Huarache (running shoe)

Huaraches, laced up on the ground.
Man running, wearing huaraches

Huaraches are an open type of outdoor footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps passing over the instep and around the ankle. The common understanding is that these sandals were a variant of traditional Mexican huaraches, the difference being in design and construction.

These sandals are favoured by minimalist runners for several reasons. These sandals force the foot and the runner to run with a natural gait. They also help protect the foot from glass, gravel, and other debris.

In Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run the author describes natives of the Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons teaching a fellow runner how to build huaraches.


The primary design difference from traditional huaraches is in the straps that cover the front of the foot. In traditional sandals the straps are woven in an intricate design. In the variant used for running the straps are much simpler and less ornate.


Huaraches were originally made from leather, and later from the tread of used automobile tires. Since then, rubber manufactured as replacement outsole for shoes, such as the Vibram Cherry, has been used. More recently commercial manufactures have created pre-cut rubber soles for the construction of huaraches. Additionally some manufacturers create soles shaped to custom outline of the wearer's feet.

The laces for huaraches is either synthetic, hemp or leather. Synthetic laces are usually made of polyester or nylon. Generally shoelaces are of narrow construction and thin cordage similar to parachute cord is used.

See also

Further reading

External links

  • Modern day huarache sandals
  • Instructable on making your own huaraches
  • Are we born to run?, a video presentation by Christopher McDougall.

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