The Waraji (草鞋) are sandals made from rice straw rope that, in the Sengoku and Edo Eras, were the standard footwear of the common people in Japan. Waraji were also adopted by the Samurai, as it allowed for defter, quicker movement. Traditionally, samurai would wear their Waraji with their toes protruding slightly over the front edge, which would help them keep their traction while running, scaling walls and fighting. The toe thong pressed on acupressure points and that was believed to assist the body’s daily functionalities. Commonly worn with Tabi Socks or Waraji-Gake the toes are supposed to jut out, the shoe sole in close contact with the foot, and the back to wrap around the Achilles Tendon.
Because Waraji were made from straw rope, it tends to become more brittle as time goes by. In the past, roads were not paved. Dirt and soil on the ground filled the holes in the straw soles, reducing additional friction and thereby increasing the lifespan of the sandals. However, they still did not last very long and people had to have an extra pair hanging on their belts so they had an extra pair whenever needed. Nevertheless, they were cheap and easy to mend. To maintain your Sandals, be sure to soak them in water for about ten minutes whenever they start to dry. This will help maintain the internal moisture of the rope, and save them from falling apart or breaking. For walking on modern surfaces you can also add non-slip / grip tape to the bottom to help keep them from slipping on some surfaces, which will also help prevent fraying.
Now available in 3 Sizes: Small (22 CM), Medium (24 CM) and Large (26 CM), from heel to toe. It is recommended to order one size smaller so your toes can hang over slightly, this helps you maintain traction when charging up hills or climbing.