Knowledge: Mens' Shoes

Knowledge: Mens' Shoes

Mens’ Shoes:The characteristics of the leather become clearly visible in men's shoes

Mens’ ShoesThe characteristics of the leather become clearly visible in men's shoes

What qualifies as good shoes? Let's explain the basic points you should know.

From "Japanese Leather No. 2" published in 2009

The world of men’s shoes is deep and vast. While preserving the design completed over hundreds of years ago, the shoes must reflect the current styles, and above all, it must satisfy the functionality as a walking tool. In addition, shoes are made up of many parts and have a large number of processes. It is said that the Goodyear Welt manufacturing method requires nearly 200 processes. Understanding the fundamentals is necessary to find good shoes.

Check the counter

The heel is the starting point for walking, so it is important that it is held firmly. It is important to check the shape of the core material called the counter, which is inserted to enhance the shoe’s function, to see if it is just the right fit. Ideally, the counter should be long enough to wrap around the arch, that is, the neck of the heel, and have moderate hardness.

Look at the toes

The toes need a warp called a toe spring. As the name implies, it plays the role of a spring and supports the walking movement. In addition, shoes are made longer than the nude size, which is called the throw-away size, and are indispensable for smooth walking. It depends on the shape of the shoe, but it is said that the toe spring is about 1 cm.

Examine the stitch

In the case of the Goodyear Welt manufacturing method explained on the next page, the best point to measure the potential of the factory is the stitch on the edge called the outsole stitching. If this stitch is straight and clean without waviness, it is safe to assume that the factory is above average.

Decide on the heels

The foot inside the shoe supports the entire weight with two points, the stepping part and the heel. In addition, when observing the movement of the center of gravity during walking, it can be seen that after landing from the heel, the force comes out from the outside to the thumb as if rolling. This movement serves as a supporter for the foot. Therefore, the heel is required to have a sense of stability above all else. Ideally, the bottom of the heel should be parallel to the ground, that is, there should be no gaps. The standard heel size is about 3 cm.

Understanding the wooden last

As you can see from the toes, the top of the undulations of the foot is closer to the big toe. If you want to improve the fit, it is important that the shoes are faithful to the shape of the foot. However, the asymmetrical form is difficult to mold, and the technique of skilled craftsmen is indispensable.


Until just a little while ago, in Japan it was a virtue to finish the shoe evenly, such as by spraying a generous amount of pigment on the upper. However, a shift in value has occurred in the last few years. While aiming to make products with added value, the specifications that were familiar at bespoke studios, which made full use of handicrafts, are being re-evaluated. When you think about it, natural leather has an unparalleled profoundness the more you work on it. It is an item with a charm that can not be pushed into the same category as other industrial products. This trend is not a bad thing. The specifications will be explained below, but the form on the right is also a feature that has been reexamined. Considering efficiency, left-right symmetry is decidedly better.

The constricted arch is called the beveled waist.

The fiddle back with the bottom of the arch rising vertically. Together with the black-colored semi-crow finish, the shoes look even more glamorous.

A specification with tapered heels called pitched heels. It is one of the features that make the shoes more elegant.

The upper and lower sides of the edge are slightly raised. This is a specification makes the feet look sharp and elegant.