Reweb your Own Chacos for Under $5

Love.  True, unconditional, blissful LOVE!

This is how I feel about my first pair of Chacos.  I got these 11 years ago when I was first starting out as a raft guide.  We’ve been through a lot together.  Logged hundreds of river trips, hiked numerous mountains (even a good portion of Mt Kilimanjaro), visited 3 continents, and created some pretty epic Chaco tan lines.

Not only do I have tons of great memories while wearing these, but they are practically molded to my feet.  Yes, the tread is worn and they’re showing their age, but they fit like a glove.  Even after owning several other pairs of Chacos, none of them have come even close to the comfort these have offered. I was heartbroken when they started to fray.  It got so bad that I was afraid to adjust them, fearing that at any second the strap would snap.

Yes, Chaco will reweb your sandals for about $40, but in my head that’s about half the cost of a pair on sale so not quite worth it.

Luckily, my brother is the ultimate MacGyver and showed me how to reweb my own Chacos.

 

Here’s what you need:

3 yards of webbing – Either tubular webbing (used for climbing) or thick webbing from a specialty fabric store

Thread and sewing machine

Vice-Grips

Seam ripper and/or xacto knife

 

Step one:  Cut the old webbing off at the buckle.  Sew it onto your new webbing.  Make sure you sew it on tight since this is how you will feed your new piece through.  I used a small zig-zag stitch.

 

Start pulling your webbing through the sandals.  If your Chacos are old, this will be tricky and a pair of vice-grips will be your best friend.

 

Keep pulling.  Try not to get to distracted/grossed out by all the gunk that was stuck inside your webbing.

 

Once you have pulled all of your webbing through, use your seam ripper or xacto knife and unpick the stitching  where the old webbing was sewn in.  Be very careful not to cut the black webbing where it attaches to your sandal base.

 

Sew your new webbing into that area.  This needs to be tight so it’s a good idea to go over it several times.

 

Try on your Chaco to determine how long you want your straps.  Cut it to the desired length, heat seal the end (burn with a match until it melts to prevent fraying) and sew it back onto the buckle.

 

Now pat yourself on the back.  You’re halfway done!

Now it’s time to work on the backs.  First, unpick the old webbing like you did on the front side.  Take the old webbing and use it as a guide to measure your new piece.  It’s very important that you angle the new piece like the old one was so that it will fit your heel correctly and not just slide off.

Sew your new pieces on.

 

Admire your new work and enjoy the fact that this only cost you $5!

 


25 Comments

  • shawna says:

    uh…GENIUS!!! This is gonna go viral woman!

  • michelle says:

    My husband is going to love this!

  • Lindsey says:

    Hahaaa. We do this with ours… but I can’t exactly advertise that just now :).

  • Brian Marshall says:

    I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but am having a difficult time finding some nice patterned webbing on-line. The webbing you used looks great; would you mind sharing where you purchased it?

    • bringthekids says:

      Brian-
      I got my webbing at a Joann fabric store. I believe it is made by wright (or something similar to that). It has a little bit of stretch so it wasn’t fantastic for the heel piece. My advice would be to try and keep the original heel strap if you can and find a coordinating webbing. I had already cut mine off so I ended up taking the stretchy piece off and sewing it to a piece of tubular climbing webbing and then reattaching it…what can I say – I liked the stripes!

  • David says:

    I have two pairs in dire need of this repair – I hope the straps don’t break in the process. I always thought this was possible – glad to see someone tried it out and it worked – thanks for posting!!

    • David says:

      Got one done. I used a yard of material for each shoe and that was barely enough for my size 9 Chacos. I had to salvage some of the main webbing to replace the heel strap (one was totally blown out and the other wasn’t far behind).

      Even though the old webbing around the toe straps was 2/3 cut, I was still able to pull it through (with some soapy water as lubrication) and get the new webbing in. I cut the old and new webbing in a diagonal, heated them up with a flame, then “glued” them together while the nylon was still hot. I then zig-zag stitched them across the seam – it held up well when pulling and would be perhaps easier to pull than doubling up the two straps to stitch them on top of each other.

      Thanks again for the how-to!

  • David Huck says:

    This is very cool, and impossible to do. I am a strong young man and can’t for the life of me pull the webbing through. Granted I’ve tromped through wet muddy fields in my chacos so they are no doubt full of mud, and…

  • Kayla says:

    What is the width of the strap?

    • bringthekids says:

      Kayla – I think I used 7/8 inch, but I’m not 100% sure (we just moved and those shoes are packed away in storage)

  • John Wilson says:

    a surgical scalpel will probably work better than a hobby knife. Sewing may be done with an awl if you are not good with a machine

  • aisha says:

    so smart! im gonna do it right away and post ot on my blog ..! so scared of ruining my sandals but, wish me luck

  • Lené says:

    I got one sandal done and it turned out great however while woking on the second one the strap broke. Now I have no way of pulling the webbing through. Any ideas of how I would get the webbing through?

    • bringthekids says:

      Try using a wire hanger. Straighten in out, push it though the hole (it will be tricky to get it back out, so be prepared to use your MacGyver skills), and then hook it onto your webbing and pull it back out. Good luck!

  • Lauri says:

    If you have the Z2, then the webbing is 19mm which is .748 inches. So I am looking for 3/4 inch webbing, which is hard to find in patterns. My question, mine are size 8 – would 2 1/2 yards be enough to reweb both sandals instead of 3 yards? Thanks for sharing this!

    • bringthekids says:

      Lauri- I think 2.5 yards would ben enough, but possibly cutting it close. I know I had a little left over, but it was a couple years ago, so I can’t remember how much. Good luck!

  • Lauri says:

    Well I did it! It was not easy! The hardest part for me was undoing the stitches from the black loops. I too have a Bernina sewing machine so I assumed that sewing the new straps in would be easy, but there was not enough length on the loops to get it under the needle, so I ended up hand sewing the straps in. They feel secure, but I guess time will tell. (If you would like a picture of the finished results let me know.)

    Thanks for posting this. I loved saving the money, but even more, I loved the turn around time! I didn’t have to do without them for more than a day!

  • marci says:

    Thanks for all your effort to figure it out and share it with the pic’s and all! i think you’ve helped out a lot of grateful peeps! choco’n! (i just make that up–did you catch the rhyme?)

  • Gabby says:

    Would this work if I wanted a single strap on my double strapped zx2 im pretty sure they have one hole slot that both strings fit through

  • Jawn Skains says:

    This is so cool. I’m going to web mine with leather I’m so stoked you posted this. I kinda feel like ” I should have thought of that ” but I didn’t and thank you for taking the time to post this.

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