One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tarahumara Huarache Sandal Test cont.

Indigenous Design

Trail Home

As mentioned last week, I received some rubber sole material from Peter, Vibram sole designer. I quickly made a pair of Raramuri-style huaraches. The sole on these sandals is quite thin, just 5mm which makes them much lighter (about 4 ounces) than my truly authentic, Manuel Luna produced, huarache sandals and significantly more flexible.

Rock Climbing

I took them out on a 10+ mile hike-run in the mountains above Burbank, California. Today was quite clear. The ocean could be seen in the distance along with Catalina Island, Griffith Park and Downtown LA. The sandals performed perfectly. I think I am getting addicted.

Crest Running

My goal is to wear a pair of huaraches during the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon on March 4th in Urique, Mexico. The race is nearly 50 miles on mountain roads, so I am doing all I can to prepare. These modified sandals may be the answer.

Ocean View

Burnt Rock

New Tree

I have much more testing to do with these sandals, but today was a huge success. I did not need to constantly adjust these sandals. They stayed snug the entire journey. I did not get any hotspots or blisters. My feet are getting used to the leather straps. I do not like the feeling I get when I sweat a lot in these, so I plan on trying to add a rice straw or hemp top cover.

These really are the most elegant solution to portable ground that I have found. With only one small strap of leather coming up over the top of the foot, rocks and pebbles do not get stuck, they just roll out. Indigenous design at its best.

More tests are necessary. Perhaps a slightly stiffer rubber would be better.


Will Survive

Mountain Lion

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Ted! I really like reading your ramblings and seeing the very nice pictures you make!

I too am on a constant ´quest´ for ´barefeet shoes´

The things I hate most about shoes (and sandals too !!) is the fact that they have raised heels. Do you have a clue why they invented that? I see only disadvantages: less range of motion, impossibililty of a natural gait, greater risk of sprained ankles etc......

Pieter Hogendoorn

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, a little googling helps too: I have found that raised heels were invented long ago, either to look taller (and/or more 'noble') or to go horseriding (a raised heel keeps the foot in the stirrup).

My guess is that once people are used to wearing high heels, they adapt their gait, and are reluctant to go back to natural walking, which now feels 'strange' to them. (Nowadays even some flipflops have a raised heel! :-( )

Hopefully the internet will contribute to helping the bare foot or the minimal shoe back on the streets!

Regarding the sandals you made: great work! Doensn;'t the leather thong between the toes irritate, in the long run? (pun intended!)

Pieter H.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Howdy Pieter

Thanks for your input.

Good research on the raised heels.

At first the leather did bother me. The skin does have to toughen a bit, but more importantly is learning how to tie and adjust them correctly.

These huaraches have a long history. I am sure the design has remained because it is a good one.

By wearing and running in these sandals, I am learning some of their secrets.

The biggest problem is that they look so strange. If you think you get strange looks when you run barefoot, wait until someone sees you wearing these :-)


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there i was wondering if you could let me know a place to get this leather sole material and how to make these awesome sandals.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

It is not leather, although you could try using leather.

The straps are water repellant leather, the sole is Vibram rubber.

You can try using old tire treads too. Those are free.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


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