Make a Pair of Homemade Hurache Sandals

Huraches Step by Step

Cut the soles from thick leather sole material. and cut slots as shown.
Cut the soles from thick leather sole material. and cut slots as shown.
Punch a hole in the end of your lacing and push through right rear lace hole.
Punch a hole in the end of your lacing and push through right rear lace hole.
Loop and slip free end through punch hole as shown.
Loop and slip free end through punch hole as shown.
Cross the foot to the opposite side front hole.  Go over the outside of the sole and come up through the bottom of the lace hole.
Cross the foot to the opposite side front hole. Go over the outside of the sole and come up through the bottom of the lace hole.
Cross over, go down through the right front lace hole and back up over the outside edge of the sole. Cross-cross back to the left rear lace hole.
Cross over, go down through the right front lace hole and back up over the outside edge of the sole. Cross-cross back to the left rear lace hole.
Go over the outside of the sole and come up through the lace hole from below.
Go over the outside of the sole and come up through the lace hole from below.
Circle around behind the heel and slip the end through right rear lace hole again.
Circle around behind the heel and slip the end through right rear lace hole again.
Tie the end of the lace hole off.  You can also do a couple of turns around your ankle if you have enough lace and tie it back on the opposite side.
Tie the end of the lace hole off. You can also do a couple of turns around your ankle if you have enough lace and tie it back on the opposite side.
The completed lacing looks something like this.
The completed lacing looks something like this.

Building the sandal.

The trick with Hurache type sandals is getting the sole cut cleanly and cutting nice clean slits in the leather. A hammer and leather cutting tool work pretty well for this sort of thing. That's why you see cobblers with hammers so often. A sharp leather tool and quick rap with a hammer is lots faster than trying to saw through a leather sole with a knife

A band saw or reciprociating saw works pretty well too. Just don't let the blade bind. You'll have to pry the rubber apart behind your cut to keep the blade free. Avoid cutting through the bead where the tire meets the wheel. That area is reinforced with powerful steel cable and can wreck your blade. Cut inside the bead all way round to remove it like a hoop. Then you can cut freely from the remainder of the tire.

The lacing can be held in place with a series of knife slits in the ends of the lacing. Simply loop the free end up and back through the slit to keep the leather straps from sliding around willy nilly. Once you get the heel strap right, you may want to run a couple of stitches of sturdy cord through the end to hold it in place so that it fits your foot.

Cut the soles as shown. This is the most important step. If you don't like the way the lacing rides on your foot, you can fiddle around with it till you get something comfortable. If you want a between-the-toe strap, you can simply merge the front holes into one single near the front between the big and second toe. You'll have to dig a little recess in the bottom of the soles and tie the lace off with a knot.

To get the positioning of the lace holes, the best way is to put your foot on top of the sole and then mark where the straps should cross your foot. You may have to piddle with the placement a little and waste some leather soles, but when you get it right, Hurache sandals are some of the most comfortable things you'll ever have on your feet. They are light and airy and barely there.

There are marathon runners in Mexico that wear these to run in and some people are saying they are better for your feet than those $200 scientifically designed runners shoe everybody thinks you ought to by.

As a former barefoot boy, I'm here to tell you that the more nearly barefoot you can get, the better it is on your feet.

And no industrial shoemaker will ever be able to fit you as well as you can in making these custom sandals.

Materials

The tools are pretty simple. You need a leather working kit - basic sort with sharp knives, a leather awl, punch and such. Materials are also simple.

  1. Leather for soles or an old fiberglass or cotton car, motorcycle or trailer tire. You can use almost any ordinary stiff hide - something that will take a pounding when you walk on it.
  2. Rawhide laces - you want them pretty wide since they'll be rubbing against your feet. Go with what looks comfortable to you and sturdy enough to last a while.

There's not much else you need. These things get made out of old tires in some places. If you use tires, stay away from steel-belted radials. You want the ones with cotton or fiberglass cords that can be cut with a knife.



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PaulStaley1 profile image

PaulStaley1 5 years ago from With the wind---(or against it)

Nice like those from a marketplace in Oaxaca!

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