Jika-tabi – Japanese tabi boots

This is a traditional type of footwear from Japan. Unlike conventional models, jika-tabi comes in a unique design that makes it ideal for particular needs. The tabi boots started gaining popularity in the 1920s. The jika-tabi looks like boots and are used for heavy-duty purposes. What makes the boots stand out among the rest is the presence of the toe area.

The designers that came up with these boots included this area so that one could put on slip-on thonged footwear with the boot. During the 2nd World War, Japanese soldiers wore these boots due to their high comfort level and durability. When the western shoes were introduced in the Japanese market, they posed a threat to these boots. This did not, however, lead to their extinction.

Construction and use

Authentic jika-tabi boots contain rubber soles and are made with sturdy material. The high-quality materials used makes the shoes capable of withstanding heavy work. That is why people like farmers, construction workers and rickshaw pullers prefer these boots over others.

The steel-toed shoes seem to be replacing jika-tabi boots since they offer more feet protection from sharp objects. The design of these boots makes them flexible to use. The boot enables the wearer to get a firm grip of the ground with minimal restrictions.

A lot of construction workers in Japan still prefer these boots since they find them easy to balance on beams and girders. Since professionals such as gardeners and carpenters move a lot, these boots enhance mobility. When wearing these traditional boots, a gardener can even use their feet as an additional pair of hands to secure particular objects in place. If you are a farmer that works in muddy fields, you should get a knee-high jika-tabi that contains mostly rubber parts.

Some people that practice martial arts or other forms of exercise also like wearing jika-tabi boots. You can use them while running, walking, and even climbing hills without experiencing fatigue. They are designed to prevent excessive sweating of the feet and come with a soft texture. In the Western world, some people call these boots ninja shoes.

The big toe area plays a significant role in that it gives one proper balance while walking. The design of this shoe mimics the structure of a human foot. They are modeled on the Japanese split-toe socks. Traditional Japanese musicians also wear these boots during festivals. The variation of the jika-tabi that is mostly worn is referred to as matsuri tabi. It is slightly different from the standard jika-tabi in that it provides extra cushioning on the sole. The sleek design of these boots makes them perfect for everyday use.

Shopping for jika-tabi

If you are searching for these boots, you can buy them from martial arts shops. If you are not in Japan, make use of online platforms for you to find the ideal boot that can fulfill your needs. You can also choose from different variations of the jika-tabi boots. Some of them provide arch support, while others have soles that prevent you from slipping. A good jika-tabi boot should also enhance breathability during wearing.

Pay attention to sizing when shopping for jika-tabi. Knowing your foot size is not enough during purchase. You should consider other vital factors such as if you intend to wear socks with these boots or not. The calf size should also not be too wide or narrow. Wear the shoe and walk around before making your purchase to ensure that it feels comfortable enough. The available versatile styles of these boots appeal to the preferences of different customers. Once you have found the right for you, you need to learn proper maintenance to extend its lifespan.