About Mexican Sandals
In Mexico the style of sandals that became popular were called huaraches. These Mexican Sandals were based on traditional footwear designs of the original Native Americans who lived throughout Latin America. With the invention of the automobile, resourceful Mexicans clad traditional sandal designs on readily available recycled tires. The classic tire tread sandal became the norm with the start of surf culture on the West coast of the United States. The Beach Boys sang about huarache sandals and baggy shorts. In the sixties, Mexican sandals became synonymous with hippie culture as many of the baby boomers started to wear the iconic footwear. Today, huaraches are found across America and are part of the popular culture. You can find them at the local swapmeet or fleemarket, the large retailer or catalog shop, and even sneakers as Nike has come out with a stellar line of Nike Air Huaraches shoes.
Today, huaraches or Mexican sandals fall into three major categories: Traditional or Authentic, Modern, and Interpreted. Traditional huaraches are still hand made with a woven leather upper and use either a leather or recycled tire sole. They have remained largely unchanged for the last century. Modern huaraches are made using some of the traditional styles and shapes, but use modern techniques and modern materials. You can expect to see machined leather, synthetic rubber soles, manufactured insole, and new colors and materials. Interpreted huaraches are not like traditional huaraches and have moved the design and style in new ways. Many of these designs more closely resemble mainstream sandals and usually only take some inspiration from traditional Mexican sandals, such as leather weaving. These sandals are often machine made and may veer off in different directions, like dress sandals or a women's pump or slide.