After a lifetime of allegiance to the “no toes in town” guideline I’ve put aside fears of stepping in NYC garbage juice and being feasted upon by Upstate ticks and embraced the most free-loving footwear there is. Getting a pair of new olive drab Chaco Z/Chromatics made all the difference.
Now, as socks-and-sandals season approaches Chaco looks to embrace the once taboo styling choice with the release of the Z/Ronin, a hybrid closed toe design that blends a knit sock-like upper and fully adjustable sandal straps.
We first caught a glimpse of the Z/Ronin at Outdoor Retailer last fall—we even snagged a prototype pair to comp around in—and in the year since the design has been refined and all components thoroughly vetted.
The final iteration—based on the iconic Z/Sandal’s pass-through single-piece strap design and selling for $130—features a breathable, fast-drying polyester knit upper, ribbed collar for a sock-like fit, reinforced toe bumper and heel counter for added protection and durability, a new metal strap buckle for extra security, comfortable arch support, PU midsole, and traction-focused outsole.
Now, you may be thinking, that’s a lot to promise for a brand known best for making sandals out of just two components. But rest assured, Creative Director Josh Weichhand and his team have done their due diligence. As a brand founded on the legendary Colorado River, Chaco is well aware of the quality and performance their fans demand, and the Z/Ronin is sure to deliver on all fronts. Even if in rather bizarre fashion.