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.