IKITABI © is the Japanese-inspired shoe brand created by Chikako Inoué in 2004 to complete her TRAZITA clothing line. Over time, this variation of traditional Japanese shoes with separate toes has become the emblematic product of her collection, distributed worldwide.


At the beginning, the Tabi: Japanese slippers and socks with separate big toes worn in Japanese flip-flops (Geta and other Setta) gave their name to boots of identical shape : the Jika-Tabi.
Formerly reserved for warriors, the use of these Tabi boots has been transmitted to Japanese workers (miners, artisans, peasants, etc…) assuring them the flexibility, comfort and stability required to feel comfortable during their tasks.
Resistant and silent during the march, The Jika Tabi were also worn by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.
Declined in a more sporty way by Shisou Kanaguri, manufacturer and Japanese marathon's father, the "Kanaguri Tabi" were worn by Shigeki Tanaka, ensuring him the first Japanese victory at the Boston marathon in 1951.
They were traded under the name of "Marathon Tabi" by the Onitsuka Tiger Company in its beginnings, since become ASICS, the famous sneakers Japanese brand.


The Ikitabi style

The designer Chikako Inoué knew how to restore their fame to the Jikatabi, formerly Samurai's and Ninjas' shoes.

While bringing them a very high level of finishes and quality materials in a wide range of colors, she gave them a class and a daring refinement called IKI : She turned them into Ikitabi © !
This exclusive line's singularity is based on supple leather, discreetly reinforced with sewn and welded anti-slip soles made of a very resistant rubber. The Ikitabi © boots are lined with cotton and closed on the back with 12 invisible hooks.
The sizes range from 36 to 47.

The Ikitabi © boots distinguish themselves from their jikatabi ancestors by a wide range of colors, from the most sober to the most shimmering.
There is a model of two-tone Ikitabi boots (for the undecided ;) as well as an OBI model : this exclusive model created by Chikako Inoué is in black leather decorated with lamé Obi fabrics (Obi are ancient kimono belts adorned with beautiful patterns and embroidered with gold thread).
Each pair of Obi Ikitabi boots presents unique patterns, making it a rare and precious item.
In a more minimalist version, the Ikitabi UNO boots mix black leather and plain black cotton twill.
For summer, Japanese COGEI boots are adorned with an original Trazita © print combining ancient Japanese prints and old Geishas and Samurais photos in a tattoo style.

The Ikitabi © also come in low boots variants closed with 3 hooks, available in several colors and materials such as leather, reinforced and stitched canvas, printed cotton…

The Tabi ballerinas shoes are another Ikitabi © brand exclusive variation. You won't see them anywhere else.
The Ikitabi ballerinas with separate toe are very soft, flexible and resistant, made with leather or with Obi lamé fabric, their comfort and lightness invite to enter the dance !


Walking with Ikitabi

Barefoot fans appreciate the second skin feel of Ikitabi © shoes.
The barefoot walk seduces with its spiritual and natural dimension. The barefoot benefits are multiple : this practice helps to spontaneously correct posture and gait, to strengthen all the feet and legs muscles, to improve balance, agility and blood flow… All this, in a natural way !
The Ikitabi therefore allow you to enjoy the virtues of barefooting while avoiding the dangers of the urban jungle.

- "Tabi ? yes, but Ikitabi's !"
IKITABI © Tabi shoes are both traditional and avant-garde, and the separate toe detail gives them an unusual look that leaves no one indifferent.
The incredible allure of these cult shoes gives an original look to any outfit.
Whether you are a Manga or Ninja fan, or simply charmed by the IKI elegance, dare the IKITABI © difference !


Geta and Setta

Kind of Japanese thong flirting with the wooden clog, these Japanese shoes are raised on light wooden soles, for Getas, and flatter, on straw-like soles, for Settas. They have in common their padded strap covered with graphic Japanese printed fabrics.
They are traditionally small because Japanese don't wear them fitted, they prefer them smaller than their feet. This practice goes back to ancient times, Japanese tradition required to wear them leaving the foot heel protruding from the back of the shoe, in order to prevent from stepping on the kimono bottom. It was also an effective way to build one's calf muscles !

The Ikian online store offers several varieties of these Japanese heeled thongs. 
Some models are more refined with a dark and curved paulownia wooden sole, a occidental style heel and a more elaborate printed fabric padded strap, as rounded Getasles Ashi Getas, or square Getas.
More minimalist, the Tengu Getas or "one tooth Geta"are traditional Japanese clogs formerly used by Yamabushi monks and their students to walk in the mountains.
Their light wooden sole is flat and rectangular and they have the distinction of balancing on one vertical piece fixed at midfoot, nearly like stilts. They are also used in daily exercise to improve one's posture and develop one's balance requiring less commonly used muscles. 
The Two-toothed Getas are traditionally the most used in Japan. It is even possible to run with them, just like in Ozu's movies !

These flat Japanese thongs are essential for the traditional Japanese look or the practice of some martial arts. The straps and  soles are leather, except for Bamboo Settas with a bamboo sole and recycled car tire, with padded black velvet straps. They are very resistant.


Tabi : Japonaises socks with fingers

In order to wear your Geta, Setta et Ikitabi shoes, you will have the choice between several models of Tabi long and short socks : plain organic cotton, Tabi socks with graphic prints for adults or children, you will even find socks with 5 separate fingers !
Ikian e-shop also offers indoor socks / slippers decorated with superb Japanese patterns, to wear at home like slippers, or with some Getas.
To be consumed without moderation for Christmas, New Year's Eve or birthdays : this range of 2 or 5 fingers socks is full of excellent ideas for unusual gifts !


You can also find all these items in the Parisian shop of the Marais district:

The TRAZITA store (23 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004 Paris) is open every day from 12.30 pm to 7.30 pm, and from 3 pm to 7 pm on Sundays.