The Shoes Like Pottery Low Sneakers have everything you could want from a made-in-Japan low-top sneaker. They feature the kiln-fired vulcanization that can only come from Kurume, Japan. Vulcanized shoes are durable, have a flexible sole and can maintain its shape. The fine quality that comes from this process can only be achieved by the hands of a skilled craftsman.
The combined functions of the strong sole and upper bond, the hard to peel off sole, and the hard to lose form, are all created by the vulcanization method where the shoes are fired in a 120 °C (248 °F) kiln for 70 minutes, similar to the way Japanese pottery is fired.
The vulcanization method is where the rubber sole and shoe body are joined together, and heat and pressure is applied in a sulfur-added kiln. The ‘vulcanization method’ is carried out basically by hand, taking more labour and time and effort than you can imagine, so has bad production efficiency. Therefore, the number of companies using this method has decreased dramatically. Currently, it is said that including Shoes Like Pottery, only three companies in Japan are presently producing by the vulcanization method. They are manufactured in the same way as those provided for navy sailors in times of war. The vulcanized sole was giving them extra propulsion on the slippery platforms of the ships. It is a product of very high quality and extremely comfortable.
Shoes Like Pottery sources only the highest quality materials, carefully chosen to maintain the integrity of each pair of shoes. A skilled craftsman attaches the upper to the outsole according to the shape of the last, and then puts a tape around it. This process is impossible to do by machine, therefore each pair is done by hand.
The foxing elastic tape around the sole is stamped with a rubber seal bearing the brand logo. Each logo seal is embossed individually, which means that each pair of Shoes Like Pottery is different and unique and is inspired by the legendary magic hammer, "Uchide no kozuchi." Legends say that when swung, this mallet grants the wishes of its holder and everlasting luck. It is believed that this hammer was held by the Japanese deity, Daikokuten - one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology.
The factory, which has near 150 years of history, will continue to protect the 'vulcanization method' and continue to share its good quality with the world. Each pair of these sneakers is akin to artisan ceramics.
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