It’s custom in Japan to take off your shoes upon entering a house. This is done mostly to keep floors clean and in good condition, but also because socks and slippers are just more comfortable than shoes.
The Japanese are rather proud of this tradition and often have trouble understanding why people in other countries wouldn’t want to take off their shoes after going inside.
Japanese company Satoyama Socks suspects that many people may just not feel comfortable taking their shoes off while everyone else keeps theirs on.
And that’s why they designed Shoe-Socks.
As you can probably tell by the name, Shoe-Socks are socks that look like shoes…with socks.
Not only is the concept straightforward, but the product seen in the picture looks so good that you might just be complimented on your shoes while wearing them.
The original design for the product won the “Good Design Award” at the 2008 Tokyo Midtown Awards, an annual contemporary art and design competition sponsored by the Tokyo Midtown urban area in Akasaka.
The product website details the story behind the creation of Shoes-Socks:
“To take off ones shoes when entering inside the house”.
This is a so-called “have to” custom for the people in Japan and this simple action heals the body and soul, and gentles the speed of time. This is why Japanese people can’t help taking off their shoes when getting inside the house. But we are pretty sure Japanese are not the only ones who desire this relaxation. Right? This simple thought gave birth to the Shoe-Socks (“Kutsu-kutsushita”).
By wearing these, you can relax without being noticed. Imagine how good it feels without shoes, pretending “with” shoes, on the airplane, at home, at the office, or wherever you are. Just be careful when wearing them in Japan!
Shoe-Socks: the ultimate stealth relaxation outerwear.
More than anything, we imagine Shoe-Socks would be perfect for Japanese people traveling abroad who feel conscious about taking their shoes off when visiting someone’s home.
Shoe-Socks are currently available in two designs, the classy MIDTOWN for ￥1,260 (US $16.35) or the sporty CAMPUS for ￥1,470 (US $19.09), and can be purchased at the Green Deli in Tokyo Midtown or online at the SUNAYAMA Online shop.