Japanese Sneakers – What Sneakers Are Made in Japan?

It seems like we only hear of a few sneaker brands all the time, despite there being many. However, high-quality shoes can be found anywhere, and Japan is a wonderful example of that. Here’s a short recap of what sneakers are made in Japan and their qualities.

What sneakers are made in Japan? The most popular sneakers made in Japan are Asics, Onitsuka Tiger, Mizuno, Shoes Like Pottery, Hender Scheme, Visvim, and RFW Tokyo. These are the most popular and the highest quality Japanese brands with unique crafting skills and designs. Most are available to be purchased online and are shipped globally.

You may like what you read about some of the most famous Japanese brands. If you’re a sneakerhead, you’re likely always looking for the next perfect pair of shoes.

A blue and yellow pair of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers

What Sneakers Are Made in Japan? The Most Popular Brands Today

Japanese pop culture and fashion have become influential all over the world. It has managed to reach young people globally through anime, manga, and light novels but also through other things like otome games. Harajuku is a world-renowned place for outlandish fashion styles where people express themselves through their appearance. Many otakus and weebs are interested in these styles, but also in made-in-Japan shoes.

While brands like Nike and Adidas have factories in Japan, the following sneaker brands are distinctly Japanese sneaker brands:

  • Asics – not only a distinctively Japanese sneaker brand but also one of the most popular global athletic brands which has been going strong since 1977,
  • Mizuno – less famous than most, this is among the Japanese shoe brands which is still a highly competitive one aiming to create shoes for various sportspeople,
  • Onitsuka Tiger – the Japanese sneakers brand that Asics came from, Onitsuka was the first to create shoes with signature lines across the sneakers,
  • Shoes Like Pottery – this is probably the oldest brand that modernized its manufacturing process. They’ve existed since 1873 and today they still create hand-made shoes by shaping the rubber sole in a pottery oven,
  • Hender Scheme – if you’re looking for some unique Japanese shoes brands, this one might catch your attention. They manufacture leather sneakers that look like modern Nike and Adidas shoes, and all their shoes are usually made from natural raw leather,
  • RFW Tokyo – a brand founded by a London college graduate of shoemaking, which creates shoes that have modern shapes and designs,
  • Visvim – one of the most beloved Japanese brands, founded by a designer who drew inspiration from tribal fashion and medieval Japanese styles. Global stars regularly wear Visvim as a fashion statement.

Are Japanese Sneakers Better in Quality Than Others?

One reason why Japanese designers seem to be in higher regard than others is that manufacturers and creative designers from Japan always bring originality to the table. Many of these brands successfully mix modern and traditional, and combined with their reputation for high-quality products, it’s reasonable why people would be interested in buying them.

As far as the quality of the Japan sneakers is concerned, it’d be hard to say they’re better than the rest. But knowing how paying attention to detail is a very Japanese thing, they likely make shoes that’ll last longer and be better than your average pair. Also, keep in mind that this country is known around the world for its rich tradition in making all types of shoes, so it’s very likely that one of the brands from my list will be just what you’re looking for.

Can I Afford a Pair of Japanese Shoes?

Depending on your style and budget, you could afford most shoes from the list. Hender Scheme may be slightly more expensive than the rest because they manufacture shoes with raw materials such as untreated leather. If you decide to go for this brand, one of the things that might impress you is the fact that the material used makes each pair look unique, based on the way you maintain them.

The brands that handcraft shoes typically charge more because a lot of manual labor goes into creating a single pair of shoes. But unlike the shoes that are manufactured in series, handcrafted items are usually made out of materials of the highest quality and thus last longer. Combined with the best craftsmanship, paying a bit more for a handcrafted pair might save you money in the long run.

If you are more interested in the manufactured brands, you can look for these brands online – Asics, Onitsuka Tiger, and Mizuno. They are all available on Amazon. Other mentioned brands have their online shops.

Brands from Japan Know How to Create Quality Shoes That Pass the Test of Time

No matter which pair of shoes you choose, make sure they’re from Japan. You’ll be satisfied with the comfort and quality while remaining fashionable and relevant no matter where or when you are. Although sneakers might seem like something you should buy only to wear when active, many of the aforementioned brands are fashionable enough to be worn as a fashion statement.

Now that you know of some of the most famous Japanese brands, don’t miss out on purchasing a pair and experiencing true quality and craftsmanship. That way, you can see for yourself what the fuss is all about, and why many sneaker fans decide to buy at least one pair of made-in-Japan shoes.