the height of Japanese fashion: socks for your lady shoes

Posted on 06.07.2014

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I’ve seen these on nearly every business-woman I pass on the street. They are not to be taken lightly, and now after having purchased a pair, I understand why.

unnamedMeet: socks for your fancy shoes.

Like most women in Japan, I ‘walk’ to work. This means I leave my house, walk to the train station, take the train to another station, switch to a second train, and then leave that train to walk to my job. This is pretty typical, and just about everyone does it. It is literally considered ‘walking to work’. In my ‘walk’, I do actually cover a few kilometers walking to, from and through train stations, but I’m not sure I totally agree with the phrase.

So, I normally wear ‘walking shoes’. I’ve seen lots of ladies in NYC and DC wearing actual tennis or running shoes for this journey. I don’t wear those, but rather a very comfortable pair of flats from Germany by a company called Bama (‘shoes like being barefoot’ is their logo, and it’s very true). I got them a few years ago for an upcoming trip to (hah) Japan, and they’re perfect for walking long distances over concrete and cement.

bama-198x100My friend Deb and I also joked once that the logo TOTALLY actually says ‘Obama’. Because seriously.

So anyway, I wear my red Bama shoes to walk to work, and they’re really comfy. For the most part, everyone here leaves their ‘work shoes’ in the break room, and switches into them when they arrive. I really love and appreciate this, except for one thing: in these past few warmer months, my feet have gotten a bit sweaty on that walk, as feet are prone to do.

It was only after a few frustrating afternoons of trying to switch from my walkers to my work shoes that I finally understood why the socks-that-go-in-work-shoes are A THING: they make it SO much easier to get into my shoes! Like a shoehorn. Or just, a sock.

unnamed-1The ladies of Japan have clearly taken to this as the best thing since sliced bread (which everyone seems to REALLY love around here, btw) and they come in millions of different colors, patterns and designs. In this photo, you can see I’m wearing lacy ones. These also have some extra padding underneath the ball and heel of my foot, so my shoes are even MORE comfy than usual.

Sure, it changes the shape of the top of your foot IN the shoe, and looks a little like the shoe is shaped funny, but since everyone wears them, no one seems to care that these ruin the contour.

And I’m not sure I care, either. Sold in a promotions (normally) of 3 for 1,000Y ($10), I got a smooth black pair, and a smooth nude pair as well. And now my feet slide effortlessly into my work shoes after a long ‘walk’ to work.

Lady problems.