The Shoe Snob Blog

Japanese Shoemakers 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 […]

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 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. […]

December 20, 2019

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The Most Unique Boot Ever – TYE Shoemaker

This boot, by Japanese bespoke shoemaker TYE Shoemaker, is easily the most unique and intriguing boot that I have ever seen in my life, that presses the boundaries of bold yet not going overboard becoming ridiculous. Everything about it is jaw-dropping. The quality is 2nd to none. The color is the best purple I have ever seen. The pattern is phenomenal. The idea is perfect. The pairing of braided suede on a double monk boot: […]

October 24, 2019

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Contrast Soles

Steven Taffel of Leffot recently received his new pair of Hiro Yanagimachi chukkas boots and was kind enough to share it with the world and I am glad that he did. I was blown away by the beauty of this pair of chukkas. I have seen that brick colored sole before but mainly in that Dainite version. It is not common on a leather sole as it is a unique dye that needs to be […]

October 18, 2019

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Andante Shoemaker Impresses

I have always loved an apron loafer that has a separate piece/material for the apron in contrast to the surrounding leather. The first time I ever encountered one so beautiful was back in London, on Savile Row to be exact, in 2012. I was coming out of bepsoke tailor, Chittleborough and Morgan, saying hello to my friend Joe Morgan, when I noticed Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones coming in to enter C&M with a […]

September 16, 2019

Written by , Posted in Asian, News, Other, RTW Makers

Kanpekina Rare Find – On Sale

Japanese shoemaker Kanpekina is a tough find outside of Japan. For a while, there were some French stockists carrying them but think that this fell through over time and eventually stopped carrying them. And thus other than that, getting a pair was exclusive to purchasing a flight to Japan, which we all know is not cost-effective. But it seems like one French gentleman purchased a pair while they were available, had the French sole treatment […]