Jikatabi are a type of heavy-duty footwear worn in Japan. Also known outside Japan as tabi boots, they are modelled on tabi, traditional split-toe Japanese footwear. Being made of heavier, tougher material and often having rubber soles, they are often preferred by construction workers, farmers and gardeners, rickshaw-pullers, and other workmen. Like other tabi, jika-tabi have divided toe areas so they can be worn with slip-on thonged footwear, but they resemble boots and function as outer footwear rather than as socks.
Shojiro Ishibashi, the founder of major tire company Bridgestone Corporation, is credited with their innovation. Outside Japan, jikatabi are appreciated by martial arts practitioners who often believe that jikatabi were once worn by ninja and samurai; some people also like wearing them for exercise, specifically trail-running, walking, and climbing.
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