When it comes to selecting the right size Mexican huaraches, there are a few key factors to consider. In this comprehensive 5000 word guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to find the perfect fit.
The quick answer is that huarache sizes vary between brands and styles. If you’re buying your first pair, your best bet is to trace your foot on paper, measure the tracings in both length and width, and use those measurements to find your size based on the huarache brand’s size chart. Expect the fit to be snug at first, but the leather will stretch and form to your feet over time for a customized fit.
How Huaraches Are Sized
Unlike American shoe sizes which rely on length only, huaraches use both length and width to determine fit. Length is measured from the back of the heel to the tip of the longest toe, while width is measured across the ball of the foot. Since huaraches are handmade, sizing can vary slightly between makers. However, most follow the general size chart below:
Women’s Huarache Size Chart
|US Women’s Size
|Huarache Length (in)
|Huarache Width (in)
Men’s Huarache Size Chart
|US Men’s Size
|Huarache Length (in)
|Huarache Width (in)
As you can see, huarache sizes don’t always align directly with US shoe sizes. The sandals run short and narrow, so you’ll generally need to size up. Don’t worry too much about following the size chart exactly though. Since the leather forms to your feet, it’s more important that the length is slightly longer than your foot, rather than an exact match to the chart.
How Huaraches Should Fit
While you may think huaraches should fit like regular shoes or sandals, the sizing and fit is actually quite different due to the nature of the shoe:
- The leather upper will stretch and mold to your feet over time, so the fit when brand new may feel tight.
- Huaraches are meant to be snug, especially around the heel and instep. However, they shouldn’t pinch or rub anywhere.
- Your toes should not touch the end of the sandal when new. Leave around 1/2″ of space in front for your feet to slide forward when walking.
- The back heel strap should cup your heel securely so the sandals stay on.
- Make sure to test the fit while standing with your full weight on the sandals to account for foot spreading.
Keep in mind that properly sized huaraches require a short break-in period as the leather softens and forms to your feet. Expect about 1-2 weeks of regular wear for the sandals to fully conform. The fit will loosen up over time, so resist the urge to size up too much or else the sandals may become too loose.
Tips for Finding Your Huarache Size
Trace and Measure Your Feet
For the most accurate sizing, trace the outline of both your feet on paper. Make sure to draw with your full weight on that foot to account for spreading. Measure the tracings from back of heel to longest toe for length, and across the widest part of the foot for width. Compare to the size chart for the brand you’re buying from.
Size Up if In Between
Since huaraches run short and narrow, opt to size up if your measurements fall between two sizes. It’s better for the sandals to initially be slightly too big vs. too small. Wearing thick socks at first can help take up extra room while you break them in.
Try Both Widths
If one foot measures wider than the other, buy two pairs in different widths to get an ideal fit for each foot. Mixing a medium and wide width is common.
Consider Adjustable Styles
Some huaraches have adjustable heel straps with buckles or velcro. These make it easy to tweak the fit for maximum comfort and support. Adjustable styles are great if you need two different widths.
How Huaraches Fit for Wide Feet
Huaraches can work well for wide feet since the leather will stretch and mold to fill in any extra volume. Just take care to size up accordingly in length to accommodate width:
- Size up 1/2 to 1 full size from your regular shoe size if you have wide feet.
- Opt for wide width huaraches if available.
- Adjustable heel straps allow you to loosen the fit as needed.
- Make sure toes don’t touch the ends after sizing up in length.
- Expect a longer break-in time for the leather to fully stretch and custom fit.
The most important thing is getting the length right so your feet aren’t crammed in. Don’t worry if huaraches feel snug across the width at first. The leather will give and form to your feet after wearing them regularly.
How Huaraches Fit for Narrow Feet
Those with narrow feet don’t need to size down in huaraches. Here are some tips for getting the right fit:
- Stick with your regular shoe size, the leather will mold snugly.
- Opt for regular or narrow width based on brand sizing.
- Add a heel grip or pad if needed to take up extra space.
- Adjust straps to get a secure fit and prevent slipping.
- Don’t size down or go too narrow, let the leather conform naturally.
Even if huaraches feel roomy at first, the snugness will improve after break-in. Avoid sizing down too much or you may end up with painful squeezing and blisters.
How to Break In Huaraches
Breaking in brand new huaraches helps soften the leather and customize the fit. Here are some tips for painlessly wearing them in:
- Wear them around the house for short periods at first.
- Wear with socks or bandages if rubbing occurs.
- Apply leather conditioner to soften and loosen the leather.
- Tighten straps gently to stretch the upper material.
- Increase wear time gradually until comfy all day.
- Apply moleskin, gel pads or blister bandages if needed.
- Expect 1-2 weeks of regular wear for full break-in.
Be patient and let the leather conform naturally for a custom fit. If pain or blisters occur, size up or use padding to ease pressure points. The fit will improve dramatically once the huaraches are fully broken in.
How Huaraches Fit After Breaking In
Here’s what to expect after you’ve worn your huaraches for 1-2 weeks:
- The leather upper will soften and stretch to mold perfectly to your feet.
- Any tight spots or pressure points should subside as the material gives.
- Heel cups that were stiff become flexible to grip your heels comfortably.
- Huaraches become more supportive and stable underfoot.
- The customized fit reduces rubbing and eliminates blister risk.
- Overall fit loosens slightly while still staying secure.
Enjoy the glove-like fit! Your huaraches will become more comfortable with every wear as they continue forming to your feet. Small fit adjustments can still be made, but the bulk of the break-in period is over.
How to Care for Your Huaraches
Follow these tips to keep your huaraches looking and fitting their best:
- Use cedar shoe trees to maintain the shape and absorb moisture when not wearing.
- Clean gently with soap and water only when needed.
- Apply leather conditioner regularly to nourish and soften.
- Avoid getting them wet to prevent stretching and damage.
- Store in breathable cloth bags, never plastic.
- Repair any tears immediately before they spread.
- Replace worn out straps to keep them secure.
- Take to a cobbler for resoling when the soles are worn.
With proper care, a quality pair of leather huaraches can last for many years and hundreds of wears!
Common Huarache Sizing Questions
Should huaraches be tight at first?
Yes, it’s normal for new huaraches to fit very snugly, especially in width. The leather needs to stretch and mold to your feet. Opt for a tight fit rather than loose. If too painful, try sizing up.
Can you stretch huaraches that are too small?
It’s tricky, but possible. Try gently pulling the leather to widen it, stuffing with socks, or using a shoe stretcher. For length, a cobbler may be able to stretch them. But it’s better to return and size up if too small.
Should your toes touch the tip of huaraches?
No, your toes should not touch the front end of huaraches when new. Leave a 1/2″ gap to allow your feet to slide forward naturally when walking. The fit will lengthen as they break in.
Can you wear huaraches without the back strap?
Not recommended. The back strap provides essential support and stability. Without it, huaraches are prone to sliding and flopping around on your feet uncomfortably.
How do men’s and women’s huarache sizes compare?
Men’s huaraches run around 1-1.5 sizes larger than women’s for the same foot length. However, men’s styles are wider to accommodate broader feet. Refer to the size charts by gender for the best fit.
We hope this comprehensive huarache sizing guide provided the tips and info you need to find your perfect fit. The most important thing is allowing adequate length and width for the leather to mold snugly to your feet. Huaraches stretch and shape to you over time, resulting in a truly custom fit. With the right size and break-in period, you’ll be able to enjoy these iconic Mexican sandals in blissful comfort.