Every summer until I was about 13 years old, my mom would take me to pick a new pair of summer sandals and every year I would go home with a shiny new pair of huaraches. Maybe it was my Mexican roots, maybe it was growing up a California girl listening to the Beach Boys, but their intricately braided leather and classic look have always screamed summer to me. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover a huarache sophisticated enough for a grown up, yet full of the fun summertime vibe that drew me to them as a child.
Made from luxe leather by artisans in LA, Soiyl huaraches are designed by Venice-based Dolores Melgoza who drew from her Mexican ancestry and travels in Latin America and Asia to create the colorful collection. With names like Samara and Brasilito the collection conjures visions of exotic south-of-the-border beaches with many designs incorporating traditional Latin textiles for a pop of color.
Each pair flirts with the $100 mark, but show their worth with their made in the USA stamp and substantial upgrades from my childhood shoes like rubberized tread attached to the traditional leather sole, so you won’t slip and slide! Feel good bonus: a portion of the proceeds from each pair sold is donated to RainCatcher, a non-profit organization committed to providing clean water to impoverished regions around the world.
I’m particularly obsessed with Flamingo and was bummed that they had sold out of my size when I saw the shoes at UniqueSF. Hopefully I’ll have chance to snap up a pair before summer 2012 is over, but if not, I can take a lesson from my young-self: huaraches never go out of style. There’s always Summer 2013!