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Our aim is to create the shoe
that you have been looking for

To those considering making an order,
a message from us at HIRO YANAGIMACHI.
Here we present our ideas about shoes.

If ready-made shoes fit you, you are lucky

Why do ready-made shoes often not fit properly? Ready-made shoes come in set widths (e.g. E or EE) and the length, or size, of the shoe is the only real way to try and make them fit (e.g. 24.5cm or 25.0cm sizing in Japan). In addition these sizes are limited to statistical “standard” sizes. But just as people’s physiques and features are unique, so are their feet. And feet, unlike shoes, do not vary from one another by simple 5mm increments. In addition to length and width, the shape of each foot is unique and is determined by its musculature, flexibility, and other special features. As a result the fit from ready-made shoes is often inadequate and unsatisfactory. If you are dissatisfied with ready-made shoes this is actually quite normal. And if ready-made shoes fit you, you are quite lucky.

A tool to support you and tell your story

A shoe can be considered a tool to support your body with walking. While a suit or other piece of clothing can be worn even if it does not fit well, a poorly fit shoe places stress on the foot with each step and can lead to injury in severe cases. And while you may be able to live without a car to get around it is not possible to live your life without walking. In this sense it is very important that your shoes fit well and are comfortable in order to carry out their role as a tool to support you. In addition to this role, shoes also express the personality of their wearer and help others form a first impression of us. And while shoes in this sense are a fashion item, their use over time comes to reflects the wearer’s life and character. In this way, shoes are also a tool that tells the story of their wearer.

Shoes that fit your feet and personality

We are often asked “What is a good shoe?”. For us the answer to this question depends on the person. This is because each person has different desires and demands when it comes to shoes. If we were to express most simply what we believe good shoes to be, we would say that they are “shoes you unconsciously choose to wear” and “shoes that you will want to wear for a long time”. To express this in a more concrete way, for us it is not about the brand of the shoes or the price, it is about how they match your foot and if they are comfortable to walk in – that is, if they “fit your feet”. And of course a good shoe should also match your lifestyle and values, that is, “fit your personality”. Bespoke shoemaking is the method we use to achieve this ideal fit.

Bespoke shoemaking

Bespoke shoemaking begins with creating a last for an individual’s unique foot. As opposed to ready-made shoes where “the shoe comes first” and the customer either fits in the shoe or not, with bespoke shoemaking “the foot comes first” and the shoe is built around the foot. As shoemakers, we listen carefully to our customers and what they want from their shoes. With ready-made shoes, it is simply a question of whether a shoe is available or not. There is no opportunity for the customer to bring in his ideas or thoughts about the shoe. With bespoke shoemaking there is active participation in the making of the shoe through communication with the maker. As bespoke shoemakers, we are here to meet you face-to-face and make shoes that fit your expectations and wishes.