Questions & Answers

Hiking huaraches

I took the Newporter soles that I used on my last huarache project and made a pair of hiking huaraches out of them instead. I like to go backpacking and while I have had success hiking in thinner huaraches, when the hiking gets really long distance and more gnarly, I want more protection:

  • More cushioning for those 25+ mile days
  • More sole in front of my toes to protect my toes
  • Laces that are not exposed to the bottom and won't break at the wrong moment

So I redid my huaraches. These are awesome. I can't wait to try them on some bad ass rocky trails and do some hardcore backpacking in them. There's 1/4 inch of Vibram cloud EVA foam, Newporter soles, vegetable tanned leather and a suede footbed. They are thick but not too heavy and still flexible. They're my hiking boots of huaraches. I might be able to retire my Chacos now!

I use Luna Leadville laces. They are pretty long and I don't want to cut them shorter so I lace them in a way that's wrapped and weaved around my ankle. Once you're in them, you're not taking them off until you are ready. If I could do a slip-on style I would, but the Leadvilles are just too thick for that.

The toe strap is a separate piece of leather that loops through a slit in the vegetable-tanned leather layer and then through a slit in the Leadville laces. A knot keeps the toe-loop in place. The sides of the laces go through some leather tabs that go through slits in the vegetable tanned leather and under my heel. This way there is no knot on the bottom and no laces on the sides. No way to rub them against the ground, no way to break them with normal wear and tear. I can backpack in them without worry, without having to carry backup shoes.


Answers and Replies


Those look pretty cool! How do you find they work in wet conditions or on steep trails? I find the toe strap has a lot of pressure when hiking on a steep downhill.


I used the laces previously on a different pair of sandals (they separated so these new ones are the replacements). The toe strap is quite uncomfortable on steep downhills. I might just have to settle for that as a limitation. Chacos really makes the best hiking sandal. If only they'd put a better tread on the bottom and lessen the huge arch, I would never try to make a pair of hiking sandals again.

I know the suede gets slippery because a pair of sandals I have with suede are really slippery after creek crossings. One thing that seems to work is when I step onto the shore, just go ahead and let my feet sink right into the sand/dirt on the bank. The sand/dirt makes them not slippery. I also wonder if wool socks might make a difference. If they do, then I would try not to get them dirty after creek crossings.

I live in a dry climate and rarely experience rain.

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