Today you can purchase custom-made running huaraches for $50 and up. For about $20 (and up), you can buy a kit containing all the materials you need to make your own huaraches. Or, you can do what I did and test the waters with less than $5 worth of supplies.
This Instructable guides you through the process of making your own huaraches with a rubber car mat and parachute cord. If you have purchased some of the materials (such as the mighty fine Vibram sole material) to make your own huaraches, this Instructable may be helpful to supplement the instructions included with your purchase.
Step 1: Materials Needed
When choosing your car mat, keep in mind that the top of the mat will be your tread, and the bottom with be your sole. So look for a mat with a nice even tread pattern - just picture the treads on sandals and shoes you currently use. And the bottoms of car mats are usually textured with little nubs (as in the second picture), so remember when you're selecting your mat that you'll have to slice all of those off later.
Step 2: Creating the Template
After tracing the foot, but before you remove it, you need to mark where the three holes will go. The first is on the inside of the foot, and is just forward of your ankle when you slightly bend your knee. The second is on the outside of the foot and is where your foot makes slightly less contact with the ground; it's usually slightly forward of the ankle as well. And the third hole is in between the first two toes. Since the foot tends to drift towards the inside of the sandal when running, it might be best to place the hole slightly towards the second toe rather than right in the middle, to help keep your foot in place. The additional pictures below help illustrate these marks.
After you're finished, remove your foot and transfer the side marks onto the template. Then take your pen and round out the contours of the tracing so that you have a more "regular"-looking sandal shape. When in doubt, be generous with your outline; remember, you can always trim it later!
Once you're done with that, cut out your template. Flip it over and step on it with your other foot. Does it fit well? Good! You're ready for the next step. If you have different-sized feet, repeat this step for your other foot so you have two separate templates.
Step 3: Transferring the Template
If you have those nubs on the bottom of your car mat, now is a good time to trim them off. A basic pocketknife will suffice. Don't worry if you leave slight dimples or divots in the sandal. Your foot won't feel those, whereas it will feel any projections you haven't trimmed off.
Step 4: Punching the Holes
Now it's time to whip out your leather punch (or rusty nail) and put the holes in your sandals! That's pretty self explanatory. Once again, if you gave yourself extra material, be sure that you punch inside the pencil lines from your paper template for a better fit.
Step 5: Lacing 'Em Up
First, prepare a 6' length of paracord (5' for children, as in this Instructable) by melting the ends slightly and pinching them while still hot, to facilitate putting them through the holes. Use pliers if you're prone to sizzling your fingers. Now put one end through the top of the toe hole and tie your favorite knot on the bottom (pictured is a figure eight).
Follow the pictures below to complete the lacing. Once you are done, complete these steps for the other sandal (look at the monitor through a mirror if you're directionally challenged!).
Step 6: Your Finished Product!
Many many thanks to Steven Sashen over at InvisibleShoe.com for the inspiration to make this Instructable!