Regular readers of this blog will likely remember my tender tribute comic
to my Chacos
, which finally bit the dust after nine long, dedicated years of service a month or so ago. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.
Yes, folks, it's true. Chaco
actually bothered to contact me, express their condolences, and offer me new shoes for free. As if this weren't enough to cement my lifelong dedication to the company, I found out I'd be using their new MyChacos
service to design a custom pair from the ground up. While I tried to condense the hours and hours I spent mucking about with settings and choices into a few panels, I wanted to expand on the subject a little more.
The design tool is a delight to use. Clear, powerful, and laden with choices, it makes the act of designing new footwear as involved and engaging as it should be, considering the product you make could last you up to a decade or more. A few of my favorite highlights included not only the ability to chose from tens of different webbing patterns, but also the option to reverse the webbing and see the alternate colors and patterns on the underside! This effectively doubles your choices for webbing types, and gives you a cheerful surprise when you lift up any of your straps to reveal the secret pattern beneath.
While the temptation was great to just make a carbon copy of my original sandals, I ended up choosing a few modifications. You can see the original ones gracing my feet below (while standing at the site of the original Olympic games in Delphi, Greece), and the new ones (at my home in Ojai, California).
I chose a reversed webbing with a neat sheen to it and brown, slightly lighter soles that would better suit my needs working on replica tall ships in a marine environment. There were many other choices (Seriously, stitching color? It doesn't get much better than that.), but those were the biggest aesthetic differences.
My shoes arrived quickly and safely and I've spent all week dancing around in them. It feels so good to have Chacos on my feet once more. To those of you lamenting the loss of any well-loved sandals, I highly recommend checking out the MyChacos portal. Solace and comfort (not to mention fabulous new shoes) await therein.