Traditionally the rope material was made of rice straw, however waraji can be made out of various other materials such as hemp, stalks of myōga, palm fibers, and cotton thread. Now they are mostly worn by traditional Buddhist monks.
Traditionally, the Japanese wear the waraji with their toes protruding slightly over the front edge. However, there are no set rules or guidelines on wearing waraji.
Remnants of Baekje-era straw footwear that is similar to the Japanese waraji had been found in Gungnamji (궁남지) Buyeo County, South Korea in 1995, which suggests the level of interaction between ancient Korean and Japanese culture.