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How To Make Huaraches

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How To Make Huaraches

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How to make huaraches. DIY instructions for bare...

These instructions will help you make you your own huaraches from scratch
using our Invisible Shoe Kit.

If you’re just making a tracing of your foot for our Custom Invisible
Shoes, click here.

And, at the end of the instructions you’ll learn how to tie huaraches.

Ultimately this is a relatively simple project, but if it seems like too much, you
can order our Custom-made Invisible Shoe huaraches and we’ll do the tricky
parts for you.

Things you’ll need to make huaraches:

Some sort of sole material. Again we use the 4mm Vibram Cherry, because
it’s so close to barefoot, while still offering protection.
Something to lace the sole to your feet — about 60-72″ per lace
(depending on your size). You can use leather lace, hemp cord, etc. We
use 5/32″ polypropylene/nylon cord… it’s soft, durable, colorful and
provides the right amount of support (too thin can hurt, too thick gets
Piece of paper and a marker (like a Sharpie) — to trace your foot.
Pencil — to transfer your foot template to the sole material.
Strong scissors — to cut your tracing and the sole material.
Leather punch — to make the lacing holes in the sole (NOTE: We do not
recommend using a nail or knife to make the hole. Holes made that way
tend to tear). You want the holes to be the same size, or slightly smaller,
than your cord. We use a 1/8″ punch for our 5/32″ cord (the hole is 1/32″
smaller that the cord). Our hole punch is a standard leather tool that
looks like a big pliers but with a rotating head of different sized punches
on one end. Note: Depending on the material you use, you could try
drilling a hole (some Invisible Shoes customers have done this with the
Vibram Cherry sole).
Lighter or match — to seal the ends of the lace, if you’re using

Step-by-step instructions for making Huaraches:

Step 1 – Trace your foot Click this picture to see

a video of Steps 1-4
Step on a piece of paper. Lean forward and put a
bit of pressure on your foot so it flattens a tiny bit.

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Then, using a marker (like a Sharpie) held

vertically, trace around your foot.

You don’t need to get every tiny nook and cranny,

and you’re not trying to get an EXACT
measurement of the sole of your foot… in fact, by
holding the pen vertically, you’re making a trace
that’s slightly bigger than your foot, and that’s
exactly what you want.

Step 2 – Even out the tracing

You want to smooth out the curves. For example,

you want to make the toe area into a curve, rather
than bumps for each toe.

Also, I extend the area on the inside of the big toe

and the ball of the foot a little bit (sometimes when
you run, your foot slips to the inside, so you want
to add a bit of extra space here)

Step 3 – Cut out the tracing

Cut around the tracing. That is, cut on the outside

of the line you’ve drawn, rather than ON the line.
Again, that little extra bit can help. Plus, you can
always cut your huaraches and make them smaller,
but you can’t make them bigger, so err on the side
of too big.

Step 4 – Check your other foot

Take your cut out tracing, flip it over, and step on

it with your other foot.

If your other foot fits in the cutout, then you’ll use

just this one template. If your other foot is
significantly different (especially if it’s bigger),
repeat steps 1-3 on your other foot.

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Step 5 – Transfer the pattern to the sole Click this picture to see
a video of Steps 5-13

Place the cutout pattern(s) onto your sole material

and trace around it/them with a pencil.

If you only have one cutout pattern, remember to

flip it over otherwise you’ll end up making 2 soles
for the same foot!

Step 6 – Cut out the soles

If you’re using the 4mm Vibram material that

comes with the Invisible Shoe huarache kit, you
can use a strong scissors for this.

You’ll have to make small cuts with the back of the

scissors and work your way around the material.

Step 7 – Mark the toe hole

Step on your soles and, using a marker (I use the

Sharpie from Step 1), put a dot between your 1st
and 2nd toe, right where the webbing between
your toes is, and slightly closer to the 2nd toe
than right in the middle of the space between the

The reason for this is, as you run, your foot will
want to shift toward the inside. By putting the hole
closer to the 2nd toe, your foot stays in place

NOTE: It’s much easier to have someone else

make this and the next 2 marks while you just
stand on the soles.

Step 8 – Mark the inside ankle hole

Still standing on the sole, place the pen vertically,

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just in front of your ankle bone, and make a mark

on the sole at that point.

Step 9 – Mark the outside ankle hole

Still standing on the sole, you’ll notice that there’s

a place where your foot makes less contact with
the ground. Make a mark on the outside edge of
the sole at that point.

Step 10 – Punch the holes

The size of the hole you make depends on the

material you use for the laces. For example, when I
use 3/16″ polypropelene/nylon for the laces, I make
a 1/8″ hole.

You’ll want to use a leather punch (I have one that

looks like a pliers but with a rotating head that
contains a number of different sized punches).

NOTE: I do not recommend using a nail or knife to

make the holes. Doing so can often leave a hole
that’s not clean, leading to tearing the sole.

Punch out the toe hole exactly on the mark you


For the two ankle holes, punch a hole about 1/4″ in

from the edge, in line with the marks you made in
Step 8 and 9.

Step 11 – Prepare the laces

Depending on your lace material, you may need to

prepare the ends in order to get them through the

For example, if you’re using leather, you may want

to cut the ends of lace into a point. If you’re using
polypropelene/nylon, heat the ends with a flame

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and carefully (so you don’t burn yourself) seal

and shape the ends to be as pointy as possible.

Step 12 – Thread and knot the toe hole

Push one end of the lace through the toe hole,

from the top to the bottom.

Make a knot in the lace, on the bottom side.

I typically use a “Figure 8 knot”, pictured here.

If you’re using polypropelene/nylon, you’ll want to

run the flame from a lighter (or match) under the
knot, to melt the nylon slightly, then press the
knot together to seal it and flatten it a a bit.

NOTE:If you’re making huaraches for a child, or if

you have really small feet, you can make the knot
smaller by removing about 1.5″ of the core
material from the end of the nylon/polypro lace
before you make the knot.

This might make the knot wear out a bit faster

(because there’s less material to wear through),
but you should have enough extra lace that you
can just pull some more through and make another

Step 13 – Thread the ankle holes

Pass the lace through the outside ankle hole first,

from top to bottom.

Then pass the lace through the inside ankle hole,

also from top to bottom.

Follow the pictures to get it correct… you want the

lace to “lock in” around the holes.

Click this picture to see

a video of how to tie

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Step 14 – Put your foot in and tie the

There are 2 common ways to tie huaraches

running sandals. One is the more traditional “toga-
style.” And the other (which I learned from
“kicksock” on the Google Barefoot Running group)
is more stylish and allows you to slip the huarache The “slip-on” method
on and off without retying. from a 1st person view:

There’s no easy way to describe the tying methods,

so follow the pictures/videos.

Oh, and you may want to check out these new cool,
decorative, and stylish ideas about how to tie
huaraches and what to do with “leftover lace”

Step 15 – Go out and ENJOY your new huaraches!

Remember, though, to take it easy at first. If you’re not used to going

barefoot, especially running barefoot, you’ll be putting more stress on your
muscles and skin than you’re used to. Work your way into your huaraches


Share your experiences, questions, comments, pictures, and more in our

Huaraches and Barefoot/Minimalist Running Forum

And if you come up with cool, new tying ideas, put them on our Tying Page

Like 297 people like this.

Share and Enjoy:

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There are (22) Comments for the How To Make Huaraches

1. daniel moretz said...

i love this idea. i am a gymnast and a coach i am always barefoot at my job

and everywhere i go. i am also a new barefoot runner (2yr) i have thought
about making those exact type of shoes but did not know where to start. i
look forward to buying your kit and making my own huaraches.
Daniel Moretz

Posted on: 25/Jul/2010 at 07:07

2. Warren Sander said...

Everything went fine putting them together. Nice and simple. Now once I
order my next kit for my 2 left feet I will be able to go out and run. Don’t
know how I got two rights as I flipped the pattern over. LOL oh well pay
attention when tracing the pattern on the material.

Posted on: 11/Sep/2010 at 10:09

3. Steven said...

If I had a buck for every time I made 2 left (or right) feet… well, let’s just
say I’d have a bunch of bucks.

You could, in the meantime, wear one of your shoes “upside down” with
the tread towards your foot.

Posted on: 11/Sep/2010 at 02:09

4. K@P said...

I just got my kids kit. I happen to have tiny feet. I just cut out mu soles. It
was pretty easy and thankfully I have a left and a right foot. Now I have to
find something to make the holes. I just watch the tying video and have
pretty much decided I like the the slip on style. It just seems more
practical and more stylish in my mind but good to know both.

Posted on: 18/Sep/2010 at 10:09

5. Steven said...

You can try a 1/8″ drill bit (if you don’t go out and buy a leather punch)…
or you can find a leather/shoe repair shop and ask them to help. Usually
they’ll just hand you a punch and say, “Do it yourself.” Sometimes they’ll

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charge you a dollar. (That’s what I’ve heard from some Invisible Shoe

Posted on: 19/Sep/2010 at 05:09

6. Jan Hetherington said...

Just took my first huaraches for a test run! I’ve been barefoot for about 9
months, also have Vibrams, & although I liked the Vibrams at first my feet
crave to be out of them now. Unfortunately my soles are not as resilient
yet as I would like them to be so need something for those slightly tougher
surfaces – or if I want to be able to go longer distances. It was fun making
them, still have to refine the size (trim a little off), & I may have created a
variation on the toga style! (Might post a video later).

It was very fun running this morning. My feet felt very free (no
enclosures, as in Vibrams), though I was surprised to hear a flap, flap flap
sound, as my BF running is silent! Anyway, look forward to huarche

Thx for the great instructions & videos!

Posted on: 20/Sep/2010 at 10:09

7. Steven said...

Thanks for the report, Jan.

One of the cool things with huaraches is that they reveal form issues that
can go unnoticed when we’re barefoot. I’ve seen barefoot runners
overstride, heel strike, slam the ground… all sorts of things that barefoot
running *should* correct (and usually does with time). That “flapping”
sound is pointing to a form issue. Namely, some combination of
overstriding and/or not being soft enough with your hips/knees.

Check out for more details (in a

rambling post I made).

Or, do the short version: Know that it’s possible to run in huaraches
almost silently… then, next time you go for a run, wonder how that’s
possible and see what changes you can make to your form to make that

Posted on: 20/Sep/2010 at 11:09

8. Jan Hetherington said...

Thanks Steven. I was “afraid” it might be something I was doing. I did 2

miles today & it seemed a little quieter. I think that I may have a little

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“fear” around maybe catching an edge so perhaps I’m lifting my feet a

little higher to make sure I clear everything??? Anyway, thanks for the
confirmation that I should be able to be almost silent. Something to work

Oh, & I created a slip on next — I was surprised that it felt more
comfortable & looks better on me. Love the flowers & other interesting
knot styles. Gonna see what I can come up with too!

Keeping my FB friends updated with my progress!

Posted on: 22/Sep/2010 at 01:09

9. Jan Hetherington said...

So I’ve run now several days with them – max is 4 miles, along the Front
at Venice Beach (ah, bliss). I’ve been up to 6-miles BF (on easy surface),
slowly building back up to being able to do distance again. Slip-on is
definitely more comfortable, still playing with style etc. I think my current
tying may be a little loose as there is space between my sole & the shoe at
the toe knot. I know that finding the right balance between tight enough
& not too tight will be interesting. Nothing more uncomfortable on a hot
day that lacing that is too tight. About to order some for my husband too!
Oh, still making a slight slap sound, going uphill makes no difference. I
think it might now be the looseness, rather than my placing (or not) of my

Any thoughts about how close the foot should be to the sole — touching at
all times????



Posted on: 28/Sep/2010 at 01:09

10. Steven Sashen said...

Hi Jan,

Well, there are 3 places where noise can come from. The first two are the
cause most of the time: foot placement, and how you meet the ground. It’s
possible that your foot placement is still a bit off, even when you’re
running uphill. Or it’s possible that you’re meeting the ground with a
stiffer leg (ankle, knee, hip) than is ideal.

It’s *possible* that you need to tighten up the toe strap a bit.

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How to make huaraches. DIY instructions for bare...

It’s almost impossible to give a single, specific recommendation from a few

lines in a blog post (unlike being live, where I could see what you’re doing
in real-time).

Oh, actually, I *can* give a one word suggestion: experiment.

Knowing that it’s possible to run very quietly, wonder what changes you
might make, try them, see what happens… repeat if necessary

Posted on: 28/Sep/2010 at 02:09

11. Nadine D said...

I received my huaraches kit yesterday! Soles are cut. I used a 1/8″ drill to
make the holes (it worked really well, as long as you put a block of wood
or something underneath the sole). Pictures and comments about running
and tying soon!

Posted on: 19/Oct/2010 at 08:10

12. Hernan said...

Made my first pair today. My heels tend to slip to the inside of the
huaraches. Any suggestions on how to correct this?

Posted on: 29/Oct/2010 at 09:10

13. Steven said...

Most of the time, you get that effect if you left the heel straps too loose.
The solution for that is tightening the heel straps (not so much that they
push the foot forward on the sole).

Rarely, this has to do with some way your foot meets the ground.

I’d play with the tensions of the straps, especially the heel strap, first.

Posted on: 29/Oct/2010 at 12:10

14. Gas Sensor : said...

i always choose running shoes made of synthetic leather because they last
longer than natural leather ,,

Posted on: 30/Oct/2010 at 10:10

15. Merlock said...

I once made a pair of huarache sandals from the insoles of a regular pair
of shoes, I did the holes and everything, and I took the laces from the
same shoes and put them to the insoles, and it was pretty good!! jaja, it

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only last like 4 or 5 days of use (and I did use them as regular footwear),
but it gave me the feeling of how it would be to have some huarache
sandals. I hope soon I made myself a pair, I only have VFF, but really enjoy
the feeling of this “provitional improvised” sandals, looking forward to
have a proper pair. cheers!

Posted on: 12/Nov/2010 at 09:11

16. Jojo said...

Hi in response to Jan’s post I wanted to share my experience. I made my

sole a lot bigger than my foot at first, fearing that I would make it to small.
This was noisy for sure, there was a slap noise and i was no longer silent.
Slowly I trimmed the material back on the outside of my foot, toes, and
heel. Your foot does slide slightly to the inside so I left the extra there.
This helped but there was still to much play on the strap between my toes.
The problem was that if I tightened everything up the knot between my
toes started to annoy me after a mile. So I reheated the not with a flame
and hammered it to be a little flatter and less intrusive. the results are
amazing. I can wear them a little tighter now without feeling the knot at
all. the sandal is closer to my foot and the end result is silence. The
silence is really pleasant and I know that I am not hurting my body.

Posted on: 19/Nov/2010 at 09:11

17. Jojo said...

So I reheated the knot* with a flame and hammered it to be flatter

Posted on: 19/Nov/2010 at 09:11

18. Dick Schreiber said...

Do you sell the recommended 5/32″ polypropylene/nylon cord? If not, will

you please name your source. I have been unable to locate same online.
Thanks for your help!

Posted on: 19/Nov/2010 at 10:11

19. Steven said...

Hi Dick…

The lace we sell with our kits and shoes is the 5/32″ cord. We *do* sell it
separately as well, but it isn’t in our shopping cart yet (it will be soon). If
you want some, drop me an email — — and let
me know what you would like and I’ll tell you what the pricing is.

Posted on: 20/Nov/2010 at 04:11

20. Pat Brooks said...

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How to make huaraches. DIY instructions for bare...

Just ran a mile in my invisible shoes, my longest “barefoot” run yet. These
sandals have quickly helped me to transition to Chi running by quickly
stopping my overstriding and heel strikes. I absolutely love them. I dread
the thought of winter snows, but look forward to spring.

Posted on: 21/Nov/2010 at 10:11

21. Mark Morgan said...

I just discovered this today by googling Tarahumara Indians.

Unfortunately, in Northern Alberta, Canada, it gets cold in December and
today was -25C so I wore ordinary running shoes. However, I intend to get
Invisible Shoes ready for when the warm weather returns. If it ever does!

Posted on: 11/Dec/2010 at 03:12

22. Tim said...

Just made my first pair. My feet almost feel bare. Just ran out to my car,
which in the Northeast, in January was a bit interesting @ 22F. Can’t wait
to start “running” in them!

Posted on: 9/Jan/2011 at 03:01

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