My Running Huarache Sandals.Posted: January 28, 2012
As a barefoot runner I began running on the beach, but later in my transition to running on the road I made myself a pair of ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches using a leather strip, a thin sheet of vibram and some suede purchased from the local cobbler.
However the ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache design did not feel stable nor comfortable for running. Not only did the front medial side flap about when my foot was in the air during the recovery phase, but the stiff leather strip put too much pressure over the joint of my 2nd toe.
I recently developed a new ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache design which is more stable and is comfortable on my toes while running.
Integrating some of the clever features of ‘Ho Chi Minh’ sandals, my new Running Huarache Sandals are a mixed breed. The Huaraches are made from 3 parts; 5mm thick aircraft inner tube rubber for the outsole, 1.2-1.4mm leather for my sole lining and 25mm wide strips of bicycle inner tube for the straps. I added an extra set of holes in the mid foot for an additional pass of the rubber strap. This provides me with added support and reduced strap pressure between my toes.
As on ‘Ho Chi Minh’ sandals, the stretchy nature and the rubber grip of the rubber strap and small holes in the sole, eliminates the need to knot the strap under the sole in the forefoot. This ‘knot-less’ technique is also used by the indigenous groups in the state of Puebla, Mexico on their ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches.
To provide better lateral support I use sets of 2 holes instead of just 1 to weave the strip through the sole; creating a ‘cross-strap’ configuration as on ‘Ho Chi Minh’ sandals, .
The wide rubber strap is neatly folded under the sole, this creates a tidy fold above the sole in a way that the strap edges don’t rub against the foot.
So as to reduce my negative environmental impact I chose to recycle already used rubber for both my Huarache sole and the straps. Used industrial grade rubber is plentiful in Mexico, I believe most of the used inner tubes from aircraft around the world are exported to Mexico.
I am currently test running my revised ‘Pata de Gallo’ running Huarache design to see how long it holds up, especially the aircraft inner tube sole and the exposed bicycle inner tube weave under it. So far, so excellent.