Chacos’ new do it all Clog the ‘Chillos’ are simple, comfortable footwear designed to stay cool, dry, and well ventilated for all day use. My review:
The Chaco Chillos Clog has a minimalistic design featuring a full molded EVA build, reduced top vents, a simple polyester webbing heel strap with plastic buckle adjustment, and their “Luvseat” footbed, which is shaped to fit the natural curves of the foot. They come in multiple colors, men and women’s variants, and retail for $65.
The Chillos as I will call them are quite the unique shoe. I’ve been using them in a wide variety of scenarios, everything from gardening, to hiking, to using them as a house shoe when the weather is rough, and they have performed fairly well in most aspects. Let’s start with comfort:
The Chillos are indeed quite comfortable, and I want to explain how they manage that with so little to the actual make of the shoe. The body of the shoe is composed of one primary EVA molded panel (EVA is a rubber like material with a lot of flexibility and some compressibility, but much lighter than actual rubber) with all the shapes and contours being pressed directly into this panel. This unibody-like technique allows the entire shoe to be created out of three main components: The body, the foot bed, and the tread on the bottom, plus the adjustable strap. Because of this, the shoe really doesn’t have any seams that touch the foot, which makes them very comfortable. The foot bed is soft, provides a bit of squish, but is also rather supportive. This provides dampening for repeated foot strikes and provides great impact relief, especially over long periods of time. Bring this all together with the natural flexibility of EVA, and you have a shoe that feels great, basically all the time with minimal friction, little weight resistance, and a lot of flexibility.
They’re also impressively breathable given the large vents and the fact that they have no fabric to trap heat. This allows them to constantly cycle out hot air, bringing in fresh cool air. They’re great for hot summer days, stagnant air, or just those who tend to have hot feet, but some sweat can build up just around and under the toes if the conditions are hot or humid enough. They can also be paired with socks if you’re bold on colder days, and they honestly feel great in this configuration when used with thick wool or polyester.
If you get them wet, they also dry out really quickly and clean up rather easily as well, with mud and dirt rinsing right off.
The Chillos are built wider than most shoes I have tested, and because of this they have plenty of foot and toe room inside. These really do not fit snug or tight to the foot, so long distance hiking I don’t really recommend due to possible friction/moving about inside, but it is still very doable, especially with a pair of socks underneath. I never found myself flopping around inside, but could definitely feel some movement when walking on uneven ground or climbing about.
Traction with the clogs is also relatively good. They’re not hiking boots, that’s for sure, but any dry hard surface shouldn’t be a problem. Mud could get a little slick and waxed surfaces can be a little slippery too, but so far I’ve not had any real issues with either. Time will tell how well the thin tread will hold up, and I’ll report back on that.
One small quibble comes with the stiff adjustment mechanism, which takes two hands and a bit of effort to cynch down (although it doesn’t move afterwards). They really have a lot of resistance here, more so than with other buckles I’ve tried. My other Chasos for example (Cloud series) are rather easy to strap down with a single hand, seemingly due to a smoother fabric used on the bands. It’s not a big deal but worth noting.
My other slightly larger issue comes with the lack of half sizes, which means those like me, who are generally in between sizes, will likely either have a shoe that’s too large or too small. This isn’t unusual in the sandal/croc market, but with this design I feel it plays more heavily into fit issues. I decided to size up and this has worked out well for me so far. For more detail, my personal sizing result means they’re going to be too small if I size down for serious hiking (sore toes are a no go) or too large if I size up as they’ll move around too much and become unstable. So the sizing did limit their usage for me to an extent. I just reserve them for casual use. They do seem to run large, so sizing down may be the option for some. Still, despite having nearly a full inch of toe room up front, I was able to tighten the shoe down and still wear them comfortably in most situations thanks to the flexible adjustment strap on the back and the comfortable “tongue”.
I quite like the Chillos Clog from Chaco. They’re light weight, comfortable, and can be used in a huge variety of situations. I really enjoy being able to strap them on in the morning, pack up my gear, and either hit a short hiking trail or go paddling on the lake, knowing my shoes will be just fine either way. I do wish they came in half sizes for a more perfect fit, which could be a deal breaker for some, and the adjustment could use a little tweaking to slide a bit easier. But, they still provide excellent utility for those who want a comfortable, casual shoe that can do a bit of everything. If you’re a full size shoe wearing, these are an easy win. Half size users may need to try them on first to see how they feel.
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