Chaco and ReChaco- a sandal saga

Many years ago I had a pair of Chaco sandals that I never learned to love. I was recovering from foot surgery, when I realized that the straps were irritating my scars. So I passed them on to a friend.  I didn’t think about them again for years!

When it was time to move into the van and hit the road three years ago, I came across a pair of Chacos in my size. I grabbed them, tossed them in the van and put them to hard use.  This time I stuck with them until I learned to love them! I bought clothes to go with them. I wore them with dresses. I wore them kayaking. I wore them clean and I wore them dirty. I really did learn to love them fully. Well, almost fully. See I never really loved the straps! It wasn’t the way they felt, that was fine. They were not irritating my scars anymore! I simply did not LOVE the fact that the straps were a subtle striped pattern of oranges, browns and tans.   I found that I spent way too much time trying to match that pattern to my clothes. Silly but true! I was obsessing about whether or not my Chacos matched every outfit. There was no room for this stress in my everyday van-life!  10592970_521553011362645_7052784444895401295_n.jpg

So I started to research the process of having the straps changed. I learned that the procedure is called ReChaco.   This is amazing. In our world of disposable clothing and cheap shoes, here is a company that will actually repair and rebuild the product for the customer!

I wore the sandals on one more trip, just to be sure that I wanted to ditch the orange stripes.  But, when we returned from Australia, I was convinced- it was time for new straps. I had even spent time during our trip, worrying about my sandals matching my outfit!

I went to the Chaco page for ReChaco Repairs and clicked on “GET STARTED”.   I entered the few necessary details about my sandals. It turned out that it would cost me $36.00 for new straps. That was not so bad. Cheaper than new sandals.  And then the decision time happened! The screen filled with little rectangles of wonderful colors with fantastic names.rechaco strap color treetop.pngI would have to make a choice. I pondered this for days. Yes, seriously. If I am only going to have one pair of sandals in our mobile lifestyle, I have to carefully choose what color will not bother me and be versatile. As I said above, I was obsessing about the orangey-stripey pattern before, so I needed something that was a solid color. And something that would go with nearly everything I owned.

In looking at the selections, I ruled out the patterns first. Then narrowed it down to the colors “Grape wine”, “Chocolate brown” or “Treetop”.  I really liked the idea of green, so I searched for images of the color “Treetop” and came up with only two-colored shoe example. When I compared that image to the color clip on the ReChaco page, I decided that the “Treetop”  was the darker of the two greens in this photo example.

Not my shoes, but a clip that I found online.  I like the dark green here.
Not my shoes, but a clip that I found online. I like the dark green here.

So, after looking at my closet I settled on the “Treetop” green straps. A solid color would be easier for me to enjoy wearing!  And I own quite a bit of forest green and military green clothing.  Treetop it is!

I finished the simple online process, printed the necessary pages and sent in the shoes. Then I waited.

The box arrived fairly FAST! img_9142   Within about two weeks I had my old Chaco soles back- and they had new straps woven through them. The new straps were crispy and bold and bright. But wait……they were bright! BRIGHT GREEN! KELLY IRISH GREEN! Not military green or forest green. Not the green of the image on the screen. But bright, Irish green. img_9143   It really wasn’t the color that I thought I would receive. It was actually the brighter of the two greens in the sample photo I found online.  I can honestly say that I was somewhat disappointed.  Alas, the color I actually wanted was ON THE SHOES!!  The rear straps are wider, and they are a different green- more like the military green I was expecting.  And actually there is even a different shade of green near the buckle.  Yep, I know have three shades of green to aggravate my color-matching obsession!  Ridiculous, perhaps. My reality, yep.

My actual sandals after a month of wear.  They have darkened. But notice three different shades of green.

I started wearing them right away. I have worn them many, many times. I have tried to get them dirty to reduce the brightness of the green. But each time they get wet they return to almost the original bright green color. I am hopeful that with time they will get closer to the military green that I was originally expecting. But I don’t think they will ever turn the color of the wider straps in the back …….the color I was hoping to receive. And I did not anticipate them being thee different shades of green!

In todays world of disposable everything, planned obsolescence and throw-away products, it is refreshing to see a company that is willing to replace parts, rebuild sandals and keep you in your favorite footwear.  Now if I could just be more forgiving of my color matching and wardrobe options!

My summary of this experience:

The process of ReChaco is simple– just click a few buttons, make a selection and send in your sandals.

The price of ReChaco is reasonable– less than a new pair for a full redo, and they also do sole replacement, strap and buckle repair and more.

The turn-around time for ReChaco is terrific– because no one wants to be without their sandals for too long.

Choose your colors carefully- or maybe it just shouldn’t matter what color your Chacos are!




4 thoughts on “Chaco and ReChaco- a sandal saga

  1. I like the way you are thinking! But somehow I get caught up in “matching” my outfits! But…. you are right…. the RECHACO program is great and their warranty work is solid! Thanks for writing in.

  2. I’m of the “shouldn’t matter one whit” what color the straps are. Chaos are just flat-out great sandals. I had the sole on one of men delaminate a bit after lots of hard use in and out of the salt water in the Sea of Cortez. Chaco replaced them free of charge. Can’t beat a deal like that. I have 2 pair and love them both.

What do you think of this post? Comment, please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.