For most of the summer our turnaround time has been hovering at about three weeks. There will be times when we work day and night to get it down to two weeks but every time we have a sudden influx of new orders which puts us back around three weeks. Somebody recently informed us that other huarache companies do not take this long to send a pair of custom sandals. While this may be true, our sandals and manufacturing processes are unique. There are a few factors that increase our turnaround time so we’d like to share a few of them:
One thing that is different about Unshoes is that they have ankle straps. There are a few reasons we use ankle straps. The first and most important is durability. Our ankle straps are plasticized and covered in a hardening adhesive where they make contact with the ground. If we laced the main strap through the sole like the traditional huarache they would wear out more quickly. Another reason is that it simplifies the fitting process by making it faster to tighten and loosen the sandals. Lastly, we believe it’s just more comfortable.
Because we have ankle straps it introduces the need for sewing. This adds a new level of complexity and time to the process. Luckily one of the few classes I paid attention to in junior high was home-ec!
Another large factor is how we deal with attaching the strap that runs between the toes. Rather than having a knot or simply melting the nylon we have a unique process which sets the melted and hardened strap flush with the tread thus maximizing durability. Because the strap is hardened, it also helps reduce the “flop factor” at the toe area. When we first began doing sandals we had problems with the strap pulling through the sole while hiking or going through rushing water. We have long since improved the design and attaching methods. This may be the most time-consuming part of the entire process.
Supply and Demand
Lastly we have had an overwhelming number of orders. This is a good thing, of course, but we were caught a little bit off guard. We are working on ways to increase our capacity to fulfill a larger quantity.
Many of our more business savvy friends have suggested that we should increase our prices since there is such a high demand. “It’s called supply and demand,” they say. On the other hand offering an affordable product is very important to us. I strongly believe that although initial profits may be lower, offering a quality product at a reasonable price will pay off for everyone in the end. For now, the tradeoff is the wait time.
For all of you who are waiting for your orders, we thank you for your patience. We hope that your sandals are worth waiting for! We have been lucky to have such great customers.