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Chaco Classic Leather Flip Review

For folks who need solid arch support for long days on their feet, these flip flops deliver a solid performance
Chaco Classic Leather Flip
Photo: Chaco
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $75 List | $74.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Stylish, durable, excellent arch support
Cons:  Heavy, expensive, aggressive arch support may not be for everyone
Manufacturer:   Chaco
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 18, 2021
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Traction - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 8
  • Style - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Chaco Classic Leather Flip is a stylish offering that provides arch support usually reserved for heavier-duty footwear with special supportive contouring. They look great thanks to the elegant full-grain leather footbed and simple leather straps while having excellent durability due to a supportive but thin PU midsole. These flip flops aren't for everyone, as some of our testers are bothered by the high arch holding up their foot, and their quality is reflected in their price, so they aren't the most affordable flops on the market. But if long days in less supportive models have left you feeling sore, these supportive flip-flops could be the perfect solution.

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Pros Stylish, durable, excellent arch supportComfortable, durable, good in waterLightweight, great for hikingAttractive, comfortable, affordableBargain basement price, relatively comfortable, good in wet conditions
Cons Heavy, expensive, aggressive arch support may not be for everyoneHeavy, a bit priceyExtra straps can get in the way, priceyBreaking in takes time, poor tractionLow arch, not suitable for hiking
Bottom Line For folks who need solid arch support for long days on their feet, these flip flops deliver a solid performanceThese flip flops are made for the ocean but are capable in any environmentStrap these to your feet and forget about them, these have serious staying powerAfter break-in, these cult classic flip flops offer excellent comfort and classic stylingThese offer decent comfort and overall usability that far exceeds typical bargain basement flip flops
Rating Categories Chaco Classic Leath... Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Rainbow Premier Lea... NeedBo NDB
Comfort (30%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Support (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Style (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Specs Chaco Classic Leath... Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Rainbow Premier Lea... NeedBo NDB
Sole Material Chacogrip Gum rubber Rubber Non-slip rainbow bottom Rubber
Footbed Material Full-grain leather ICEVA EVA Nubuck leather EVA
Strap Material Leather Leather Polyester webbing Nubuck leather EVA
Weight (per pair) 16.4 oz 19 oz 14 oz 13.1 oz 10.5 oz
Available Sizes 7 - 15 7 - 15 8-13 Small - XXXL 6.5-17
Animal Products? Yes Yes No Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Chaco Classic Leather Flip brings several design features from the beloved footwear brand's sandals, including the molded footbed with substantial arch support. These stylish, dare- we-say-elegant flips have a full-grain leather upper and a durable PU midsole, making them a capable choice for long walks on mellow hiking trails and mid-summer date nights.

Performance Comparison


The high arch may feel funky at first but can provide necessary...
The high arch may feel funky at first but can provide necessary support in the long run.
Photo: Matt Bento

Comfort


The Classic Leather Flip features Chaco's "Luvseat" arch support shape, which claims to promote proper alignment. It's very noticeable, dramatic even, and was a polarizing feature for our testers. Those of us who are fully on board appreciate the added support, especially after long days on our feet. However, some testers hated the raised arch, saying they felt like they were standing on a tennis ball. These shoes also don't automatically have that relaxed, lived-in feel that we're used to from a simpler, likely less expensive flip flop. That being said, a day running around concrete floors in a cheap pair of flops left one of our testers feeling sore from his feet to his hips, and a day in the Classic Leather Flips had him feeling much better by the end. Remember, proper fitting footwear is always a better solution than a daily regime of NSAIDs.


The full-grain leather footbed is firm but smooth, and our testers universally prefer it over the rubber grid footbed used on many Chaco sandals. During our testing period, it never became squishy like options from Olukai or molded to our feet like flops from Rainbow. The leather strap that runs over the top of the foot feels soft and comfy right out of the box, and the nylon webbing that attaches the thong to the footbed is supple and hardly noticeable between the toes. Essentially, if your agenda has you walking from the pool to the bar and maybe to the beach, theClassic Leather might be overkill, but if you're out and about and need your dogs to air out, they're well suited to long days on your feet.

The combination of leather over the top and nylon between our toes...
The combination of leather over the top and nylon between our toes is a solid recipe for comfort.
Photo: Matt Bento

Support


These flips offer more support than just about any other model we've tested. Again, depending on what you're looking for in a flip flop, this could be a selling point or a reason to avoid them. The arch support is aggressive — folks who have a pair of Superfeet or some other kind of additional arch support in every pair of shoes they own will likely love these.


For the uninitiated, the arch support may take some getting used to (or become loathed altogether), but after a few miles, you could find yourself appreciating the added support. They have a similar shape to all of Chaco's widely available sandals, so trying any of them on at a retailer will give you a good idea of how the Classic Leather Flip will feel. It's also worth noting that this model feels stiffer than many competitors.

Folks who like to chill out around the house in their flops may feel...
Folks who like to chill out around the house in their flops may feel like the Classic Leather Flip is overbuilt and heavy, but people who like to put a lot of miles under their feet will appreciate the support.
Photo: Matt Bento

Traction


These flips use Chaco's non-marking rubber compound and rely on the strategy of maximum rubber-to-ground contact for traction. This works well on flatter surfaces like pavement, slick rock, and hard-packed trails and adds a great level of security, especially in wet parking lots or on riverside rocks. They don't have deep lugs, which keep the sandals light and low profile (and better looking) but also makes them less suited for loose gravel and mud — but this terrain may be unsuitable for any sandal.


The footbeds get slightly less grippy when they get wet from water or sweat, but the high arch comes to the rescue here. If they fit your foot properly, the arch will help keep your foot in place and adds a level of protection from sliding forward or out of the sandal entirely.

The traction is decent thanks to Chaco's grippy, non-marking rubber...
The traction is decent thanks to Chaco's grippy, non-marking rubber. Small grains of sand can get stuck between the treads, though, and unfortunately become un-stuck once you go inside.
Photo: Matt Bento

Versatility


The Classic Leather Flip scores well in terms of versatility. They are about as dressy as flip flops can get and are perfect for high-brow gatherings in the hot summer, provided that your feet are clean and your toenails aren't falling off (not the fault of the sandal). The techy rubber and low-profile treads are undetectable, and while this model has a lot more support than the typical flop, they don't appear bulky or overbuilt.


While these flips lean toward the formal side, they are highly capable during easy hikes and walks down to the beach or the river and equally at home on a boat. Their only limiting factor is that they're a bit heavier than the average cheapo flop, so they aren't an appropriate choice for a camp shoe during backpacking trips. This is also worth considering if you need to lighten your load for international travel.

These flips are so versatile you can even wear them with socks. But...
These flips are so versatile you can even wear them with socks. But should you? In all seriousness, we feel like the Classic Leather flip is at home at the beach or in a boat, and can be about as formal as a flip flop is capable of.
Photo: Matt Bento

Style


Available in three colors (black, brown, and a very light tan), these flip flops have a lot going for them style-wise. They have a truly classic look (it's in the name!) and have a similar aesthetic to popular models like Rainbows while offering a completely different feel.


The Classic is easy to clean after a dusty hike on the trail and appears totally at home for fine outdoor dining. They're a good travel option since they offer plenty of support while you walk around enjoying the sights in foreign cities, and they'll still look great when it's time to go to dinner.

The full-grain leather footbed looks pretty snazzy as far as we're...
The full-grain leather footbed looks pretty snazzy as far as we're concerned.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


The Chaco Classic Leather Flip is priced similarly to top competitors. Essentially, they aren't cheap, but their price also respects their high quality and excellent craftsmanship. These aren't throwaways, and you certainly don't want them to float away down the river. If they fit you well and you need solid arch support to keep the plantar fasciitis at bay, they're likely worth every penny.

Conclusion


For Chaco fans looking to get a little dressier, these kicks are a no-brainer, as they have the fit and versatility characteristic of Chaco's sandals. For folks looking to spend less on flip flops or who need something to spend a lot of time in a backpack or suitcase, it's worth looking into lighter, less expensive options.

These flip flops are ready (and capable) to roam.
These flip flops are ready (and capable) to roam.
Photo: Matt Bento

Matt Bento

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