There is a fact that Japan is one of the most popular countries for manufacturing high-end fashion products. This nation is especially known for its premium quality and fashionable shoes among footwear buyers. Each famous design in their shoe industry is like a masterpiece that makes a strong impression on many fans of shoes. That’s the reason why fashionistas, both men and women, really desire to have some Japanese shoes to match with their personal performance.
If you also want to own some pairs of excellent shoes like that, let’s discover these top 14 Japanese shoe brands. This list from Janbox will be a useful guide to help you pick your most suitable ones.
1. Top 14 Japanese shoe brands you should know
1.1. Hiro Yanagimachi
Hiro Yanagimachi is known as the brainchild of Hiroyuki Yanagimachi. In 1999, he graduated from London’s Cordwainers College and began his career as a shoe designer. However, he felt that his major was too restricted and limited. Then, he started to make tailor-made shoes. He even collaborated with 7 other artisans when he opened his store in Tokyo. While only five of the craftsmen could specialize in shoes, the rest produce accessories.
All materials used by the Hiro Yanagimachi brand are made sure to be the best ones. Because the shoes are hand-made, it often takes at least three weeks to finish a pair. But it ensures that customers will have chances to use the shoes with the best quality and satisfaction. Additionally to his high-end custom shoes, Hiro Yanagimachi also brings a slightly lower-cost option to the market.
1.2. Eiji Murata
Eiji Murata is a second-generation shoemaker who follows in the footsteps of his father, who specialized in pattern making in Tokyo. The Japanese Shoes Brand was founded in 2004. The main store is situated in Otemon Street, Kyoto. Besides, there are two smaller ones located in Tokyo’s Ginza District. It was famous for its top quality and materials chosen by master craftsmen. Labels offer a variety of shoes according to customer demands, from loafers to other slip-ons. Moreover, Eiji Murata shoes have a wide range of colors which you can use for many events.
1.3. Shoes Like Pottery
Since 1873, in Kurume, Fukuoka, Shoes Like Pottery has been hand-crafting canvas sneakers. If you’re a fan of trendy Japanese sneaker brands, you cannot ignore the famous label because it’s always on the top list of fashionistas. In Japan, Shoes Like Pottery is known for its cozy feel, softness, and vulcanized soles. To vulcanize the rubber soles of the shoes, they bake them in kilns, just like pottery. Thanks to the unique method, these shoes have a soft, flexible sole unlike any other. The extra comfort and Ka-Ryu process provided by this company make them stand out from the rest of the Japanese shoes brand.
1.4. Shoji & Yuriko Kawaguchi
Shoji & Yuriko Kawaguchi was founded in 2011 by the husband-and-wife team, Shoji and Yukiro Kawaguchi. In the United Kingdom, Shoji and Yukiro met for the first time while studying at the London College of Fashion. Then, they both moved north after graduating and worked at Paul Wilson together. After the couple returned to Japan in 2008, Shoji worked as a freelancer for Tony Gaziano before they established the Shoji & Yuriko Kawaguchi brand. Because the couple has an interest in 1900s fashions, their tailor-made shoes are influenced by early 20th Century English shoemaking.
1.5. Onitsuka Tiger
The Japanese shoe brand Onitsuka Tiger was started in 1949. It was named after its founder Kihachiro Onitsuka. At the first time, they began as a sports shoe manufacturer, but over the years, they have developed into a fashion brand that is sports-inspired. It can be said that each product from Onitsuka Tiger is the perfect combination of modern and traditional styles, which makes the label distinctive and artistic.
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1.6. Rendo Shoes
Rendo Shoes was established in 1947 by Hirokazu Shimada as a family business. In the past, his family had more than 60-year of experience making shoes. Even they won a lot of precious awards because of their quality. All their shoes are made from the best materials which are quite different from other brands such as leather, rubber soles, mesh uppers. Rendo Shoes are not only high in quality but also reasonably priced. That’s the reason why they’re outstanding among many local brands in Japan.
1.7. Union Royal Yohei Fukuda
Union Royal was founded in 1952, by Japanese custom shoe-maker Yohei Fukuda and his wife Ayumi. Their showroom is located at Ginza Mitsukoshi Department Store, in Tokyo, but their shoes can be shipped worldwide. All materials for their products are imported from Italy and European countries. With the purpose of bringing the most comfortable and durable shoes, their shoes are all hand-made. Moreover, this Japanese shoe brand can afford all styles of customers, from classic black loafers to colorful ones.
1.8. Asics Japan
On September 1, 1949, Asics Japan was founded as Onitsuka Co., Ltd. Kihachiro Onitsuka began manufacturing basketball shoes from his hometown of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. Until now, his brand is well-known as one of the top Japanese shoe brands. Especially, if you have a special interest in sport’s shoes, the brand is considered to be the best choice for you all the time. Moreover, Asics Japan has professional runners and athletes who will try and evaluate each product to optimize the product quality. Through many tests, the Asics designers will create the best shoe with excellent designs. Therefore, Asics Japan is known as one of the best Japanese sports brands.
1.9. Miyagi Kogyo
In 1941, Miyagi Kogyo was first founded in Higashiyonban Town, Sendai City. By 1952, its old machinery had already been upgraded to modern technology. Since 1969, Miyagi Kogyo has collaborated with Barker Shoes. Thanks to that, Japan had even been granted the right to manufacture and sell shoes under the English brand’s name.
In 2004, the Japanese shoes brand names opened a made-to-order custom service to provide the demand of customers. And today, despite their famous names, their stores are not in Tokyo and they manufacture in Nanyo, Yamagata.
1.10. 42nd Royal Highland
42nd Royal Highland was founded in the 1990s and inspired by English shoe-making. Their company is located in Okayama, Japan. This famous brand has more than 30 years experience in making shoes. Although its inspiration is from English, each of their shoes with the best materials is handcrafted by entirely Japanese skillful artisans. That’s why many people believe in 42nd Royal Highland’s footwear quality. If you want to have a pair of high-end shoes for your own, let’s put the brand on your list.
1.11. TYE shoemaker
TYE shoemaker was founded in 2011, by Tsuyoshi Ohno. This Japanese shoe brand was created for those who have foot problems. In order to have a pair of customized shoes from this brand, you have to wait for them for at least 8 months. In reality, all their products are made from the best quality materials, which makes customers feel comfortable and limits the possibility of injury. One of their outstanding advantages is eco-friendly materials. Therefore, their products are welcomed enthusiastically by consumers.
Another leading Japanese shoe brand that you cannot forget is Mizuno. Specifically, with those who need sport shoes, the brand name is born for them. The company’s shoes are specifically designed for those who run on a daily basis. Furthermore, their shoes are made from the best fabrics, which helps runners feel relaxed and comfortable when they have outdoor activities. This makes the brand stand out from other Japanese sneaker brands due to its unique designs for each athlete.
1.13. Scotch Grain
Scotch Grain was founded in 1978 by a Japanese businessman Taito Ward and a British shoe designer. All their creations are made by the hands of skillful craftsmen in Toki-Ori. The company has more than 100 years of manufacturing the best leather. Because Scotch Grain shoes aren’t made of glue and synthetic nails, users feel comfortable and breathable. Scotch Grain has been recently named one of the top 300 “Hardworking small enterprises and entrepreneur companies.”
2. Why should you buy Japanese shoes?
A lot of people wonder why many fashionistas want to have Japanese shoes instead of other popular shoe brands. Actually, Japanese shoes brands are estimated to be unique in the world because they take care of the quality and comfortability. Each pair of their shoes is quite durable and consumers can use them for many years, and even decades. In the world of handicrafts, Japanese craftsmen are almost universally praised for their attention to detail.
Moreover, Japan is often admired for the perfect combination of Western styles and traditional culture. Because they are inspired by English, Italian, and even French shoe-making traditions, they still have their own distinctive designs that aren’t influenced by tradition. However, in every design, you still can see their own heritage which has remained and highlighted. As a result, the designs often have a magnificent and excellent quality.
So, you can see that, not only the quality but the designs of every creation from Japanese shoe brands are also given appreciation from many experts. Because the products are elaborated from the smallest details, customers are always assured of both quality and design. This explains why the Japanese shoe industry has grown so much across the world when demand for shoes is on the rise.
In conclusion, there are too many convincing reasons why you should pick a pair from Japanese shoe brands. Each label has its own advantages which are suitable for specific demands. It can be said that each pair of Japanese shoes is like the brainchild of skillful artisans. So, you can believe in the quality of all the above shoe brands we mentioned. All you need is to take a careful look at every brand name to pick one matched for your styles.
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