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DIY Huarache Sandals

Make Your Own Huarache Running Sandals


Huarache running sandals have existed for thousands of years. They were refined and made popular by the famous long distance running tribe of Mexico's Copper Canyon - the Tarahumara Indians. The Book, Born to Run, re-introduced the world to these superhuman running athletes and the primitive sandals they run in.  Below are instructions for using rubber shoe soles and lacing to create a high tech version of the huarache running sandal. These sandals use high performance, expanded rubber sole composites for comfort and grip on paved and trail surfaces.

Below are instructions for making your own Huarache Sandals with Materials provided in our DIY Sandal Kit

Materials and Tools List



Tools Needed

  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Paper & Pen
  • 120 Grit Sand Paper (Included in Kit)
  • 4mm Diameter Hole punch (Included in Kit)
  • Lighter or Match
  • Chalk (Included in Kit)

Materials Needed

  • Rubber Sole Material (Included in Kit. Vibram Newflex used here)
  • 12ft Nylon Paracord,  6ft for Each foot (Included in Kit)

Step 1: Tracing Feet 


ankle-mark.jpg  thong-strap-mark.jpg  finished-tracing.jpg

1. Hold pen or pencil perpendicular to paper and trace along the edge of your foot.
        (Tip) Try not to bump into your ankles.

2. Mark just in front of where your ankle bone for side hole placement on your sandal. 

3. Mark the beginning of the gap between your big toe and second toe (holding pencil perpendicular to paper). This mark will be where you make the thong strap hole. 

Step 2: Determining Sandal Shape


Once finished with tracing your feet go back and add buffer zones - to add material to the sandal edges. Create and draw in the final sandal shape that you will ultimately use with a dotted line. 

Tips for creating a good sandal shape from your foot tracing:

  • Have buffer zone in front of your toes for extra wiggle room.
  • Cut out and exclude some of the arch area where you do need extra material. 
  • Exclude foot features that do not actually touch the ground (e.g. bunions).
  • Keep sandal heel wide enough for side holes and straps.

Step 3: Cutting Out Tracing, Transferring to Rubber Sole Sheet


cutting-out-tracing.jpg   chalking-tracing.jpg   marking-thong-strap-hole-rubber.jpg   

marking-side-holes.jpg    chalk-thong-strap-hole.jpg

Cutting out Paper Sandal Ouline

1. Cut closely along the dotted line you created in the last step. Be sure to keep the tracing facing up so you don't accidentally make two right feet!

Transferring to Rubber

1. Use the cut out paper sandal outline and transfer it's shape to the side of rubber sole that will be contacting your foot.

2. Hold paper outline firmly on rubber soling material.

3. Work your way around the perimeter of paper sandal while marking the rubber soling material with chalk.

4. Mark both ankle hole locations and use a pen to punch through paper to mark the thong strap hole. 

Step 4: Cutting Out Rubber Sole and Punching Holes


cuting-out-sole.jpg   cut-sole.jpg  

hole-punch-sole.jpg  punch-thong-strap-hole.jpg

Cut Out Your Sandals

Tips: STAY SAFE! (Never cut towards fingers)

There are many ways to cut soling. Keep in mind that denser rubber soles will be more difficult to cut. Be sure to take your time and stay safe! 

1. Use a box cutter or pair of scissors to cut out your sandals. Slowly cut along the center of your chalk line. 

Punching Lacing Holes

1. Use hammer and 4mm hole punch to punch out holes.

2. Punch out thong strap hole directly on marked dot.

3. Punch out side holes in about 1 cm from the edge of the sandal. This centimeter buffer is important for making sure the lacing doesn't tear through your rubber sole material. For larger feet error on the side of adding more than 1 cm buffer. 

Step 5: Trimming and Sanding




1. Flip sandal over with tread facing up.

2. Use box cutter to trim out bumps and smooth out edges on heel. 


1. Buff out any lingering bumps and blemishes along sandal edge with sand paper.

Step 6: Lacing Sandals


push-through-cord.jpg  outside-hole.jpg  wrap-around.jpg
inside-hole.jpg  final.jpg
Follow photos in sequential order for lacing steps

1. Tie a simple over hand knot on one end of your paracord. Pull tight.

2. Use the tip of a pen/pencil to help push the paracord up through the thong hole. Thread all the way through the sole until the knot lies flush with the bottom of the sandal  (Needle nose pliers work well also).

3. Once threaded up through sole, pull cord until knot is snug up against sandal bottom. 

4. Loop paracord around the outside edge of the sole and pull it up through the bottom of the outside side hole.

5. Loop paracord around and back in front of itself.

6. Bring the paracord around the heel to create the heel loop of sandal. Then thread the paracord down through the next side hole.

7. Once threaded down through the inside hole bring tag end of paracord back up through the heel loop leading the paracord tag end towards the front of the sandal.

Step 7: Tying Sandals

Video explains how to Tie up your Huarache Sandals so they stay comfortable and fixed on your feet while running, hiking, and walking. 

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