Photo by Ivan Radic on Flickr

Best Japanese Shoe Brands

Japan has a rich tradition of shoemaking, and the country is still home to many of the world’s best shoe brands. While these shoes are expensive, they’re often worth every penny because they can last for decades. If you want some high-quality footwear that will last for years or even decades, then you should consider these Japanese brands –

  • Eiji Murata 
  • Union Royal Yohei Fukuda
  • Hiro Yanagimachi
  • Rendo Shoes
  • TYE Shoemaker
  • Miyagi Kogyo
  • Scotch Grain
  • Shoji Kawaguchi 
  • 42nd Royal Highland

Most of the brands have a long history and have been in business for decades. Let’s have a look at these brands to find what makes them unique.

Photo by Kai Magsanoc on Flickr
Photo by Kai Magsanoc on Flickr

Eiji Murata

Founded in 2004, Eiji Murata is a brand that stands for quality, with each shoe handcrafted by skilled craftsmen using the best materials available.

Eiji Murata has a wide range of shoes to suit all needs including loafers and other slip-ons in an array of colors as well as dressy style shoes perfect for weddings or formal events like balls. 

Their main showroom is located in the Otemon Street area of Kyoto, with a small second location in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

Main D`Or Shoes by Eiji Murata. Photo by daizawaguy on Flickr.
Main D`Or Shoes by Eiji Murata. Photo by daizawaguy on Flickr.

Eiji Murata has become one of Japan’s leading brands through its dedication to quality and craftsmanship. Shoes from Eiji Murata start around $3000 for their more formal styles up to about $6000.

Union Royal Yohei Fukuda

Photo by ascotshoes on Flickr
Photo by ascotshoes on Flickr

Union Royal Yohei Fukuda offers both ready-to-wear and made-to-order shoes. 

Founded by Japanese bespoke shoe-maker Yohei Fukuda and his wife Ayumi, Union Royal imports high-quality leathers from Italy and other European countries. 

Their shoes are crafted by experienced craftsmen with the goal of providing a handmade product that is both comfortable and durable.

They have a long history of shoemaking in Japan and are one of few companies that still make shoes by hand. They work with all types of leathers, so there is something for everyone, from the person who wants to wear classy black oxfords or loafers every day to someone looking for some colorful onesies.

Union Royal is based in Tokyo but they ship internationally. The company has a showroom at the Ginza Mitsukoshi Department Store as well as an online store where you can order your favorite pair of shoes and get it at your doorsteps.

Their shoes typically have an average price range of $500-$1000 for women’s styles, but can go up to as much as $1500 or more depending on the materials used. Men’s styles start at around $400, and their prices rise based on the materials used.

The company is committed to making shoes in Japan and using only Japanese craftsmanship, which sets them apart from a lot of other brands out there.

Hiro Yanagimachi

Photo by Andre Simha on Flickr
Photo by Andre Simha on Flickr

Hiro Yanagimachi offers more than 50 types of shoes and boots. This shoe company was founded by Shuji Yoshimura, a metal artist, in 1999.

Every Hiro Yanagimachi shoe is made by hand from the finest materials in Japan. Each pair of shoes takes at least three weeks to make, with the final inspection completed by a representative of their quality control department before they are shipped off for you to enjoy. They have more than 20 offices on both hemispheres. 

Photo by Andre Simha on Flickr
Photo by Andre Simha on Flickr

Hiro Yanagimachi shoes are quite expensive, with a price range of $800 to more than $1000 for their formal styles and up to four times that amount for their handmade boots. One pair will last at least five years!

Rendo Shoes

Rendo Shoes is an unusual shoemaker because the materials they use for making shoes are completely different from other manufacturers. 

The brand Rendo Shoes was founded by Hirokazu Shimada who started the company in 1947 as a way to make shoes for his family. They have more than 60 years of experience in the shoe manufacturing industry and they have won many awards for their quality.

The shoes of this brand are made from high-quality materials like leather, rubber soles, mesh uppers for the best comfort. The price is also relatively affordable when it comes to the quality that these shoes provide. 

Another unique thing about Rendo Shoes is that they use metal eyelets on their shoes, which reinforce the shoe’s eyelet. A pair of Rendo Shoes start at $600 but a customer can purchase one single shoelace, costing about $100. The price is high because these shoes are made with leather that has been dyed using natural materials like squid ink, which makes them look good for a long time.

You can find Rendo Shoes at the “Suit Up and Dance” store in Ginza, Tokyo, or on their online shop where they offer international shipping.

Miyagi Kogyo

Photo by Creative Minority on Flickr
Photo by Creative Minority on Flickr

Miyagi Kogyo is one of the oldest shoe companies in Japan. This company was founded by a group of shoe industry veterans and is now led by the third generation, Yoshihiro Miyagi

Miyagi Kogyo has been keeping up with global trends since they produced their first low-heeled women’s shoes back in 1977. There are over 100 employees at their factory that is situated in 2200 Miyauchi, Nanyo Yamagata, Japan.

They have more than 60 models in their current lineup, with a variety of styles and colors available on the market. Miyagi Kogyo’s shoes are made from materials like high-quality leather, rubber soles, mesh uppers, and many more. 

For the ease of the customers, Miagi Kogyo has more than 100 stores in Japan and their company has been certified with the international ISO 900: 2008.

A pair of Miyagi Kogyo shoes start at around $600 and the price can be as high as $5000. If you are looking for a good pair of shoes that will last for years, Miyagi Kogyo is the right place for you.

TYE Shoemaker

Photo by Viacheslav Dalecourt on Flickr
Photo by Viacheslav Dalecourt on Flickr

Established by Tsuyoshi Ohno in 2011, TYE Shoemaker is a shoe and accessory company that specializes in producing shoes for those who have foot problems. You can order custom shoes from them and they will be ready within 8 months.

Their products are made with high-quality materials, which makes them very comfortable to wear while also reducing the chance of injury. 

They manufacture bespoke, handmade shoes that are made to fit your foot. This company is environmentally conscious and they make sure the materials used in their products are eco-friendly. 

Photo by Short of Shoes on Flickr
Photo by Short of Shoes on Flickr

They have an average price range of $275-$450 for women’s styles. Men’s styles start at around $250 but can go as high as $500 or more depending on the materials and style.

Scotch Grain

Photo by kitayama-ke on Flickr
Photo by kitayama-ke on Flickr

Scotch Grain combines the world’s best materials with Japanese craftsmanship and produces the best quality shoes. 

This shoe company was founded by a British shoe designer and a Japanese businessman Taito Ward.

Their shoes are handmade in Yokohama by skilled craftsmen from the Toki-Ori company, who specialize in making quality leather goods for over 100 years. 

Their shoes are made with Italian leather, handcrafted in Italy from the finest calfskin materials, and come fully equipped with a steel shank to provide extra comfort and support for your feet. Scotch Grain does not use glue or synthetic nails. That makes these shoes comfortable, long-lasting, and breathable.

Their shoes are sold in their showroom in Japan for a starting price of $360 to $450, but they also have an online store where you can order their products from other countries.

Shoji Kawaguchi 

This mid-range Japanese shoe brand is also known as Marquess. Founded in 1911 by Shoji Kawaguchi, this shoe company has been producing luxury shoes since its inception. The name of the brand comes from a Japanese word meaning “to polish and make shiny.” 

Marquess is well known for its use of finely tanned leathers, as well as the construction and design that go into each pair of these luxury shoes. Their products are made with Italian leathers that have undergone a patented process to ensure they last for years. They use steel shanks in their shoes that provide stability.

Marquess is making themselves very competitive by offering the first set of shoelaces free of charge when you buy for the first time. The company has been making it a point to produce more eco-friendly products in order to help reduce environmental impacts. They do this by using organic materials. Their shoes have an average price range of $350-$450 for women’s and men’s styles. 

42nd Royal Highland

If you are looking for some designer quality men’s shoes the 42nd Royal Highland is the place to go. This Japanese shoe brand has been in business for more than 30 years and it’s a reliable choice for anyone who wants to invest in some high-quality footwear.

The company is based out of Okayama, Japan, and they are known for their oiled leather shoes which are handcrafted with care by skilled craftsmen using the best materials available. 

The 42nd Royal Highland brand offers a variety of shoes, from work-appropriate lace-up dress shoes and oxfords to loafers perfect for casual wear. In addition, they have more than enough styles that are appropriate for wedding parties or business affairs with suit pants. 

Shoes from 42nd Royal Highland start from $100 and go up to $230, with prices varying depending on the type of shoe.

Are Japanese Shoe Brands Any Different?

Photo by ClikThot Solutions on Flickr
Photo by ClikThot Solutions on Flickr

Yes, they are! Japan’s shoe market is a bit different than the rest of the world. Japanese people don’t buy shoes based on styles or brands but rather quality and comfortability. This means that when you go into one of their stores to find your next pair, there will be rows upon rows full of white boxes. So, if you are looking for a pair of shoes that will last for years and is comfortable but not necessarily the most stylish, you should check out Japanese brands.

Eli Civil

A software engineer, entrepreneur, and Japanese culture enthusiast. I travel the world while working from my laptop and try to visit Japan as often as I can. About Eli Civil

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