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Travel to Japan – Footwear

10 Jan

One of my favorite things that I brought back from Japan was these socks.

They are made from mulberry, I believe the stems. They are so comfortable and conform to your foot. they give your toes lots of wiggle room. I was afraid to wash them and ruin them but they are very sturdy. I throw them in the washer with the rest of my whites.

They came from the Gungendo Company in Omori-Cho n Shimane Prefecture, Japan.

At a temple I admired a monk’s socks, called tabi. Later I bought myself a pair. They’re made of the smoothest woven cotton and have non-slip bottoms. They close up snug around your ankles with fasteners.

The Japanese have very flexible feet compared to most Americans. They keep the freedom to move their toes. I saw a basket weaver and he used his feet like another pair of hands.


These socks work very well with flip flops or the Japanese geta. I bought myself a pair of men’s geta because the women’s didn’t come in my size – an 8. My feet used to bother me sometimes and I would wear jogging shoes with lots of cushioning to make them feel better. With a geta your foot is basically on a flat slab of wood. I was concerned that they would not be comfortable. I was very surprised that my feet felt better while wearing them.

Perhaps part of that is the amazing agility you have when leaning forward and back in the geta. It can’t be beat for going up and downhill. I’ve worn mine out and need to get more.

There is a less expensive version made in China. I don’t recommend it. They detach at the strap between the toes very easily. With my Japanese geta, I have worn out the wood, (with much use), and the strap is still secure.

© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur

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14 Comments

Posted by on January 10, 2010 in Japan

 

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14 responses to “Travel to Japan – Footwear

  1. blkdrama

    January 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I just left a response but I don’t know that it went through so I’m back with another. I love socks but I’m never totally satisfied. Can you wear these socks in regular shoes?
    Bonnie

     
    • purplume

      January 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Bonnie,
      This is the only response that came through.
      I wear the mulberry socks in regular shoes. When I first put them on, the fabric at my littlest toe is folding over because it is loose. After I have them on for a few minutes the fabric conforms snugly to my toe. I don’t know how it does that, but it fits like a glove. I wear the mulberry socks in shoes without any problem.
      The tabi socks don’t work in regular shoes, not for me anyway. I feel the seams around the outside edge of the sole and the non slip sole is thicker and firmer and makes the fabric between your toes pull with all the other forces on it from being inside. Even though they look and fee so form fitting, the edge seams take up too much space.
      If you want to get some and can’t find them online, I will get some for you while I am there. (October 2010).

       
      • blkdrama

        January 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        Sounds great. I’m keeping my eyes opened for them.
        Bonnie

         
  2. chefyourself

    January 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Those are great. I saw someone with something similar this summer. We were at the river and a guy had water socks on, but they were like these, all the little toes were separated.

     
    • purplume

      January 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      Oh, I haven’t seen water socks with separate toes. I would like that.

       
  3. It's just Me

    January 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve always wondered about those sandals.. Geta, that is. It’s surprising to hear that they are actually comfortable! They look like your feet would slide to the front, and the strap would give you kind of a ‘toe wedgie.’ And that just doesn’t seem right. =)

    However, I would be totally willing to try the mulberry socks. I love toe socks, but they do what you described, with the pinky toe fabric bunching up. The ones I have aren’t mulberry and don’t conform.. boo!

     
    • purplume

      January 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      A toe wedgie, I like that, that description, not having one. The geta don’t give me toe wedgies. They are very comfortable between the toes, not like some flip flops I have had. I guess because the toe piece is fabric and thick.

      I want to get more mulberry socks. When I do I want to see the fiber content. Maybe they have something stretchy like spandex that keeps them so snugly.
      😄

       
  4. Kris

    January 12, 2010 at 3:25 am

    I love toe socks! I have wide feet and my toes are finger like so it’s like gloves for my feet. I wish I could get a pair of those geta sandals. I never knew what they were called.

    Sometimes I wear my flip flops with tube socks (just around the house) but it’s not quite the same look. 😉

     
  5. purplume

    January 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I know what you mean. Sometimes when my feet get cold I wear flip flops with regular socks all bunched up at the toes.
    😄

     
  6. Ashley

    January 13, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Oh wow.. I’m in love with those socks. I’m a sock lover, even though I rarely wear them. haha..

     
    • purplume

      January 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Sock it to ya. hee hee.

       
  7. Holly

    January 11, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Have you seen the Vibram five toed shoes? http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm

    I have been wanting a pair for a couple of years now. Sounds like you might like them!

     
  8. jesso

    October 16, 2013 at 5:30 am

    have seen 5 toed shoes???hptt;vibramfivefingers.com

     

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