I chose my side on them | Margiela Tabi flats review

While my Sun (Cancer), Moon (Capricorn) & Rising (Virgo) signs, most posts on this site, and the Stanley Cup next to me might suggest differently:

I do not conform to society’s expectations.

and I love the unexpected.

That’s probably part of why Margiela’s Tabi shoes appeal to me so much.

The larger part of why I love them is because once you try them on, you’re like, “these shoes are wild and all other shoes are boring.”

Here’s the whole situation about Tabi flats…

Margiela Tabi Shoes Sizing

For comparison, my other shoe sizes run:
-Adidas Stan Smiths, US 8
Chanel Shoes, FR 39-39.5
Christian Louboutin, IT/EU 39.5
Golden Goose, IT/EU 39
Hermès, FR 39
Isabel Marant, FR 39-40
-Nikes, US 8.5
Repetto, FR 39.5-40

My Margiela Tabi ballerinas, in black with a 3cm heel, are a size 39.

Showing how Margiela Tabi Flats fit

Margiela’s flats do come in half-sizes, but I stuck with a 39.

Albeit, I probably should have considered half a size up, as this shoe is a little too tight on my slightly larger foot when I’m holding too much water (idk why I hold so much water in my feet?!)

In a 39, on my smaller foot, the fit is perfect.

The split toe oddly makes these shoes more comfortable than you would think.

… and once I’ve passed the water in my feet, there is zero sign of any sort of blister when wearing Tabi flats.

Like, not even between your toes.

TLDR: Margiela Tabi flats fit true to size if your feet are both the same size — if not, go half a size up. FWIW, I found the sizing to be same in the “new” version without a pronounced bow.

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There’s something to be said about a shoe that copied 15th century-old Japanese split-toe socks, but has never been copied itself.*

From Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” to the launch of the GameBoy and Taylor Swift’s birth (which would give way to 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (arguably one of her best re-recordings)), 1989 also heralded the release of these shoes that first graced Margiela’s Spring 1989 runway show (technically they had their debut in 1988, since the show was the previous year though); the Tabi boot.

6 centuries later, or 36 years from their runway debut, or 4 Taylor Swift re-recordings later, it’s futile to say that these shoes leave an impression that’s more indelible than any song that Tay (or Madonna!) has sung.


Part-Parsons student who used to be a ~horse girl~ in elementary school (hello, the hoof-like shape!).

Maison Margiela Tabi (split toe) flats in black on a box

Part-Parsons student who used to be a ~horse girl~ in elementary school who has made it their life’s mission to make Margiela belatedly included in the Antwerp Six.

These shoes beg for the formality of the past, yet are easily worn to your history of fashion classes.

*Except for dumb Demna.

Pros & Cons

Norm defying
Ridiculously soft leather: You’ll want sheets made out of this leather.
Comfortable: Even at, maybe, half a size too small, my left foot’s comfort makes up for my right foot’s discomfort.
Dust bags: They’re akin to disposable shoe covers that you see doctors wear in the OR or that you might be forced to wear on a rainy day when you go imaginary house shopping at open-houses… but in a ~make it fashion~ way.

Delicate: Admittedly, I have not worn them outside yet, however in the time that I’ve had them and worn them inside, a stitch on one of the toe splits has broken.



“You paid that much for an expensive pair of shoes that gave you blisters? You need therapy.”

All phrases I’ve had thrown at me (and reasons why I disabled my comments section!).

So, you know what the greatest part about these shoes are?

Margiela Tabi shoes are a big ol’ middle finger to what people’s preconceived ideas are of beauty and fashion.

… because at the end of the day, you can see formidable style from 1,989 miles away.

Margiela shoes (and their Tabi shoes) are available from 24S, Net-A-Porter, and SSENSE, among other retailers.

Note: newinspired uses affiliate links which costs you nothing… but means a lot to me. When you use these links, the money newinspired earns gets reinvested in blog content. Absolutely nothing on newinspired is “gifted” or sponsored, I purchase each item with my own money. Affiliate commissions are used to purchase new items to honestly & thoroughly review. If you found this review helpful, consider using them to support newinspired.

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