Because sometimes Huaraches can also be for scrolling.
A new Huarache Blog Tumblr page for old and new images of traditional Mexican Footwear, from Huarache Blog and from the web.
Check out http://huaracheblog.tumblr.com/
According to Mexican designer Alejandro Curi every year 25 million vehicle tyres are thrown away in Mexico alone, of which only 5% is recycled. The former FIT design student saw the great potential of re-purposing such a high quality and abundant material and so developed the Kwarachi Machine.
Kwarachi Machine is project where press and sole cutting dies would be placed in marginalized and impoverished areas around Mexico, where many still cannot afford shoes. Such a set up would provide locals with a basic resource that they could use to make their own Huarache Footwear, but which they could also use to make Huaraches to start a small business and generate income.
The idea of providing a common use cutting press and cutting die is interesting because it could provide unskilled craftspeople a tool to create a quality cut sole. This is would be especially valuable today as most Radial tyres have steel wires running through them, making hand cutting with a knife impossible.
Cuetzalan del Progreso is a small market town tucked away in the northern mountains of Puebla.
The traditional footwear of this area is the ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache also known as the ‘Tres Piquetes’. As with many other indigenous Mexican traditions some local women still walk barefoot.
Similar to the ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache of the Raramuri/Tarahumara and the Huichol, the Huarache in Northern Puebla differs in that the leather strip is woven twice through the forefoot and usually requires no knot.
There is also another local ‘Pata de Gallo’ design variation and it includes a ‘Pechera’ flap over the arch and a ‘Rosadera’ strap on the heel.
When a Huarache sole wears down it is usual for a heel to be added.
You can get your ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches made at 3 stands during the busy Sunday market and they cost about 80 Pesos per pair. The Huaraches all come with a thick vegetable tanned leather insole nailed over the the standard car tyre outsole.
There are also a few other varieties of Huaraches for sale in Cuetzalan that are also found in towns across the state of Puebla.
These ‘Tejido’ Huaraches caught my eye because the leather strip was not woven through the traditional ‘grapas’ (staples).
Canonized in 2002, Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin is the first Indigenous American Saint.
Cuauhtlatoatzin means “the eagle that talks” in náhuatl.
On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531 Juan Diego witnessed the apparition of on Tepayac Hill of the Lady of Guadalupe, who is today considered the patron Saint of the Americas. In a time of social struggle between Indigenous Mexicans and Spanish the news of the apparition spread quickly through Mexico; and in the seven years that followed 8 million people were converted to the Catholic faith.
This oil painting of Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin was painted by Miguel Cabrera sometime before 1768 and also includes possibly the earliest depiction of the ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache.
A few weeks ago I posted photos of my Running Huarache Sandal Evolution design, with recessed strap grooves in the sole. This groove design in the sole permits the use of straps made from many materials, because it eliminates the abrasive ground contact between strap and running surface.
On the latest latest revision of my Running Huarache Sandals I have added polyester straps salvaged from a used basketball jersey. This jersey mesh material is not only softer and much more breathable than the salvaged bicycle tyre inner tube rubber I was using, but polyester also wicks moisture away from the skin, providing a new level of comfort.
I expect the jersey mesh will probably stretch a little over time, but the straps can easily be tightened when the time comes.
This ongoing study in barefoot running footwear is proving interesting for 2 reasons.
1. I’ve been able to systematically develop my understanding of natural running footwear and what is functionally necessary and essential.
2. It provides an insight into the emerging design philosophy of democratization. In this case the democratization of running footwear, footwear which is available, affordable and can be made according to precise consumer requirements.
Today’s run was cooler than yesterday’s.
Given my lack of form I decided not to endure further plantar strain and created this new sole design with an added a layer of Polypropylene plastic from a old blue trash can for added support.
The idea was to add some motion control to the floppy rubber Huarache sole, and the Polypropylene a widely available material with good energy return seemed ideal.
I also added a thin layer of scrap EVA foam for some psychological comfort (EVA foam sheets are widely available in Mexican school supply shops).
The new Polypropylene layer also allowed me to make recessed channels between the strap holes in such a way that the strap is no longer exposed to the abrasive running surfaces and will not wear down over time.
The recessed channels will allow me to experiment with other recycled materials that also offer some breathability.
After a first few runs the Polypropylene plastic unfortunately does not add any noticeable support to my foot. It does however have an unexpected motion control effect, in so far that it’s flatness corrects my foot position to help me land on my mid-foot and not my forefoot.
In case anyone is wondering? I couldn’t resist Photoshopping the Tyre Valve onto the strap. It hinted to an unusual idea of inflatable feet for increased cushioning.
Although a recognized word, Huaraches in Guatemala are mainly known as Caites or Xajab’.
Apab’yan Tew a reader of Huarache Blog kindly sent a link to great photos from his personal collection of Guatemalan Xajab’ and Caites.
His Mexican footwear collection also includes Caites from Huixtán, Chiapas and some Raramuri ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches.
Thanks for sharing Apab’yan Tew.
Toot, toot, toot, is that the sound of a Horn?
Huarache Blog was recently quoted on the Luna Sandals website for saying this about Luna Sandals: “no company has come as close to paying homage to the incredible super-athlete Tarahumara as Luna Sandals.”
This is true, sports companies have in the past named their running products Tarahumara and Raramuri, but none have actually designed product that was otherwise related to the Raramuri.
Luna Sandals has done a fantastic job of developing and promoting not only a new concept in the running footwear market, but also one which is undeniably related to the Raramuri. Luna Sandals has put the Raramuri on the map.
Below is a recently found photo of Luna Sandals founder Ted McDonald and Manual Luna the Raramuri huarachero who showed Ted how to make the Raramuri ‘Pata de Gallo‘ Huarache sandal. The traditional ‘Pata de Gallo‘ Huarache that went on to become the Luna Sandal designs of today.
For more information on Luna Sandals, check out my post titled ‘Luna Sandals – Huaraches For Running‘
Keep up the good work Luna Sandals.
Although no longer selling on the internet, Zuzsi Sandals make elegant versions of the ‘Pata de Gallo’ huarache, similar to the style worn also by the Tarahumara in Mexico. Made using a leather sole instead of car tyre rubber, these Huaraches are probably the closest we can come to how the original ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches used to look hundreds of years ago.
A ‘Gladiator’ design variation.
A really nice detail that sets these Huaraches apart is the contoured leather sole.
Huarache Blog looks forward to seeing these ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches for sale again soon.