Chaco Stealth: A sandal for any season

Paul Conrad

Sandals and flip-flops were never my thing. But my girlfriend, Susan, suggested I buy a pair as we were heading for the Four Corners area for two weeks of desert exploration. So I shopped around and plunked down 100-or-so bucks for a pair of Chaco new Stealth sandals before heading out.

Many of my friends also like Chacos due to their adjustable, single-strap design, which will fit almost any foot comfortably. Customization – the key to a successful product.A few years ago, a writer and I visited the Chaco facility in Paonia, Colo., for a story. While watching the construction of the sandals, I could tell the care that was put into them. At the store, the Stealth looked nice and felt good on my feet. Soon afterward, the true tests of its durability would come to pass. Deserts can be most unforgiving on the feet.

One of the Stealth’s benefits, as listed on the sales brochure, was the non-slip sole, which is great for walking in rivers and streams. It has a diamond-shaped pattern on the sole that grips even mossy rocks. Skeptic that I am, I just took it as a sales pitch with little merit. But I also kept in mind that the owner of Chaco they tries out his own products.My skepticism soon swayed to belief as I wore them during vacation. They were comfortable due to their solid and thick foot bed, and did have a nice grip on rocks, both in the streams and at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Best of all, I could use them around camp while wearing socks. It was simply a matter of tightening the toe strap so it lay flat on the foot bed. Not possible with most other sandals.Overall, the Stealth sandals worked well in the desert and they’re great around town too. With the snow falling here in the mountains, I can’t wait to take them to the desert later this month.

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