//JIKATABI INFO DUMP//
RETAILERS/SELLERS: Japan-Zone, Jika-Tabi.com, SOU SOU, Maison Margiela, Assaboots, Ayya Wear, Amazon, Ebay.
In my experience Japan Zone has the most to offer in terms of selection, never had any shipping issues either, cant speak to the others as I haven't ordered from them.
BRANDS/MANUFACTURERES: Rikio, Suokaido, Marugo, Takesyo, SOU SOU, Ayya Wear, Lafeet, Maison Margiela, Abasi Rosborough,
There are typically three different types or styles of Tabi that you can find with the first three makers listed, those being:
The traditional and most recognizable style, ranging from knee height to below the ankle, usually very thin soled with minimal padding unless stated otherwise.
The Safety Tabi, these are tabi that are outfitted with various levels of protection ranging from a resin or steel toe cap, spiked/reinforced tread, big bulky straps, or all three.
The Sneaker Style, much more like running shoes, thicker soles, laces, designs akin to your typical New Balance or Asics.
BACKGROUND ON ME AND MY TABI EXPERIENCES/RIKIO VS SUOKAIDO:
My first pair of Jikatabi were passed down to me from my Dad (yes seriously he used to wear them for rock climbing and hiking in his teens) I wore them sparingly and not in public. They were from Suokaido and are probably the most common tabi in the US, velcro fastened with a very thin sole, the rubber wasnt flexible and they didnt fit very well in the calf. Eventually I wanted another pair, something with more padding and a more adjustable fit. I bought a pair of Rikio Fighter Tabi and found them to be much more comfortable and well fitted in the leg, the sole was still quite thin so I bought a pair of insoles and cut a split in them to match the tabi design. After a year of solid everyday wear my custom insoles had to be replaced twice, the tread was holding up just fine and so was the stitching but I decided I wanted another pair. The summer rolled around and I bought a pair of Rikio Air Fit Short, these have a padded insole built for shock absorption and comfort. The padding is glued to the sole from the inside and it gives the entire shoe a more rigid fit that forms to your foot and gives you arch support, the rubber sole is soft but strong, it holds up against asphalt but will still bend with your foot instead of restricting it. The most comfortable shoe I've ever worn, I've had two pair in the last 3 years, the first being the initial pair I bought which lasted me 2 years with constant everyday wear, the other is still in near perfect condition after a year of 80% daily wear.
CLOSING/SHUT UP ALREADY:
Theres many different Tabi to choose from in various colors and styles, I hope this long post will help you narrow down a pair that suit you. Feel free to DM me with any questions or post them here, I'd be happy to help.
//JIKATABI INFO DUMP//