i/288：Find a pair of pumps that will change the way you look at shoes
Magic shoes. It fits perfectly on anyone's feet and makes you want to jump. It's not really magic. Remember Cinderella. The shoes made by the fairy godmother could only fit Cinderella. That's why she was able to have a happy ending with the prince. What this story shows is that there are an ‘infinite variety’ of feet. That is why shoes have multiple size developments. For tops and bottoms, 3 + α sizes are available based on S / M / L, but shoes are usually in 0.5 cm increments, and women's shoes are at most 8 sizes. However, this is just the length of the foot. Then there is the foot circumference from sizes A to F. In addition, the foot mold is molded from what is called a last, and lasts are different with each company. The subtle difference in the last affects the comfort. How should we make up for this difference? The long-standing issue is trying to be addressed and resolved by the "leather shoes standard quality" certification process started by the All Japan Leather Shoes Industry Cooperative Association (Japan Shoes Cooperatives).
The Japan Shoes Cooperative has investigated the actual condition of the shape and size of Japanese women's feet, and has been researching what kind of shoes best fit Japanese women together with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
In order to forward the results not only to the creators but also to general consumers, in addition to the JIS standard 144 types with 16 foot lengths and 9 foot circumferences, two types of lasts, straight and curved, were created, resulting in a total of 288 lasts. This "standard quality" is created by arranging many standard foot shapes and sharing guidelines in the manufacturing process. With this "standard quality" tag, it is possible to ensure the same comfort even if the manufacturer is different.
Of course, there are many hurdles to overcome in order to reach this unified quality. However, this project should prove that it is Japanese manufacturing that can overcome that barrier.
When starting this project, the first person to take the lead was Mr. Masashi Fujiwara, a Pilot Shoes. He was appointed as the chairman of the Tokyo Shoes Makers Association in 2012, and leads with passion. "It's not an exaggeration to say that ready-made shoes have been made based on lasts imported from overseas over 100 years ago. However, shoes should really be tailored to each person's foot shape. It is an item that should be "customized", and the more it suits Mr. A, the less it suits Mr. B ... On the other hand, it is also important to reduce the manufacturing cost, and so the same product is "mass produced" and delivered to the customer. But when you consider how many lasts can be arranged to suit as many people as possible, the possibilities are endless. What we started here is to try to meet these two difficult conditions at the same time. 5 shoe makers have made efforts to collaborate while making the best use of their individuality to standardize and certify how to make and size shoes. This goes beyond the limits of JIS standards and builds a new "mass customization" system. The 288 lasts were made with that goal. " And a place to make use of that method was also created. That is the "Pumps Method Research Institute i/288" that will open in the Otemachi Conference Center in Tokyo in December 2015.
The goal is to "get each woman to know their true foot size", and to "have them find the right pumps for their foot size." First, customers will measure the correct size of their feet. Based on that data, we will search for shoes that fit perfectly from the 288 sizes and create a medical record or sorts. By registering this data, it will be possible to find out which store has shoes that match the size of your foot with a dedicated app (the app is under development). Of course, you can buy pumps on the spot, and if you wear them on a daily basis and feel something is wrong, we will check and adjust them for you.
“Feet first, shoes second". The origin of sincere manufacturing unique to Japan can be found again here.
1-19-6 Higashi Asakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo
"The challenge is how to involve the entire industry. On top of that, each company must think about how to utilize this added value. There is still a long way to go."
2-22-5 Higashi Asakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo
"I don’t want people to buy shoes they thought were "a perfect fit", but found later that they hurt their feet so much they could barely walk. We want to increase the "value in use" more than the "exchange value ".
669-1Minami Ushiroya Yashio City, Saitama
"The insole is also made of leather. The upper is also leather that doesn’t stretch as much. We check each process in detail. It's a lot of work, but that effort leads to trust."
3-20-9 Shibamata Katsushika-ku Tokyo
"I'm looking forward to using the technology that I have cultivated through many years of custom-made products. I hope that only good products that meet the standards will remain, and that Made in Japan products gain trust."
5-14-1 Kotobashi Sumida-ku, Tokyo
"Each technician's skill is tested. Even if the last is the same, if the lasting is different by 1 mm, the finished product will be different. It's hard, but everyone loves what they do, so we should be able to have fun."