The sandals probably started as a leather weave with leather soles. It was not until the 1930s that variations began to appear, and using rubber from old tires for the sole then became popular. Because old rubber is less expensive, the idea quickly caught on in Mexico.
In the 1950s, huarache sandals began to gain popularity in the United States. By the end of the 20th century these leather sandals were to be found all over North and South America. They are mentioned in the lyrics of the Beach Boys song Surfin' U.S.A.; and in the novel Ask the Dust, written by John Fante (the Camilla Lopez's shoes) also in the novel On The Road, written by Jack Kerouac. Skeeter Phelan wears a pair of the shoes, which her traditionalist Southern mother hates, in the Kathryn Stockett novel The Help. Doc Sportello, the detective from Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice, wears a pair of huaraches. He eventually loses one shoe and finishes the adventure using only the other one.