Main d’Or / Eiji Murata is one of the most highly regarded bespoke shoemakers in the world, which he not least proved when he placed third in the World Championships in Shoemaking this spring. I’m in Tokyo this week for the big shoe event at Isetan, and in conjunction with this, picked up a new pair from Eiji Murata, which is on display here.

Eiji Murata, which is the man behind the Main d’Or, brand, has his workshop and showroom in Matsudo, west of central Tokyo. As usual, I was joined by Japanese style blogger Daisuke Yamashita, who helps to interpret. The shoes I ordered are a pair of classic plain cap toe oxfords, made from a wonderful dark brown vintage Freudenberg leather. It has a character reminiscent of baby calf, with very dense pores, but not as thin and sensitive. The leather is very easily shined, as can be seen in the pictures, although there are only a few thin layers of wax on the parts of the shoes that move, it shines well there too.

The shoes are extremely well-made, with an incredible level on the finishing. Perhaps the closest to perfection you can find in the shoe world. Fiddle back waist, brown “piano lacquer” sole finish, 14 spi sole stitching. We made some minor adjustments to the fit and lowered the toe box slightly compared to the first pair. They fit really well, just a few small things to work on for the next pair.

Eiji Murata does everything on the shoes himself – patterns, lasts, upper closing, bottoming, finishing – and the impressive thing is that the level is so high in all parts. Therefore, he does not produce more than 15-20 pairs of shoes a year. The waiting time is today three years for new customers, including two fitting shoes, but at the moment he does not accept new orders. You can read more about Eiji Murata in this report, and in this buyer’s guide.

Now on to a close-up study of the shoes in picture form: