I just love it when a fellow I-Soler writes in to "Ask Abigail" because we can all benefit from a little sole-searching:)
After adjusting my new chaco sandals the strap at the tightening clip is way too long and drags on the ground... I even end up stepping on it. Can I cut it shorter then seal the end with flame? Or, is there some other remedy?
Thanks for sending in your Chaco question. You are not alone in the case of the “dragging Chaco tail”. I have a low volume foot and have the dragging tail too. My first instinct was also to cut that strap and use a match to seal the end or get my friend to cut it and stitch a new seam for me. Like you, I opted to do a little research myself and learned what I shall share with you.
Firstly, be aware that cutting the strap will automatically void your warranty with Chaco. The folks at Chaco insist that the strap is left at that particular length for the easiest entry and exit of the sandal for all shapes of feet and should you have an unfortunate mishap in your sandals that causes your foot to really swell up you would still be able to remove the sandal without having to cut it off your foot. Chaco also maintains that even if those straps drag it would be impossible to trip over them thus posing no real danger. Eventually, Chaco had to come to terms with the fact that there are enough of us out there that have “strap drag” and just plain don't like it one bit! For us, they offer a strap shortening service. Chaco asks us to fit the sandal to our foot and then adjust/(loosen) the buckle and end strap to where you would like them to land and they will actually take the extra length out of the strapping that goes around the foot prior to the buckle. Call the folks directly in the "Re-Chaco" department at 1-888-211-9211 to set everything up.
Seeing how we are now in prime Chaco wearing season you may be reluctant to send your new sandals right back and have to wait for their return. If you want to ultimately follow the proper channels to remedy the situation but don't want to send your sandals in until the dead of winter....I have a suggestion. Loop the extra strapping around itself and tie it in a loose knot each time you wear them. I have worn my Chacos like this for more than one season and it works nicely.
If you are set on cutting the strap I recommend that you cut the very least amount possible and repeat the same fold over and stitch as they were originally made with.
I have followed all three of these game plans as I am lucky enough to own several pairs of Chacos and each has proved to work just fine. Aesthetically speaking the pair I sent in to Chaco for strap shortening actually look the best. Also, over the years I have found that I like to wear all my strapping quite loosely which does keep my straps from dragging and have noted that other long-time Chaco fans also wear their sandals in this same loose fashion.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you many happy trails and an awesome zigzag tan line that proves you have had lots of outdoor adventures in your new Chaco sandals.
Thanks again for writing in and I look forward to hearing about your adventures and/or perhaps you'll send in a fun pix of your Chacos taking on the world!