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What shoes are expected at schools? 2008/2/24 08:09
I'll be going to a Japanese school soon but I am unsure of what to bring. I was asked to bring slippers for inside the school, but is there a certain style I have to follow? Can anyone give me any examples of what's worn there? And what about shoes for physical education? Certain schools in the US have rules such as no black soles and shoe laces are required. Is there anything strange like that around Japan that I should know about?
by A  

... 2008/2/25 11:48
Will you be going as an exchange student or just visiting for a short while?

If you will only be there for a short while (1-2 weeks) then any pair of slip on sandals should be fine. The distinction is that they are only to be worn inside. As for PE, you should have another pair of gym shoes for PE use only.

If you will be going as an exchange student then you will probably be expected to purchase the uniform sandals and gym shoes that all the other students have.

But if they asked you to bring slippers than I would recommend going out and buying a pair of slip on sandals like these:
which is the type I mostly saw HS students wearing at school.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/25 17:25
I suspect they *might* have been referring to indoor "slippers" but with a bit different style.... the type that is not completely "slip-on" but more like indoor rubber-soled shoes with full cover over the heel. This is what normally "indoor school shoes" look like - canvas cloth material with rubber sole:



The first site, for example, sells sizes up to 26.5cm or so. Unless you need very large size, I think you can wait till you get to Japan to get a pair like your classmates.
by AK rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/25 17:43
The type of shoe AK recommended is also very common (I didn't mention it earlier as I couldn't find a picture) and can be bought at many different stores for very cheap. I've seen them at home centers, department stores, and I think even at the 100 yen store (although they usually cost somewhere between 300-1000 yen).

Some schools have restrictions on what colors they can be. You should ask the school what type they prefer and what the students typically wear. If you don't want to stand out shoe-wise you may want to ask if you can purchase whatever the school's uniform slippers/gym shoes are.

BTW, is this your post at jref?

Black leather shoes are usually outdoor shoes. Penny loafers seem to be the shoe of choice for most of the girls I've seen that weren't wearing tennis shoes, but anything is usually acceptable.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/26 16:18
Yes, that post just so happens to be mine.

I have no contact information for the school and their website is utterly useless. I'll have to end up taking a guess at what slippers I buy based on these suggestions. I was planning on waiting to buy them after I got there, but my program asked for me to bring them from home. My guess is I'll have to buy another pair when I get there.

Thanks for the help!
by A rate this post as useful

just bring any indoor footwear 2008/2/26 22:35
Hi A,

I don't think there is anything to add, so this is just a sort of a reassurance to what the others are saying.

First of all, at schools, slip-on slippers are always available for sudden guests. And you can purchase any type of school shoes very easily once you're in Japan.

So I'm wondering why your exchange organization insisted on having you bring your own slippers. But I think the answer is this: In Japan, it is a courtesy to the school to bring your own slippers. This is just in case they run out of their own, but that is unlikely to happen unless you're attending a huge ceremony or conference. Another reason is in case your feet are too big (bigger than 27cm) to fit the average pair of shoes sold at the local stores.

As for gym shoes as well as outdoor shoes, what you wear depends on each school. Some schools accept commuting in sneekers only while some only accept black leather.

So probably, the organization was trying to say that it's worthless to buy shoes in advance, but you can bring slippers.

Bottom line, bring whatever "indoor footwear" that is comfortable for you. It will be for temporary use anyway. And then, ask all your questions directly to the school or agent, once you get here. You don't have to worry about it.
by Uco, mom of a high school kid rate this post as useful

For those familiar with Japanese schools 2008/2/26 22:42
You know how schools always write on their notices, "Meeting to be held on so and so. Please bring writing material, slippers, and no cars allowed." but in reality, you can get away with it even if you forget your writing material and slippers and drive your car as long as you can find a place to park outside. I think this is what it's all about.
by Uco rate this post as useful

gym shoes 2008/2/26 22:48
Oh, A, your school is telling you to bring gym shoes as well. Then I suspect that they can accept various designs, and are willing to prevent you from spending money for something you already have. Just bring whatever you're using now. White and laced sounds pretty typical to me.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Shoes 2008/3/3 10:54
Hello. I'm an ALT at a junior high in Chiba-ken, and I had to bring my own everyday "indoor shoes". If you are going to be working there, DON'T wear slippers. All the students and teachers wear sneakers inside. The students wear identical school-uniform sneakers, and the teachers buy their own (usually black) sneakers. Anything with a rubber sole that covers your heels and toes and is comfortable, seems to be okay.
by Sara rate this post as useful

... 2008/3/3 11:40
I disagree with avoiding slippers. I taught at a number of high schools and slippers or the school shoes AK mentioned were the norm.

I think sneakers as indoor shoes would be acceptable if they were part of the school uniform as they appear to be in Sara's case.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

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