Adventures in Shoe Land and the $3500 shoe

misterdonuts

Senior Member
By Shin Maru I meant the Shin Marunouchi building
Duh, of course!:p Many thanks for the clarification.

https://queen-classico.com/03_newitem/index.html#A002

I was impressed with the service and selection. The Sunday I was there they had someone from the factory in the shop working on a pair of the MTO shoes. I didn't realize it, but a lot of handwork goes into those even they are not technically "handmade". Since everything, including the leather, is sourced in Japan they can do it for the reasonable price.

Part of the reason import (leather) shoes are so expensive in Japan is that they get hit with a 40% import duty.
Interesting. It appears that a 10% off deal just ended 5 days ago... Regardless, it appears to be very good value. What was the approximate delivery lead time?

You are quite right about the high import duty assessed on leather goods. You might recall that about 10 or 12 years ago, the government tried to correct the ridiculous market premium charged by international brands and basically forced everyone to reduce them. The directive was to have the local suggested retail prices at a maximum of 1.4 times the home market SRPs. When it came to reducing protectionist import tariffs such as the one levied on leather in order to make price reductions commercially sustainable, the government's silence was deafening... Innumerate bureaucrats and politicians seem to be in no shortage. :mad:
 

Fang66

New Member
Success!

:icon_smile_big: When I told the wife that I was going to the Shin Marubil she insisted on tagging along (just as well) So I picked her up at school in Hiroo (she's a doctoral candidate not a H.S. student you perverts).

First we checked out Scotch Grain in Ginza, nice shoes but couldn't get a good fit except in their rather ugly wide fittings. I was under the impression that they do MTO but the guy said no.

Then to Tokyo to check out Queen Classico. Good stock of imported RTW but again overpriced and undersized. Their range of Queen Classico brand are quite nice, seem pretty good quality and the MTO is reasonably priced, so I took the plunge and ordered a pair of medium brown brogue boots. I'll post some pictures when I get them. If they turn out well I'll be back for sure.

the ordering process was a bit confusing but that was because I had the new guy (according to my wife) and also my Japanese is pathetic so it was good that she was there.

Misterdonuts, the lead time is 4 to 8 weeks. The guys said usually closer to 4 weeks but because of the Golden week holiday it would probably be 6.

ps Don't get me started on Japanese politicians or the stupidity of the normally sensible Japanese who keep voting in the same bunch.
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
So I picked her up at school in Hiroo (she's a doctoral candidate not a H.S. student you perverts).
Well, I must admit that the first thought that came to mind was, "Bloody hell, she goes to Sacred Heart!?":icon_smile_big:

Then to Tokyo to check out Queen Classico. Good stock of imported RTW but again overpriced and undersized. Their range of Queen Classico brand are quite nice, seem pretty good quality and the MTO is reasonably priced, so I took the plunge and ordered a pair of medium brown brogue boots. I'll post some pictures when I get them. If they turn out well I'll be back for sure.

Misterdonuts, the lead time is 4 to 8 weeks. The guys said usually closer to 4 weeks but because of the Golden week holiday it would probably be 6.

ps Don't get me started on Japanese politicians or the stupidity of the normally sensible Japanese who keep voting in the same bunch.
Thanks for the info. I look forward to seeing some photos.

Any thoughts on the leather quality?

On politicians, I agree with you, which is why I was a bit nonplussed about all the fuss when the finance minister turned up at Davos pissed out of his mind, as if people thought it made any difference.:devil:
 

tokyogator

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
What was the approximate delivery lead time?

I think they told me 6 weeks as well.

I'll try to remember to post pictures, as well. I ordered a black and blue spectator with red inside leather. I am looking forward to seeing it.

They had two prices for the leather--one price for domestic leather. Another (higher price) for imported french calf.

Fang 66: how much did you pay?

I think mine was around 35,000 after discount...
 

Fang66

New Member
Well, I must admit that the first thought that came to mind was, "Bloody hell, she goes to Sacred Heart!?":icon_smile_big:

I wish :teacha:

Thanks for the info. I look forward to seeing some photos.

Any thoughts on the leather quality?

Yes that's something I'm going to have to judge after I get the shoes. The samples in the shop were limited and I'm a neophyte shoe buyer. I compared the samples to an in stock C&J and they seemed slightly thinner and softer, I'd guess easier to break in but probably not as hard wearing, still I'd say nice leather and the finish was quite attractive.

As far as Japanese politics goes I don't bother any more because I think nothing will change in my life time.
 

Fang66

New Member
I'll try to remember to post pictures, as well. I ordered a black and blue spectator with red inside leather. I am looking forward to seeing it.

Sounds spiffy

They had two prices for the leather--one price for domestic leather. Another (higher price) for imported french calf.

I don't remember that option, I just went for their standard leather.

Fang 66: how much did you pay?

I think mine was around 35,000 after discount...

I paid 40,500 with no discount and boots are more expensive. I also got 1 or 2 optional extras like double thick soles and something else I can't remember. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't get them monogrammed as it's free but oh well maybe next time.

If I was a more standard size I think I would have gone for the Scotch Grains they are very nice shoes and reasonably priced.
 

tokyogator

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
My new shoes--size 9B

Just picked up my shoes. They turned out great. I'll try to post pictures shortly...

My overall impression is that the shoes are extremely well made and they took great care in the detail. The quality of the materials is superb. The stitching is tight with no visible breaks, or mis-alignment. The leather is stiff but feels like it will soften with just a few wearings. The sole isn't fancy, but adequate.

I didn't go with any of the upgrade options, which would have included a different sole/heel.

However, everything I could ask for and more is in the basic package, which was 34,000 yen.

Here are the pictures.
The toe and heel are black. The rest and the laces are a dark navy blue. The flash on the camera brought out the blue a little more than is visible in real-life, particularly in the dark. I plan to keep the wax the toe and keep it shiny and just use neutral polish on the blue parts with the intent that as time passes the blue will lighten and become more evident. I really like the contrast presented by the red lining and stitching.

At the time I chose the stitching I was a bit reluctant because I didn't know how it would turn out. The shop staff staff wisely advise that if I didn't like the red later down the line I could always but black polish over it but you cant go from black to red. Now that I have seen it, I really like the red now as it feels like a unique shoe that no one else would have...






Close-up of the stitching
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
Many thanks for sharing the photos, tokyogator. They delivered much earlier than promised, didn't they?

I'm still amazed that they could do this for that price. If Queen Classico is unaffiliated with Miyagi Kogyo, they must be making keystone retail gross margin, which in turn would mean that Miyagi's cost is somewhere in the 12k to 15k yen range. Even if there were minimal handwork, MTO is quite different from a production line, and they don't appear to be a one-man operation but with a reasonable overhead. I'm, well, amazed.

Thanks again for sharing.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
^^Those shoes are quite striking. Tokyogator, I'm sure you are going to enjoy wearing and receiving favorable comments on them for many years to come!
 

tokyogator

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Many thanks for sharing the photos, tokyogator. They delivered much earlier than promised, didn't they?

Yes, they originally quoted 6 weeks but they were done in 4.

I am also surprised at how reasonable the price is for the quality. Maybe it is a brief market gap. In any case, I hope that others feel as lucky as I do!
 

Fang66

New Member
Very noice :aportnoy: I really like the colour combinations, might try something a little more adventurous on my next pair.
 

Fang66

New Member
Boots

Here's some pics of my Queen's Classico boots. Sorry about the quality of the pics, took them with my ketai.

I'm very happy with the result, fit is good, leather is good I'd say close to being as nice as my C&Js.

boot1.jpg

boot2.jpg

boot3.jpg
 

tokyogator

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Here's some pics of my Queen's Classico boots. Sorry about the quality of the pics, took them with my ketai.

I'm very happy with the result, fit is good, leather is good I'd say close to being as nice as my C&Js.

Great looking boots! I am glad to hear someone else is satisfied with the product. I think this is one of the best gems I have found in Tokyo. To be able to get a pair of well-made MTM shoes for the price of a pair of AE is a great deal.
 
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