Teva Vs. Chaco: Which One is More Comfortable?

Footwear takes on an entirely new definition when wearing sandals. Sandals leave large areas of the foot exposed. Sandals have many different styles. The most popular is the flip flop or slip-on with adjustable straps. Teva and Chaco remain the most popular style of sandals sold.

Sandals are practical footwear for sitting by the pool or at the beach. During the hot days of summer, sandals keep feet comfortable and cool. Sandals became an acceptable form of footwear in the 1920’s. Sandals continue to be a favorite casual form of footwear sold around the World.

Tevas vs. Chaco offers different levels of comfort, depending on the intended use. Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal offers superior comfort, styling, and support.

The durable design of these “Z” classics are the most common found in retail outlets from coast to coast.

The History of Teva and Chaco

Teva sandals are a product of Decker Brands. Decker Brands is a footwear designer and distributor based in Goleta, California. Working as a rafting guide, Mark Thatcher discovered the need for specialized shoes in 1982. In 1988 Mark entered into a partnership with Decker Brands. Further development continued from his original idea.

Decker Brands remains credited for further development of the original design. Decker Brands created a new universal strapping system for these sandals. The new design made their sandals very comfortable and affordable.

The Teva (Hurricane) acts as the basic design from which all further development went forward.

Teva sandals use their two-layer sole to provide incredible comfort on all surfaces. Adjustable straps make these sandals very comfortable and easy to wear anywhere. Teva sandals sale in over one-hundred and thirty-eight retail stores nationwide.

Rockford, Michigan, is the home of Chaco sandals. Mark Paigen discovered Chaco in 1989 while working as a Colorado fishing guide. Mark wanted to develop a shoe that would allow his feet to dry in the sun. His first pair of custom-made sandals sold for $30.00.

From his small shop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Mark began to sell his Chaco sandals. His sandals sold out immediately due to unexpected customer response. The name “Z/1” comes from a lifelong friend with a French accent. The “Zee One” immediately became a favorite of all consumers.

Production of the “Zee One” began in a factory in Paonia, Colorado. In 2008 the factory closed. Production moved to China. In 2009 Wolverine World Wide purchased the rights to Chaco sandals. Chaco sandals are a product of the USA craftsmanship, made in Rockford, Michigan.

The Chaco name changed from Gecko, as a tribute to the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Teva Vs. Chaco

How to Choose Sandals

Determining the most common usage is the first step in choosing the right sandals. All sandals are not designed to meet every outdoor or indoor activity. Choosing the wrong sandal will leave you outside, looking in. Hiking to watersports, travel, or urban use, choosing the right sandal is important.


There are many styles of sandals available. Not all styles will fit every purpose. Each style of sandal is for a specific purpose. Hiking sandals venture into unknown territory, often carrying heavy backpacks. The same is true for urban sandals that made for walking on smooth paved surfaces.

The purpose of sandal design is to provide the best possible comfort in any situation. There are those that wear one or two pair of sandals for a variety of purposes. These are the same individuals that often complain of foot pain. These are also the same individuals that are never pleased with any pair of sandals.


Weight of footwear is very important when selecting any outwear. Weight is often a factor in determining the comfort level. Heavy shoes cause foot fatigue. Sandals should be lightweight and comfortable. Tevas sandals are one of the most lightweight sandals on the market. Tevas sandals weigh no more than 14.6 ounces per pair.

Chaco sandals are also comfortable but are a little heavier. Chaco sandals weigh approximately 21.2 ounces per pair. The 6.6-ounce difference in weight can make a difference when walking for miles.


Of all the footwear worn, sandals need to be the most durable. Your sandals suffer abuse over and over again. Sandals should be able to withstand brutal punishment. Rocky hiking trails to walking in water and beyond, sandals take an extreme amount of daily abuse.

Sandals need to provide traction. Slipping on wet surfaces cause more serious injuries. Outsoles of sandals should be durable and capable of providing excellent traction. Adequate traction is not going to cut it here.

Open-toe sandals should offer more durability due to the open toe construction.

Fit (Straps and footbed)

One of the most important features of sandals is, of course, the straps. Adjustable straps are common. These straps allow for comfort adjustments for the perfect fit. Adjusting the straps takes some time and patience. Pulling on one strap often leads to an uncomfortable fit in other areas.

Adjusting buckle straps appear to be the most common type of straps. These are easier to adjust to the best fit. Closures include Velcro straps. Velcro shoes are easy to adjust and hold the right amount of tension on all areas of our feet. Velcro closures may need extra adjustments.

Sandal footbeds should not break down or compress. Durable footbeds provide the comfort and support that your feet need. Ignoring footbed construction will leave you with nothing but sore and aching feet.


Price ranges for a wide range of sandals remain equal. Typical pricing ranges from $50.00 to $150.00 depending on style and model selected. Price should never be a factor in making a final decision. Cheap, made sandals are like wearing no footwear at all.

Shop and compare before making a final decision. The time spent will be well worth the extra effort.

The following six styles of Teva and Chaco sandals remain the most popular. Which sandal is the most comfortable? Continue reading and discover facts that will help you to make an informed decision.

1. Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal

Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal

The Teva Tirra is perfect for the woman’s foot with unmatched comfort and performance in the water. Feminine multi-adjustable straps for the most comfortable fit. These sandals feature a durable rubber outsole for exceptional gripping on slippery surfaces. Channeling designed outsole lugs to maintain footing and stability.

These sandals remain a favorite of well-traveled woman. Women who rely on supportive footwear for extreme outdoor adventures. Look to style and function in wet climates when wearing these premiere sandals.

Teva Tirra established the sport-sandal category. Outdoor enthusiasts rely on Teva Tirra for over twenty years. Sandals continue to support the outdoor athletic lifestyle. These sandals remain committed to innovation through product development.


  • Many changing points for a secure, comfortable fit
  • Shock pad provides increased shock absorption on rough terrain
  • Neoprene foam and comfortable stretch mesh for quick drying
  • Nylon shank provides excellent stability and protection over sharp rocks
  • Antimicrobial technology reduces odor, keeping feet fresh and cool all day


  • Reduced quality when compared to previous models of the same sandal
  • Fatal design flaw in the ankle strap
  • No arch support

Teva sandals offer a wide range of color options. Recommend buying these sandals from Teva for better quality at discounted prices.

2. Teva Men’s Original Universal Sandal

Teva Men's Original Universal Sandal

The Teva men original universal sandal is an icon of individuals with an adventurous spirit. These sandals remain the same without many changes made. The nylon webbing and EVA footbed of the 1984 version remains the same. The changes made boosted the appeal with the addition of vibrant colors.

These open-toed sandals are water ready with polyester nylon webbing that dries fast. Nylon webbing is adjustable with padded straps at the ankle and forefoot. Easy hook-and-loop closures for easy on and off. The Universal strapping system allows for increased comfort levels.

EVA foam footbed provides good comfort but lacks support and good comfort levels. Rubber outsoles provide traction on wet surfaces, although not good traction. Crisscross pattern on outsoles fills with mud and debris reducing traction.


  • EVA outsole provides extra support and comfort
  • Open-toe design does not allow water to pool
  • Rubber outsoles are softer with more cushioning
  • Heel strap sits more across heel than with a better feeling of security
  • Lighter and less expensive than other popular, similar brands


  • Arch supports are too high
  • Soft footbed produce foot fatigue and pain
  • Backstrap is not adjustable. Hard ring sits on top of the bone

3. Teva Women’s Olowahu Flip-Flop

Teva Women's Olowahu Flip-Flop

Heading to the beach? You will want to wear these flip-flop sandals with the perfect classic beach style. These sandals are very comfortable with simple, clean styling. The mush sock liner conforms to the shape of your feet with a unique and interesting shape.

Lightweight EVA foam provides extra comfort levels and support. Upper webbing made of durable, quick-drying polyester with incredible fast drying. These women’s Olowahu sandals are available in a rainbow of colors to suit all individual tastes.

Rugged rubber outsole provides good traction. Better foot protection from sharp objects buried in the sand. Toe strap fits between toes with no chafing. Straps on these women’s sandals are non-adjustable.


  • Good arch support for a variety of foot conditions
  • Perfect for hiking, city walking in saltwater and streams and around the pool
  • Easy to slide on with increased comfort with increased wear
  • Secure, comfortable, durable flip flops
  • Lightweight, less than one pound per pair


  • Very narrow sandals with awkward cut and poor strap placement
  • Straps no longer mold to feet and hang loose
  • Sandals appear to be “knock-offs”

4. Chaco Women’s Z2 Classic Athletic Sandal

Chaco Women's Z2 Classic Athletic Sandal

Looking for sandals with pillow-top comfort? If so, then these women’s sandals are for you. These sandals are ideal for the thrill of extreme whitewater rapids adventures. LUVSEAT platform provides good support, not found on most sandals.

Everything about these sandals’ spells “quality.” Polyurethane recycled compounds midsoles support the foot better. Polyester webbing upper wraps around the foot and through the midsole. Good comfort levels with good support.

Every pair of these Z2 classic sandals made from only eight parts. Less manufacturing increases quality and reduces costs passed onto the consumer. Every pair of these sandals equipped with standard adjustable straps. The well-designed toe loop adds more forefoot control.


  • High-performance rubber outsole for better traction
  • Adjustable high-tensile webbing supportive heel risers
  • Injection-molded ladder lock buckle for comfort control
  • Biocentric footbed with APMA Seal of Acceptance
  • Many color selections at very affordable pricing levels


  • Adjustable straps are longer one side than the other
  • Hard, uncomfortable sole
  • Hump in middle of footbed in uncomfortable. Does not follow natural foot shape

5. Chaco Men’s MEGA Z Cloud Sport Sandal

Chaco Men's MEGA Z Cloud Sport Sandal

Going on vacation? Take these travel-ready sport sandals with you. Experience the best in foot comfort from a premiere leader in the footwear industry. These sandals are not only very comfortable but offer excellent styling.

Double-strapped webbing on the uppers wraps around the foot and through the midsole. The added toe loop provides for a secure fit that you are looking for. Adjustable and durable high-tensile webbing heel risers prevent foot slippage.

LUVSEAT platform provides contoured arch support. Chaco Cloud cushioning is ultra-soft for pillow-top comfort. Custom adjustable double-straps allow for a perfect fit. Metal ladder lock buckle holds straps in place with no re-adjusting required.


  • Quick-drying polyester with no holding water
  • Non-marking outsole for good traction on all surfaces
  • Antimicrobial for odor control. Feet stay dry and fresh throughout the day
  • Great color selection for individual preferred tastes
  • Toes remain free with open-toe loop and design


  • Heavy when compared to other similar available sandals
  • Expensive
  • Outsoles get small rocks stuck in tread design

6. Chaco Women’s Zcloud X2 Sport Sandal

Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sport Sandal

These Women’s X2m sport sandals are identical in features to the Men’s Mega Z Cloud Sport sandal. The only primary difference is the size. Noticeable differences included in the Z I are sandals without the toe strap. Z 2 sandals have the toe strap.

The X Chaco models like the X 2 have a double criss-cross strap instead of a single strap. The same would apply with the ZX1 without a toe strap and the ZX2 with a toe strap. Confusing at it may appear, all other features on the Chaco sandals remain very similar.

The Chaco styles, with the toe strap, secure the sandal to the foot better. Wearing these sandals in water, you will want the Z 2 with the toe strap. There are others that do not prefer the toe strap. The Z 1 offers a more relaxed fit but not recommended for sports activities.


  • Chaco sandals are durable and built for outdoor adventures
  • Chaco sandals look food with any clothing from jeans to shorts
  • Chaco sandals offer excellent arch support
  • Chaco sandals offer a wide range of colors sizes and shapes
  • Chaco sandals are adjustable throughout the shoe, not in one place


  • Soles of sandals too long and straps too short
  • Straps around the toe tighten when walking
  • Sandals need continual adjustments

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Can you hike in Tevas sandals?

A. According to the manufacturer, you can hike in Tevas sandals. Keep in mind that these sandals are “open-toe” with no toe protection. Toe injury is a possibility. The open-toe design allows small rocks and other debris to get under your feet and toes.

When worn on the beach, the open-toe design will also fill with sand. Wear these sandals on groomed, smooth trails. Sandals are not recommended for hiking in wilderness areas. Thick underbrush and other hazards present possible foot injuries.

Q. What is the difference between men and women’s Teva hiking sandals?

A. Men and women have different physiological makeup. Men and women have different demands when it comes to footwear. Teva hiking sandals come in men and women’s versions. Men’s products manufactured in a standard D width while women’s products made in standard B width.

Sizes are a definite difference between Tevas men and women hiking sandals.

Q. What are the differences between Chaco outsoles and footbeds?

A. Outsoles:

ChacoGrip™: The Chaco outsole sandals feature non-marking rubber tread design. Traction toes provide excellent uphill and downhill grip. Sandals provide good footing on both dry and slippery surfaces.

Chaco sandals are available with optional outsoles. Outsoles include: EcoTread™ for everyday wear. Colorado for slick surfaces, and the Terreno™ with 4.5mm lugs for hiking trails and rocky terrain.


Chaco classic footbed features firm PU construction. This footbed will not compress or lose its shape with wear. Sandals provide all-day comfort with LUVSEAT™ design. Optional footbeds include: Cloud and Z/Volv with less arch support.

Q. What’s the difference between the Chaco Z/1 and Z/2? What about the ZX/2?

A. Ignore the “Z” here. Z/1 means no toe loop, and Z/2 means toe loop. The choice is a matter of personal preference. Some love the extra security from the toe strap, especially for hiking or boating. Others find the feeling of a strap around the big toe uncomfortable. Both feature a single strap threaded through the sandal. Try them both to see which you prefer.

Women’s Z/X1:

A few women’s sandals also have an X, like the ZX/1 and ZX/2. The X means that, instead of a single wide piece of webbing, there are two narrower straps. Many women prefer the way this looks and feels; in fact, the Women’s ZX/2 is the most popular women sandal!

Q. Where did the Chaco Vibram soles go?

A. Standard Chaco sandals are now made with ChacoGrip Rubber. This is an exclusive outsole introduced in 2010. The new tread design is a combination of the best elements of the old outsole styles.

The Yampa and Uniweep outsoles no longer exist. If you prefer a Vibram sole, you still have options. Custom order your sandals and select from the Colorado or Terreno soles. Both outsoles feature Vibram rubber. This year’s National Parks tribute sandals are also made with Vibram soles.


The question remains: Tevas vs. Chaco: Which one is more comfortable?

Throughout History, sandals are the foremost forms of footwear. Sandals are inexpensive and practical to wear. Is it the price, the look, or the feeling that makes sandals such a popular form of footwear?

What makes sandals so popular is a topic for further discussion. Let’s face it, and feet are not a very attractive feature of the body. There are no awards given out in the most beautiful feet category. Sandals energize your feet, exposing them to daylight from the dark and damp areas of other shoes.

Tevas and Chaco sandals represent the true feeling you get when wearing sandals. Both offer good support and remain similar in style, designs, and price. Comfort levels vary from one individual to another. Seek out your best comfort level with either the Tevas or Chaco sandal.

Either way, wearing the best should always be the end result.

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