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Chaco sandals pros and cons? (plantar fasciitis dramas)

Camino(s) past & future
Planning for Leon to Santiago June 2019
Leaving in a week (I will be walking from Leon in June after a month of other travel in Europe) and have to make a decision about the 'second' pair of shoes to take.

I have pretty bad plantar fasciitis in one foot and it is too late for any miracle cures, I just need to manage it. I switched from Merrel boots to New Balance trail runners with custom orthotics, and I am now getting worried about what to use end of the day that I could reasonably walk around town in. My foot is always worst after a day of walking of course. My trail runners may be wet and I gather it is good to let your feet 'breathe' a bit and of course I need something to wear to showers. I only want to bring one extra pair of shoes as I want my pack weight at around 5-6 kg before food and water.

Chaco is not a brand that is well known in Australia, but the Mega Z Cloud come up in online reviews and my local shoe shop actually has a pair in my size in stock. My only reservation is that they seem heavy, esp. compared to my other two options which are rubber birkenstocks (very light and comfy but little tread, so only good around the albergue, or my Merrel sandals, which I know I can't walk far in as they don't have enough arch support and cushioning).

That is a long ramble sorry...I don't want to get this wrong given the problem I have with my foot. Thanks!
 

Laliibeans

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
I've had problems with plantar faciitis, too, including when I walked my camino. I found that with arch supports in my hiking boots, my Teva sandals and an ankle strap with arch bracing (I picked that up half-way along) it was very manageable. Most days it didn't bother me at all. Like you mentioned, being Australian I'm not familiar with Chaco, but as long as they have some support they should be fine when combined with your runners and orthotics which you'll be spending most of your time in.

Just do a bit of massage when you first take your shoes off after walking and periodically if you're sitting in the afternoon and start to feel your muscles tightening. I carried tape with me in case I needed to strap my foot but I didn't end up using it for that. I actually only picked up my arch supports when I got to Pamplona, too because I was in so much pain. That was really all it took though to make them fine again.

You're aware of the signs of it worsening, I imagine, and there are plenty of pharmacies along the way if you need anything extra.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for Leon to Santiago June 2019
I've had problems with plantar faciitis, too, including when I walked my camino. I found that with arch supports in my hiking boots, my Teva sandals and an ankle strap with arch bracing (I picked that up half-way along) it was very manageable. Most days it didn't bother me at all. Like you mentioned, being Australian I'm not familiar with Chaco, but as long as they have some support they should be fine when combined with your runners and orthotics which you'll be spending most of your time in.

Just do a bit of massage when you first take your shoes off after walking and periodically if you're sitting in the afternoon and start to feel your muscles tightening. I carried tape with me in case I needed to strap my foot but I didn't end up using it for that. I actually only picked up my arch supports when I got to Pamplona, too because I was in so much pain. That was really all it took though to make them fine again.

You're aware of the signs of it worsening, I imagine, and there are plenty of pharmacies along the way if you need anything extra.
Thanks! Yes I actually have a little rubber ball that I'm taking as I find standing on that to massage my foot really helps. It sounds like the pharmacies have all the relevant things for pilgrim problems :)
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
Oofos sandals are my recommendation. I say this as someone who had a full plantar fasciotomy then 10 months later walked all of CF.
 

Bales

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2019
I am booked to start Del Norte 1st Sept flying out from Melbourne
I have had a chat with my Osteopath as I also have foot dramas - I was going to drag my Birkenstock jandles(sorry Kiwi talk) plus rubber jandals for the shower - but Birkenstocks are too chunky for my pack so he put me onto Archies high arch jandals made by a local Melbourne Ostopath -
can buy them on line $35-www.archiesfootwear.com.au so will use these for recovery each day plus shower - not sure I will wear them all night so he again suggested a light weigh pair of Sketches or similar for heading into the town / village - Archies jandals weigh 167 gms - hope this helps
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
I like my Chacos, but they are heavy. How about something that will accommodate your orthotics ... like Crocs. You can use the Crocs without your orthotics in the shower, and then put them in for walking around town etc. I have done this and it worked out well. This year I am bringing my LiteRide Clog. They have a softer upper, and cushioned soles. They do not feel like a piece of plastic.:D:cool:
 

ortemio

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances,14,
Frances,15
Madrid,15
Salvador,15
VdlP,Sanabres
Porto,16
Levante,17
Mozarabe,18
I have been looking at this ones, they have a good reputation with long distance hikers :

 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
Chacos and Echos are both good, but heavy. On the Camino, I had a pair of "Madrid" style Birkenstocks which were light and had a supportive foot bed for the evening. I had plantar faciitis in one foot and a sprained ankle on the other side after a spill on the old Roman road. I think Crocs would also be a good, but perhaps less stylish selection for traveling the rest of Europe. My husband who is currently struggling with plantar faciitis here at home wears either his Tevas or Crocs after a day of too much walking.
 

JFG

Doing Caminos since 2003. Holy Cow!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Portugues, Norte, Ignacio, Salvador, Tunnel, Ingles, and more...
Chacos are great for my crappy feet but as you said too heavy. For two caminos I used oofos which are great but not real stable. This year I am wearing Chaco Odyssey which have great support for my feet but are MUCH LIGHTER than their sandals
Worth a look.
Also I could hike with them if I needed to.
 

Cary

Member
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte/Primitivo May 2019
I love my Chacos but decided against taking them due to weight. I chose these instead...they have good arch support and support. I will use them for the end of the day and for showering. A little pricey but are well made and I expect them to hold up well. I tried them out this weekend in Moab and they were perfect for me.

 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
I am brining a pair of Birkenstocks (not the leather ones) as well. To me, they are lighter than Crock and as comfortable but I think each person has to try them out.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
These are the Birkenstocks I have (made out of EVA so very light.)
1556207541352.png
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Leaving in a week (I will be walking from Leon in June after a month of other travel in Europe) and have to make a decision about the 'second' pair of shoes to take.

I have pretty bad plantar fasciitis in one foot and it is too late for any miracle cures, I just need to manage it. I switched from Merrel boots to New Balance trail runners with custom orthotics, and I am now getting worried about what to use end of the day that I could reasonably walk around town in. My foot is always worst after a day of walking of course. My trail runners may be wet and I gather it is good to let your feet 'breathe' a bit and of course I need something to wear to showers. I only want to bring one extra pair of shoes as I want my pack weight at around 5-6 kg before food and water.

Chaco is not a brand that is well known in Australia, but the Mega Z Cloud come up in online reviews and my local shoe shop actually has a pair in my size in stock. My only reservation is that they seem heavy, esp. compared to my other two options which are rubber birkenstocks (very light and comfy but little tread, so only good around the albergue, or my Merrel sandals, which I know I can't walk far in as they don't have enough arch support and cushioning).

That is a long ramble sorry...I don't want to get this wrong given the problem I have with my foot. Thanks!
Order you a pair of kuru. They have eliminated my pf.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I found a really nice well cushioned pair of Sketcher slides. Have had plantar fasciitis and used crocs cleo sandals for the evening. They were actually great.
 

prairiegirlmb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to SDC (September 2020)
I have bad plantar fasciitis too and Oofos have been the best thing out there! However they are terrible when wet and my feet slide around in them so you have to be really careful not to roll an ankle. They are very light weight too. However I could not walk long in them and I use them as just a recovery sandal. Chacos are great too but they would be too heavy. I am interested in trying the Chaco Odysessy as OP said it was light weight
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPP - SDC (2013)
CP Porto - Finisterre (Coastal & Spiritual Variant) 2016
Norte Irun-Muxia 2018
I like Chacos but they weigh a ton. I'm on my second pair of Oofos, quite simply the most comfortable object of any kind I have worn on my feet. I too suffer plantar fasciitis but these are amazing to put on at the end of a long day of hiking. I'm on my second pair because I lost my first pair at an albergue on the norte.
 

Jim Stinson

ibrew4u
Camino(s) past & future
5/2015 CF
4/2017 CF
(4/2019 Madrid)
I can’t speak to Chacos vs PF. I wear them all the time if the temp is above 40*F here in Colorado. I took them on my first Camino as my shower shoes and apres hiking. Yes, they are heavy when in your pack.
My feet were so happy in them at the end of the day, that I put my boots in the bottom of my pack an hiked all day in my Chacos.
I have since hiked a second Camino Frances and West Highland Way 90%+ in Chacos. I carry a pair of Keen water proof boots for really cold days and downpours.
Again, Chacos are heavy when they are in your pack, but I don’t even feel them when they are on my feet. What makes them heavy also cushions my heel strike, and pads my foot so that I don’t even feel sharp rocks or roots in the trail. The strapping system (yes, the toe loop) keeps the sandal firmly against the bottom of your foot. There is no sliding or slapping. The Chaco is one with your foot.
I am starting my third Camino in a couple days and, if it’s above 40*F, I will be wearing my Chacos with a pair of boots in my pack.
I also bought a pair of Injinji toe socks (low quarter) that I have donned on cold mornings so that I can still wear my Chacos with toe loop in place.
Are Chacos comfortable? Very.
Will Chacos help with PF? Don’t know.
Are Chacos heavy? In your pack-yes. On your feet-no
Are Chacos worth the price? Yes. On my 4th pair, plus a resolve. End of season sales almost 1/2.
Should you take them? Ultimately up to you. I say “yes.”
 

Kathie Morton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5/2017
Leaving in a week (I will be walking from Leon in June after a month of other travel in Europe) and have to make a decision about the 'second' pair of shoes to take.

I have pretty bad plantar fasciitis in one foot and it is too late for any miracle cures, I just need to manage it. I switched from Merrel boots to New Balance trail runners with custom orthotics, and I am now getting worried about what to use end of the day that I could reasonably walk around town in. My foot is always worst after a day of walking of course. My trail runners may be wet and I gather it is good to let your feet 'breathe' a bit and of course I need something to wear to showers. I only want to bring one extra pair of shoes as I want my pack weight at around 5-6 kg before food and water.

Chaco is not a brand that is well known in Australia, but the Mega Z Cloud come up in online reviews and my local shoe shop actually has a pair in my size in stock. My only reservation is that they seem heavy, esp. compared to my other two options which are rubber birkenstocks (very light and comfy but little tread, so only good around the albergue, or my Merrel sandals, which I know I can't walk far in as they don't have enough arch support and cushioning).

That is a long ramble sorry...I don't want to get this wrong given the problem I have with my foot. Thanks!
I don’t have plantar fasciitis, however, I’m a Chaco’s fan...they are a heavier sandal for sure. I used mine for over 700km on the Francés...they do have some arch support as I cannot do without something. Also, I toss them in the washing machine when they start smelling. They’re also on the pricey side. I love mine, but they are not for everyone. I’d suggest trying them out before you committed to taking them on camino. Bom Caminho 👣
 

Robert Nystrom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016, SJPP-Santiago),Portuguese Central (2017, Lisboa-Santiago),Camino Primitivo (2018)
Leaving in a week (I will be walking from Leon in June after a month of other travel in Europe) and have to make a decision about the 'second' pair of shoes to take.

I have pretty bad plantar fasciitis in one foot and it is too late for any miracle cures, I just need to manage it. I switched from Merrel boots to New Balance trail runners with custom orthotics, and I am now getting worried about what to use end of the day that I could reasonably walk around town in. My foot is always worst after a day of walking of course. My trail runners may be wet and I gather it is good to let your feet 'breathe' a bit and of course I need something to wear to showers. I only want to bring one extra pair of shoes as I want my pack weight at around 5-6 kg before food and water.

Chaco is not a brand that is well known in Australia, but the Mega Z Cloud come up in online reviews and my local shoe shop actually has a pair in my size in stock. My only reservation is that they seem heavy, esp. compared to my other two options which are rubber birkenstocks (very light and comfy but little tread, so only good around the albergue, or my Merrel sandals, which I know I can't walk far in as they don't have enough arch support and cushioning).

That is a long ramble sorry...I don't want to get this wrong given the problem I have with my foot. Thanks!
Chaco’s are saved me! On my second Camino (Portugués 2017) I injured my plantar (I used to be a runner so I know the injury) puddle jumping (came down on round rock just beneath the surface of water). The weight of them were never an issue with me because they are a true rugged hiking sandal. After some rehab time (almost 2 weeks) I could walk 10-15km a day, sometimes 20, in my Chacos. When my foot would swell I could loosen or tighten the sandals as needed (or go from single to double sock. The quality of the all rubber arch support was what I needed. I finished the Portugués ONLY because I brought my Chacos!!! Buen Camino!
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Hope those trail runners work out for you. My podiatrist told me that most certainly they were the worst thing I could wear for a long distance hike. Especially given that they were the cause of my plantar fasciitis on my first Camino. I’m now back to walking in real boots and have had no problems.
Sincerely hope you have no pain. I know how bad it can get.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Hope those trail runners work out for you. My podiatrist told me that most certainly they were the worst thing I could wear for a long distance hike. Especially given that they were the cause of my plantar fasciitis on my first Camino. I’m now back to walking in real boots and have had no problems.
Sincerely hope you have no pain. I know how bad it can get.
@alaskadiver
Thanks for this post. I have always walked in boots, both in the mountains at home and on camino. But I had begun to consider getting something lighter for my camino this fall, because the first couple of weeks of my walk shall be largely on easy trails on the Madrid. But your posts about the Invierno, where I shall finish my camino, and your comments here, have encouraged me to continue with boots, especially for the Invierno. Why give up what works? I have also had plantar fasciitis, and it occasionally reminds me that it could recur. Anyway, I need new boots for the mountains and I know what works for me in boots: so off to buy another pair. I hope that your Invierno is still going well.
 

Rachel from Seattle

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2015
Brought Chacos on my last Camino. They were heavy but that makes them good over rugged terrain so you don’t feel every rock in the path and great in terms of support. I had to do a lot of fiddling with the straps as my feet would swell. Also found it easy to get little pebbles and pieces of grit under my feet and under the straps. Even used them to hold on bandage after a blister infection. Used Ecco sandals on a previous Camino and they were easier to adjust because of Velcro but seemed to rub where my blisters were. Both had pluses and minuses. IMO Crocs would be supportive for after your daily walk but too thin on the bottom to handle the terrain. Good luck and Buen Camino B946CC7A-7A86-4E1E-8FB5-369B7FC65D1A.jpeg
 

JoHill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking May 2019
I bought two different styles of Chacos but have decided after wearing them to Costa Rica and getting hot spots on the top of my feet, I’m sticking to my Keens and Hoka One Ones. The weight isn’t worth it to take them.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
My wife has PF and wears Teva Sandals after walking.
I know you are leaving very soon, but have you had cortisone shots into the PF?
They work.
Not sure where you are in OZ but we get them done at Auburn Imaging. They are really good there. Need a GP Referral. They are done under Ultrasound guidance by a doctor. Takes the 'edge off' the pain for about 4 weeks.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
My wife has PF and wears Teva Sandals after walking.
I know you are leaving very soon, but have you had cortisone shots into the PF?
They work.
Not sure where you are in OZ but we get them done at Auburn Imaging. They are really good there. Need a GP Referral. They are done under Ultrasound guidance by a doctor. Takes the 'edge off' the pain for about 4 weeks.
I had cortisone shots in my feet 10 days before we left. You don’t need ultrasound and my podiatrist gave them to me. My first shots 2 years ago last until a few months ago! I got them prophylactically. They have made a difference. Along with my boots. Just tired feet on this Camino. Too much asphalt.
 

Cary

Member
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte/Primitivo May 2019
I love my Chacos but decided against taking them due to weight. I chose these instead...they have good arch support and support. I will use them for the end of the day and for showering. A little pricey but are well made and I expect them to hold up well. I tried them out this weekend in Moab and they were perfect for me.

Update:
Three days now on the Camino & I am loving these sandals at the end of the day!
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
I will say Croc Swiftwater worked for me during my Camino Frances in 2017
 

Bales

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2019
Quick update on my previous post - the Archie arch jandal is not cutting the mustard ---- since found out that Birkenstock in Australia have a lightweight jandal 167 gms (same mould as the cork traditional jandal ) EVA style
they fit like a glove - not for lots of walking but good for recovery, shower, walk to village etc
 

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