The Shoe Snob Blog

Japanese Shoemakers Archive

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

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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 […]

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. […]

August 2, 2019

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Loafers Done Differently

It’s super refreshing to see a unique creation that looks good and that one can obviously see that thought and passion was put into it. I know that I say this all of the time but its what keeps me passionate about shoes. I lose my interest in footwear when all I see is the same crap being rebranded at a cheaper price. Its boring. It lacks passion. Its just business for the sake of […]

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 […]

June 6, 2019

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Favorites on Instagram

Here are some of the top pictures and shoes that I have found on IG. 1. (Top) Yohei Fukada 2. (Below, descending) Septieme Largeur 3. Enzo Bonafe courtesy of Thunder March on IG 4. Santa Mercede Shoes 5. Graziat Taipei 6. John Lobb for Skoaktiebolaget 7. Vass Shoes by Ascot Shoes, patina by Modfx7 on IG Enjoy!