Results of my Half-Huarache Sandal Experiment
Well, I tried them out on some very nasty sections of sidewalks near my house. They have been "repaving" the roads using the diabolical chip-seal method, which leaves a lot of very sharp bits of rock all over the sidewalks. At first I was running barefoot until it started getting too thick, then I stopped and put on my half-huaraches. As predicted, they went on easily and quickly.
However, once I started running in the razor sharp loose gravel, my heels didn't like being poked painfully and I ended up running too much on just my toes. Very tiring on the feet and calves!
I tried some super-bending of my ankles, keeping my knees closer to the ground, which naturally helped keep my heels up a little while allowing me to completely relax my calves. But that is an awkward way to run and my ankles aren't used to bending that much. I finally just turned around, got to where it was smoother and just took the sandals off. My ankles and calves were sore the next day from the extreme work out I gave them.
I realize that the type of stuff that would make me want to protect the balls of my feet, would also make me want to protect my heels. If its tolerable for my heels then it is tolerable for my whole foot! So a half-sole sandal just doesn't seem practical.
After-thought: While running, I thought about how my regular Huaraches were laced, and realized something that I could adjust to make them fit better without having so much "clacking" while running. Problem is, I destroyed my old Huaraches making the half-sole versions. I have just enough Vibram cherry 4 mm left to make another whole-sole pair to try lacing differently.
My thought was that by punching a hole directly beneath my ankle joint, as instructed, caused the lace cross over the front of my ankle and pull the heel of the sandal forwards, towards the toe when my weight was off it. This made the sole bend outward, away from my foot, so each time I stepped down on it, the curved sole would smack against the bottom of my foot. My new idea is to punch a hole more forward, so the lace does not want to pull the rear of the sandal forward; just "up". I suspect they will continue to have the problem with the "scoop" in the toe. Maybe I can do something to pull the toe of the sandal up when I curl my toes. Back to the drawing board!