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Jikatabi: The New Fashion Trend Made In Japan!

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writer

My friend once asked me about these ninja shoes the Japanese carpenters wear. The split toe shoes called Jikatabi are known as Japanese heavy-duty worker’s boots. The authentic handcrafted boots had achieved to give the bare foot sensation to the feet before those popular running shoes, as Vibrams, Nike free and many more types of running shoes emerged with such a concept as a barefoot sensation. The authentic Jikatabi design and its principle of usage is recently changing its course from the heavy duty ninja boots to the run way style fashionable ones. The Jikatabi boots are worn on the street as a new fashion trend in Japan.

Typical of most authentic Japanese crafts, the inherited crafters in Japan made Jikatabi. The skilled crafters genuinely handcrafted the boots made with the dark blue canvas fabric and the rubber soles at early 1900s. The direct translation of these shoes is underground socks, which coins to the mineworkers who began to wear these boots back in time. In 1969, the manufactures in Hyogo had introduced Jikatabi with rubber and became the mainstream attire among the workers in other working fields. The split toe design of the boots helps the feet to grip onto the ground and the thin rubber sole made it possible to give the organic sensation to the feet. The carpenters and gardeners in Japan acquire definitive climbing like ninja, and they favor the adaptable functions of the Jikatabi boots for their safety.

In 2002, the concept toward this authentic style of so-called blue-collar fashion in Japan has changed. It is now taking its new course in the fashion line. Designer Maki Hashimoto, as a center of the new lines of Jikatabi at SOUSOU collection, opened a quaint store in Tokyo. The SOUSOU jikatabi boots are based in Kyoto. With a variety of dyed fabrics, designs, and products, almost anything you find in this store look uniquely Japan. The products can be purchase on line without visiting the store in Tokyo.

SOUSOU boots would be one of those authentic Japanese items without the tacky tourist looking. If you are interested in viewing the products of SOUSOU, visit or Even though you are not planning on buying these shoes, it is fun to look through their uniquely designed products. They ships to the U.S. address. Before I end this article, I would like to remind you that the regular socks would not fit in the shoes and it will be very uncomfortable if you do. The split toe socks called Tabi will be needed, when you purchase the Jikatabi boots. The Tabi socks in various cute designs also can be purchased at SouSou store as well.

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