The Chaco x Outsiders Z/1 is a go-anywhere, open-top sandal for your feet.
It’s hard to say what makes a good collaboration these days. Nothing seems off-limits. And in the realm of collaborations, a sandal collab is hardly the bread and butter of the hype machine. But, when we got the chance to work with Chaco on our own version of our favourite sandals, we couldn’t say no.
The Chaco Z/1 has been the summer footwear of choice at Outsiders HQ since we’ve been able to get our hands on them, and meets all our hopes for the ultimate balance of great looking design with unbeatable functionality and durability. The trifecta of all the best products…
First things first in the process of designing the collab – we asked for access to the depths of the Chaco archive. There’s always the hope of finding some forgotten gems in the history of a brand and there was some classic 90s outdoor vibes on offer in the early catalogues.
We wanted to put a subtle British swing on the US design – which might have been best done by somehow turning them into a pair of wellies or brogues. Instead, we looked to old British 4x4s for inspiration, naturally…
The Z/1 is, to the communal Outsiders Store mind, the ultimate do-it-all, go-anywhere sandal. When we discussed where we could go with the overall direction, we got to thinking of them as the summer footwear equivalent to a 4×4… sort of like open-top off-road vehicles for your feet.
Digging into the Z/1’s design – you become aware of how stripped back the whole thing is. It has the fewest possible components, configured for the optimal fit and function. We couldn’t go adding any bells or whistles without undermining the sandal itself (or making them really noisy) so we just dialled in the details – we came up with a custom webbing design playing on the wire grid grills protecting headlamps on early 4x4s. We took the classic colours from vehicles and added the canvas ‘soft top’ colour for the heel strap.
The bar tacks became orange like the indicators – and we even went with the number plate font and colours (inverted, admittedly) for the co-branded woven label.
It only felt right to throw a car air freshener in the box too…
The sandals launch in three colours at Outsiders Store.