I bought my first pair of Teva sandals when I was in high school and I've been loyal and satisfied with the brand. I've had four pairs of Tevas over thirteen years with little to complain about. The other day I took off my sandals after an afternoon of working in the yard and my wife said, "Your feet are black. You're getting new sandals." I said, "These Tevas still have one summer left in them." She said, "No. You're getting new ones."
All of my friends keep raving about Chaco sandals. I've considered trying Chacos but they are usually substantially more expensive than Tevas. And they are strappy. Too strappy. When I wear them it looks like someone wrapped up a hobbit foot in birthday ribbon.
I bought a pair of Chacos the other day to see if they will live up to the hype. I paid $20 extra to get the black, rather than the swampy green ribbon ones, but REI had a good sale going on so it offset the cost.
These were the first Chacos I've seen with decent traction. They usually have wimpy traction like a worn out car tire. The Chacos do not seem to have the arch support or cushiness (I don't know if that's a word but let's just use it) that my Tevas have had. However, the Chacos are easier to strap on (and VERY secure) and I'm willing to bet the pull-strap holds up better than the Velcro straps that Teva uses.
It sounds like a strange thing to point out but I would much rather step on a nail in the Chacos than in Tevas. For some reason I've noticed I step on a lot of nails that sink right into my shoes over the past few years and in 1998 I was hiking through a cow field along a river wearing my Tevas and a big rusty chunk of barbed wire went right up through the bottom of my foot. It was a good day for a tetanus shot (every 10 years, people).
Those are my observations so far. The Chacos have 3 years to win me over starting right... now.