The Japanese bespoke maker T. Shirakashi Bootmaker has launched his first range of hand welted Made to Order models, on standard lasts available to order online. Shoes made to a very high level, which stands out with his distinct casual feel.

 

Tokyo based Tetsuya Shirakashi used to work as a graphics designer, but fell in love with shoemaking and pursuit his dream to become a shoemaker. He studied at shoemaking schools, and ended up in Yohei Fukuda’s workshop where he spent several years doing mainly bottom making. A few years ago he left to start his own brand, T. Shirakashi Bootmaker, where focus is on boots and shoes of a more casual style. Very well-made with high attention to detail. He took part in the first world champs in shoemaking, where he ended up in 11th place.

My favourite of the MTO models now introduced, a semi brogue oxford here in a lovely dark brown waxed calf leather.

Previously T. Shirakashi has only offered bespoke, but now he has launched his first Made to Order models, after a long time in development. First out is four different shoe models, which he calls “Urban Country”, country shoes that can be worn in urban life, as he himself describes it. There’s the plain toe oxford Cavalry, Herringbone which is a full brogue oxford, the plain cap toe oxford Flannel, and finally a semi brogue oxford called Chevalier. The sample models are all made on a lovely round toe last in a really nice waxed calf leather and with single leather soles, but of course one can choose leather and sole type etc. The shoes are made with the same materials as the bespoke shoes, and are hand lasted and hand welted, but they have machine stitched outsoles and simpler welt finishing (full handmade MTO versions seem to be coming). Price for the shoes are about €1,750, which of course is expensive, but you get shoes made to a superb standard.

Clean bottom work.

Full brogue. The round toe shape is really well-balanced, very classic and wearable.

Plain cap toe oxford.

Here’s a sample of the fully handmade MTO to be introduced, with what looks to be 12 spi handmade sole stitching.

A bit dressier waist on the full handmade. All pictures: T. Shirakashi