Japanese kicks are famous for their sense of style, funky designs and in some cases, extreme quirkiness. For the Japanese, shoes, especially sneakers don’t serve just a functional or style purpose, but are in fact an extension of their individual tastes and perhaps even their personality. No wonder there are many Japanese shoe brands that have become powerful and iconic in a short amount of time. Here are a few shoe brands from Japan that you should know about.
The LOSERS brand of shoes believes in the idea of ‘iki’ – a uniquely Japanese concept from the Edo era that marries beauty and perseverance. The concept of ‘iki’ gives birth to the notion of “no regret or shame, even in defeat”. In fact, the Japanese see the word LOSER as as a positive trait, rather than negative. This is why this brand has gained a kind of cult popularity among those struggling to make it big, despite several setbacks.
One of the most significant design element is that the brand has their iconic V-shaped logo on the toes of their shoes, rather than the side, like other shoes. Their signature colour scheme combines 48 shades of brown and 100 shades of gray, which were the colours that ordinary people could wear in the Edo period of Japanese history.
Official Website: http://losers-styg.com
2.Shoes Like Pottery
With a name like this, you would be forgiven for thinking that you are buying some earthenware from Pottery Barn, instead of sneakers. However, the unique ka-ryu or rubber vulcanizing process has made this brand like no other shoes out there.
Each shoe is baked in a kiln up to 120C for 70 minutes, to process the rubber sole. This makes the sole softer and more comfortable than any other shoes you have tried. The shoes are handcrafted by expert craftsmen, who always bear in mind the Japanese obsession for neatness and perfection. No wonder, Shoes Like Pottery footware are a perfect addition to your shoe collection.
Official Website: http://www.shoeslikepottery.com
One of the popular athletics wear companies in Japan, Mizuno started 110 years ago in Osaka. With a complete focus on performance and attention to the minutest detail, Mizuno shoes combine meticulous craftsmanship with restless innovation. Till date, this attention to detail has made Mizuno shoes the gold standard for serious runners. The RS88 model helps runners achieve top speed and is also one of the most popular models for 2017. One thing is sure : whether you are a runner or not, Mizunos will ensure your feet never look out of style.
Official Website: http://www.mizuno.jp
The Tokyo-based Japanese brand Hender Scheme aims to design shoes that balance modern design sensibilities with ‘high craft’. Their iconic design feature includes classic footwear silhouettes handmade in natural leather. This allows the untreated material to pick up a unique colour depending on each person’s usage. While I’m sure I can’t afford their super high price tags, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t mind a pair of these under my Christmas tree.
Official Website: http://henderscheme.com
If you really love Japanese brands, (and let’s face it, they make the best stuff), these are just a few of the different shoes you can choose from. You can either pick one of these Japanese brands the next time you are in Japan, or have them sent to you. Either ways, you can’t go wrong…
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