These wooden slippers made of Japanese cedar can be used barefoot.
Belt-type slippers can be used with socks, but when used in Japan, they are mainly used barefoot in the summer season.
Wooden slippers come in two types:
those that are painted to protect the wood (black lacquered slippers)
and those that are natural and unpainted.
Unpainted natural slippers are particularly hygroscopic, absorbing sweat and moisture. Therefore, they are comfortable to wear even in summer. In Japan, they are sometimes used in onsen ryokan or after bathing.
Painted wooden slippers also absorb moisture, but less so than unpainted slippers.
However, they are more durable because they have a black coating to protect the wood.
The color of the unpainted type changes as the wood is used.
It will change to the color of more used wood.
It also absorbs the sweat of the feet, so the areas that are often in contact with the feet will become especially discolored.
Although comfortable to the touch, it is inevitable that the wood parts will become old and discolored.
Wooden Slipper Odor Problems and Care
The odor varies considerably depending on the environment in which the wood is used and the individual characteristics.
Storage in a humid or hot place or in an environment with poor ventilation or air flow is not recommended as it can cause odor.
This is only my experience, but I have never been bothered by the odor of these wooden slippers in my living environment in Japan.
I feel that since these wooden slippers are open-type wooden slippers with good moisture absorption properties,
they are unlikely to be a source of odor.
If anything, odor is more of a concern with our regular cotton slippers.
If you are concerned about the odor,
please care for them by wiping them with water using a tightly wrung cloth and drying them in the bright shade.
For painted slippers, it is okay to slightly wet them,
but for unpainted slippers, soaking them in water may damage the wood or cause them to crack when they dry,
so we recommend wiping them with a cloth.
We hope you will enjoy these beautiful slippers during the summer season!