What are Huarache sandals?

The Tarahumara, also known as Raramuri (those who run fast), are an indigenous ethnic group that live in the Copper Canyons, in northern Mexico. Running is of great importance in their culture and whether they are hunting or racing – they can walk up to 170 km in one day through gorges and valleys.

To protect their feet, they wear the “Huarache sandals”, a minimalist “barefoot sandal” usually made of car tires, which protects the foot like a “second skin” and thus allows the “balling, or bale running”. Here, the foot is not “rolled off” over the heel, but the bale is first put on. This forefoot running is a natural form of running that we can also observe in small children.

Even with many natural peoples, especially hunters, the forefoot running is still common today, because it allows a gentle and flexible locomotion.

More and more long-distance runners are switching to barefoot running sandals. With fixed and muted soles, many runners lose intuitive access to this natural running shape, which can result in injuries. For this reason, we have developed the Tarasoles asphalt – barefoot sandal. Find out more here…

My experience is that the forefoot running is very knee and joint-gentle, and I am also “relaxed and light-footed” on asphalt and gravel slopes.

The Tarasoles are a voluntary project of our association for the research and promotion of natural movement. This is an extension to conventional foot, joint and back therapy.

The bale is an excellent cushioning!


We deliberately avoid hard and inflexible footbeds!

By nature, we humans are barefoot walkers. Even as a hunter-gatherer, we walked long distances through the forest barefoot or with very thin leather stockings or sandals. We picked berries and the feet were constantly stressed, so strong muscles were formed. Ligaments and tendons strengthened through the constant movement and natural training. Stiff footbeds would have the feedback of the ground condition is impeded and the associated stimulus transmission to the brain is restricted. With every step, it is our nerve pathways that transmit information like a network of roads throughout the body (proprioception). When information enters the brain, the foot position is immediately corrected so that the associated injury can be avoided.
Head and feet are optimally interconnected and do a lot of work for us in everyday life.
For this reason, we do not use inflexible soles because, although we know that our feet need protection from thorns and sharp objects, we always prefer the greatest possible flexibility.