"Tah-bee" - Tabi are ninja boots, that are built for stealth and traction and are most readilly identified by their split toe design. The big toe is separated from the rest of the toes, or rather it's got its own little big toe compartment.
Tabi are like sock-boots, or sandal-sock-boots. They offer the lightness of a sandal but without that pesky flip-floping noise. They are usually constructed of a light fabric which can be pulled up to the knees and have a hard sole with a gripping rough surface. A ninja can also apply metal climbing claws to their tabi for those extra special scouting missions, or to prevent any situations that will require them to fall off of the screen and blink to death. Consequently, the gripping stability of the tabi is so well reputed, that a style has been adapted for use by Japanese construction workers.
The split toe design which got it's origin from the traditional Japanese zori allows the ninja to perform super human feats of agility! Namely the act of using one's reinfored padded big toe to litteraly walk up a rope by employing secret ninja rope grasping toe technique! They can use the big toe for extra climbing strength.
Two of the major downsides to wearing tabi are that they require the use of tabi socks (split toe socks that are really neat and hard to find), and they make the wearer look like they have chicken feet (of death none the less).