Friday, Oct. 31
Cape Town, South Africa

I’m about to make my first-ever endorsement.

No, not for a presidential candidate. For footwear.

Chacos. Theyre always up for the same travels as me!

My travelling companions: Chacos. They're always up for the same travels as me. (Oh, new slogan!)

The pair of Chaco sandals I bought for this trip have proven to be the most durable shoes I’ve ever owned. I’ve worn them swimming (yes, in the water) in the Senegal River, hiking down cliffs in Mali and trekking through mud in a Cameroonian village.

The rainy season in that village was too much for my flip flops, which now fall apart whenever I wear them. And during my last visit to Cameroon, the mud so ate through my clogs that I left them there when I returned to the States. But not my Chacos! They are still serving me, ready to keep at it in Madagascar.

The shoes have left their mark — literally. Since week two of this trip, the tan lines on my feet have told the world about my sandal devotion:

My Chaco-ed feet at a beach in Kribi, Cameroon.

My Chaco-ed feet at a beach in Kribi, Cameroon.

To be completely honest, the sandals’ durability isn’t the only reason I wear them. I don’t have a whole lot of choice, since I’m carrying just those sandals, running sneakers and the flimsy, now-gutted flip-flops.

Still, I’ve turned into a walking advertisement (pun intended)! Maybe the company will sponsor my next backpacking trip…