Monday, April 27, 2015

Gear Review: Shoes So Comfortable They Feel Like Clouds

 My friends joke about how I describe my ideal pancake: it should resemble a cloud and literally feel like it's floating off the plate. And I was reminded of my cloud analogy when testing out these new Chaco OutCross Evo 2 shoes that the company just provided. I tried them out for a week and they are so cloud-like, I sometimes have to look down at my feet to wonder if I've walked out of the house with just my socks. Extremely comfortable? You bet. Though they come in a rainbow of colors, being a New Yorker I chose black, of course. They're billed as a performance shoe -- one that goes from water sports to the beach to the trail -- but I also wore them in the city with skirts, pants and leggings and got plenty of compliments on their low profile style.

When I wanted  to check out their performance, I ventured to Long Island's east end for a weekend of fishing, and beach walking. The speed lace system that Chaco is noted for makes it easy to slip these shoes on and off. When wet, the shoes dry rapidly. No worries about your feet overheating; these shoes are completely breathable. But, though I had hoped for great traction on wet rocks, that's not what I found. As we fished just off shore and I navigated across slick rocks of different sorts, I wasn't happy with the traction I got. And, walking across the beach brought plenty of sand into the shoes which I had to remove frequently during our walks to clear out the sand.

Then I checked out the shoes in Manhattan's wet streets during some spring rainstorms. Again, there were traction issues, this time if I crossed anything metallic -- it was like an ice skating rink. Of course, these shoes are not meant to be city walking shoes. So, this wasn't a fair test. (They are meant to have great traction on natural surfaces.)

Overall, I love these shoes for their comfort and their aesthetics -- two things for which the Chaco brand is noted. I'm packing two pair of Chacos on my next trip to Brittany where I will be walking the Nantes-Brest Canal. One of these I've written about these shoes before as well as the sandals - check out why I love 'em.