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When asked about his Z-strap sandals, third-year Nate Brown remarked, “Chacos are the cutting-edge, dynamic sandal for the modern outdoors enthusiast. Enough said.”
I have to disagree. I think there is much more to be said about these shoes and their sudden rampant popularity in the past couple years. Admittedly, just walking around grounds today, I counted five of my sorority sisters wearing Chacos. Maybe I’m really just holding the unpopular opinion here, but I wanted to bring to light some of the main points of the Chaco debate.
Some common “pros” for Chacos:
Comfort: This is something that all Chaco-wearers seem to agree on and is the primary answer to the “why Chacos?” question. Second-year Ellie Leech claimed, “They just massage my foot when I’m walking around.”
Function: Chacos are durable, waterproof, and useful for hiking and other outdoor activities. Third-year Cameron Todd called them “casual and functional. They are the sandals you can take anywhere!”
That “outdoorsy feeling:” Second-year Kate Clark called the shoes “more than a little granola.”
Appearance: I think most of us can admit that Chacos are just really ugly, which is why they’ve been frequently nicknamed, “ugly Jesus sandals.” Second-year Caroline Larsen said, “I think they are the ugliest shoes ever. And I don’t understand the appeal.”
Calling attention to your feet: Chacos unnaturally accentuate your feet, drawing a lot of attention and making them look like bricks.
The infamous “Chaco tan:” We all know what I’m talking about. I know many Chaco-wearers take pride in this, but is the zig-zag tan line actually attractive, or is this just furthering one’s ability to make it clear that he or she is a Chaco wearer?
Conformity: I often wonder how many people who have Chacos actually like them. In actuality, are these people really just following a trend and buying them because other people have them? First-year Sam Kraus said that wearing Chacos is about “feeling good and having unity with all other Chaco wearers.”
I think we should consider the cost (not only the financial, but stylistic). There are plenty of alternatives to Chacos. Rainbows, for example, are my personal favorite choice for a comfy summer sandal. So when you get dressed tomorrow, ask yourself: Are you conquering a mountain today? Do you really need to be that comfortable?