Saturday, March 20, 2010

Huaraches Hoorah!

I've suffered from knee problems for about as long as I remember. It's pretty common in women, and it runs on my dad's side of the family. I've been hearing a lot about barefoot running lately and how it's so much better for you than shmancy shoes because it's natural and takes off joint loads. (This is only if you are not running around on unnaturally hard concrete all the time.)
I've done a LOT of research regarding my knee problems and also running- I love to run but didn't do it because of my knees. I have access to a lot of dirt roads and trails, but only a pair (a good pair) of Asics running shoes. I want to try barefoot running, but there is no way I could handle it with the callus-free baby feet I have. And in this day and age your bound to step on a nail or glass no matter how far out in the woods you are. I was SO close to getting a pair of these:

They are awesome Vibrams, and I loved the feel and freedom I had when I tried them out at REI.

I saw these:

What? Leather cord-wrap sandals... not to mention dirty!
Actually- they are ingenious, but at the same time something that is very common sense! Sandals used for running. (Not exclusively, of course.)
This particular style is called Huaraches which just means "sandal" in EspaƱol. Even more specifically, these are the Tarahumara Huaraches. The Tarahumaras were known for their running abilities- and they wore sandals like these.
So, I found a great website that actually shows you how to make your own! (They call them invisible shoes.) I thought about just following the steps and doing it myself with leather, but that seemed too soft and thin to protect my soles. Luckily, they sell kits so you can make your own Huaraches! And they are about 20 bucks. That's about a quarter of the cost of Vibrams. Now my feet can be somewhat barefoot and still be protected. I haven't gotten the kit yet, but I'll be sure to post progress when I make my awesome shoes!
Can't wait to feel the difference.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Yeah, I've read about how humans were actually made to run and we're very well equiped for it. We don't need to fancey shoes because they take away the natural spring our arches give us and don't allow our toes to spread out and take the shock from running. That's why so many runners have shin and knee problems! I like your idea of making running sandals!