy the great outdoors, wet or dry. Chaco products come with a lifetime warranty against defects.


Chaco founder and CEO Mark Paigen was working as a fly-fishing and whitewater rafting guide on the Colorado River in the mid-1980s when he began making sport sandals for his fellow guides. Eventually, he started making the shoes for clients. As demand grew for the shoes, Paigen decided to form his own company and Chaco was launched in April 1989. In the years that followed, Chaco grew. In 2008, the company had a global revenue exceeding $20 million. In January 2009, Chaco was acquired by Wolverine World Wide, Inc., but terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Paigen was expected to remain on as a consultant.


There are a variety of types of Chaco sandals for men and women, including the Z/1 and Z/2 Vibram Unaweep performance sandals. These sandals feature synthetic uppers and are offered in a variety of sizes and colors for both sexes. Other popular Chaco sandals include the casual Zong EcoTread, a slip-on performance sandal which features an outsole made partially of recycled rubber.

BioCentric™ Footbed

All Chaco sandals have what the company describes as BioCentricâ„¢ footbeds, approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). These footbeds feature molded arches, offer extra shock absorption and help to prevent over pronation (when the foot rolls too far inward). Chaco claims its BioCentricâ„¢ footbeds can minimize back and neck pain, alleviate strain on the knee joints and help to prevent plantar fasciitis.

Additional Features

Chaco performance sandals feature a pull through strap system designed to help keep the foot in place during wear. In addition, some types of Chaco sandals feature two narrow, polyester straps that offer additional security and stability to the wearer.


Chaco offers a repair service for its sandals. Customers can send their damaged or worn down sandals to the company’s Paonia, Colorado, factory for repairs. For a fee, Chaco sandals can be resoled and straps can be repaired or replaced. The company estimates that turnaround time once sandals reach the factory is about five days.

References and Resources

Official Site: Chaco