Keen vs Teva vs Chaco – Unraveling the Best Footwear for Your Outdoor Adventures!


In today’s hefty article, I’m going to compare Keen vs Teva vs Chaco.

When it comes to outdoor footwear, sandals have become the go-to choice for adventurers seeking a perfect blend of comfort, support, versatility, and durability.

Among the many brands on the market, three heavyweights stand out: Keen, Teva, and Chaco. Each brand brings its unique charm to the table, igniting debates among hikers, trekkers, and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.

In this epic showdown, we delve into the world of adventure-ready sandals, pitting Keen against Teva and Chaco in a thrilling faceoff to determine which brand reigns supreme.

Let the battle begin!


Keen vs Teva vs Chaco

Quick Comparison

Keen, Teva, and Chaco are three prominent brands that have carved their own niches in the world of outdoor footwear. But what really sets them apart, and is one brand really better than the other?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick comparison, showing how each one can elevate your outdoor game…

Keen, the trailblazers in the hiking world, bringing their own unique flair to the great outdoors! Keen is celebrated for its distinctive toe protection design, offering an excellent balance between support and comfort, making them a reliable choice for a variety of outdoor pursuits.

Teva, the adventure-ready footwear that brings its own brand of magic to the hiking world! While Teva is also great for casual outings, it’s primarily renowned for its water-friendly sandals, designed to handle water sports and beach adventures with ease.

Chaco, the rugged and reliable companions of many hikers! Chaco is best suited for more intense hiking and demanding adventures. They’re cherished for their rugged durability, exceptional arch support, and customizable Z/strap system.

Here’s what you need to remember when it comes to these three…

The best sandals for you depends on your specific outdoor interests and preferences.


Make sure you check out the article on whether Chacos can help with plantar fasciitis; it could provide valuable insights.

If you prioritize long-distance hikes and stability, Chaco could be your go-to.

So, whether you’re traversing rocky trails, conquering rugged peaks, or crossing shallow creeks, Chaco sandals have got your back – or rather, your feet – every step of the way.

For hikers who value support, durability, and a custom fit that feels like an extension of your own body, Chacos are the real deal. Once you experience the Chaco difference, you’ll wonder how you ever hit the trails without them.


If you’re looking for a mix of protection and comfort for a range of activities, Keen might be the perfect choice.

For hikers who demand top-notch toe protection, unbeatable comfort, and a commitment to the environment, Keen sandals are the ultimate companion on your hiking escapades. Slip into a pair of Keens, and let your feet embark on a journey they’ll never forget!


Make sure you check out these great Keen sandals for men.

If you engage in a lof of water-based activities, Teva might be the best fit.

So, for hikers who love to embrace water-filled escapades without compromising on comfort, Teva sandals are an absolute must-have in your gear collection.

These trusty companions will keep your feet happy, dry, and ready for every adventure that comes your way. Slip into a pair of Tevas, and let the exploration begin!

Overall, consider your favorite activities and the type of terrain you’ll tackle most frequently to determine which brand aligns best with your adventure goals.

Now let’s dive into more details…


Which sandals have the best arch support


Chaco sandals are often considered to provide the best arch support compared to Teva, and Keen.

Chaco’s LUVSEAT™ footbed is specifically designed to offer excellent arch support, promoting proper foot alignment and reducing strain on the arches during long walks or hikes.

Many hikers and outdoor enthusiasts with high arches or those seeking enhanced support for their feet often prefer Chaco sandals for this reason.


While Teva and Keen sandals do offer support, Chaco’s emphasis on arch support sets them apart in this aspect. Teva sandals may offer softer cushioning and flexibility, while Keen sandals strike a balance between protection and comfort but may not provide the same level of arch support as Chaco.


In fact, thanks to its exceptional arch support, the Chaco ZCloud 2 is one of these supportive sandals for plantar fasciitis.


Make sure you check out our review of one of Keen’s best sandals ever, the Whisper.

Which brands are APMA accepted


Chaco is the only brand in this comparison that’s recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The APMA Seal of Acceptance is awarded to products that meet certain criteria for promoting foot health and are found to be beneficial for foot conditions.

Chaco has received the APMA Seal of Acceptance for some of their sandal models, particularly those that offer excellent arch support and foot alignment.

Keep in mind that new models may receive the APMA Seal of Acceptance in the future. For the most current information, it’s recommended to check


Which sandals provide the best fit


When it comes to adjustability, Chaco sandals often provide the best fit compared to Keen and Teva.

While it may take a little more time to get the perfect fit in a Chaco compared to Keen and Teva, once you master the technique, get ready for the best precise fit you can get out of a sandal.

You can tighten or loosen the straps to achieve a secure and personalized fit, accommodating various foot shapes and sizes. The Z-strap system ensures that your sandals stay securely in place during all your outdoor adventures, providing maximum comfort and support.

Teva sandals also offer an adjustable hook-and-loop (Velcro) closure that allows for easy and quick adjustments. But Chaco’s Z/strap system provides a more precise fit.

Keen sandals typically feature a simple bungee lacing system with a quick-adjust toggle that makes it easy to tighten or loosen the fit, which is convenient for quick and hassle-free adjustments.

Here’s a great video showing you how to easily adjust your Chaco sandals… 

Which sandals are more comfortable

Comfort is subjective and can vary depending on individual preferences and foot shape. However, each brand offers distinct features that contribute to their comfort level.

Chaco sandals are often praised for their exceptional arch support and stability. The LUVSEAT™ footbed in Chaco sandals is designed to provide proper alignment and cushioning, which can be particularly beneficial for people with high arches or those who require extra support during long hikes.

The Z/strap system also allows for a customizable fit, enhancing comfort for various foot shapes. However, some hikers may find the break-in period slightly longer due to the sturdy straps and soles.

Teva may offer a softer and more flexible feel compared to some other brands, which can be preferred by individuals who prioritize a comfortable and casual fit.

Keen sandals are often recognized for their comfortable fit and cushioning. The bungee lacing system in many Keen models allows for quick and easy adjustments, ensuring a snug fit for personalized comfort. The toe protection may feel a bit rigid initially, but they tend to break in well over time.

In summary, Chaco, Teva, and Keen all offer different features that contribute to their overall comfort. If you have specific foot requirements or preferences, it’s best to try on different models from each brand to determine which one provides the most comfortable fit for you.

Additionally, consider the type of activities you plan to engage in, as certain brands may excel in particular outdoor pursuits. Ultimately, the most comfortable sandal will be the one that best suits your individual needs and activity preferences.


Which sandals are more versatile

When it comes to versatility, each brand has its strengths, catering to different types of outdoor activities and personal preferences.

All three brands are highly versatile, but I think Chaco sandals are slightly more versatile than Keen and Teva.

They are known for their stability and support, making them great for long-distance hikes, backpacking, and rugged terrains. They also perform well in water-related activities, making them a top choice for river crossings and water sports.

Which sandals are more durable

In terms of durability, Chaco sandals are often regarded as the most durable compared to Keen and Teva.

Chaco is known for its robust construction and high-quality materials. The Z/strap system and durable outsoles contribute to their long-lasting performance, which makes them a favorite among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for gear that can withstand rugged conditions and frequent use.

Keen comes second in terms of durability. Their sandals are also durable and reliable for outdoor activities.

The toe protection design adds an extra layer of durability and can extend the lifespan of the sandals, especially in rocky terrains. Keen’s sturdy construction makes them a reliable choice for moderate hiking and various outdoor pursuits.

While Teva sandals may not be as rugged as Chacos and Keen, they still offer good durability for casual hikes and outdoor adventures.

It’s essential to note that the durability of any sandal also depends on how well you take care of them and the specific model you choose. All three brands offer a range of models with varying features and materials, which can impact their longevity.

In summary, while all three brands offer durable sandals, Chacos are often considered the most rugged and durable for intense hiking and demanding outdoor activities.

Which sandals are more affordable

Teva sandals are on the lower end of the price spectrum, followed by Keen, and Chaco tends to be the most expensive.

Teva offers a range of models at various price points, making them accessible to a broader audience, including budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.

On the other hand, Keen and Chaco sandals tend to be priced higher, reflecting their reputation for durability, support, and premium features.

However, keep in mind that prices may vary based on the specific models, sizes, and retailers. It’s always a good idea to check the latest prices and deals from authorized sellers or the official websites of the brands to get the most up-to-date information on the cost of their sandals.

Where to buy Keen (not affiliate)
Where to buy Teva (not affiliate)
Where to buy Chaco (not affiliate)

Certainly! Chaco, Keen, and Teva sandals come with a set of pros and cons which are important to consider before making a decision…

Pros & Cons


What sets Chacos apart in the hiking world is their unwavering focus on support and durability. When you’re out there on the trails, you need gear that can keep up with you, and that’s precisely where Chaco steps in.

First and foremost, it’s all about that legendary Z/strap system…


  • Great Strap System:

Chacos are not just slapped onto your feet; they’re custom-fitted to your liking. The Z/strap design allows for precise customization, ensuring a secure, stable, and personalized fit. This feature is especially helpful for those with unique foot shapes or specific fit preferences.

No more slipping and sliding around in your footwear – Chacos stay put, giving you the confidence to tackle those challenging terrains.

And let’s talk about support…

  • Superb Arch Support:

Chaco sandals are like the strong pillars that carry you through your hiking journey thanks to their podiatrist-certified LUVSEAT™ footbed.

Their excellent arch support can be beneficial for people with high arches, plantar fasciitis, or those seeking added comfort during long hikes or outdoor activities.

Say goodbye to foot fatigue and heel pain and say hello to an energized stride that keeps you going when the going gets tough.

  • Rugged Durability:

Chaco knows the great outdoors can be unforgiving and so they build their sandals to withstand the toughest of outdoor conditions and the test of time.

Their sturdy construction and durable materials make them highly resistant to wear and tear, giving you a reliable and long-lasting option for adventurous pursuits.

  • Versatility:

Chaco sandals are super versatile, excelling in various outdoor activities. They’re suitable for long-distance hikes, water sports, casual outings, and more, making them a go-to choice for versatile adventurers.

When it comes to water crossings, no worries there either…

  • River Crossings:

Chaco sandals boast quick-drying capabilities, making them perfect for splashing through streams or wading in rivers.

And after a long day of trekking, you’ll appreciate how easy they are to clean – just rinse them off, and they’re good as new, ready for your next adventure.


  • Break-in Period:

Some users may find that Chaco sandals require a break-in period, during which the straps and footbed mold to the shape of your feet. This initial stiffness can be a bit uncomfortable until the sandals are fully broken in.

  • Higher Price Point:

Chaco sandals tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to Keen and Teva. But the added durability and support come at a cost, making them a more significant investment.

  • No toe protection:

Unlike Keen sandals, Chaco sandals do not come with a rubber toe cap or additional reinforcement for the front of the foot. This means that the toes are more exposed, leaving them vulnerable to accidental bumps, stubs, or impact from rocks, roots, or debris on the trail.

However, it’s important to note that Chaco’s focus is on providing excellent arch support, customizable fit, and durability, which are highly valued by many hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Strap System

You should note that the Z/Strap system does require some getting used to compared to Keen and Teva before you fully learn how to get the best fit out of your Chacos.


Teva knows that when it comes to outdoor exploration, water is often part of the equation, and that’s where they truly shine.


  • Water-Friendly Design:

Teva sandals are built to embrace water-related adventures with open arms. They are designed to drain water like a champ, leaving you free to focus on the thrill of the journey without soggy feet slowing you down.

So from river crossings to kayaking and splashing around in streams, Teva sandals are up for the challenge.


  • Flexible:

Tevas are often lighter and more flexible than some other outdoor sandals, offering a comfortable and easy-to-wear option for casual outings and light hikes.

  • Comfortable:

Teva sandals are like a gentle hug for your feet. With their EVA footbeds, they provide a comfortable platform for all your hiking endeavors.

The lightweight design makes them feel practically weightless, allowing you to stay nimble and agile on the trails.

When it comes to versatility, Teva sandals are no one-trick ponies…

  • Versatile:

Teva sandals are versatile and suitable for a range of activities. Sure, they excel in water-based activities, but they can be used for water adventures, casual walks, urban explorations, and moderate hikes, offering a do-it-all option for adventurers.

Another standout feature is their easy-to-adjust hook-and-loop closure system…

  • Easy Adjustability:

The hook-and-loop (Velcro) closure system in Teva sandals allows for quick and hassle-free adjustments compared to Chacos, making them user-friendly and convenient for on-the-go use.

Whether you need to tighten the fit for those technical sections or loosen them up during a well-deserved break, it’s a breeze.

  • Affordable:

Compared to Chaco and Keen and some other outdoor sandal brands, Tevas often come at a more affordable price point, making them accessible for budget-conscious adventurers.


  • Less Arch Support:

While Tevas provide reasonable comfort, they might not offer the same level of arch support as Chaco. People with high arches or specific foot support needs may find Tevas less suitable.


Although Tevas are durable for casual use and water activities, some users report concerns about the longevity of the Velcro straps over time, which might affect the overall durability.

  • Lack of Toe Protection:

Unlike Keen sandals, Teva sandals do not offer a protective toe cap, which could be a downside for hikers who prioritize additional toe protection during outdoor adventures.

  • Less Performance for Intense Hiking:

While Tevas are suitable for casual hikes and moderate trails, they may not be the best choice for long-distance or demanding hiking expeditions that require more support, ruggedness, and durability.



  • Excellent Toe Protection:

One of the standout characteristics that set Keen apart is their innovative toe protection design. These sandals come armed with a trusty rubber toe cap, shielding your precious toes from any unforeseen rocks, roots, or pesky debris that might try to ruin your day.

You can march confidently through rugged terrain, knowing your feet are in good hands – or rather, good sandals.


  • Easy Adjustment:

Their bungee lacing system is another nifty feature that hikers adore. Slip them on, pull the bungee cord, and you’re locked in with a secure fit that won’t let you down.

Need to adjust on the fly? No problem – just tug at the toggle, and you’re good to go. Quick and hassle-free, just how hikers like it.


  • Comfortable:

Comfort is king, and Keen sandals have got that in spades. Slip your feet into their cozy embrace, and you’ll immediately notice the cushioned goodness.

Whether you’re tackling a steep ascent or leisurely strolling along a nature trail, the contoured footbed and ample padding will keep you moving comfortably mile after mile.

  • Versatile:

Versatility is the name of the game with Keen sandals. They’re like the Swiss Army knives of outdoor footwear. They’re perfect for a range of activities, from hiking and trail running to water sports and everything in between.

Keen sandals transition effortlessly from land to water, so you can go from conquering dusty trails to wading through rivers without missing a beat.

And let’s not forget about durability…

  • Durable:

Keen knows you’re an explorer at heart, and their sandals are built to withstand the rigors of the wild, which makes them able to withstand rugged terrains and frequent use

They’ll brave rocky landscapes, shrug off scuffs and scrapes, and remain steadfast in the face of any adventure you throw their way.


  • Break-in Period:

You may experience a break-in period with Keen sandals, where the straps and footbed need time to adjust to the shape of your feet. During this initial period, the sandals might feel a bit rigid or less comfortable.

  • Higher Price Range:

Keen sandals can be more expensive compared to certain other outdoor sandal brands. The added durability and support come with a higher price tag, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious shoppers.

  • Heavier Design:

Although Keen sandals provide excellent support and protection, they may be slightly heavier compared to some lighter and more minimalist outdoor sandal options.

  • Less Rigidity Compared to Chaco:

While Keens offer good stability, some hikers might find Chaco sandals to be more rigid and supportive on challenging terrains.

  • Limited Styles:

While Keen offers a variety of sandal models, some users might find a narrower range of styles compared to other brands.

What can you do in Keen, Chaco & Teva?



Set your sights on the trails and tackle rocky terrain with confidence. Keen sandals’ toe protection design ensures your feet are shielded from bumps and bruises, while their comfortable fit keeps you going mile after mile.

Water Adventures:

From creek crossings to river rafting, Keens are your go-to water companions. Embrace wet escapades without worrying about soggy feet – these sandals boast quick-drying capabilities, keeping you light on your toes.


Kick back and relax at the campsite with Keens. After a day of hiking or outdoor fun, your feet will appreciate the supportive footbed and cushioned comfort they provide.


Explore the world with Keens by your side. From city sightseeing to nature escapades, these sandals effortlessly adapt to various environments, making them the ideal travel companions.

Beach Trips:

Enjoy sandy shores and coastal breezes in style. Keens handle sandy beaches and beachcombing with ease, making them the perfect footwear for your beach getaways.


Get your hands dirty in the garden with Keens. Their toe protection will keep your feet safe from unexpected encounters with garden tools or rough terrain.

Outdoor Festivals:

Whether it’s a music festival or an outdoor event, Keens will keep you comfortable while you revel in the festivities. Dance, explore, and have a blast in these reliable sandals.

Water Parks:

Splash around with the family at water parks – Keens can handle the fun! Their secure fit and water-friendly design make them ideal for water slides and splash zones.

Trail Running:

Yes, you read that right! Some Keen sandals are even designed for trail running. If you’re a fan of hitting the trails at a faster pace, these sandals will support you every step of the way.

In a nutshell, Keen sandals are the epitome of versatility. They effortlessly transition from water to land, from rugged trails to casual outings, and from outdoor adventures to everyday activities.




Chaco sandals are good for hiking. They offer exceptional support and stability, making them ideal for both short-day hikes and longer backpacking trips.

Whether you’re traversing rocky paths or conquering steep inclines, Chacos will keep your feet comfortable and secure.


These sandals are no strangers to backpacking excursions. Their durable construction and reliable traction allow you to carry a heavy load while maintaining a solid footing on various terrains.

Water Activities:

Chaco sandals are water-friendly champions! They’re perfect for river crossings, creek exploring, and even kayaking or paddleboarding. The quick-drying properties ensure you won’t be sloshing around in wet shoes for long.


After a day of hiking, slip off your trail shoes and slide into Chacos for campsite comfort. They’re perfect for lounging around the campfire or taking a short evening stroll.


Chacos are fantastic travel companions. Their versatility allows you to pack light, as they can handle both city exploring and outdoor adventures seamlessly.

Urban Exploration:

Don’t think Chacos are limited to the wilderness! They’re equally at home on city streets, providing you with comfort and style during urban escapades.

Beach and Coastal Adventures:

Chaco sandals thrive in sandy environments and coastal regions. They provide excellent traction, so you can frolic in the waves or explore tide pools with confidence.

Music Festivals and Outdoor Events:

Need something comfortable and breathable for those lively music festivals or outdoor events? Chacos are your go-to option, offering all-day comfort and durability for the festivities.

Casual Wear:

Chacos aren’t just for outdoor enthusiasts – they make for fantastic casual footwear too. Pair them with shorts, dresses, or jeans, and you’ve got yourself a stylish and comfortable look for everyday wear.


Tend to your garden with ease in Chacos. The open design allows your feet to breathe, and their ruggedness protects your toes from any gardening mishaps.


Water Sports:

Dive headfirst into aquatic fun with Teva sandals. They’re designed for water sports like kayaking, rafting, and paddleboarding. Embrace the splashes and stay agile in and out of the water.


Lace up those Tevas and hit the trails. From easy day hikes to more challenging routes, these sandals provide solid traction, ensuring you can conquer any terrain that comes your way.

Beach Adventures:

Bask in the sun and surf with Tevas. They’ll handle sandy beaches and rocky shores like a breeze, giving you the freedom to explore and play in the waves.

Urban Exploration:

Teva sandals are not just for outdoor enthusiasts – they’re perfect for navigating city streets too. Stay comfortable while exploring museums, markets, and hidden corners of bustling cities.


No need to pack multiple pairs of shoes when you’ve got Tevas. They’re the ultimate travel companions, ready to accompany you on your journeys, whether you’re sightseeing or exploring off-the-beaten-path locations.


Slip into your trusty Tevas after a day of hiking or around the campsite. They offer breathability and comfort, making them the perfect footwear for camping adventures.

Water Parks:

Enjoy a day of thrills at water parks without worrying about soggy shoes. Tevas are water-resistant and quick-drying, so you can plunge into water rides without hesitation.

Backyard BBQs:

Keep it casual and comfy at backyard gatherings with Tevas. They’re great for socializing, grilling, and relaxing in the sunshine.

Summer Festivals:

Dance your heart out at summer festivals with Tevas. Their easy slip-on style and secure fit will keep you moving to the rhythm without missing a beat.

Casual Outings:

Dress up or dress down – Tevas are up for any occasion. Pair them with your favorite summer dress, shorts, or jeans for a laid-back and stylish look.

Chacos & Teva Cut in Half

History of Keen, Chaco, Teva

Keen was founded in 2003 by Martin Keen and Rory Fuerst, who aimed to create innovative footwear that combined the comfort of a sandal with the protection of a shoe.

Their first product, the Newport sandal, featured the patented toe protection design and became a success, establishing Keen as a reputable outdoor footwear brand.

Teva was founded in 1984 by a Grand Canyon river guide named Mark Thatcher. He created the first sport sandal to provide excellent traction and stability during water activities.

The name “Teva” is derived from the Hebrew word for “nature,” reflecting the brand’s connection to outdoor adventures.

Chaco was founded in 1989 by a Colorado white water rafting guide named Mark Paigen. The brand gained popularity with the introduction of their adjustable Z/strap system, which allowed users to customize the fit of the sandals.

Chaco’s focus on durability and arch support made them a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, Chaco sandals offer excellent arch support, durability, and a customizable fit with their adjustable Z-strap system.

While they have a few minor drawbacks like the initial break-in period and a higher price point, many outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the support and ruggedness they bring to their adventures.

If you prioritize stability, arch support, and durability in your outdoor footwear, Chaco sandals could be the perfect fit for your outdoor explorations.

Teva sandals are ideal for water-related activities and casual outdoor outings. They are lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, making them a great option for adventurers seeking a do-it-all sandal at an affordable price point.

However, they may not provide the same level of arch support and ruggedness as Chaco sandals, making them more suitable for lighter adventures.

If you prioritize water-friendly features and a comfortable, budget-friendly option for your outdoor explorations, Teva sandals could be the perfect fit for your adventures.

Keen sandals offer excellent toe protection, a comfortable fit, and durability for various outdoor activities. Their versatility and environmentally-conscious approach appeal to many adventurers.

However, some users may find the initial break-in period and higher price range to be potential drawbacks. If you prioritize toe protection, a comfortable fit, and versatility in your outdoor footwear, Keen sandals could be the perfect fit for your adventures.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.