Monday, July 20, 2015

Gear Closet: Chaco Outcross Evo 2 Shoes

As mentioned last week when I reviewed the excellent Yura hiking shoes from ECCO, Alaska was a great place to test new gear. The varied terrain, weather, and activities that I experienced there gave me an opportunity to truly put some new items through their paces. Amongst the gear that I tested while there were the Outcross Evo 2 shoes from Chaco, which proved to be incredibly comfortable and versatile. In fact, they just might be my favorite pair of shoes that I own at the moment, as it has taken them no time at all to become my go-to footwear for just about any kind of outdoor activity, as well as just normal daily life.

Lightweight and good looking, these shoes score well in just about every category you could ask for. They offer excellent grip on a variety of surfaces – including we ones – and protect the feet from the challenges of the trail quite nicely.

As mentioned, the Outcross Evo 2 are also very comfortable, while requiring zero break-in time. In fact, the moment I put them on my feet I was immediately amazed at how they felt. This is a shoe that feels a bit like a minimalist trail runner, although the Evo's outsole provides far more protection than that description would lead you to believe.

Meant to be used as a light hiking shoe, that can also pull double duty as a water shoe as well, the Outcross Evo 2 excels in both categories, and more. I've worn these shoes while not only hiking and rafting, but also mountain biking and road cycling too, and they have proven to be equally adept at each of those disciplines. And because these shoes are so versatile, they make a great travel shoe too, possibly eliminating the need to carry an extra pair of shoes or two with me when I take off on a new adventure. As someone who is always looking for ways to cut weight from my bags, this is an added bonus.

When designing the Evo 2, Chaco integrated a soft, comfortable inner liner that actually eliminates the need to wear a sock with these shoes. This helps to keep the foot well protected while pursuing multiple outdoor activities in a single go, allowing the wearer to seamlessly transition from walking or hiking, to water sports, and back again without fear of developing blisters, hot spots, or abrasions. I have experienced none of those calamities while wearing these shoes over extended periods of time.

As you can probably tell, I am completely impressed with the Outcross Evo 2. But, if I had one hesitation about these shoes, it would be long-term durability. So far, I have seen no indication that they won't wear well for a long time to come, but because they are made of such lightweight materials, I can't help but wonder who they'll fare in the long haul. At the moment, they are performing marvelously in this area, and hopefully that will continue to be the case.

If you're looking for a comfortable, versatile, and affordable shoe that can see you through a wide variety of outdoor adventures, it is tough to beat the Outcross Evo 2. Chaco really does have a hit on their hands with this product, which I predict will make believers out of anyone who tries them on. This is one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, and I think that many readers will find that to be the case for them too.

Priced at $110, I feel that the Evo 2 is quite a bargain when you consider everything they bring to the table. Perfect for light hiking, water sports, mountain biking, and travel, you'll be amazed at how many ways you'll find to use these shoes. That is a testament to just how great they really are, as you'll be looking for excuses to put them on. I can't think of a better endorsement for any shoe than that.

No comments: