Thursday, August 05, 2010

Huarache Redux

Another idea came from my Half-Huaraches experiment. This is a full-soled Huarache sandal idea.

Previously to trying my half-Huarache idea, I had laced the sides of my full-foot Huaraches in-line with my ankle bones, which - in retrospect - may have caused the ankle strap to pull the rear of the sandal forward, causing the sole to bend downward into a kind of a bow, which then collapsed when I stepped on it, making the clacking sound that bugged me so much. (That's a weird sentence - sorry.) So I was thinking, what if I connected the laces just forward of the actual ankle joint, in line with where the top of the foot meets the leg? (Perpendicular to the sole instead of at a backwards angle.) That way the straps would not be pulling the rear of the sandal forward. This also might have the advantage of helping the heel strap to stay on better. It kept on sliding off on my first Huaraches - maybe because my foot is a weird shape.
See the following illustration. The red lines are where I had tied-in the side laces on my first Huaraches. The green lines show where I think they would work better.
I also liked the idea of using the elastic from my half-Huaraches somehow. (The elastic turned out to be a girl's hair band. I found it on the beach one day and kept it for some future project. I'm like that - a scavenger always on the lookout for things that might prove to be "useful." I saw a package of 12 in the store for less than $4 the other day, many colors and several widths.) So last night I made up a new pair of Huarache sandals using my newest ideas. Here are some photos of them:

Description: They are the standard full-sole Huarache design. I put the side holes a little bit forward from my ankle bone. I added a second hole in the front, between my 3rd and 4th toes. The elastic band goes into the front two holes, with knots holding it in place. The elastic strap makes a 'V' on the top of my foot, one end of the strap goes between my big toe and #2 and the other end goes between my 3rd and 4th toes. The thing I like about the elastic is how it keeps the sandal nicely connected to my foot at all times, no matter how my foot is flexing and moving.
I put a leather lace through the outside side hole and knotted it to stay in place. I ran that strap through the elastic loop at the top of the foot, and through the inside side hole. I then ran the strap around the back of my ankle and knotted it to itself at the outside point (near the beginning of the leather strap.) The knot I used was a Boy Scout "Taut Line" hitch. This knot can slide up and down, increasing or decreasing tension. Really cool knot. I used this so that once my foot is in place, I can slide the knot a little ways up towards the top of my foot, tightening the whole lace-job and making the sandal more secure. I can loosen things by sliding the knot back down towards the outside edge again, in case my foot swells during a long run, or to make it easier to slide the sandal off. [After-thought: Looking at these pictures, I wonder how it would work to put my slider-knot on the strap that goes around the heel instead of on the strap that comes over the top of the foot? I'll experiment with that idea and see how it works.]

I wore them around the house last night to get the feel of them. I was worried all those knots under the sole would feel weird, but they were not bad at all.

These Huarache sandals slide on and off my feet very quickly and easily. Having the elastic strap connected in two places at the front of the sole makes the sole hug my toes more closely, which I like. Having the adjustable side-knot makes it so I can quickly adjust the tension of the lacing without having to untie and re-tie everything. Once these are tied to my liking, I don't have to untie them ever again. They are slip-on and slip-off. I like "quick and easy!"

I ran with them on a short run this evening, maybe 2+ miles. They definitely worked out better than my original ones. They fit very well and I liked how they tracked with my feet. I stopped and changed the sliding knot on one of them, so it slid towards the heel. It was a little bit better for tightening things up, but was a little bit awkward, perhaps because I put it together in a hurry and could have done a cleaner job of it.

That being said --- I still like running with nothing on my feet a whole lot better. Its just annoying to have artificial things in the way. I actually stopped and took them off (easily done!) and finished the last 1/4 mile barefoot. It felt so much better!! I would not hesitate to put my Huaraches on to get through short sections of "impossible" but would not wear them the entire distance. They will always be just a short-term crutch.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always motivated by you, your thoughts and way of thinking, again, appreciate for this nice post.

- Murk