06 May 2014

Japan: tabi

tabi (ta bee) are traditional Japanese socks; they worked with the traditional Japanese shoe, the Geta.


jika-tabi are Japanese worker boots
Jika-tabi come in a variety of types, colors, and styles. The traditional fastening device is a series of metal tabs (kohaze) that hook into a series of loops. A 12-tab tabi reaches about half way up to your knee (which is why they are sometimes called tabi "boots"). Laced, velcro, and zipper versions are also available.
The sole of traditional jika-tabi are made of pliable natural rubber. Soft enough to be flexible, but stiff enough to protect the wearer's foot from ground debris (remember that they are traditionally working boots). The rest of the shoe is constructed entirely of lightweight and breathable cotton except where noted otherwise. The most distinguishing aspect of jika-tabi is no doubt the split-toe design that separates the big toe from the other toes. This feature enhances their comfort, stability, and is a great conversation starter.
 Text and photo: www.jika-tabi.com

There are also Indoor tabi – house slippers, tabi high heals and fancy fashion.  There is a store that sells tabi socks, naming the socks V-Toe…clever.