It shouldn’t come as a surprise that over at Chaco HQ we wear a lot of Z/Sandals. As self-proclaimed experts and members of the Chaco Nation, we’ve pooled our collective knowledge to answer a few questions about just how Chacos should fit your feet. Here’s a Chaco fit guide with some of our most frequently asked questions about Chaco sizing:

Fit Tip: If you’re a half size, we generally suggest that you go up to the next nearest whole size.

Do you have advice for breaking in a fresh pair of Chacos?

First, watch our fit tutorial to assure your straps are adjusted properly. Everything starts from having the proper fit and these videos are the best reference to fit your Chacos. Next, wear your new sandals a few hours a day over a week or two. This is especially important if you’re purchasing your Chacos for a trip. Be sure you have them in time for a two to three week break-in period.

Are Chacos offered in half sizes?

Chaco’s iconic Z/Sandals are only offered in full sizes. We recommend that everyone try on their first pair in person, at a retailer. It’s the best way to ensure a proper fit and to make sure you purchase the correct size and make sure your Chacos aren’t too big or too small. If for some reason this isn’t possible, we generally suggest that folks who wear a half size go up to the next nearest whole size.

When would you recommend a Z/2 (toe strap) or a Z/1 (no toe strap)?For the most part it’s really a personal preference. Z/2 provide a bit more stability in moving water and on the trail, but Z/1 offer faster on and off and a faster transition from Chaco season to Socko season. ZX/1 strapping offers the ultimate in micro adjustment for those looking to dial in an exactly customized fit.

Our one specific recommendation is for those with high arches or insteps. For all of you, we strongly recommend Z/1 styles. We find that many folks with high arches or insteps suffer “toe tightening” in Z/2 styles, making the Z/1 styles a better choice. Toe tightening is when the toe straps tighten involuntarily while walking. The good news is this can be easily fixed for free with our ReChaco repair service.

Chaco Z/1
Chaco Z/2

Everyone’s feet are unique. What’s the best way to fit a new pair of Chacos or refit an old pair of Chacos after you’ve washed them?The video tutorials out there are a really valuable resource. Watch our fit tutorial or hop on YouTube and search “How to fit Chacos.” If you’re still having problems (or prefer an in-person experience) stop by a local Chaco retailer and have a sales associate walk you through the proper fitting technique.

Posted by:matthewmmedendorpgmailcom

30 replies on “Achieve the Perfect Chaco Fit With Our Sizing Guide

  1. You suggest to wear a while to break in, then if you do and they won’t break in, Chacos said you’ve worn them so no returns.

    1. Hi Suzanne, if you’ve continued to have fit issues after breaking them in, our repair and warranty team at 888.211.9211 ext. 2 will be happy to work on a fix with you.

    2. Hello, bought a pairs of chacos, when i’m wear this for first time i felt uncomfortable filling in my arch because i have flat feet.
      Is it ok? Am i need to worry about the pain? Is it ok to keep walking with this? I would like to hear about flat feet users ether

      1. Hey Yariv, welcome to #ChacoNation! We’re sorry that you’re having some fit issues, and we’re happy to help. While your new Chacos may feel stiff and like they need to be broken in (which is true), the arch should not feel painful. If you have particularly flat feet, we recommend looking at our Z/Volv sandals as they have the lowest profile arch support. Another option is our Z/Cloud sandals which have more cushion than our firm footbed Z/Classic Sandals.

  2. I have high arches, but prefer the 2Z’s because they seem to offer more stability on uneven surfaces in the toe and ball of the foot.. I have worn Chacos for almost 20 years, I have neuropathy in my feet due to chemo. I wear them summer and winter. I love Chacos. Thank you for such a wonderful sandal and the wonderful re-chaco service which I have used also.

  3. What is toe tightening? You mention that in the article, but do not give a description or definition of what it is.

    1. Hey Juli, great question. Toe tightening is when the strap that goes over your big toe in a pair of Z/2s unintentionally tightens as you walk. It doesn’t happen to everyone and depends largely on one’s gait.

  4. Hello, I am trying to decide between two sizes of Chacos. I have rather flat feet, and am buying these for arch support to help prevent collapsed arches. The smaller pair seem to be better proportioned, (there is a quarter inch of space between the toes and the edge of the sandal) but is somewhat uncomfortable on the arch. The larger pair feel far better on the arch, yet there is a half inch between the edge of the shoe and the toes, and i have to cinch down the straps to the point where the tail can hang under the shoe. Should I go with the larger pair that I think is too large, or stick with the smaller pair and hope that they, “break in,”?

    1. Hey Nathaniel! We recommend fitting the sandals so the arch hits in the right place of your foot, even if this means having to cinch the straps a little tighter. If the straps still feel too long, you can always send them into our ReChaco facility to have them shortened. Or, most people just wrap the extra end of the strap around the heel leash.

  5. I am wondering how the foot should fit on the footbed. I have a pair of chacos I bought from Amazon and the inside of my foot hangs over the footbed a fair amount. Is this normal or should it be on the footbed completely? My right foot is comfortable in my chaco sands but my left feels like the footbed is pushing into my arch. I have been sized at REI and was told I could probably get away with a regular or a wide as my feet are in between. Do I need to keep trying to break them in? I have only had them about a week.

    1. Hey Annette! Weird/fun fact: about 60% of people have different sized feet! In this case, we recommend sizing for the bigger/wider foot so your entire foot fits on the footbed. Feel free to reach out to our customer service team if you have any other questions: 1-888-211-1908.

  6. I wear a size 9 and 91/2 in shoes depending on the brand. I have purchased a size 9 in Chacos Z1 before (or twice) and they have KILLED my feet!! What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hey Whit! If you’re a half size, we recommend sizing up to the nearest whole size. So in your case, give a size 10 a shot and see how that feels.

  7. I just bought size 9W Chacos online (from Chacos website) Put them on and both my feet hang over the sides along the outside. The arch fits well. I don’t usually have to order wide widths, but ordered the medium and wide width to see which fit better. My foot really hangs over on the medium. Is it okay/normal for my foot to hang over the side a little? There are not double wide widths offered, and I know a 10 would be way too big.

    1. Hi Rachael, good question. It’s hard to tell without seeing photos (if you DM photos on Instagram or Facebook, our social media team will be happy to take a peek!), but it sounds like the wide footbed will work best for you. You want to make sure that all of your foot is supported in the footbed, and that isn’t possible if you have part of your foot hanging over.

  8. Hi! I’m not sure whether I need a medium (regular) or a wide-size footbed. How wide is the space between straps (in centimeters) for a size 7? Or how wide of a foot fits a medium and a wide? Thank you.

    1. Hi Evelyn, it’s honestly hard to tell, and it’s often easiest to just try on a pair, especially since we have free return shipping!

  9. My granddaughter has VERY narrow feet. She wears a size 6-1/2 to 7 in womens. Is there a certain style of chacos that would be better for her? Would the equivalent size in kids run any narrower than the womens size?

    1. Hi Laura, we’d recommend she check out the women’s size 7 Z/Sandals ( While we don’t sell any narrow footbeds, our consumers with more narrow feet have found that they work well due to the fully adjustable and wrap-around straps.

  10. I’m confused as to why you’ve moved away from half sizes? I am a true half sizer and the whole sizes below/above me never fit as well as my TTS of previous generations have. I wanted to wear the wayfarer shoes for my wedding, but neither size fits well in the length section.

    Is there a way to order half sizes? I’m near needing a new pair of regular chacos and would like to know my options.

    1. Hi Rachel, we’re sorry that you aren’t happy with our move to full sizes. If you’d still like to wear Chacos for your wedding, we’d recommend going with which size fits your arch the best. This is the most important aspect in finding a size that works well.
      We appreciate your feedback and will share your request for half sizes with our product team.

  11. I normally wear a size 7.5 in shoes. I ordered a size 8 classic chacos with a toe strap and have a question. For the shoe to be snug (and without the heel strap sliding around) I have to pull the strap completely tight. Should I have gotten a size 7? I am concerned that the straps will become loose over time and I won’t have any space to tighten them further.

    1. Hey Brooke, our customer service team will be happy to help answer these questions. In short, it’s all about the arch fit. Once you have that set, we can make other adjustments such as shortening or lengthening the straps. You can give our customer service team a call at 888.211.1908.

  12. Just purchased my first pair of chaco’s, wore them to the park with my kids, had to buy a pair of flip flops to get me through the rest of the day. I bought 10 Wide and the heel straps rubbed my heels terrible bad. I hate to send them back, but is that normal?

    1. Hi Christa, oh no! That definitely doesn’t sound normal, and we’re sorry you had such a negative experience with your first pair. We’d like to make it right, would you mind calling our customer service team at 1.888.211.1908? They’ll be happy to help.

  13. I’ve had this pair of Chacos for a little over 2 years and , in the beginning, I’d try to wear them a good amount but they always gave me the worst blisters. I kept trying to wear them over the 2 years and every time I’d still get awful blisters. Should I just power through? I got them customized and I love them but I just don’t wear them because they hurt so bad! I heard someone talking about putting them in the oven on the lowest setting for a little and then wearing them so they mold to your feet easier but I don’t want to ruin a $115 pair of shoes. Can you help??

    1. Hey Karly, so sorry to hear that you’re getting blisters while wearing you Chacos! We definitely don’t recommend putting them in the oven, as that can cause the adhesive between the outsole and footbed to dissolve. We would recommend reaching out to our customer service team at 888.211.1908 or DMing them on social media (@chacofootwear) and they’ll be happy to help!

  14. Hi,

    I flat and thin feet. Whenever I’ve tried Chacos in my size (M11) I run out of adjustment before the sandal is snug enough and the strap running through the buckle drags on the ground. Is there a specific model I should try or perhaps a womens shoe?


    1. Hey Gabe, good question! With Chacos it’s all about arch fit. If the arch fits well, then we’ll want to keep you in the same footbed and instead modify the straps! Our repair team at will be happy to shorten your straps for you and send them back, thus allowing you to tighten them properly. If it’s more convenient, you can give them a call at 888.211.1908 ext. 2.

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