If you’ve stepped anywhere near a national park in the last few years (or ever set foot in Colorado), chances are you know Chaco—and you know their reputation as basically the official sandal of hardcore outdoor recreation. But it wasn’t always like that. For years after the first pairs were handbuilt by a Gunnison River guide in 1989, the Chaco lore got passed by word of mouth amongst adventure pros. With rugged Vibram tread and an ingeniously simple design that custom forms to your feet, there was a lot to rave about. Plus, resoleability and easy repairs make ‘em last for decades down the line.