The sandals in my wardrobe are all well-worn, dinged and creased like all loved shoes are, and boast slick soles thanks to how many miles I’ve walked in them. Yet even on the warmest days I haven’t yet worn them thanks to my ghostly pale legs and chipped nail polish on my toes (those things shouldn’t matter, but hey! We all get a little self-conscious sometimes).

But hear me out…what if there was a sandal that covered your toes without looking bulky or weighing down an outfit? Huaraches come to the rescue, and this season I’m relying on Nisolo, a beloved B Corp shoe brand, for the cutest and most responsibly made huarache sandals.

Huaraches are not a new shoe—they can be traced back to Indigenous Mexico before Columbus arrived (and probably were in use for even longer). The name itself comes from the Purépecha language word kwarachi, which translates into English as “sandal.”  Just as the name and its translation infers, these sandals are simple, useful, and resourceful, even being used for centuries as a minimal running shoe for the Indigenous Tarahumara runners.

Huaraches gained traction in the US during the 1960s counterculture movement, and have steadily gained popularity since (Nike even named a shoe the “Huarache,” although it looks nothing like the sandal).

Today, you’ll find both men and women sporting the style across many different aesthetics, but these sandals are especially popular in the summer. Nisolo, the go-to sustainable shoe brand since its founding in 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee, has been designing and crafting huarache sandals in Mexico since the beginning. 

Collaborating with local makers, Nisolo ensures everyone has a safe and fair wage work environment for every shoe that it creates. Nisolo also uses Leather Working Group Certified leather, and thanks to the brand’s offsets and sustainability initiatives, each product produces 0% net emissions—that’s right, zero.

But how about the shoes themselves? As someone who’s worn Nisolos for years, I can happily say I’m always thrilled with the longevity and timelessness of the designs. When I finally got my hands on huaraches, I found them to be as high quality as the rest (no cheapo Amazon straps that’ll snap within a few wears).

Nisolo’s huaraches come in six colors (I *love* the Bone color), run in women’s sizes 5 through 11 and mens sizes 8 through 13. The brand does recommend selecting half a size down, and I agree—I usually fall between sizes 6.5 and 7, and found that a 6.5 in the huarache works great for me.

They’re super breathable and I’m glad the sole isn’t too slick—there’s a bit of grip so you’ll stay safe during any unexpected summer rain showers.

These shoes come with a price tag of $138, which may be steep if you’re comparing to typical Target or Walmart prices, but the price makes sense when you consider Nisolo’s responsible practices and high quality craftsmanship! You can also use the coupon code TGT20 at checkout to save 20% on your first Nisolo purchase through May 15th.

The quality doesn’t come without a little challenge, though—the shoes do take a little while to break in, which Nisolo outlines many helpful tips here. Honestly, in my experience wearing leather shoes throughout the years, this isn’t new or surprising—usually the more handcrafted and authentic the shoe, the more you’ll have to be patient with the break in process. (My colleague successfully thrifted a pair of Nisolo huaraches that were already well-loved, and wears them everywhere).

I was excited to play around with styling these shoes, and found they’re a great fit for work, brunch, errands, even nights out! Here are some of my own wardrobe essentials I’ll be pairing with these huaraches this summer (leggings and t-shirt not included, although you know it’ll be a favorite):

But you might be looking for even more ways to wear huaraches—we’ve pulled together a simple four-question quiz to help you get started building an outfit with your Nisolos. You’ll get your personalized recommendation on the results page, but keep scrolling to see all the outfits we’ve dreamt up!

How To Style Huarache Sandals

Which huarache outfit idea did you get? Find all the details below, and be sure to drop a comment to let us know your fave ✨

Get your summer outfits started with 20% off your first purchase from Nisolo when you use code TGT20 until May 15!

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This post is in partnership with our friends at Nisolo.
Take 20% off your first purchase when you use the code TGT20 at checkout!

Emily McGowan is the Editorial Director at The Good Trade. Born and raised in Indiana, she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her in her colorful Los Angeles apartment journaling, caring for her rabbits and cat, or gaming. Say hi on Instagram!