Gear Review: Chaco Tedinho Boots – A review that tested my limits
These Chaco Tedinho Boots saved my trip
I just returned from my second trip to Havasu Falls and the amazing waters of the Havasupai Indian Nation near the Grand Canyon. What better setting for an intense review of the Chaco Tedinho Boots than the blue green waters and travertine of the Havasu Creek. If you’ve ever been, you know what I’m talking about.
The Chaco Tedinho Water Shoe made the trip. It may actually be more accurate to save that these boots saved my trip.
Here’s how it all went down
It was an early 3 am wake-up call in Las Vegas. We hit the road at 4:08 am and arrived at Hualapai Hilltop, the trailhead for our adventure, just a few minutes after 8am.
The first 1.5 miles is downhill. Well, it’s a series of switchbacks that deliver eager hikers to the canyon floor and on their way to the town of Supai.
My hike started out just fine. I felt strong despite getting very little sleep over the previous few days. Our pace was good and the heat was yet to become a real issue. The Vasque Mindbenders that I had come to love over the previous 6 months had become as comfortable to me as the old slippers that I wear around the house despite absolutely no remaining fuzzy lining.
The 10 mile trek to the camping area is really patchwork of different terrains. The hike begins with a massive decent on good trail but then turns into the wide part of the canyon and resembles the washes we often encounter in Red Rock. But as the canyon narrows, the walls become more vertical and ultimately it spits hikers out at the junction of Cataract Canyon.
This is also where pain and aggravation hideout. Up to this point, things were going as well as expected. A few random rocks made their way into my shoe but it was easily remedied by a quick stop.
But as we exited the canyon and made the left heading towards the town of Supai, it all fell apart. The ground transitions from rocky to a really fine sand. It’s a beautiful shade of red and very fine. It’s so fine in fact that it made its way through the nylon mesh uppers and into the vulnerable space between the insole and the full span of my footprint.
It required a stop every 5 minutes to empty out the contents. I covered the next 2 miles contemplating weather or not I had the desire to tape the outside with duct tape to slow the flow or dig my water shoes out of my pack.
By the time I decided, my feet were feeling the effects. A few hotspots and a random laceration on one of my toes forced me to decide. Duct tape was called out of the bullpen and the Vasque’s got a quick makeover.
It wasn’t an issue with the Vasque Mindbenders. I love those shoes, but choosing them for this trip was a mistake on my part. It just never crossed my mind that they would present such an issue.
the day the trip
We set up camp, made dinner, and I began to dress my thrashed feet. The only thing I could think about was soaking those poor things in the cool water of the Havasu Creek. And that’s exactly what I did.
That evening we decided to walk up to Havasu Falls for our first real swim of the trip. I dug my Seal Skinz out of the pack, slid them carefully over the layers of tape, and dropped each foot into the Chaco Tedinho Boots for the first time.
I had tested the fit of the boots on dry land a few times but hadn’t really covered any ground. The fit was great and the thickness of the Seal Skinz made for a really compact feel.
We spent the next hour and a half swimming and exploring the area around Havasu Falls and returned to camp. By then, one of my friends asked how the boots were holding up against the sand. They were impervious to the sand and it occurred to me at that moment that the fit was great too. My feet didn’t hurt, the blister and laceration were a non-issue, and apparently I had forgotten about it all.
I spent the next two days in those boots as we covered 5 miles below Mooney Falls as well as a hike up stream to the New Navajo and Rock Falls. The Tedinho Boots were comfortable and there were no signs of any degradation int eh condition of my feet.
The final push
The night before we left, I began to strategize on how I would manage my hike out. It’s 10 miles with a huge switchback laden ascent in the last mile and a half.
Should I wear the duct taped Vasques? Would my feet weather that kind of treatment? Should I just wear the Tedinho Boots the entire way?
The Chacos look great with Havasupai red on them!I discussed my options with my three friends and we all agreed that my best option was to wear the Chaco Tedinho Boots out. After all, they’re one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had. The soles are actually pretty grippy, and they’re high tops which may provide a bit of mental support on the uphill switchbacks.
Best decision of the trip without question.
I wore the Tedinho Boots for the entire 10 miles. I never stopped to empty out sand. They never presented any traction problems. And the side water vents may have even provided a bit of circulation because my feet felt comfortable the entire way.
These boots rocked the best that Havasupai had to offer.
Disclosure: Chaco provided the author with a pair of Tedinho Boots for review at no cost but this in no way impacted the findings of the review. The statements and opinions in this review are the author’s only and were not guided or influenced in any way.
The Bottom Line
I feel really fortunate to have experienced this challenge in the way that I did. I now have two shoes for different purposes that I love. I'd recommend the Tedinho Boots to anyone that is looking for a really stable yet comfortable water shoe.
I beat the hell out of these on the trail. If you've hiked Havasupai you know how tough it can be on shoes.
But there are a few specific observations and experiences that I'd like to offer anyone considering the Chaco Tedinho Boots.
- For a high top boot they actually feel very light
- They cinch tight on the front of the foot but without putting pressure on any specific area
- The soles performed very well on dry rocky terrain as well as uphill switchbacks
- I realized absolutely no degradation in the condition of my feet in the 3 days I used them after the disastrous first day with other shoes
- They vent water quickly making it pretty easy to swim while wearing
- The design of the insoles are fantastic and they help to disperse water quickly
- The rubber toe guard was very effective in the water
- As far as I am aware there is no half size above size 13 which is a bummer as I think I would be a 13.5
- Color choices are limited
My final thought:
I will wear these shoes until they fall apart. I have a trip in the works to The Narrows in Zion NP later this summer and will update this review when I return. I can't speak to how they will hold up over the long term but they show absolutely no wear after 3 days of very heavy use. The soles, the uppers, and the insoles all appeared to be unphased.
I'd recommend these water shoes to anyone.