Image credits: Chala

Editors' note

Chala specializes in handcrafting barefoot sandals, shoes, and overshoes made in the Black Forest, with a focus on quality, sustainability, and regional support. Inspired by the Tarahumara, an indigenous group from northern Mexico known for their record-setting long-distance running in huarache sandals, Chala’s products aim to provide natural, muscle-strengthening, and performance-enhancing footwear.

Chala’s huarache sandals, called “Chalas,” are minimalistic and made with naturally colored leather soles combined with a protective layer of natural rubber, secured by a single shoelace.

Emphasizing sustainability and fairness, Chala’s production process involves environmentally friendly practices, such as using water-based and solvent-free adhesives for attaching various materials like natural rubber, vegetable-tanned leather, cork, Poron XRD, and Pinatex.

Additionally, Chala gives back to the community by donating three percent of each sale to the aid project Little Light Feet eV. This volunteer-run organization focuses on self-help initiatives, including providing education opportunities for the Tarahumara children and supporting the people from the region where huarache sandals originated.


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