Thankfully, one of our favorite summer styles is still very much on-trend in 2020: huaraches. They’re more grown-up than slides or flip-flops and more sophisticated than regular sandals, but still just as comfy on a hot summer day. If you’ve never heard of huarache sandals or you’re unsure if they’re right for you, then read on.
In this complete guide to the popular Mexican sandals we’ll cover:
- What are huaraches?
- How to style huaraches
- The best huarache shoes to buy right now
What Are Huaraches?
Summer style is tricky for many well-dressed dudes. This is because sophisticated men’s fashion doesn’t leave much room for hot weather. Sure, you can rock shorts and flip-flops every day, but that’s not appropriate in many offices, restaurants and bars (remember those?). The other option is to overdress in jeans or slacks, button-ups and dress shoes, but that leads to some serious sweat issues. Huaraches offer a solution.
Huaraches are weaved leather sandals that balance comfortable breathability with style. Traditional huaraches are open-toe and utilize minimal material around the ankles to keep your feet cool. However, brands like Nike are now modernizing the huarache with more upscale designs that cover the whole foot, resembling a unique, statement-making loafer. And while early huarache sandals were constructed from a few straps of leather that left most of the foot uncovered, modern huaraches usually feature closely woven leather strips that cover the lower parts of your feet, almost like no-show socks. Here’s an up-close look at one of our favorite options from Urban Outfitters:
The kicks come from Mexico with origins before Columbus landed in America. But it wasn’t until a few centuries later during the hippie fashion movement of the 1960s that huaraches made their way up the Pacific coast and into North America’s fashion scene. More recently, the shoes have become a cult favorite in the fashion community, although it’s fair to say that the secret is out, with some of the best huaraches coming from mainstream footwear brands.
How to Style Huaraches This Summer
We get it: if you’ve never laid eyes on a pair of huaraches before, they can look a little strange. But the shoes are much versatile than you might expect.
When rocking huaraches, you can go one of two ways. The first is obvious: dress for a tropical Mexican beach, even if you’re in the city. Shorts and men’s t-shirts or a Hawaiian shirt will complement the shoes, not to mention make you feel unbelievably comfortable.
The second option is a little more dressy. Some of our favorite huaraches can be seamlessly paired with slacks and a button-up for a warm day at the office. You can also throw on the shoes with jeans and a modern tee for a summer night out or casual weekend getup. No matter how you chose to wear these sandals, they always texturize an outfit with a special, eye-catching look. Plus, this versatility makes them a great summer travel companion.
Casual or formal, huaraches look best when paired with white pants and lighter shades of denim.
If you’re nervous about wearing sandals in more formal settings, we know how you feel. If foot sweat is what you’re worried about, here are some tips to get foot stink under control, because nothing ruins a stylish summer outfit faster than body odor.
The Best Huaraches to Buy Right Now
Ready to try some huaraches this summer? Unfortunately, these shoes are getting harder to find. That being said, there are still some great options for sale this summer, including the classic Nisolo Huaraches.
Here are some of our favorites for every personal style and budget.
1. Nisolo Huarache Sandal
Nisolo nailed the modern huarache. Their rendition upgrades the Mexican classic with high-quality materials and a go-anywhere design that you can wear to the beach or an upscale urban bar. The shoe features a leather insole with microporous cushioning as well as a soft leather lining on the upper. This translates to serious comfort, making them sandals that can actually handle a real walk. We’re also big fans of Nisolo’s production process. The shoes are handmade in an ethical factory in Peru that Nisolo owns and operates themselves.
2. Urban Outfitters Huarache Sandal
Most huaraches are made of genuine brown leather. However, a pair of dark huaraches, such as these from UO, make the kicks a little more low-key and better for urban style. The color is a dark green (basically black), providing a unique look that may inspire double-takes from observers. Otherwise, the shoes are very minimal with a classic closed-toe woven upper and a flexible rubber sole. Wear these with black pants and a crisp white tee for a look that can go from the trendiest bar to the comfiest pool lounger.
3. TOPMAN Huaraches-Style Loafers for Men
BEST HUARACHES LOAFERS
TOPMAN has a few different huaraches for sale this season, and the menswear brand has opted for a hybrid huarches and loafer. These summer shoes are also available in a classic tan leather if that’s more your style. These shoes are perfect for guys who want to try out men’s huaraches in a formal setting but are nervous about showing too much of their feet.
4. Dona Michi Huaraches Sandal
BEST MADE IN MEXICO
It’s still surprisingly easy to find genuine huaraches made in Mexico. One such pair is these handcrafted Dona Michi Huaraches. They’re slightly on the dressy side, meaning they’ll look great with pants and a button-up or sweater, but they still look great with pool or beach attire. And despite their upscale, preppy look and handmade status the sandals come in at a reasonable $40.
5. El Charro Mexican Huarache Sandals
If your summer style budget is already stretched thin, no need to worry. Good huaraches can be had without breaking the bank, such as these $28 sandals from El Charro. The El Charros showcase a traditional open-toe design that makes them ideal for trips to the beach or pool (or just lounging around the house). The sandals are also handmade from genuine leather in Mexico. Just be warned: they run a little small, so order a size up.
6. Sunsteps Barclay Huarache Sandal
These Barclay huaraches from Sunsteps are classic through and through. They’re right down the middle in terms of casual/dressy, making them great for traveling or anyone buying their first pair of huaraches. The sandals also feature a very comfortable padded footbed that molds to your foot over time.
7. Yuketen Cruz Woven Leather Huarache Sandals
Yuketen is a US-based brand that’s been producing classic, high-end footwear since 1989, and they also make some of the best huaraches for men. We really like their take on the huarache (dubbed the Cruz) because they’re made of premium vegetable-tanned leather and showcase a unique look that’s modern yet respectful to their heritage. But one of the best features of the Cruz is their Vibram rubber soles which make the shoes extra comfortable and extra capable for lots of walking or light hiking (say, to a remote beach). They’re slightly more expensive than our other options but well worth the extra dough.
8. Deer Stags Tijuana Huarache
If you’re looking for a more dressy huarache, these Deer Stags are a great option. They’re more of a loafer-huarache hybrid than a traditional sandal with a loafer back and a woven upper and sides. This makes them breathable enough to handle some summer heat but sophisticated enough for any office. We think they look best with crisp chinos or trousers and a button-up, but they can certainly work with a full suit as well.
9. Deer Stags Bamboo2 Huarache
BEST STRAP SANDAL
Another huarache from Deer Stages that we like is the Bamboo2. They’re crafted from thin pieces of woven leather for maximum breathability, but the most important feature is a hook and loop closure. This keeps the sandals more secure than others for walking, rushing for a bus or climbing a steep trail. Although this strap makes them very functional, they’re still quite stylish.
10. Nike Air Huaraches Sneakers
Nike has adopted the huaraches name for the popular Nike Air Huaraches, which come in a variety of colorways from classic all-white to neon red. As you can see, these men’s sneakers have little in common with huaraches sandals except for the name. That being said, technically, they are some of the most popular men’s huaraches for sale today.