Here’s a step by step plan on how to turn your worn out fat-bike tires into sweet huaraches, sent to us by Tom Miller, from St. Maries, ID!
By – Tom Miller
I manage a tiny bike shop inside an Ace Hardware Store in St. Maries in Northern Idaho. I’ve been an avid fat bike rider since the purple Pugsley and also love trail running. I’ve been doing the whole minimalist shoe thing and graduated to a pair of Xero Shoes Sensori Venture huaraches. They are an incredible experience while running on the trail but, more importantly, they are hands down my favorite sandals for kicking around after a ride. People have been wearing them ever since we decided to come out of the trees and they ooze with style.
I looked at their construction and realized that old fat bike tires could make for the ultimate huaraches. I often wear out sidewalls long before tread in the winter and they can be made for a few dollars depending on how fancy you get.
I basically copied my Xeros but on their website they have a bunch of different ways to lace them up and they’ve been really helpful to me. They even sell do it yourself kits if you can’t bear slicing up your tires. Check them out at www.xeroshoes.com and send them some love.
With some help from my wife, here’s how you can make your own.
Fat bike tire, kitchen shears or snips, needle nose pliers, parachute cord, long narrow nylon strap (Surly junk straps are awesome), road bike tube, lighter
Trace foot with marker. Draw a 3/4 inch triangle just in front of the ankle bone and make a mark between the big and second toe. Cut out footprint leaving about 1/4 inch extra all of the way around. Punch and widen the holes for toe and ankle straps using shears and/or a hole punch. The ankle straps are easier to work with if the holes are large enough.
Start with about three feet of cord and strap for each shoe. Old inner tube works great for some padding around the heel.
I anchor the toe cord with a smaller piece with an overhand knot underneath and left loose for now. The parachute cord runs from the toe to the outside of the heel and is strung from inside to outside. Loosely tie an off-center loop knot about 3 inches from the hole.
The strap side has to be run from the heel so can be frustrating to get it to lay flat.
Thread the piece of tube over the strap and thread outside to inside. Tie a cow hitch over the toe cord and run the strap back on the inside (against the foot) and back through the sole.
(My apologies to all those Eagle Scouts out there about using the internet to guess the names of the knots, I’m a bike mechanic)
Wrap the cord and strap forward then around the piece coming from the front of the shoe.
Fitting and Trimming
Slide foot in shoe and roll heel strap in place. I like the knot on the parachute cord very close to where it crosses under itself.
The fit on the heel strap changes dramatically by sliding the cow hitch on the toe cord. I like it up higher on my foot for running or being active and lower for casual use.
It will take a fair bit of fiddling and experimenting to find the fit you like.
Once you’ve gotten the fit close, cut and melt the ends. Under the toe cord a trick is to leave the small overhand knot loose and pull it a few inches out of the shoe. Heat the loosely tied knot until it is soft but not flaming and squeeze it flat with your pliers.
Here’s a picture of my “Larr-uaraches” with the knot shown on the bottom
Good Luck! Have fun with them, don’t drink and use scissors or fire, concentrate on your beer.
Remember to recycle! (Ride your bike again, and again, and again.)
The Bike Shop at Hughes Ace
St. Maries, ID