During a recent visit to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto I was very privileged visit their archives and photograph these very old Men’s Zapatilla Huaraches from Uruapan, circa 1910.
Men’s Zapatilla Huaraches Courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.
They immediately reminded me of 15th Century Poulaine European footwear and also of the recent Mexican fashion of Botas Picudas – Pointed Boots.
I wish to thank everyone at the Bata Shoe Museum for a very special visit.
Tuxpan in Southern Jalisco is a small town well known for its Tacos “Tuxpenos” and less known for its unique Mid-Cut Huarache style and the artisanal maguey liquour (formerly known as Mescal, before the appellation of origin (DO) from the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1995 limited the commercial use of the the word Mezcal to only 8 states in Mexico).
Nowadays there is so little demand for the Tuxpan Huarache “Tejido con Talonera Alta” that it can only be made on to order by the only remaining Huarachero in Tuxpan, Armando Ortiz, whose other styles can also be seen in The Huarache Directory HERE
Its possible that maguey harvesting may have encouraged the creation of this high collar style.
At US$1,195 the Basket Weave Sandal by Proenza Schouler makes quite a statement not only for its heel, but for being probably the most expensive Huarache in the world.
What I don’t understand is why is it so hard for international designers and brands to give credit the the Mexican craft of Huarache footwear. Just a nod would do, I understand if they would rather not call their US$1000 footwear Huarache, but maybe call it something Mexican, or the name of the weave, that in this case is the “Harana” by Huaraches Cisneros from Concepción de Buenos Aires, Jalisco.
Huaraches Cisneros – Concepción de Buenos Aires, Jalisco
THE POST BELOW THIS ONE CONTAINS MUSIC – ADJUST THE VOLUME IF NECESSARY
With increasing Huarache Blog readers from outside Mexico, USA, Canada and Puerto Rico, I appreciate that the higher international shipping costs significantly affect the price of your úkata Huaraches purchases.
So this season to make úkata Huaraches more affordable to international readers living outside of North America, that also pay duty on Huarache orders, I can offer new, lower Huarache prices.
Unfortunately this also means adding a $30 fee for shipments to Mexico, USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Essentially an even split, because $30 which is about half of the total DHL shipping fee from Mexico to the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico.
I appologise to all the international customers who have paid higher 2013 prices. To returning customers from outside Mexico, USA, Canada and Puerto Rico, I will gladly offer a $30 discount on your next purchase.
Still please bear in mind that úkata Huaraches really are some of the best and last, truly authentic Huaraches in Mexico and the world. Most úkata Huaraches are only made to order in the traditional way, so you won’t find even find them at retail within Mexico.
And last but not least, to all Huarache Blog readers and úkata customers, thank you for your continued business and support!
And thank you for your kind emails!
My huaraches arrived today. I had to let you know these are the best huaraches I’ve ever seen. In my crazy youth we would go to Tijuana and buy them. There is no comparison between those and the Cien Clavos. I bought the Cien Clavos to wear to my son’s wedding on a beach in Kauai in June, so I am breaking them in now. Thank you, and I wish you much success.
Very truly yours,
Rick H – Seal Beach
I just wanted you to know that my Tamazula huaraches arrived the other day and I love them. Exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks so much for finding these artisanal craftsmen and getting their work out to the world.
Russ M – Oakland
I love the Pihuamos so much I ordered a pair of the Cien Clavos. That way I can keep one nice and beat the other pair up like I know they can take it. Mexican tough. They feel awesome, just sitting there even. The breakin was minimal, no amazing. I understand when the weave is right all those straps make the sandal conform and support like no other footwear. And yet it feels like you’re walking around barefoot in them. Like walking or running on the beach sand feels good. And the leather feels better than the leather I remember, maybe its the lengthy vegetable tanning. As an importer of Mayan items for decades I can appreciate and love the work. I can see you do too. Thanks for making these available.
Dave G – Seminole
I just received my new “cien clavos” they fit terrifically and they are amazing.
Thank you for the great service!
Dan V – New Westminster
Incredibly well made. Original huaraches.
Yes! His effort is pretty commendable. He’s obsessed.
Ben B – New York
I received my Petatillo Huaraches, and I love them. They’re REAL huraches, and I’m sure I’ll have them for years.
Robert B – Morgan Hill
Thanks very much Markus.They are great.All of my Mexican friends are jealous.Tim G – New York
These “Tamazula” Huaraches are a real rarity and are today made on request by only one Huarachero in Mexico. I have been fortunate to be able to order a limited number of Men’s sizes and have them for sale in my úkata store which you can access clicking the VISIT MY STORE icon in the top right of this page.
Finding the Huarachero after seeing a pair of his Huaraches for sale in Tamazula, Jalisco (see that post HERE) was a real investigation, especially as he doesn’t even live near Tamazula and understandably none of the Huaracheria owners in Tamazula were willing to tell me his name either.
And even after find him, Sr. Solano the huarachero never gave me his phone number. Although each time I visited him I always found him busy weaving Huaraches, with his seemingly busy huarache making schedule I was surprised to discover that he only makes Huaraches part time.
Like most Huaracheros he has his own workshop, his lasts, his sewing machine and has his local clients, but surprisingly most of his time is taken up as the caretaker of his local church. Its a mystery to me why a Huarachero of such talent chooses caretaking work over making his remarkable Huaraches. Thoughts of miracles, vows and answered prayers go through my mind, but maybe for Sr. Solano money and Huaraches aren’t everything, after all he’s also well into his 70’s.
It was touching to hear Sr. Solano talk about putting love into making his Huaraches, a philosophy so distant from today’s monetization and commodification culture even amongst other Mexican Huaracheros. Its clear that for Sr. Solano focusing on service and quality is very important. Maybe that’s why he offered to make me only 6 pairs of his unique “Tamazula” Huaraches, because he realistically didn’t have time to make me more.
Interestingly Sr. Solano’s Huaraches are made using vegetable tanned leather from Curtiduria Gonzalez in Colima. Sr. Solano is one of those crafts persons I wrote about who travel across state just to buy the right leather. Because not every leather can be cut so thinly so as to make his “Tamazula” 16 Vuelta Huaraches.
I’m also excited for this rare opportunity to show you in detail the tanning process of the leather of these “Tamazula” Huaraches. Its not often that consumers are able to witness the tanning of the leather in their products. Check out the “Tamazula” Huarache artisanal tanning process HERE
Like all good Huaraches the “Tamazula” sole is made from only the central/tread part of a recycled car tire (although the sole tread patterns are matched, the design on your pair of Huaraches may differ from the one in the photo).
The Huarache “Tamazula” is made entirely by hand and uses no glue.
The mysterious green colouring on the toe is a unique and traditional detail of the Tamazula Huarache. When I asked why it was there, I was told “that’s the way its always been”.
The fit of the “Tamazula” is little wide and are perfect if you have wide feet, or are a half size.
$30 DHL shipping to USA, Canada and Mexico.
When Simone Righi isn’t being photographed by international men’s fashion magazines, or drinking an aperitivo with friend Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist, he dresses the world’s rich and famous from his prestigious menswear store Frasi in the heart of Florence.
Simone Righi is considered by many, one of the world’s most influential fashion trendsetters, and men travel to visit him from across the globe in search of the highest levels of style.
Now what if I told you that Simone Righi also sells Huaraches…
Photo Via Gentleman’s Gazette
Recently Simone kindly told me the interesting story of how he came across the Huaraches which he currently sells in his exclusive store.
It took Simone 12 years to find a sandal that he felt was the best suited for classic menswear. This happend one day he his own store when a young local artisan named Niccolo’ Pacini walked in wearing a pair of sandals which Simone noticed immediately. And when he asked Niccolo’ where he had bought them, as luck would have it Niccolo’ replied that he made them himself and so the fortunate meeting developed into a collaboration of made-to-measure Huaraches.
I hope to soon be able to share some more of Niccolo’s work that so skillfully combines the rustic look of what Mexicans call “Ranchero” leather with an original and elegant woven design.
In the mean time feast your eye’s on his Huarache Sandals brought to you by Frasi.
Notice the simple knotted side closure.
For more information please visit Frasi Simone Righi online.
Or when in Florence at Frasi in Via de’ Federighi 7.
Its truly remarkable and exciting to see that Huaraches are also part of the highest levels of fashion. Which reminds me that if you would like to see more images of luxury Huarache inspired footwear I wrote a post a few years ago titled “Huaraches; From Rural to Runway“, or check out Huarache Blog on Tumblr.
And it recently occurred to me, after seeing so many local men wearing scruffy sneakers on these dusty Mexican streets, just how classic and timeless huarache designs are. Huaraches that unlike so many other kinds of footwear, despite their age and wear, continue to look good, if not better. And yet in Mexico where interesting and original Huarache designs are so easily found, men still prefer wearing sneakers. I guess its probably just a case of “the grass is always greener”.