You can never place too much of an importance on having a good shoe, especially when it comes to the outdoors. Far too many shoppers would happily sacrifice quality to save a few bucks when you’d be better served to spend once on something that will last and keep your feet happy. In my days of trying various shoes for hiking and running, I can honestly say nothing has made me happier than Chaco’s OutCross Evo 2.
Chaco’s OutCross Evo 2 is a performance trail shoe that works great in water or otherwise damp environments thanks to a closed-construction mesh. But without question my favorite feature has been the semi-collapsible heel. There could be a shoe-graveyard out back for the number of shoes I’ve destroyed over my 29 years thanks to my insistence on sliding my foot into the shoe with little disregard for the heel. I’ve known that I have been destroying my shoes, but my habits never changed. Needless to say the collapsible heel on the OutCross Evo 2 has been a game-changer for me, not to mention a money-saver as well.
Recently I had the opportunity to really give these shoes a whirl during a hiking trip in Japan with Walk Japan. I joined a hike-in-progres following my travels in Okayama and Kagawa, hiking six days along the Nakasendo Way. To be frank, I got lucky. The weather was unseasonably warmer while I was hiking in mid-November, so I was able to get away with a breezy pair of shoes like the OutCross Evo 2. That said, the Chaco’s were a dream. My admittedly picky feet were happier than Scrooge McDuck in a pile of gold as we hiked across pavement and trail. Even on the last day when we did come upon some wet trail and streams, my shoes dried quickly so long as I kept moving.
Bonus points, the shoes were easy to slip on and off, which turned out to be a valuable attribute in a country where you often have to take your shoes off before entering a building. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as my hiking companions had to go through the whole process of untying, re-tying and using a shoehorn with each and every stop while I munched away on a Cliff Bar.
Chaco’s OutCross Evo 2 have since become my everyday shoe. They’re comfortable and reliable on a hiking trail, and they don’t look half bad underneath a pair of jeans on a casual night out. They’re on sale now at Chacos.com for $65.99, marked down from the original $110.00.
Disclaimer: I was given a pair of Chaco OutCross Evo 2 for review. As always, all opinions are my own.