Geta is a traditional Japanese sandal with an elevated wooden base or “dai” (in Japanese stand). More oval dai is used for geta worn by women. Men wear geta with a dai of rectangualar shape. This wooden base is held onto feet with a a fabric tong or “hanao.” The hanao is made of cotton, vinyl or leather. It is replaceble.

geta sandals
Geta – traditional Japanese sandals

In the most popular variety of geta the hanao passes between the big toe and second toe. It is worn without socks. In Japan people wear geta with some traditional garment like kimono or even with the western style of clothing.

Below the wooden base there are supporting pieces of wood called “teeth” or “ha.” Usually there are two ha. Geta with one or three ha exist too. The one with three ha is less common. They are made of light-weigthed kiri tree (paulownia). Sometimes a rubber sole is glued onto them. When you walk wearing geta special clacking sound is heard. The Japanese called it “karankoron.”

There is a variety of geta called “okobo” or kopori geta. It is made from single piece of willow wood. It is worn by “maiko” or apprentice geisha during her apprenticeship. Fabric tong in this geta can be of different colour. Red tong is worn by new maiko. Yellow tong is worn by the maiko which is almost ended her apprenticeship

It is interesting to know that the geta is mentioned in some Japanese sayings. It is said “you don't know until you have worn geta". That means “you do not know the result before the end of the game”. There is also a superstition stating that a person who breaks his/her geta will suffer from bad luck.