Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chamula Cancun - The Perfect Summer Sandals




This was originally supposed to be a first impressions post after I bought them myself, but then SuitSupply Outlet happened and I had to take myself out the game for the moment or else sell one of my kidneys. So now this is a feature on something I hope to own at some point in the future.

I've been half-obsessed this summer with finding a pair of huaraches, traditional Mexican footwear with simple woven leather uppers, ever since I saw a post on Put This On about them, but I was never able to find any that hit all the right buttons for me aesthetically. It's just that most tend to look stubby in a lot of pictures or like something The Dude from Big Lebowski would wear to a backyard BBQ, at worst. For that reason, my summer shoes have mostly been my old standby Rainbow sandals (that my puppy just chewed up) and some cheap espadrilles from Soludos, which have been fine but have never scratched any itches for me, if you know what I mean. Not like...in a dirty way, you deviants.

I almost gave up hope of finding some I liked until I ran across a couple reviews on reddit on some huaraches I hadn't seen before - the Cancun slip-ons from Chamula Original. More sleek than the average huarache and sporting a less common close-toed design, they hit the spot immediately...if you know what I mean.


Chamula Cancun in Natural
Chamula is a branch of the Meg Company, Japanese designer Yuki Matsuda's brainchild, which also includes Yuketen, Monitaly, and Epperson Mountaineering. Located in southern California, Matsuda draws inspiration from older and traditional craftsmanship as well as different cultures. I own a Monitaly shawl jeep coat I purchased during No Man Walks Alone's last winter sale that I love, so I guess it's not all that surprising that I was drawn in by Chamula's version of the huarache.

What makes the Cancun special is its low profile and minimal silhouette, despite its intricate leather weave. The standard model sits on a tire treaded EVA sole that references the longstanding convention of using recycled tires for huarache soles, though there are light and dark crepe soles available also through the official Chamula site (think Clarks Desert Boots soles). You can choose from natural and dark brown uppers (probably the most versatile), a deep inky navy I really like, or various multicolor leather weaves. If you like the style but prefer an open toe, the Uxmal is a nice option as well.

Chamula Uxmal in White Multicolor
Best of all, Chamula's sandals are pretty affordable, even at full retail. Chamula Original sells their hand-made Mexican huaraches starting at $88 with free shipping for the Cancun to $108 for some more complex models. It's been rare to see them on sale, especially in the US, though Club Monaco has them in both tan and blue for $92 and intermittently will include third party merchandise like this. You're in luck if you live in the UK, as Office has them on steep closeout pricing with free shipping, though if you're in the states shipping is a real kick to the groin at ~$30 USD. In terms of sizing, these run big, so size down one size from your normal Brannock.

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