Teva vs. Chaco: What's the Difference and Which One To Choose? - Freaky Shoes®

Teva vs. Chaco: What's the Difference and Which One To Choose?

Teva vs Chaco is an old rivalry. Most people get confused between these two brands because they are leading the footwear market. 

But when we compare these two, which one comes out as a winner?

It’s because:

Teva and Chaco are different in many ways. For example, Chaco offers Z-straps, while Teva focuses on sturdy ones. Similarly, Chaco prefers polyurethane while Teva uses soft EVA. However, which brand to choose depends on your own preferences.

Curious to know more? Then, keep reading till the end, as we compare both brands side by side, and then give the final verdict on which one is better for you. 

Before we dive into details, here’s a summary table of differences between Teva and Chaco to give you an idea:


Chaco Sandals

Teva Sandals

Strap Design

Z-strap for a custom fit

Simple, sturdy straps


Durable polyurethane, high arch

Soft EVA, cushioned


Robust, supportive

Softer, comfortable


Aggressive tread, high grip

Versatile tread, balanced grip


Heavier, rugged

Lighter, flexible



Multi-purpose, everyday


Higher, due to durable build

More affordable, versatile value

Extra Features

Customizable fit, repair service

Comfort, user-friendly design


Long-lasting, high-quality

Durable, flexible


Bulkier, for planned trips

Compact, travel-friendly


Covers defects, repair options

Standard warranty, customer focus

Now, let's talk about it in detail.

Teva vs Chaco Differences: Head-to-Head Comparison

Teva vs. Chaco: What's the Difference and Which One To Choose?

Teva and Chaco are, no doubt, different from each other. In our opinion, the key differences are: 

Decisions about Design and Materials

When it comes to strap design and materials, you can notice a lot of differences between Teva and Chaco.

Teva Sandals:

  • Strap Material: Teva straps are often made from water-friendly nylon, or sometimes recycled materials. This makes them quick to dry and durable for various activities.
  • Strap Feel and Comfort: These straps are known for being soft and comfortable right out of the box. They don't usually require a break-in period, making them a good choice for immediate use.
  • Adjustability: Teva sandals typically feature a hook-and-loop closure system. This means you can easily adjust the straps for a perfect fit, a great feature if your feet tend to swell during hikes or in hot weather.

Chaco Sandals:

  • Strap Material: Chaco straps are also made with durable materials, like polyester, but they're often thicker and more robust than Teva's.
  • Strap Feel and Comfort: Chaco's straps are comfortable and provide excellent support. They might feel a bit stiff initially and could require some time to mold to your feet.
  • Adjustability: Chaco uses a unique pull-through strap system. This design allows for a highly customizable fit, but it might take a little more time to adjust perfectly compared to Teva.

It’s clear that Teva might be more suitable for those who prefer immediate comfort, while Chaco is for those seeking robust support and don’t mind a break-in period.

Footbed and Midsole Material Choices

When it comes to footbed materials, Teva and Chaco sandals again show distinct characteristics.

Teva Sandals:

  • Material: Teva’s footbeds and midsoles are often made with responsive EVA foam. This material is known for its cushioning properties, offering a softer and more padded feel underfoot.
  • Arch Support and Comfort: They typically provide moderate arch support, which is comfortable for many activities, like hiking. The support also makes Teva footwear great for casual wear and water activities. 

Chaco Sandals:

  • Material: Chaco's footbeds and midsoles are constructed with a firmer polyurethane compound. This material is highly durable and maintains its shape over time.
  • Arch Support and Comfort: Chaco’s footbeds are known for their pronounced arch support. It’s like having a firm, supportive foundation for your feet, which can be beneficial for long walks or hikes. That’s why they are ideal for individuals who need extra support, especially during extensive walking.

Outsole; Another Critical Difference

We all know that the outsole of a sandal is critical for traction, stability, and overall durability. Both Teva and Chaco claim developed outsoles suitable for various terrains and activities. Let’s have a deeper look:

Teva Sandals:

  • Outsole Material and Design: Teva typically uses a rubber outsole with a patterned tread design. The rubber offers a good grip and is flexible, adapting well to different surfaces.
  • Performance on Various Terrains: Teva outsoles perform well on both dry and wet surfaces. Whether you're walking on a slippery rock by the river or on a dry hiking trail, the outsole provides a reliable grip.

Chaco Sandals:

  • Outsole Material and Design: Chaco's outsoles are often made with a thicker, more robust rubber than Teva. The tread patterns are generally more aggressive compared to other brands.
  • Performance on Various Terrains: These outsoles excel in rugged outdoor environments. Whether it's a rocky path, a steep trail, or a slippery slope, Chaco's outsoles provide excellent stability and grip.


When selecting sandals for outdoor activities or daily wear, many people neglect weight. They pay later when they have to wear heavy footwear for hours. But the thing here to note is that both Teva and Chacos also differ in how much they weigh.

Teva Sandals:

  • Lightweight Feel: Teva sandals are generally lighter than Chacos. This is due to the materials used, such as the EVA midsole and lighter strap fabrics.
  • Impact on Wear: The lightweight nature of Teva sandals makes them a preferred choice for casual wear, traveling, and light activities. You might barely notice you have them on, making them ideal for long days of walking or when you need to pack light.

Chaco Sandals:

  • Heavier Build: Chaco sandals are typically heavier than Teva’s. This is partly due to the denser materials used in the sole and the robust strap system.
  • Impact on Wear: The extra weight of Chaco sandals becomes noticeable, especially over long periods of wearing. So, it might not be the first choice for activities where lightweight footwear is essential, like backpacking.


Versatility in sandals refers to their ability to adapt to various activities and environments. Both Teva and Chaco sandals offer versatility but in slightly different ways.

Teva Sandals:

  • Variety of Uses: Teva sandals are versatile in the sense that they can be worn in a variety of settings. We suggest wearing them for casual city walks to light hiking trails and beachside. Luckily, their lightweight and comfortable design makes them suitable for all-day wear in diverse environments.
  • Style Versatility: Teva sandals also offer a range of styles that can pair well with different outfits, whether it’s beachwear, casual clothes, or even semi-formal summer attire.

Chaco Sandals:

  • Outdoor Oriented: Chaco’s versatility shines in outdoor environments. These sandals are built for challenging terrains, making them a go-to for hiking, trekking, and water-related activities.
  • Less Style Flexibility: While Chacos are versatile in terms of outdoor activities, they may not offer as much style versatility as Tevas. They have a more functional, rugged look, which may not be as easily paired with a wide range of everyday outfits.

Price Differs Too

When shopping for sandals, the price is often a deciding factor. Teva and Chaco, while offering quality footwear, come with different price tags.

Teva Sandals: Teva sandals are typically priced lower than Chaco's. This makes them a more budget-friendly option for those looking for good quality without a high cost.

Chaco Sandals: Chaco sandals are often at a higher price point compared to Tevas. This is because of the materials used and the overall build quality.

What About Value Added Features?

You now know about the basic design and function of both Teva and Chaco sandals. Many people neglect the value-added features. Such features decide whether a sandal provides good value for money or not. 

Let’s look at the differences in extra features:

Teva Sandals:

  • Water-Friendly Materials: Many Teva sandals are designed to be water-friendly, making them ideal for beach trips, river walks, or any activity involving water. They dry quickly and don't degrade easily when wet.
  • Eco-Friendly Options: Teva offers a range of sandals made with sustainable materials. This includes recycled plastic in the straps and other eco-conscious materials, which are appealing to environmentally aware consumers.

Chaco Sandals:

  • Customization: Chaco offers a unique customization option where you can design your own sandals. You can choose colors, patterns, and even the type of strap, making your pair truly personal.
  • Repairability: Chaco has a repair program where they can replace worn-out parts of the sandals. This not only extends the life of your sandals but is also a more sustainable approach compared to buying new ones.

So, that’s all about the differences between Teva and Chacos. Now, It’s time to know what’s common between the two.

What’s the Same About Teva and Chacos?

Teva vs. Chaco: What's the Difference and Which One To Choose?

Knowing the similarities between Teva and Chaco will give you detailed insights about these brands. Here are the common things you’ll find in both:

Supreme Quality 

Both Teva and Chaco are renowned for their high-quality sandals. Here's how they compare:

  • Materials Used: Both brands go for high-grade materials. Tevas uses a combination of durable rubber, EVA footbeds, and sturdy polyester for their straps. Chacos, on the other hand, use rubber soles with a polyurethane midsole and high-tensile webbing for straps.
  • Craftsmanship: There's a clear commitment to craftsmanship in both brands. The stitching, bonding, and overall construction are done with precision and care. This ensures the sandals aren’t just sturdy but also comfortable.
  • Attention to Detail: Both brands pay attention to small details like strap placement, footbed contouring, and sole tread design, which significantly enhances the overall user experience.


Both Teva and Chaco sandals can last for a long time if you take care of them properly. Here’s how both perform:

  • Long-lasting Wear: Users often report that both brands' sandals last for several years, even with regular use. This is a testament to their durability.
  • Resistance to Elements: Both Tevas and Chacos hold up well against water, heat, and general outdoor elements. This robustness is essential for any good quality outdoor sandal.
  • Sole and Strap Longevity: There’s no denying that the soles and straps are critical for the functionality of the sandals. That’s why Teva and Chaco designed them to withstand wear and tear. They don't easily fray or degrade!


If you like to travel, you’ll want those sandals that you can pack in your bag or suitcase easily. Thankfully, both Teva and Chaco fulfill this wish.

  • Compactness: Both brands’ sandals can be easily packed in a travel bag or backpack because of their compact nature. They don't take up much space, making them ideal for travelers and adventurers.
  • Lightweight Options: Tevas are generally lighter, but Chacos aren’t that heavy either. It’s only a difference of a few grams. 


Warranty policies decide whether customer service is good or not. Fortunately, you can enjoy warranties on both Teva and Chaco.

So, you must be now thinking, “Which one to choose?” Don’t worry; we’re here to help you make a decision.

Teva vs Chaco: Which One To Choose?

Let’s cut to the chase- the choice between Teva and Chaco sandals depends on your: 

  • Activities
  • Fit requirements
  • Personal comfort preferences. 

For example, if you need strong arch support, go for Chacos. But if you prefer a sandal for everyday activities, Tevas are a great choice. 

Let us explain.

Activity: The Primary Factor 

Your primary outdoor activities are a main factor in choosing the right sandals.

  • For Hiking and Intensive Outdoor Activities: Chaco sandals stand out if you’re into serious hiking or activities that demand excellent arch support and stability. The reason is their robust design and solid construction.
  • Versatility in Various Settings: If your activities vary or you need a sandal for everyday use along with outdoor adventures, Teva could be a better choice. They're generally more adaptable to different settings – from city walks to light hiking trails.

Fit: Another Thing To Consider

How a sandal fits your foot is crucial for comfort. Both Teva and Chaco offer adjustable straps, which are great for getting a snug and secure fit. But Chaco’s unique Z-strap system allows a more customizable fit. This can be a real advantage if you have specific support needs or an unusual foot shape. 


Comfort is subjective. That’s why it’s always a good idea to try on both Teva and Chaco sandals to see which feels more comfortable. What feels perfect for one person might not be the case for another.

When trying them on, walk around for a few minutes to get a feel for how they perform. Notice any areas of tightness, rubbing, or discomfort.

After considering these points, you can make the right choice about which one to buy!

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Pete Oliveri

CEO / AUTHOR of Freaky Shoes®

Meet Pete Oliveri, the creative force and driving visionary behind Freaky Shoes. A New Jersey native, Pete is an accomplished American artist dedicated over 20 years to the consumer products industry, leaving an indelible mark in various domains such as graphic and packaging design, illustration, and product development. His extraordinary talent has earned him accolades, including the prestigious Bio Comics Award for his exceptional comic book content development work. However, Pete's ultimate achievement lies in his role as the Founder, CEO and creative genius of Freaky Shoes.

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