Flanderian

Connoisseur
I think they might be. A bold question or perhaps only a foolish one. But superlatives beg comparisons. First I haven't personally traded with all the world's shoemakers, or even all of those in Japan. So I'm going strictly by eyeball scrutiny of those to which I've been exposed. And foolish also because of the proper esteem held for the many fine makes of Northamtonshire, Italy, Spain and eastern Europe.

And what do I mean by best? Because it can quite properly mean different things to different people. My definition is simple, the most beautiful shoes, of the most careful precision made from exquisite materials. And based solely upon this description, the shoes I'm seeing are not of the best, but among the best ever!

Now should you wish to ask how you may acquire such, it's really simple, all you will need is $3,000+, a round trip 1st class ticket to Japan, and about a year's patience. :D

Seiji McCarthy -







TYE Shoemakers -












Yohei Fukuda -









On the hoof -
 
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Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Okay, in that mode I feel the same way about shotguns. Own an original Dickson round action? Not in this lifetime. But I have to admit that I feel they are the ultimate. I once had the opportunity to handle (fondle!) several David McKay Brown round actions. It was a near religious experience.
 

Adelstensfostre

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Although I can just about wrap my head around the concept of spending $3000 for a pair of shoes, threads like this is a constant, and very welcome, reminder of why I will never do so.

To my eye and my sensibilities, the shoes pictured are more akin to pretty ornaments most suited for displaying on a mantelpiece or display case. Though undeniably lovely and undoubtedly of the highest quality, most are simply far, far and away too dandified and effete for me to consider both buying and wearing.

Fortunately for me and my wallet both, my tastes are securely anchored in Northampton. Still, if I should ever find myself with $3000 I can think of absolutely no other use for and an empty mantelpiece to boot, who knows.....
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Having looked upon and lusted mightily for the examples memorably handsome leather art, offered by Flanderian for our continued torment, I feel the need to head off to Sunday services to ask for much needed forgiveness! LOL. ;)
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
While I like the silhouette overall, I'm not crazy about the heels. I realize that it may be considered classic, but there's something feminine about them. They're just a bit too high and they taper.
 

JBierly

Advanced Member
Clearly the examples you show are just about as beautiful a shoe
While I like the silhouette overall, I'm not crazy about the heels. I realize that it may be considered classic, but there's something feminine about them. They're just a bit too high and they taper.
I guess I would call them cuban heels - at least on dance shoes that's what they are. Change your name to antonio and learn how to salsa and no one will consider you feminine. Having said that - I get your point.
 

JBierly

Advanced Member
I agree - the Japanese are making some of the best shoes out there. I also agree that they are a bit hard to obtain and probably aren't worth it. As for I would never spend that kind of money on shoes its all a matter of disposable income and wants. Artisanal products have value over mass produced and clearly in this example the quality shows through. Some people refuse to spend 7 dollars on a coffee (it is kind of retarded to spend that much) or 100 dollars on a bottle of wine, etc... At least unlike wine (another hobby of mine) you don't destroy your collection by drinking it - instead here you slowly wear it to death - hopefully over years if not decades. Indeed if properly cared for they may last much longer than a car or even a house both which are much more expensive and depreciate also.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
It's one thing to craft something that is the ultimate expression of that things form and function.

It's another thing to have that thing appeal to everyone, be it due to aesthetic reasons or financial.

Those are very pretty shoes indeed. Assuming I knew where to get them and found some with heels that I liked, I would consider them.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
I also agree that they are a bit hard to obtain and probably aren't worth it. As for I would never spend that kind of money on shoes its all a matter of disposable income and wants.
The cost I offered, $3,000+, was estimated only by locating the cost for one of the makers as starting at $2,900. The others may well be more. And while I have neither the means, nor would that be the chosen allocation of such if I did, I think it's important to put those prices in perspective.

Perhaps I assumed incorrectly that all would know these shoes are all true bespoke. And disregarding the comparative values between such and RTW, most fine true bespoke shoes are dramatically more costly than even top quality RTW. The amount of the artisans' time just one pair consumes can be weeks, and Japan is not an inexpensive country. Such a price for these shoes is not out of line, or price gouging, at all. If the quality is as it appears, it's actually a rather good value.

For example, every indication is that Foster and Son in Britain still makes exceptional bespoke shoes. If you were to compare these costs to theirs, I think you'd find them quite modest. And while it's true that Foster and Son is far more famous and venerable and therefore commands a higher price, that's a marketing reality, and not in any way related to their comparative quality.

The market for bespoke shoes is a very small one because of the expense, and the fact very few men can't be well satisfied with what fine footwear the RTW market does offer.


Edit: OK, I located Foster's price. It's. $3,861.

Double Edit: American bespoke maker Perry Ercolino's bespoke shoes begin at $3,800.
 
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