Are you a trail runner or distance runner? Do your feet (or knees, or hips, or shins) hurt? Well, allow us to recommend a pair of Chaco Sandals. If you’ve seen members of the Rock/Creek Race Team at trail races around the country, you’ve probably seen more than one pair of Chacos, and that’s no accident.
No, Chaco isn’t an official sponsor of our Race Team, but so many of our runners wear Chacos before and after racing that we’re going to go ahead and call them an unofficial one. Actually, let’s just go with “unofficial official sponsor” …that rolls off the tongue, yes?
The concept of wearing a recovery sandal to relax the plantar fascia and other muscles in the foot is a popular one among ultrarunners, and nothing takes care of your feet better than a pair of Chacos. If you already own a pair, you’re probably doing this already. If you don’t already own Chacos… well, why not?
In this instructional photograph, Race Team member Cathi Cannon demonstrates the recommended procedure. For this example, Cathi is using a pair of Montrail Mountain Masochist trail running shoes. Just follow these easy steps:
- Arrive for trail run (or trail race) in Chacos.
- Remove Chaco sandals. Put on trail running shoes.
- Complete trail run (or trail race). Note: this step may take 20 minutes, or 20 hours.
- Remove trail running shoes. Replace with Chaco sandals. Relax!
You may or may not choose to keep a banana or three in your vehicle’s trunk, as Cathi has done here. It’s a matter of personal preference. If you do, by all means you can eat a banana before your run, but I can neither confirm nor deny that the banana will provide a benefit to your foot health.
Remember, the Chaco “Luvseat” footbed was designed with the assistance of a certified pedorthist, in order to ensure a supported, comfortable stride for any activity. As a result, Chaco has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association (AMPA). This seal identifies quality products that are manufactured with comfort, health and safety in mind.
Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls too far inward, resulting in stress on the muscles and tendons of the foot. Why am I telling you this? Because nearly 80% of the population overpronates, which means there’s an 80% chance that you do, and Chaco sandals are designed to control overpronation while preventing (or correcting) injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and IT band friction syndrome. These are common injuries for runners, of course, so it’s no surprise that the Rock/Creek Race Team basically lives in their Chacos when they’re not chewing up miles of trail.
We recommend the classic Z/1 sandals and Z/2 sandals, but any Chaco sandals or Chaco shoes will do just fine, as they all feature the Chaco Luvseat footbed (formerly known as the Chaco BioCentric Footbed). Made from a long-lasting polyurethane, Chaco sandals are built to support your feet for years and years. They’re perfect if you wear orthotics… or if you never WANT to wear orthotics!
Here’s a Rock/Creek “snapshot” video about Chacos and foot health: