My obsession for the last two years has been searching for the perfect almond-toe Japanese shoe. A lot of shoemakers use sharp angles or too-round proportions. That’s just their style.
Han. Shoemaker at Atelier Rikka doesn’t make shoes in crazy styles or colors, at least on his Instagram. The designs are simple. I wanted something round, yet sleek. Something half-English, half-Japanese.
I scour great shoemakers on Instagram and see who they follow — because they only follow the best. I came upon Han.shoemaker through Eiji Murata’s following list. Han.shoemaker meets all my aesthetic criteria, as seen in the photos below:
The shoelace spacing bothers me a bit, but that’s all. The last shape, pattern, and polishing is spot on. Finishing looks good from the photos but is hard to tell without full inspection. I’m not sure where they source their leather from, which is important to know.
They have a factory in Tokyo and recommend customers purchasing ready-made to visit and try a fitting sample.
Unfortunately Han. Shoemaker only speaks Japanese, which is a problem if you have very specific requests.
I sent him an email and he replied that their shoes are ready-made and good-year welted. Will hear more soon if he works with bespoke.