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Laced shoes and Japan = “Dame yo” | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Laced shoes and Japan = “Dame yo”

Manolo says, the Manolo has received the note from one of his readers, offering guidance on the topic of shoes suitable for wearing in Japan.


The shoes that you recommended today for an upcoming Japan trip are very cute, but very impractical for the Western traveler to Japan. It’s very typical to take off one’s shoes when entering museums, temples, restaurants, workplaces, and some kinds of lodging. A tourist could easily have to take off and put shoes back on a dozen times in a day. Do you really want to have unlace and relace every time? “Ie” (no). So shoes without laces are the way to go on any trip to Japan (and true for most Asian countries where shoe removal is quite common.) And make sure your socks don’t have holes or that your toes look cute.

BTW, of course, Japanese people wear shoes with laces, but the backs are often broken down because they try to avoid lacing by stuffing their feet into the shoes as if they were slip-ons. And “dame yo” roughly means “not good”, “don’t do it”, etc.


Arrigato, Jennifer-san, for your most helpful comments.

Here, then, is the more appropriate shoe, the Cole Haan Air Harmony short black bootie, something comfortable, stylish, and able to be worn with both pants and skirts.

Cole Haan Air Harmony Short Boot   Manolo Likes!  Click!

Also, the Manolo’s internet friend Bob sends us the link to the very amusing Tokyo Street Style Blog.

5 Responses to “Laced shoes and Japan = “Dame yo””

  1. Katrina Russo September 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    What a wonderful idea, it beats the re-lacing every time you move in and out of a building..

    Thanks for the great product and travel tip.


    Twitter: katluvsshoes

  2. Virginia Postrel September 18, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Avoiding laces is generally advised for any travel through U.S. airline security.

  3. Brusselsscout September 19, 2009 at 5:36 am #

    Love the booties! Thanks for the link too. I was in Japan over the summer and was absolutely fascinated by their style. I’ve been looking for something like this.

  4. Cara September 20, 2009 at 6:10 am #

    Or you can look at this Japanese street style website: http://www.style-arena.jp/street/

    Japanese women often wear sandals, even during the rainy season, a friend of mine gave me the advice – “because you get wet anyway and sandals and feet dry faster this way, no?”
    I totally agree with the fact that you have to be able to get out of your shoes fast, so sling pumps are probably a good choice too. Shoes in Japan generally are often not very practically, I’ve seen women go hiking in heels I wouldn’t be able to stand on.

  5. Uncle Shoes October 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    The no lace would be good for that. It is a pain to go throuhg the airport sucurity