posts: 1057

Here’s a question for those of you interested in thinking about and offering some advice on a rather unusual style situation:

What would you wear as indoor slippers to work in a Japanese school?

In Japanese schools, you exchange your street shoes at the door for a pair of indoor slippers. For students, these are uniform (canvas Mary Janes with colored toe-bumps and traction for elementary school; awkward plastic sandals kind of like this for junior high), but teachers can select what style shoe they want—they just have to make sure they never wear them outdoors. The priority is usually comfort (as a teacher, I swear, you never sit down!) and a color and style that will go with any work outfit. In my case, I also need them to be very packable because I work at several different schools and must carry my shoes with me in my bag to each of them.

You might want to consider a winter vs. summer style since clothing styles and temperature needs differ based on the seasons—even the students change their uniform for winter vs. summer— but a different pair of shoes for each day is not an option.


-Need to go with any outfit worn to work: slacks or skirts, socks or tights or barefoot, and any color scheme.

-Need to be comfortable enough to stand in for as long as five hours per day. (I don’t do any running and not a ton of walking, either, but I do a LOT of standing!).

-Should be lightweight and/or malleable (but also durable!) so it can be packed easily in my bag to carry around to my many schools.

-Should be easy to slip on and off, because the entryways usually don’t have a convenient place to sit down and do up laces or buckles. (And I usually am carrying a lot of things I’d rather not have to put down).

-Preferably have some traction on the sole, since the schools have mostly concrete and linoleum floors that get very slippery on rainy days.

-The winter style at least should be very warm. The floors are concrete (cold!) and the schools do not have central heat (VERY cold!) and the temperature of my feet seems to have a huge effect on the temperature of my body.

-Luckily, shoes do not need to look super-professional, but more professional-looking is better than less.

I’ve had to answer this question for myself, and while I’ve found some options that work pretty well for me I’m curious to know if you have any better ideas! What would you wear in my position?

posted almost 8 years ago
posts: 12

It sounds like you could do with a pair of neutral flats. The comfort aspects varies, just make sure you don’t buy ones that are to big. They’ll rub at the back of your heels.

posted over 6 years ago
posts: 79

Flats would be a really good substitute for uwabaki :)
You could always go with some comfy slippers too since they’re just for inside.
I used to have teachers that wore slippers in Japanese school.

posted over 6 years ago

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