Outdoor Buzz: Chaco, Wenger, Tecnica

Chaco reintroduces closed-toe styles, Wenger debuts heated footwear and more.

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After being acquired by Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine World Wide last year, Chaco, known for its river-rafting sandals, decided to reboot its closed-toe offering, said Brandan Hill, director of product development for the brand. “What our customers are telling us is that they want to take the Z sandal [Chaco’s original and best-known sandal] into cold weather,” he said. Hill and his designers created two styles for men and women that combine the Z sandal’s webbing materials and polyurethane footbed with waterproof leathers on the upper, which are stitched directly to the midsole. The shoes also use the heel strap to replace a traditional heel counterin the Ped Shed design, giving the wearer the option of collapsing the heel to wear the shoe as a clog, as with the Toe Coop (at left). Both designs feature Vibram outsoles, which can be sent back to the company or taken to a shoe repair specialist to be resoled. The Ped Shed and Toe Coop are each available in four colors and will retail for $120 and $110, respectively, with distribution open to all Chaco accounts, including outdoor shops and comfort independents. Delivery is set for July 15.

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