“I hate my Chacos.” Why. “They don’t fit my feet right.”
I swear, if one more person tells me that, I’m going to have to write an instructional article about it…
Here’s the thing — your Chacos will fit. You’re just having a hard time pulling at those straps. Somebody has either lied to you about 1) the incredible adjustability of your new favorite adventure shoe or 2) your “impressive” finger strength. I’m not in any place to say which.
Chaco straps are incredibly easy to adjust when you first get them. But then they stick.
What is sticking? It’s the reason that you just threw your shoe across the room in frustration. They won’t move. They won’t loosen. They’re stuck.
Luckily for you, there is an easy fix to loosen them right up.
How to Un-stick Your Chaco Straps
For the sake of this demonstration, I took my Chaco Z2 sandals and flattened the toe loop, conveniently turning them into a makeshift pair of Chaco Z1s (because the main difference between the two is the toe loop). I then sat them out in the sun, rain and darkness. The straps got stuck and were cranky when I tried to make any adjustments.
How do I bring my toe loop back to its proper form?
- Squirt bottle
- Liquid fabric softener
1) Fill a squirt bottle with a solution of half water/half liquid fabric softener
You won’t need much here. A couple of ounces will do the trick. We didn’t have any fabric softener on hand, but we did have Tide Pods, which come with fabric softener in them. If using Tide Pods like me, pop that sucker like a zit and mix it in your squirt bottle.
2) Squirt your solution down into the footbed of your stuck Chaco strap
3) Wait 1-2 minutes
You can use this time to clean up the incredible mess you made with the squirt bottle.
4) Pull with moderate effort on the strap in question
If you’re grunting like you’re maxing out in the weight room, you’ve gone too far dude. You should take a look at the next step.
5) If that doesn’t work, try twisting the strap as you pull
Tada! Adjustable Chaco straps. (If the strap still doesn’t release, repeat steps 2-4.)
6) Give your Chacos a good rinse and let them sit out in the sun to dry
1) Why did my Chaco straps stick in the first place?
The idea behind the Chaco sandal is that once you find your perfect fit, they stay at your perfect fit. The straps sit very tightly in the foot bed and for whatever reason, they may snag or catch and get “stuck”. Squirting in the fabric softener will allow them to release. Sort of like that time when you were a kid and you stuck your head in the stair banister even though everybody warned you not to…and then it got stuck so your mom coated your head with butter to get you free. It’s almost exactly like that.
2) I feel like I’m going to rip the strap if I keep tugging. Should I keep pulling?
No. Stop. You’re done, Hulk. If your straps still won’t move after you’ve squirted in the solution and waited, repeat steps 2-4 until they loosen up. If they STILL don’t loosen up, read the next question and answer.
3) I still can’t get it. Can’t somebody else un-stick my straps for me?
Actually yes, you can send those bad boys right back where they came from by heading over to Chaco’s website and filling out a Repair Authorization Form. Just indicate that your Chaco straps are stuck and maybe let some of your frustration tears drip on the hand-written letter you’ve included with it.