Chacos or flip-flops? We have feet in both camps.

July 24, 2008 at 12:14 am 58 comments

Last Saturday, I became the proud owner of my first pair of Chaco sandals.

I had never heard of them before I moved to Minnesota, but you see them around quite a bit here.

They’re usually about $90/pair, and they rarely go on real sale, which is why I haven’t owned a pair since moving here 7 years ago. I have tried them on multiple times at stores like REI, coveted them, and walked out. I just couldn’t drop that kind of money on a pair of sandals.

But on Saturday, all that changed. Kind of. A couple of my girlfriends had been shopping around for some, and called a store that was actually going to stop selling the Chaco brand. So all their Chacos were 50% off!!

I know that’s still $45. That’s the way Abraham sees them, apparently, because he immediately started calculating how long I would have to wear them in order to “get my money’s worth” out of them. However, he was using a standard that I find totally unfairβ€”his pair of $2.50 flip-flops from Old Navy!

He figures I have to wear my new sandals for 16 years. Nothing like sucking all the joy out of my bargain! πŸ˜‰


Entry filed under: Fun, Life.

Kitchen Remodel: What kind of countertops should we get? “Mom, I’m going to Kenya.”

58 Comments Add your own

  • 1. c.  |  July 24, 2008 at 4:47 am

    My husband calculates that too. I used to dread it, but after 5 1/2 years of marriage, its one of things I love most about him now. Life would not be the same if he didnt calculate things.

    And about the laminate, we were going to put laminate in our kitchen, but the people at Lowes, and another store, told us that our 2×3 isalnd would cost over 700 dollars (!) alone becuase laminate comes in 8 foot sheets. THat made laminate more expensive than granite or corian for us. Moral of the sotry: get lots of estimates and pin people down about kitchens that have isalnds or sinks on an angle. That makes things pricey.

  • 2. Tracie  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Love the Chacos…I’m from the East Coast so I’ve never heard of them either, but they look great!!! Cute and comfy…and boys just don’t get the shoe thing πŸ™‚
    By the way I’m new to reading here via the GirlTalk blog and a post that Noel Piper made there a few weeks ago and I have been moved and delighted by your postings. Thank you for sharing honestly about Felicity and the struggles you have faced. You have helped me see things about myself more clearly. And thanks for sharing your strong faith in the midst of suffering. God bless! (and enjoy that bargain….hey 50% is 50%!!!!)

  • 3. danielle  |  July 24, 2008 at 6:29 am

    wow. those are cute! good color!

  • 4. Rachel  |  July 24, 2008 at 6:32 am

    those are awesome – but old navy flip flops are NOT a good marker to measure by. shame abraham πŸ™‚

    I would say if you get two- three good summers out of them, which i’m sure you will, they will be well worth it!

  • 5. Heather  |  July 24, 2008 at 6:33 am

    They look comfy! I’ve come to realize that my feet require good shoes. If I wear cheap flip flops I have sore legs and feet. Plus I am married to a chiropractor who thinks flip flops should be outlawed!

    What a good deal!

  • 6. Katie  |  July 24, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Chacos are definitely a great investment. They are always comfortable and give great support. I just spent the weekend walking around Chicago in my husband’s pair because I only brought flip-flops and he was concerned for me (aka didn’t want to hear my belly-aching later πŸ™‚ ). My husband’s sandals are three years old and still going strong.

    If I could find them for $45, I’d snatch ’em up for me!

  • 7. Chelsea Bass  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Those are maybe the cutest chacos I’ve ever seen!

    I can sypmathize, as I have not yet broken down and purchased some of my own.

    I do, however, have plenty of Old Navy sandals which hurt my feet after a couple wears, and need replacing every year.

  • 8. Kellie  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I got 3 summers out of my Chacos- I loved them. I could go for a walk in them and not get blisters or be uncomfortable. I can’t say the same for any cheap flip flops I have owned- sorry Abraham!

  • 9. Pam  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:20 am

    I have never heard of Chacos but I really like the pair you bought. The color is very nice and the diagonal straps look pretty!

    By looking at the photo I can see why they’re so pricey. The sole is thick and arched to properly support your foot. I used to buy one pair of chinese flip flops every summer but my feet and back are paying for it now. There is no price for good health, especially when it comes to caring for our feet which take a beating while trying to keep up with the kids all day!!!
    The way I see it, a pedicure is about 45$ for one hour so the same price for sandals you’re going to use for a few summers is a GREAT DEAL!

  • 10. Hannah  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:25 am

    This made me laugh because that is totally a conversation that my husband and I would have. I love the shoes too!

  • 11. John Meche  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:26 am

    What you have to do is convince him that the reason they’re $45 is that they have the potential to last 16 years.

  • 12. Courtney  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Cute shoes! Abraham needs to realize that it is just not good for the mama to be wearing flip flops. They are so hard on your feet and your back and those ache all the time anyway so why encourage the problem? Plus, think of the possible safety consequences. What if Orison suddenly got a wild hair and bolted away from you at the park or in a parking lot. It’s going to be much easier to run in those cute supportive Chacos than in flip-flops. A good investment indeed!

  • 13. jess  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Yay, Molly!

    I love my Chacos! They have the openness of sandals but the support of a vibram sole hiking shoe. In fact, I have been hiking in them, and loved it! You should check out their website. I love the picture on the home page of the African Tribe. (Keep hitting refresh until you see it…there are a couple of pictures each time the home page loads) Also, did you know there is a lifetime warranty on any defects in materials or workmanship? They will also completely repair your sandals if you need it…they say “reward your Chaco sandals with a day at the spa.” I think it is also funny that they say, “please send only clean and dry sandals”

    I think a little extra money for a company that actually stands behind their product is money well spent. I love wearing them to our youth events because you feel like you are ready for anything. Oh man, I’m totally going to go put mine on! Enjoy em.

  • 14. Ashley  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Chacos are much better for outdoor activities than flip-flops; you can run, hike, & swim in them. Also if you happen to wear them out, you can have them resoled.

    I also have never paid full-price for a pair. My first pair was from a consignment shop for $16 & my second pair was a hand-me-down from my sister! They’re my favorite shoes!

  • 15. Crystal  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Oh those look comfy. I’ve never heard of Chacos either. I have come to learn that with shoes, you often get what you pay for. I’m trying to convince my husband of this lately with his complaints about how his feet and knees hurt. Plus good shoes last way longer.

  • 16. Andrea  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:20 am

    While my husband enjoys his Chacos, my wide feet prefer the cozy all-terrain abilities of my Keens (in all varieties). Living out west, these are our only shoes! I also found little ones (on sale) for my daughter now that she is hiking on her own. It gives her great stability. However, I can also side with Abraham on the flip-flops but would have to recommend he invest $10 more and get some Reefs or Rainbows. The quality cannot compare and the price/year ratio is economical.

  • 17. rachelchris  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:21 am

    would love some…I am about to abandon my beloved flipflops because my anles and hips hurt all the time and my kids are forever stepping on the back of my flipflip and one of these days I am going to go flying through a parking lot of store with baby in my arms and go flat on my face. So just pull the safety card. Chacos are much safer and better for your health.

  • 18. Stephanie  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Hey! They look great on your feet πŸ™‚ I really like mine too. Now I have to make a trip back to Midwest Mountaineering to return my $90 pair! What a deal! We should have a Chaco party.

  • 19. rachel  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:49 am


    and you WILL be wearing them for 16 years, maybe even longer. let’s see his old navy flip flops do THAT!


    i ❀ chaco!! and i got mine for $45 as well. so yes, it can be done.

  • 20. Jake Meador  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Good investment, Molly. I’m on the second summer with my pair and they’re great. (And they actually can last 16 years… if the soles wear out you just send them to the place they’re made and they put new soles on them and you’re good to go.)

  • 21. JenR  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I agree with everyone who said that the Abraham’s ROI calculation is incorrect. Let’s say he needs to buy a new pair of Old Navy flip flops every 3 years, which is $10 in 12 years. Also, and I say this as a cheap flip flop lover, the third year those shoes are basically a piece of junk and therefore depreciate in value significantly faster than the Chacos. Not only that, but the Chacos seem much more multipurpose than flip flops. With one pair of shoes, you can go walking, hiking, etc for any length of time. This is not true of flip flops, which means that more than one type of shoe needs to be owned in order to encompass everything that can be done in Chacos.

  • 22. J. Evans  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:32 am

    CHACOS! Love them. Kevin has a pair, I have a pair and Mia has a pair. We all got them ON SALE. I have had mine for 8 years, and they are still good as new. Kevin has had his for 7 years. And Mia, well she got her pair this summer, but they will be passed down through the other children we hope to have. And let’s face it, her 1.50 Old Navy pair of flip flops won’t because they broke.

    You didn’t know that Chacos were what the children of Israel wore in the dessert for over 40 years? They last a looong time. πŸ™‚

    Welcome to the Chaco side of the world. We’re glad you made it here. They are a great color! πŸ™‚

  • 23. MrsMK  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Nice sandals! I’ve never heard of Chacos, but then again, I live in the boonies, what can I say??

  • 24. Aimee  |  July 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

    personally i prefer Rainbows…ever heard of them, the greatest flip flop you can own, i bought my last pair for our wedding 4 yrs ago and just now need to replace them, i wear them EVERYDAY!
    also coming from the beach i thought of chaco’s which my husband LOVES as Teevas, a tourist shoe or older people, but i see a need for chacos living in GA and going through creeks and what not, it was a funny pre-wedded bliss story! but a woman loves a sale, congrats on the great find!

  • 25. andrea  |  July 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve been opposed to getting chacos for so long but I really like mine. I can’t really see Abraham wearing them but I bet the chacos would make his feet feel much better than the Old Navy sandals. I love Old Navy sandals too, but walking and biking is SO much better in the chacos!

  • 26. robyn  |  July 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I hated my chacos. I have a three second policy for shoes. If it doesn’t take me three seconds to put my shoes on. With Cacos I could have been there twenty minutes making adjustments. Also the soles are clunky and heavy and they are slippery for wading in rivers and hiking. Over all I give them a 1 on a scale of 1-10. (1 point for looking kinda cool)

    Flip flops are a breeze to put on, but they aren’t great for hiking, they can’t be used as water shoes and they aren’t great for supporting your feet.

    If you are going for comfort try the new Teva Toachi. They are amazing water shoes, excellent grips, great for hiking, water shoes, and they have that nice microban that keeps them from growing bacteria. As a testament to their comfort….I went jogging in these shoes two days in a row for about three miiles and my legs/feet felt great. They are like walking on clouds.

  • 27. robyn  |  July 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    p.s. I just realized you actually bought them and you weren’t asking IF you should get them. Opps! sorry for not reading more carefully. If it’s any consolation, most of my friends and family swear by their chacos and love them. I on the other hand returned mine to REI the second day I had them. I just couldn’t get the adjustments and the thing being around my toe.

  • 28. kristie  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    personally, I can’t say they are a big thing here where i live. but i support you! I do love shoes. and those will will last a long time. you get what you pay for. actually, i find that the old navy flip flops do not last that long. not this summer’s supply, anyway. I already feel the ends of the straps. you know how they poke through to the bottom? well, now they are like little bumps on the bottom of my feet when I take a step- like I am contstantly stepping on a pebble in the exact same four places each time i take step. I didn’t feel them when I first bought them 2 months ago! however, I am still enjoying my reef flip-flops that I bought 8 years ago and wear all the time that were 10x’s the price of old navy’s!

    oh and in terms of figuring out worth- not sure how abraham is calculating, but what about considering the price per number of times you wear them? so if they were $45 and you wear them 45 times, that’s $1 per each time they are worn. and you are for sure going to wear them much more than 45 times.

    regardless- ENJOY!!!!

  • 29. Elaine  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Wow! They are really cute. I love color! I have never heard of them but $45 isn’t much for a good pair of shoes that will last a long time. Cheapee flip-flops don’t usually last the summer and if someone steps on the back: blow-out! πŸ™‚

    I bought a pair of Keen sandals that were $125 but they have been with me for years and even made it to Honduras and back. Good shoes that support your feet are worth it! Enjoy!!

  • 30. Nikki  |  July 24, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Oh my word, I LOVE my Chacos! LOVE THEM!!!

    And I’ve worn mine since 2002, and they’re still in great shape. That’s 6 years…my guess is they’ll last another 10. πŸ™‚

  • 31. Anie  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I think they look great!
    I’ve gotten 4 years, 3 continents, 2 happy feet, and 1 big smile out of mine! And they are still in great shape! It took me about 2 weeks to really break them in and find out the right fit/adjustment for the straps, but now I can slip in my feet and go!

  • 32. Ruth Ann  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    There are two things that I prefer to buy top quality – shoes and mattresses. With a good pair of shoes to support me throughout the day and a good mattress to support a good night of sleep – life is much better! πŸ™‚

  • 33. Kendall  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I think your husband may be genetically linked to mine… πŸ˜€
    But I’ve started heading him off at the pass and doing the calculations on “money’s worth” before I even present him with a potential purchase. Don’t laugh – he’s 10x more inclined to listen if I take that route.
    He feels mildly manipulated (I can tell by his raised eyebrow)… but it works and we’re both happy that way. (LOL!)

  • 34. jennapants  |  July 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    they’re super cute.

  • 35. Tes  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    What about all of the money you will save by not having to see a podiatrist or orthopedist? My podiatrist told me that flip flops keep his wife driving her newBMW each year .

  • 36. TNS  |  July 25, 2008 at 1:32 am

    I think I’m going to have to try some on and then start dreaming.

  • 37. Chris  |  July 25, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Don’t forget, though, to figure in the cost of medical care and chiropractors for problems resulting from wearing flip flops and other types of inexpensive shoes with no arch support all the time. At a certain point your body will REALLY feel the effects. I learned the hard way…

  • 38. Dorothy  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:41 am

    What store? I love mine and would buy another pair for Robert.

  • 39. Noel  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Just wondering if Abraham’s calculations require him to wear his flip flops for 3 years since he paid the upscale Old Navy price instead of buying at Dollar Tree.

  • 40. M. Taylor  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:43 am

    With the price of the foot and knee surgery that Abraham is going to be paying for, your Chacos are going to look pretty inexpensive Molly. πŸ™‚

  • 41. Ronnica  |  July 25, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Chacos were all the rage when I was in Oklahoma. They seem like they are comfortable, sure, but I don’t like the look. I want my feet to look cute. So flip flops are definitely the way to go in the summer, plus they’re so cheap (I get the Old Navy ones too!) and you can get them to match any outfit.

  • 42. Michelle  |  July 25, 2008 at 11:19 am

    My Chacos are from 2004 and still going strong! And, since I switched to wearing them almost exclusively instead of my Reef flip flops (those were a gift!) my back doesn’t hurt anymore. So not only are they great shoes, they are also therapeutic. So you can tell that to Abraham, because I’m sure that his $2.50 Old Navy flip flops don’t do anything good for his back. πŸ™‚

  • 43. Molly Piper  |  July 25, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I feel I should defend Abraham in some fashion. He was the one who willingly sent me off shopping with my friends, knowing we were going out for Chacos. He even said, “GO! I’ll babysit.”

    He just likes to give me hard time about them, though.

  • 44. Stephanie G  |  July 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve had my Chacos for 7 years and they still look pretty much new. They’ve been hiking, rough whitewater rafting, sightseeing in San Francisco, etc. Hopefully, you will get many wonderful years with them! I do love my Teva flips as well, though.

  • 45. stacey  |  July 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    YEAH, well in about 3 more years Aber is going to start getting older and 2.50 flip flops are going to start throwing his lower and upper back out……he’ll end up with slipped discs and sore arches in his feet. Thus creating MAJOR medical bills from not taking care of this feet and body w/the proper support they need. Thus making your Muchachos a BARGAIN regardless of the price.

  • 46. Chris  |  July 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I’m feeling I responded too rashly and bluntly about the flip flops. I mean, you guys live in Minneapolis. How many hot summer flip flop days can there be? It’s not like you’re wearing them constantly. I did not mean to be a middle aged fun spoiler.

  • 47. Tiffany  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I JUST got my first pair of Chaco’s too! I found them on Craigslist! Brand new, worn for a week by the previous owner, the style I had been wanting, and only $30. They too were originally about $80. Don’t ya just love getting good deals like that! It’s worth it. So much more comfortable than flip flops. We’re only getting older and cheap shoes just aren’t worth it anymore. I find that they hurt my back. Last year Steve got me a pair of Keen’s for my birthday (it was my birthday, christmas, mothers day present all in one). Ones that I had been wanting for years. They are sooo totally worth it too. I wear them all of the time in the fall and winter. Your post made me smile. It just reminded me of my feelings two weeks ago when I was so excited I told everyone I got chacos. πŸ™‚

  • 48. Liz  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Aber could join you and get Chaco flips! They even have black so only the savvy eye would be able to detect that they aren’t Old Navy flips. My kids gave me a pair for Mother’s Day – they are wonderful and my feet don’t get tired! Just an idea!

  • 49. echeimler  |  July 26, 2008 at 7:11 am

    $90 still would have been well worth it! I bought my first pair of chacos when I was in 8th grade. They’re not with me anymore only because I lost them on a sailing trip last summer – they were my favorites for 13 years. And as someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis (otherwise called “flip flop disease”), I can tell you the support from chacos isn’t only nice, it’s necessary. Maybe you can convince Abraham to get some too :).

  • 50. Rachel S.  |  July 27, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Not only are they comfortable, but you can wear them in water and hiking, VERY useful if you go to the Boundary Waters or other such trip. Flip flops don’t multi-task in this way very well…they tend to fall off and/or not have as much traction…Love the toe strap, mine have the same…! πŸ™‚

  • 51. Jan  |  July 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    That is too funny. I’ve never commented before, but just had to tell you that I read your post out-loud to my husband and we both laughed, ’cause we can relate. I joke him about saving money by “shopping the sales” and he responds with, “Yah, but think how much you’d save if you just stayed home!”

    Also, I had to tell you that my daughter asked if the “guy” on your right was your husband, because he looks very young. I replied that “it must be the angle” of the picture (well, it sounded good). My husband also added that “I’d probably look younger at that angle too.” (He always got told he had a baby face . . . that hasn’t happened in quite a while now!)

    I enjoy reading your blog as time permits. Always glad to “meet” another sister in Christ! Enjoy your journey . . .

  • 52. Karyn  |  July 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    If you are feeling particularly industrious – you can keep track how far you walk/jog (if ever) in them – and then if he bugs you (tries to steal your bargain joy) you the cost per mile. That’s what I do with my $90 running shoes. I’m approaching $.05/mile! Just don’t update too soon. $5 per mile doesn’t go over so well. =) Or you can just go with the “guess how much I saved today!” – to which my husband responds “well, you can’t afford not to!” with a sarcastic smile.

  • 53. philthecarl  |  July 28, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Molly, I don’t have time to read 51 comments to see if someone already said this, but Chacos are the way to go. I’m going on 6 years with mine and they still look/feel brand new. Also, you can have a foot in both worlds, they make Chaco flip-flops! I have a pair and they’re awesome also.

    The best place to get Chacos for cheep is the scratch and dent sale at REI. People buy the Z2″s then hate them because they can’t get used to the toe strap. REI then sells them for 12 dollars or something ridiculous.

    I hope you like them!

  • 54. kim  |  July 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I just stumbled across your blog today after reading a post through the Desiring God feed. I have had my Chacos for 4 years–as soon as winter is pass, I start wearing them–the best shoe purchase I’ve ever made. After a lot of distance running I started having hip issues. My doctor suggested Chaco’s because they provide better arch support–something that flip flops do not provide! I have never regretted paying $90 for these shoes. My feet are happy and I don’t have issues with my hip like i do when wearing flip flops! And, wow! what a deal to get yours for $45–that’s wonderful!

  • 55. Hannah Martell  |  July 30, 2008 at 5:58 am

    I got some Chacos before our family trip to England last summer…I wore them EVERY day and they are so comfortable for walking. And now that I’ve had them for a year (and worn them a lot), they still look brand new…so definitely a good investment! Yours are super cute, I love the color. I hope you guys are doing well, I was thinking about you because we are planning a trip to PA for the Little League World Series, now that we’re out here on the east coast!

  • 56. LBoyd  |  August 10, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    There is absolutely NO comparison between Chacos and flip-flops. You can’t put a price tag on the comfort and convenience that comes with a pair of Chacos. Three years later, I feel that $90 was the best shoe money I’ve spent. I have taken mine hiking, swimming, and shopping. (Try wearing a pair of flip-flops in the ocean. Good thing they’re cheap because unless you tether them to your legs, you’re going to need a back-up pair.) My husband and I joke that around here, only Presbyterians and East Tennesseans wear them. Apparently Minnesotans too? I will admit though that tromping through the woods I have occasionally wished for the toe protection of a pair of Keens.

  • 57. Brennan  |  August 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Hi, my name is Brennan Ransleben. I’m 11 years old. I live in Temple
    My Mom loves
    your book and sermons. I just wanted to say hi.

    From Brennan

  • 58. anna  |  November 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    i’ve had mine for about 10 years now, and still wear them all the time. i’m thinking about upgrading, since the new sole has more arch support than my prehistoric pair…but according to abraham, i’d need to hold off another 6 years! not sure i can wait THAT long…


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