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:
The shoes are truly well made and perfect.
The heels are unique with break up leathers? What is the reason behind that?
Superb Shoe even has a reflection in the sole! It looks like the heel is 5mm more than what you usually wear. Enjoy!
Fu Pei: Thanks a lot! It’s only aesthetics.
Donnelly: Thank you! Have no measuring tape, but I believe they are 1 1/4″ – 32mm, so 3 mm higher than most of my other shoes. It looks extra high due to the raised top part towards the upper and the heels being quite narrow.
“Piano Lacquer Finish” – Is piano lacquer actually used in any way on the Main d’Or shoes? They are stunning, but I’d be horrified to find out piano lacquer was used to achieve that mirror.
Andy: No no, it’s just what he calls it, hence the quotation marks. He builds the shine with a lot of wax, click the buyer’s guide link above where there’s pictures of the making process.
Beautiful shoe Jesper!
Outside leather is vintage Freudenberg, could you tell me what is inside line leather ? is it pig leather or goat…
Wana to be own the same shoe !
Lee: Thank you! It’s calf lining leather.
How many trial fittings did you have for this shoe? What fit issues did you need to tweak on these shoes?
And is Eiji the lastmaker? I’ve been trying to make a pair of shoes w/ him for the last 2 years but he appears indefinitely booked. Thanks~
Priscilla: Only had trial fittings for the first pair, read about that in the buyer’s guide linked in the article. Main fit issue tweaked from the first pair was some excess space at the front part of the archs.
Eiji is the lastmaker yes, as you can read about in the linked articles, he makes everything himself. He currently takes no new clients, he has a too large backlog and existing customers can still order, so will likely be a while before he opens up for new customers, the last I heard.