Yesterday I received my third pair from the mythic Japanese bespoke shoemaker Eiji Murata, alias Main d’Or. Shoes made literally to perfection, incredible craftsmanship and finishing. Here’s loads of pictures of the masterpieces.
Eiji Murata, which is the man behind the brand Main d’Or, has his workshop and showroom in Matsudo, located west of central Tokyo. He is one of those bespoke shoemakers that do everything himself – patterns, lasts, upper closing, bottoming, finishing. Not only this, he does all parts to the absolute highest of standards. He does not produce more than 15-20 pairs of shoes a year, and with relatively low prices still (300,000 yen) he has more demand than he can handle. The waiting time is today about three years for new customers, including two fitting shoes, but he has stopped taking new customers several times the past years to not get the waiting time longer. You can read more about Eiji Murata in this report, in this buyer’s guide, and in this previous picture special. You can also see his third placed shoe in the World Championships in Shoemaking 2019 here.
The shoes in question, my third pair, is a slightly special wingtip, with more discrete single rows of punching. The leather is a reddish brown vintage box calf from the Italian tannery Ilcea. Already my first pair from Eiji Murata had a great fit, now with two chances of modifying stuff it’s getting quite close to perfect, some minor fixes with heel and behind right big toe bunion remains. And as mentioned, they are incredibly well-made. Thinking how high the difficulty of many parts are, it’s really outstanding execution. When you look at the pictures below, notice for example the smoothness of the edge finishing, the distinct upper welt finishing even with the tight 16 spi sole stitching, the perfect stitching and punching of the upper, and the extra narrow waist.
Now, on to a close-up study of the shoes in picture form:
Wow! Bespoke beauties! Love the fudging and broguing detail (verging on austerity brogue?) Great colour too. Anyone who owns a pair of shoes of this quality id very fortunate. Congrats
Those are excellent looking. I love that the swan’s neck detail around the laces is also brogue – that would normally just be a row of stitching or if it is brogues, you’d expect it to run straight and parallel to the eyelets.
What are the logistics with fitting for your Japanese shoes? Do you get over to Japan a lot for business trips?
Anthony Jones: Cheers! Yeah they are really great.
Jeremy Chumley: Thank you!
Sam: Thanks! Many details I’m pleased with on this pair, swan necks one of them.
I’ve traveled to Japan at least once a year the past five years or so, and it’s solely for the shoe scene there. It’s one of the main things the incomes I have from the banner advertisements goes to, to travel there (plus some other shoe dedicated travels) and meet shoemakers and visit factories, take part of shoe events, record podcast episodes etc and come home with good content for the blog.
It’s always interesting to see how “wide” and round his shoes look compared to those like Cleverley and Fukuda or many bespoke shoemakers. I much prefer this type of normal but sculpted looking shoe. Everything Eiji does seems impossibly well made and designed. The price it’s just the cherry on top, what an incredible pair.
Those are BEAUTIFUL! I hope you don’t mind but I’ve made one of the shoe’s photo as my wallpaper.
Fernando -agreed, really interesting to see how a master shoemaker can create something rounded and yet not all “blobby”.
Fernando and Sam: Thanks a lot! To be fair, my feet are very wide, and looking at for example my later Fukuda pairs they are also quite wide. But agree that in general his shoes are a bit lower and rounder in shape, and like all the good bespoke shoemakers he manage to make also my feet look quite beautiful.
Shahamir: Cheers! No problem of course, especially not if it’s actual wallpaper in your bedroom at home 😀