Leather Items
of the Mercado Area

ornate saddleBesides very ornamented and well made leather belts, jackets, boots, and saddles sometime found in mercado stalls, and the equipal furniture of leather and wood described in the furniture section, special mention should be made of huaraches. Huaraches are Mexican sandals, such as those shown below. (The word huarache is also used for a kind of griddle-cake produced in central Mexico, but that's something else entirely... )

huaraches Quintessential Mexican huaraches possess soles cut from old tires. Therefore, the tire's zigzagging treads show plainly on the sandal's footprint. Good huaraches are sown with sturdy thread, else they begin coming apart very soon. Big-footed gringos often have problems finding huaraches to fit. However, some shoemakers -- usually found in little stalls somewhere in or close to a mercado -- will gladly outline your foot on a piece of cardboard, and provide you with just what you want the next day.

One special leather item to look for in arid northern Mexico is cuero piteado, leather intricately embroidered with a special cactus fiber.