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The 10 Best Huarache Sandals for Men

Smarten up with these closed-toe Mexican sandals.

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The sandal is the king of summer footwear. However, next to espadrilles, the traditional leather huarache remains one of its most sophisticated competitors. The best huaraches are the ones that embrace Mexican tradition, taking a piece of leather and strapping it to recycled rubber. Wear them with chinos, jeans, and shorts alike — just avoid pairing them with socks to keep cool in the heat.

What Are Huarache Sandals?

A huarache is a sandal of Pre-Columbian Mexican origin traditionally made from leather and wood, but nowadays rubber. It's assumed that farmers in rural communities wore them because of the region's abundance of natural materials. In the 1960s, the huarache boomed in popularity as hippies began embracing counterculture and visiting indigenous locations in Mexico, exporting the shoes into Europe and America, thus introducing it to the world.

While there are dozens of shoe styles — like many traditions in Mexico, styles vary by region — all huaraches are built the same. That is, with a single strip of leather woven through holes in the rubber sole. Not all huaraches are created equal, but all sandals are woven together to allow airflow in the feet and protection the toes against the ground.

Why Wear Huaraches Over Flip-Flops or Slides?

They’re classy, comfortable, and honestly, more visually attractive than your typical pair of slides or flip-flops. Flip-flops and slides are grab-and-go sandals, huaraches are I’m trying to be seen sandals — they smarten up any warm-weather fit you’re combatting the sun with, so keep that in mind when looking for a pair. You can find a relatively inexpensive handmade pair on Etsy that’ll still look more elevated than even the most pricey pair of thong sandals.

How Do You Style Leather Huarache Sandals?

Huaraches are sandals meant for warm weather, so keep them in rotation for spring and summer, and whatever you do, don’t wear them with socks. Because huaraches are often made with naturally tanned or vegetable-dyed leather, stick to wearing fabrics that lean clean — like linen, hemp and cotton. You can easily style up chino pants and shorts, jeans, and loose beach pants with a pair of leather huaraches, and if you’re daring enough, try wearing some with a seersucker or linen suit. Whatever you do, avoid moisture and water, as most pairs can’t handle it, so stay clear of the beach if you want yours to last.


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Best Overall Huarache
Knickerbocker Huarache
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Since 2013, NYC-based Knickerbocker has built its brand by crafting quality menswear essentials. One of those classic pieces is the huarache, which Knickerbocker has been making with a family who's produced them for over 50 years in the region of Michoacán. This one’s got the makings of a traditional huarache with a leather upper, insole and midsole and a rubber outsole. Get it in black or tan.

Best Upgrade Huarache
Yuketen Alejandro Huarache Sandal
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Not many brands understand leather quite like Yuketen, so it should come as no surprise that the artisan-made retailer has one of the best huaraches available. Yuketen takes the original workings of a huarache and remixes it, adding a Vibram 2060 outsole to the typically-flat bottom, helping with grip, durability and traction. Its leather is entirely hand-cut, hand-dyed and hand-woven, which results in a smooth first-wear experience. You’ll never worry about replacing your summer pair again with such tough soles.

Best Budget Huarache
Macarena Collection Huarache Sandal
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Those on a budget can save big by cutting out the middleman and ordering huaraches from an artisan-maker directly, via Etsy. One of the biggest sellers on the platform is Macarena Collection, which offers your standard pair of made-in-Mexico huaraches for roughly half the price you’d drop on an imported set from a major store. These lean more traditional in craft, made with recycled rubber tire outsoles and a single strip of leather. They also ship free for even further savings.

Chamula Cancun
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Indigenous artisans in Central Mexico combine supple leather and a flexible EVA outsole for Chamula's Cancun huaraches. The toe is rounded so it won't rub, and you can easily step in and out of them because of the lower tongue. Plus, the leather will shape to your foot with wear, resulting in an even more comfortable ride with time.

LUCA León Huarache
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Huaraches are often seen in smooth, polished leather, but this pair from LUCA replaces that with textured suede. Made in León, Mexico, its outsole will loosen and break-in over time, darkening in color and adding some more character to these lounge ready sandals. It comes in a dark tan and reddish-brown.

Nisolo Huarache Sandal
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These may be the only pair on this list that's suited for poolside wear, as they're water-resistant, strapped with a foam midsole for some shock absorption and have non-skid outsoles. A well-rounded and sustainable huarache, Nisolo offers its version in nine eye-catching and polished colors.

Alex Crane Primo Sandals
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Maybe Alex Crane's sandal doesn't recall the prototypical huarache, but it is, by definition, and built with tradition in mind. Made with raw leather from León, Mexico and assembled in Oaxaca by a third-generation family business, these Primo Sandals rely on recycled bus tires for its soles, and a nickel buckle to adjust its back strap.

Espiritu Eternal Huarache Slip Ons
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These easygoing, vegetable-dyed blue slide huaraches lean more casual than formal. Their insoles will mold to your foot and become softer through wear, and loosen the more you toss 'em on.

Malibu Sandals Colony Classic Mules
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Not so much Mexican-made as Mexican-inspired, these huarache-style slides by Malibu Sandals trade leather for tough nylon and recycled tire soles for EVA rubber. If there were a contemporary version of the hippy-loved huarache, these would be them.

Xankla Huarache Quetzal Honey Sandal
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Laces on a huarache? It's a regional thing. These are huaraches hand-stitched with cow leather, painted by hand and strapped with a crepe sole for a tougher quality than old rubber tires. Reach for this traditional pair if you seek a more formal version of the leather huarache.

More Sandals for Men
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