What are barefoot running sandals (or huarache running sandals)?

Christopher McDougall’s best-seller, Born To Run, introduced many people to the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe in Mexico’s Copper Canyon, who run long distances in huarache running sandals.

Technically, “huarache” is just a woven leather sandal from Mexico, or just any type of sandal.

The running sandals of the Tarahumara are made with a scrap of used auto tire for the tread, usually a leather footbed, and a leather thong strap that’s wrapped around the ankle to secure it to the foot.

Practically, any sandal that allows you to run is a running sandal.

What most people think of when they think “running sandals,” though, is NOT a flip flop, and NOT a heavy sport sandal, like a Chaco, Teva, or Keen sandal.

Most people equate “running sandals” with “barefoot sandals.”

That is, something that gives you some protection for your sole, and some way to hold that onto your foot… just like the sandals humans have been wearing for thousands of years.

The Xero Shoes sandals that most people use for running include:

  • Genesis
  • Cloud
  • Z-Trek
  • Z-Trail
  • DIY kits