Huaraches in Los Reyes, Michoacan

Los Reyes (pronounced Lo Reyes) is a town in Michoacan located between the Huarache making centers of Sahuayo, Uruapan and Apatzingan.

This Huaracherria at the Mercado has been open for 73 years! Sitting on the left of the photo is the original owner. His son runs the business now and another son runs a second Huaracherria a few stores down.

These must be the oldest Huaraches I have ever seen.

Amongst their Huarache designs was a sturdy man’s ‘Spiga’ Huarache.

A ‘Cerrado’ Huarache.

Below is the ‘Siete’ Huarache. It is a ‘Petatillo’ design with presumably seven vueltas.

The white chrome leather treatment is popular with the local indigenous Purepecha, coincidentally this is also the case with the Huichol further north. Its seems that the reason is that chrome tanned leather does not stretch and deform when wet, so it is preferable for wearing in the field.

This ‘Tejido’ Huarache design is from near Uruapan.

Another Huarache that uses white chrome leather leather is the ‘Tepatitlan’ Huarache most often worn by Huichol men in Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango. The Huarache style is also known as the ‘Colores Patrios’ from the Mexican flag. I have wondered if this Huarache design was originally intended to include the colours of the Mexican flag and if Huichol men are aware of this?


8 Comments on “Huaraches in Los Reyes, Michoacan”

  1. Benjamin says:

    Have you noticed that almost no huaracheros actually wear huaraches? When you sell something, you have to make it look as a good product, and one way to assure that is using it yourself… Maybe I’m wrong, but who knows?

    • huaracheblog says:

      Thanks for the good point! I wonder if it has something to do with status, or maybe as the styles are always the same so Huaracheros get bored and wear shoes also, maybe they prefer cushioned insoles. I’ll find out, maybe uncover an interesting truth and do a post on the subject soon.

  2. huaraches5 says:

    What a great website that shows the authentic mexican shoes. I would like to know if you sell some of them.

  3. Diane says:

    Perhaps all those huarache makers could sell together from the same website. I like that they have a rustic, authentic style. Too much mass-produced stuff is already available.

    What I would really like is to be able to make them. I have made two of the pata de gallo kind. I would like to get a little more fancy maybe like the Cuernavaca design. Maybe I’ll get lucky at the thrift store and find a pair I can take apart so I can see what shape those extra flat pieces are.

    • huaracheblog says:

      Good point, I have thought about why more Huaracheros don’t embrace the internet and sell internationally to a broader group of consumers that admire their product. In an ideal world Huaracheros could sell from one main website like this one for example, but my impression is that most Huaracheros especially the ones making more rustic product don’t know how to use the internet so they don’t see that opportunity. Also they are too busy making low cost, labor intensive Huaraches to supply the few retailers that still support their trade and have low funds and little time to explore new avenues of trade, especially ones so technical as the internet. Huaracheros seem to be traditionally minded; consider that they work leather with their hands and simple tools, many as is common in Mexico own plots of farmland and livestock to support their family, so I wonder if trading in other ways such as on the internet is concept too foreign for them.

      • Benjamin says:

        I once wanted to sell huaraches, but it was hard for me to get to the actual huaracheros, sellers are unwilling to tell you who make the merchandise.

        I’d love to embrace a proyect like this, but it would also be nice to plan for a way to get it going, to make it fair for the huaracheros and to embrace modernity.

        It would be hard. Why don’t you try it?

      • huaracheblog says:

        Yes its hard to find the Huaracheros by asking retailers. But if you go to Sahuayo and ask around everyone is related to someone that makes Huaraches and they will be happy to provide their relative with some more business. Of course you will need to keep asking until you meet the Huarachero that makes the style and quality of Huaraches that you are looking for, so its not so simple. The same with Sombreros in Sahuayo, Panama Hats in Bekal, or Rebozos in Santa Maria del Rio, if you go to towns that specialize in a product you will find people that will help you.

        Yes it would be a hard project for Huarache Blog to undertake, but I hope that slowly as I get more interest and requests in Huarache Blog I can create a retail space online.

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