Running in Sandals?
Our Favorite Things: Locally-made, huarache-style sandals for the trail
Patrick Sweeney runs the Leadville 100 in his Lunas. Photo by Caleb Wilson / Llama Running Company.
Many of us first became familiar with the notion of running in sandals through reading about Mexico’s huarache-clad Tarahumara in Christopher McDougall’s 2009 bestseller, Born to Run. Those who have embraced huaraches are still a relatively small percentage of the general trail-running population—but you can find them everywhere from your local 5K to 100-milers.
“Depending on terrain, having the option to let your feet breathe and have that near-barefoot experience can really make running way more fun,” says Jonathan Loewus-Deitch, one of our huarache testers. “Running in sandals gives variety to your experience and truly makes you focus on how you run and where you’re stepping.”
Aside from requiring a higher level of attention to the trail, huaraches encourage a low-impact, mid/forefoot strike. Even if you have no interest in ditching your running shoes altogether, huaraches can be a great tool for strengthening the muscles in your feet and improving your running form.
Read on for the dirt on two brands of trail-running huaraches that we’ve tried out ...