Published on October 6th, 2021 | by Beth Bengtson16
Chaco Boots “Barbary” Review: Outdoor-Chic Comfort & Support
When I first heard about these Chaco boots, I wondered how they would compare comfort-wise with the well-known Chaco sandals. (Many readers are probably familiar with Chaco sandals, with their rugged, arch-supporting soles and colorful criss-cross straps that adjust to fit everyone – and leave fun tan lines on your feet). I won’t go on about the sandals here; there are hundreds of online reviews to tell you how great they are. But that reputation was what made me excited to learn the Chaco product line had been expanded to include boots and shoes.
One thing I love about Chaco boots in the cute Barbary style is their AMAZING arch support. If you’re a fan of arch support along the lines of Birkenstock, Dansko, Vionic, you’re going to like these. (If you’re not used to it, this kind of substantial arch support might feel a little aggressive at first and take some getting used to, but I think you’ll grow to love it once you realize how good your feet and legs can feel when they’ve been well-supported all day). As for me, I think I could hear my plantar fasciitis-plagued feet sighing with relief the minute I put these boots on.
Those with bunions (like me) or hammertoes will appreciate the roomy toe box and pleasing width in the forefoot, but the boots don’t look clunky. Win-win!
Initially these Chaco boots felt large in the heel area, slipping when I’d walk, and the leather and wool felt a little stiff. I cinched the laces and wore them with thick socks for a couple days to make up for this, which worked well. Then something pretty cool happened – the leather around the heel started to soften and conform to the shape of my foot and ankle. Now they fit great, and just keep getting softer and more comfortable! I also love the look of the wool fabric lining and accents, which add style and warmth. The wool collar can be worn folded up or down.
The Chaco boots “Barbary” style also features waterproof leather uppers, an injection-molded nylon shank for added stability, and an EVA midsole for all-day comfort. If you wear orthotics, Chaco’s trademark, pigskin-lined LUVSEAT footbed is removable – but it’s so comfortable you may not even need your orthotics. Despite all this sturdiness, they’re still fairly lightweight.
Some reviewers commented that these Chaco boots don’t feel the same as their Chaco sandals. Don’t go in expecting that. They’re completely different kinds of shoes – of course they’re going to feel different. What you can expect is a similar level of comfort, support, and outdoor-chic styling as the legendary sandals.
The Chaco Barbary comes in several beautiful color combos. But even in basic black, the varied textures & patterns in the laces, leather and wool keep it boot from looking boring. Currently, Chaco will include a pair of Smartwool socks with every boot purchase!
Online reviewers are all over the place with sizing – some say order up, some down. I ordered my usual size and like how they fit, though they are a smidge on the big side. I appreciate extra roominess in a winter shoe to accommodate thicker socks. If you go sock-free or wear thin socks year-round, you might consider going down 1/2 size.
Chaco Barbary boots are available in sizes 6-11 (even a 10.5) from Chacos.com, Zappos, and Amazon.
Readers, have you tried Chaco boots, or any of Chaco’s other non-sandal offerings? If so, please share your own review in the comments section – we’d love to know your thoughts!
This review of the Barbary ankle boot is sponsored by Chaco. The opinions are completely my own based on experience.
I love mine! They still look and feel great this year after a lot of wear last winter. The toe area doesn’t rub bunions or hammer toes and the arch support is excellent. Plus, they’re cute.
Yesterday was my birthday, and when I saw this post, I thought I’d treat myself, because I love shoes/boots with wool in the composition. But, I couldn’t fall in love with any of the color combos. 🙁
I might keep trying.
I like last year’s colors! They may be at 6pm??
Thank you! No luck at 6pm, but you did get me looking further. I like the navy, and will keep looking for other colors.
So good to hear! They are so cute. I hope they keep them around and issue some new colors!
These boots looked so cute that I went to the web site to buy them. Unfortunately, they don’t come in my size. What’s a short girl with bad feet supposed to do? I where a size 5. Please pass this comment on to the company.
I think these run big because the US size and EUR size doesn’t match. Usually I buy a 6/36. In this shoe the 6 is a 37. They are actually long in the heel, if I want the arch to match up correctly. I’ll try for a few days to try to break them in as you suggested.
are the wool areas waterproof too?
I think not. My son has a pair of wool Vans and I sprayed them with Camp-Dry and he’s walked through snow in them with dry feet 😉
how much or ur boots were can i get a pair of the chaco boots
The Barbary Boots are amazing! The wool is actually waterproof, however the leather is only water resistant. They have two new versions/colors this season and they’re uber cute!
I ordered these for a winter vacation up north. I found they ran true to size and were warm and comfy for New England in Feb.
I just received a pair of these as a gift. At first I didn’t love the look but BOY did these win me over with the comfort! Love them!!
And the look grows on you too–they’re a good mix between hiking boot and cute ankle boot!
Would these lovely boots accommodate wide feet?? Hopefully? I see they don’t have wide sizes.
What ankle boots w/good support might come in a wide width (or be naturally roomy width-wise)?
While the toe box is wide, I’m not sure the rest of the boot is necessarily wide. You could order through Zappos and take advantage of free returns! I’d recommend any of the ankle boots by Earth that come in wide widths. Stylish with good support.