Frequently Asked Questions about Chaco Sandals


Rock/Creekers wear Chacos, as do many of our customers …which means we field quite a few questions about them! To answer some of the most common ones, we’ve put together this FAQ to help you choose the right pair for you and/or take care of the ones you already have. ~Jeff


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

A: Basically, ignore the “Z” here. Z/1 means no toe loop, and Z/2 means toe loop. The choice between the latter and the former mostly boils down to personal preference; some love the additional security from the toe strap, especially for hiking or boating, and some hate the feeling of a strap around the big toe. Both are made with a single strap threaded through the sandal. Try them both to see which you prefer.

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 Yampa is our most popular sandal!


Q: What do “Unaweep” and “Yampa” mean in the name of my Chacos?

A: You mean you’re confused why there are nonsense words in the middle of your sandal name? Well, not nonsense words — the Yampa River and Unaweep Canyon are both in Colorado — but we don’t blame you. These names designate the different types of Vibram soles available for the “Z” series Chaco sandals.

Unaweep is Chaco’s classic performance sandal tread, with aggressive traction like a hiking shoe. The lugs are deep, and these will last the longest. If you’re planning to do a lot of hiking, this sole is your best bet. Men tend to prefer this style.

Conversely, the opposite is often preferred by women! The Yampa sole is lower-profile and lighter, and on some models it comes in a bright color that matches the sandal webbing. Because of their popularity, many women’s Chacos have more available colors in their Yampa iteration.


Q: What happened to the Zong X? That was my favorite!

A: The Chaco Zong X lives on with a name change: the Chaco Sleet sandal. We’re not sure why they changed the name, except for the fact that “Zong X” always kind of sounded like a spray you buy to get rid of ants in your kitchen, or a cream for athlete’s foot… is it just us?

Anyway, in keeping with the naming conventions above, the “X” in the old name tells us that the Sleet is a skinny-strap version of the popular Zong — so the Sleet is basically a backless ZX/2. Love it! One difference is the EcoTread outsole, used in Chaco flips and some lightweight styles, which is a low-profile outsole that uses 25% recycled rubber.


Q: How do I clean my Chacos? They smell funny. How often should I do it?

A: We are asked this so often, we actually wrote a separate article with some short-and-sweet video content. Click through to read our tips on how to wash Chaco sandals.


Q: I heard that Chacos are certified for proper foot support. Is this true?

A: Yep! The APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) awarded Chaco with a “seal of acceptance” for their arch support, stability and shock absorption characteristics. If you’d like to read more, check out this article about the recommended Chaco sandals for proper foot health


  1. New blog post: Frequently Asked Questions about Chaco Sandals

  2. Barbara Fleming said:

    June 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I appreciate knowing he difference between the Yampa and Unaweep outsoles, but you only show one sandal on this blog and do not indicate which outsole it is. If I had to guess, i would say it’s the Yampa, but it would be nice to see both. Also, is the Unaweep always black? Thanks very much.

  3. Barbara, that’s a great point! I took a couple of photos for you and have posted them on Instagram, showing the difference. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

    Photo 1:
    Photo 2:

  4. Stephanie Striefel said:

    June 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    The soles of my Chacos are wearing thin. Can they be resoled?

  5. It depends on the style, but as long as it’s one of the “Z” styles then the answer is definitely yes. If you call our customer service number, they can put you in touch with our warranty dept and we can get that process started for you if you like.

  6. Stephanie Fisher said:

    August 5, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Do the Sleets have the same arch support as the previously named Zong X?

  7. Yep! They’re basically the same sandal, with a slightly different footbed design. The Sleet replaced the Zong X.

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