At Myakka State Park, Florida, 2004
We’re dedicated to natural fibers, but every now and again we’ll allow a synthetic exception
. The Patagonia Retro-X vest is one of my favorites, ideal for backpacking and casual cycling. However, the longest-lived synthetic exception in my wardrobe is the Chaco Z-1.
Somewhere on the Oregon coast, 2002
I know the sandal-haters will have a fit, but for summer hiking, fishing, scrambling, gardening, biking, picnicking, etc, the Chaco cannot be beat. I love my old Quoddy moccasins
, but they can’t go from soaked to dry in 10 minutes…
I bought my first pair of Chacos when I was 13, way back when they were still made in the USA. They were re-soled twice and were my only footwear for a month in Morocco, performing admirably hiking in the Rif and cruising through the Casbah. After 12 years of loyal service, they vanished off of a commune’s front porch. I’ve since replaced them with a new pair (now made in China).
Hiking above Chefchaouen, Morocco, 2009
Most Chaco offerings are horrendously ugly, so I recommend sticking to the Z/1