Although it might feel like Summer’s hardly arrived, the truth is that Autumn and Winter are creeping up on us by the day. If you don’t think ahead, you’re going to end up battling slippery, slushy, icy pavements in your Summer shoes. You see it happen to an unfortunate majority every year, performing what looks like bizarre modern dance choreography in an attempt to avoid the inevitable slips and slides in their tired-looking Toms. This is at least twice as funny when you’re wearing something that allows you to stride past nonchalantly, with no need to keep your neck angled floor-wards.
Experts in creating shoes and boots just for this purpose are Yuketen – Yuki Matsuda’s American-inspired footwear and luggage brand established in 1989. The philosophy of the brand, as described on their website, is simple yet profound. Yuki takes inspiration from his travels across America, where he sought out the highest examples of footwear and luggage to be found in the USA. During his quest, he befriended a number of leather, footwear, and luggage artisans. Yuketen exists from the lessons and heritage gleaned from these men and women. The people at Yuketen believe strongly in the human touch, both in the creative process, and in the wearer’s own wear patterns. Crease-marks from the bend of an ankle, the outline of a footprint, imprints from hands – all valued as unique imperfections left by the wearer to make a shoe uniquely his own. This process, similar to the wear seen in a well-loved pair of raw denim jeans, can result in truly beautiful pieces of footwear.
For Autumn/Winter 2011, yuketen once again demonstrate their expertise in a range of new and re-introduced styles. For the first time, Yuketen has produced its Maine Guide boot in a five-hole version. The boots, produced in a striking shade of dark green, are strong and resilient – the much-loved Vibram sole provides excellent comfort and durability in all weather conditions. We think that this one might be one of those rare pieces that can smoothly transgress the divide between colder and warmer weather. We are also treated to a seven-hole boot fashioned in brown leather, with tartan side-panels, once again complete with vibram sole.
Perhaps the most unusual piece that we have from Yuketen is an oxblood studded loafer. A traditional loafer shape crafted with the best leather, and employing the most careful construction, but with an unmissable edge. It really a unique-looking piece of stand-out footwear.
Whichever you choose, you can feel safe in the knowledge that by buying Yuketen, you’re buying the very best, produced with skill in crafting footwear honed with passion over the last 25 years.