Everyone knows Chaco makes great flip flops. I’ve used a very similar model to the Fishpond Flips above for years (I can’t stand the Achilles heel-grabbing models with the rear strap). When wading with Chacos on, you’re in pretty good hands, given the structure and rigidity of the sandal; much much sturdier than, say, a pair of Reefs or Rainbows.
But these *Fishpond* affiliated models really take it to the next level. The key is the Vibram sole. Instead of the classic rubber bottom, both versions of the Fishpond/Chaco flip flops get outfitted with stream-gripping Vibram rubber, the same kind they use in Simms wading boots and other similar rubber soled shoes. The stuff is noticeably sticky, too: after wearing a new pair indoors for a while, I realized I had attracted a surprising amount of carpet fuzz. You’re not going to track in unexpected animals, but there’s definitely an increase in tackiness level.
How much of an increase? Difficult to say, but I’d guesstimate in the neighborhood of 20% versus older regular Chacos. In towing my canoe up a familiar section of stream the other day after fishing lower down for stripers, I realized I had not slipped even once, which is the first time on that particular section that has ever happened to me.
Review: Five stars out of five.
Purchase: From Fishpond ($70).