4 Most Famous Traditional Types of Japanese Shoes

  • TRADITIONAL
  • CULTURE
  • The Netherlands is famous for their traditional wooden clogs, Turkey for their pointed slippers, and Japan? They have of course traditional shoes of their own! The pretty ones are meant for celebration, the simple ones are for everyday life. You might have seen some of them in movies, manga, anime or even in real life on the street. Here are the most famous ones:

    Geta (下駄)

    Japanese Shoes 1

    These rather cool looking shoes are basically a mix between wooden clogs and flip flops we know from summer. The main board is called dai (台) with hanao (鼻緒) being the cloth that goes in-between the big toe and the other toes. They are meant to protect feet from the ground, that is why the teeth (ha 歯) , the one to two additional pieces below are having different heights varying from low to some being extremely high.
    The ones geishas (芸者) and maikos (舞子) are sometimes wearing, can have a platform on the bottom and being very high at times.

    Zori (草履)

    Japanese Shoes 2

    If you are looking for more casual ones, some zori will help you, since they are Japanese sandals made of straw. Some are even made of cloth, and with a simple instruction you can make your own one! Zori also come in fancy lacquered wood, especially when worn with celebration kimono and are therefore very formal footwear.

    Jika Tabi (地下足袋)

    Japanese Shoes 4

    Author’s photo

    You might have heard of tabi socks: socks, that have the big toe separated form the rest of toes. Jika tabu shoes are similar in shape, but have a rubber sole on the bottom and are usually higher, than just socks. Nowadays especially workmen and carpenters wear these shoes, for comfortable working.

    Waraji (草鞋)

    Japanese Shoes 5

    These straw sandals are most similar to straw zori, with the difference that they are a bit simpler and have straps to strap around your calf. During the feudal era they used to be worn by samurai and foot soldiers.