Do I need medium or wide Chacos?

Do I need medium or wide Chacos? 1 -
Do I need medium or wide Chacos? 1 -

Do I need medium or wide Chacos?

My friend recently asked me for advice on choosing between medium and wide Chaco sandals. As an avid hiker and Chaco wearer myself, I’m happy to share my insights!

Choosing the right fit in Chacos can be tricky. When my buddy first got his Chacos years ago, he went with the medium width. But after a few long hikes, he realized they were too narrow for his feet. His toes felt squished and he was getting blisters on his heels. Not fun!

That’s when he asked me, “Should I have gone with the wide instead?”

It’s a great question. To help my friend (and anyone else wondering), let’s break it down…

Medium vs Wide Chacos: What’s the Difference?

When deciding between medium and wide Chacos, there are a few key things that set them apart:

  • Width: Well, yeah – this one’s obvious! The medium width is made to fit average or narrower feet. The wide has more room across the foot.
  • Strap Size: Along with the sole, the straps are wider on the wide-width sandals. This gives more overall coverage and stability.
  • Price: You’ll typically pay $5-10 more for the same style in wide. Because of the extra materials used in construction.

“What About Sizing Up Instead of Going Wide?”

I sometimes get asked if people can just size up in the regular medium width if they need more room. Like, if you usually wear a size 10, just get an 11 in medium instead of a 10 wide.

I don’t really recommend this because even though it makes the sandal longer, it doesn’t actually make it wider. And that means your feet are still hanging off the sides. No bueno!

How to Choose: Medium or Wide Chacos

Do I need medium or wide Chacos? 2 -
Do I need medium or wide Chacos? 2 –

Next big question: How do you know whether to get medium or wide Chacos?

There are a few key factors to think about:

  • Foot Shape: Do you have narrow, average-width, or wide feet? Measure across the ball of your foot to find out.
  • Toe Room: Make sure to have about a thumb width between the tip of your longest toe and the edge. Keeps piggies happy!
  • Style & Activity: Certain Chaco styles and outdoor activities call for a roomier fit. More on that later!

“Can I Customize Them If the Fit Isn’t Quite Right?”

Luckily, yes! One of the great things about Chacos is that you can swap out the straps and footbeds. So even if you don’t nail the perfect fit out of the gate, you have options to dial it in.

For example, my wide-footed buddy replaced his medium straps with wide ones. He also got a more cushioned footbed. Now his Chacos feel custom-made for his feet!

Comparing Medium vs. Wide: Pros and Cons

As with most choices in life, both medium and wide Chacos come with their own sets of pros and cons. Let’s take a look:

  • Medium Chacos
    • Pro: Sleek fit for narrower feet
    • Con: Can be too narrow; straps dig in
  • Wide Chacos
    • Pro: Roomy fit provides comfort and stability
    • Con: Bulky; heavier than medium width

It’s about balancing fit, functionality, and personal preference!

Frequently Asked: Chaco Medium vs Wide

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends about choosing their Chacos. Some of the most common:

  • Q: What’s the actual difference between medium and wide models?
    A: Medium is made for average-width feet; wide has more room across the sole and thicker straps.
  • Q: Is the sole different on medium vs wide Chacos?
    A: Yep, the wide sole itself is broader to allow more footroom.

Why Go Wide? Advantages for Wider Feet

Now, for those with wider feet, Chaco’s wide width offers some nice perks. Mainly enhanced comfort, stability, and arch support!

The roomier fit means your feet aren’t spilling off the edges, reducing rub and blister issues. And the thicker sole and straps offer better control for adventure activities (more on that next!).

For my buddy with sensitive wide boats for feet, his custom wide Chacos made all-day wear actually enjoyable. No more painful hot spots!

Who Should Go Wide with Chacos

Because of the benefits I just covered, wide Chaco sandals are great for:

  • People with wider feet
  • Outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, campers, etc)
  • Anyone wanting maximum comfort and stability

Basically, if you have sensitive, acne-prone plates of meat for feet like yours truly, wide is the way to go!

Ensuring the Perfect Chaco Fit for You

Finding your ideal Chacos still comes down to measuring your feet properly. Here are some tips to get it right:

  • Brannock Device: The gold standard for accuracy. Head to a shoe store and get properly sized.
  • Printable Guides: There are some handy printable sizing tools online. But make sure your printer/paper is set right!
  • DIY Methods: Use a ruler at home to measure. Trace outlines of both feet to compare.

“Chacos Only Come in Whole Sizes…Now What?”

Ah yes, the dreaded half-size dilemma! Since Chacos don’t come in half increments, pay close attention here:

  • For 1/2 sizes, size DOWN if your feet run narrow/average or UP for wide feet
  • The adjustable straps give you some wiggle room to customize fit

How Will You Use Your Chacos?

Think about how you plan to wear your Chacos – beach bumming or backcountry hiking? The activities you do influence fit needs:

  • Outdoorsy Stuff: Hiking rough terrain? Go wider for stability, traction, and toe protection.
  • Casual Use: If mostly casual wear, the medium provides a more streamlined look and lighter feel.

Express Yourself: Chaco Styles

A cool thing about Chacos is self-expressing through different strap designs, patterns, and colors – they offer a lot of options! Consider how Chacos fit into your personal style:

  • Funky Styles: Chaco has fun woven and patterned straps to show off your personality!
  • Outdoor Chic: Or go more minimal with solid neutral shades for an outdoorsy vibe.

It’s Not Just About Now, But Later!

Choosing the right Chaco fit also considers long-term foot health and comfort:

  • Arch Support: Crucial for alignment and preventing issues like plantar fasciitis down the road.
  • Toe Box Room: Gotta let those piggies move! Preventing rub spots and tremors.

I have some friends who are paying the price now with foot problems from poor-fitting shoes when they were younger.

Trust me, take care of your feet now and they’ll thank you later!

Switching Between Medium and Wide Over Time

Here’s the thing – your feet and preferences might change over the years. It’s good to know you can switch up your Chaco width if needed:

  • Life Happens: Injuries, age, or weight changes can affect your feet! My arches have flattened over time.
  • Try Something New!: Get adventurous with a different Chaco style once in a while! Variety is the spice of life.

Luckily, Chacos make it relatively easy to swap sizes and widths. Those adjustable straps come in handy here!

Parting Words of Chaco Wisdom

Well, friend, we’ve covered a lot of ground here on picking the perfect Chacos! To wrap up:

  • Consider foot shape, intended use, style preferences
  • Take accurate measurements
  • Know you can customize for an ideal fit

Most importantly, choose the width that makes your feet happiest! Whether medium or wide, I hope this guide helps you pick the perfect pair. Now get out there and make some summer memories!

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