The Shoe Snob Blog

Japanese Archive

January 18, 2021

Next Level Sneakers – Masayuki Kaneko

I really think the hardest thing in shoemaking is combining sneaker elements with dress shoe design/style. And I tell you, these ones here by Japanese shoemaker Masayuki Kaneko, are easily the best ones that I have see yet. Being that the foundation of the two different types of shoes are so profoundly different, most attempts at combining the characteristisc of each turns into a Frankenstein result that is neither attractive and sometimes not even weareable. […]

December 28, 2020

Elephant Boots by Alte Art – Next Level!

Well, there is a first for everything and this is the first elephant balmoral boot that I have ever seen. And man is it impressive! And it is no surprise from whom it comes from as these Japanese shoemakers are producing some of the most interesting pieces of art in today’s world, at least for my taste! And their name is Alte Art. Admittedly, I do not know a whole lot about them and their […]

December 9, 2020

Written by , Posted in Japanese, News

Boot Progression by Hiro Yanagimachi

I have been a fan of Hiro Yanagimachi ever since they first came out on the scene of Instagram, way back when. And since then, it has been a pleasant stocking of their brand and progress. One thing I like about Instagram is how you can see a brands’ essence gets shaped and/or adapts to the times, with each passing week and blocks of 3 images. In this case, the essence of Hiro Yanagimachi is […]

November 20, 2020

Next Level Handstitching – Hiro Yanagimachi

What I always loved about Japanese Shoemaker Hiro Yanagimachi is their ability to maintain the most classic look while at the same time offering subtle details that not only set their shoes apart but shows irrefutably their level of skill in shoemaking. This boot here shows just that. An otherwise classic apron toe derby boot, but with next level handstitching. And different variations of handstitching at that! In doing so they show the depth of […]

November 9, 2020

Masayuki Kaneko – The Next Great Japanese Shoemaker

In the day and age of having information at your fingertips, it can almost become too much to absorb and sift through. Prior to IG, you really had to do some hard research to find great shoemakers spread across the planet. You had to use Google search and hope that some bloggers, like myself or Shoegazing, had written about some obscure maker that you had never heard of in order to continue your quest for […]

June 29, 2020

Industry Secrets Part 1: ‘Handmade’ is a Lie

  Pictures in post represent what actual handmade shoes look like. The thing about me is that I believe lying is the most dangerous weaponry there is. It can fool millions, deceive entire groups of people, and lead many to have a perception that is built on falsehood. 90% of brands that claim their shoes are handmade are a part of that great deception. Your shoes are not handmade. Yet that is what they want […]

June 9, 2020

Coolest Shoe Trees Ever Made

Shoe trees are becoming almost as cool as shoes. They have come a long way in the last 20 years ago when all I saw was crappy spring-loaded cedar shoe trees offered by all of the big shops. Of course, bespoke makers always made them for their own shoes and were always nice, but they were not nearly as prevalent as they are today and of course, thanks to social media outlets like Instagram and […]

May 14, 2020

The Brogue Loafer of all Brogued Loafers – Andante Shoemaker

I have never quite seen a loafer like this one before. It pushes ideas and crosses boundaries I feel most shoemakers are afraid to cross. And Andante Shoemaker, of Japan, did so in a very well-executed manner. So much so, in fact, that I love them and am already picturing all of the amazing combinations that could be done with these. I think that in all-calf, this would be too much to swallow for most. […]

August 15, 2019

TYE Shoemaker – Most Interesting Brand of Today

Bespoke shoemaker, TYE Shoemaker, out of Japan has been making some very very interesting shoes since coming to light a few years back, thanks to Instagram. The latest are these very intriguing and unique blue suede Crocodile Norwegian welt derbies with a commando gum sole and a bamboo pattern. Damn, that’s a lot going on. Not to mention the braided trimming, just a little touch of detail that TYE likes to commonly through in there. […]

July 16, 2019

Wood & Paper Shoes by Orma Shoemaker x Zouganista

A pretty cool project recently went underway between a bespoke shoemaker and a wooden inlayer in the heart of Florence, Italy. For a presentation at the latest Pitti Uomo, they created three samples of shoes, one being a normal, leather brogue, another being made the same but in special cuts of wood (the middle, brown one) and one is in white paper (looks like paper mache). The shoemaker is called Orma Shoemaker (Wataru Shimamoto), trained […]