Shoes Like Pottery: The Art of Japanese Footwear

Shoes Like Pottery is a unique footwear brand that has gained popularity for its artisanal approach to shoemaking. Inspired by traditional Japanese pottery techniques, the brand combines craftsmanship and innovation to create sneakers that are not only stylish but also durable and comfortable. In this article, we will delve into the world of Shoes Like Pottery, exploring their manufacturing process, materials used, and the philosophy behind their designs.

Manufacturing Process: A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

The manufacturing process of Shoes Like Pottery is a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Each pair of sneakers is handcrafted in Kurume, a city in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, renowned for its shoemaking heritage. The production begins with a canvas upper, which is then hand-stitched to a rubber sole. What sets Shoes Like Pottery apart is the unique vulcanization process they employ.

Unlike conventional sneaker manufacturing methods that use heat to bond the sole to the upper, Shoes Like Pottery uses a technique called ka-ryu, which translates to “fire vulcanization.” This method involves placing the shoes in a kiln at high temperatures, causing the sulfur mixed in the rubber sole to react and bond with the canvas upper. The result is a durable and flexible bond that enhances the longevity of the sneakers.

The Art of Ka-ryu: A Time-Intensive Process

The ka-ryu process employed by Shoes Like Pottery is reminiscent of traditional Japanese pottery techniques. Just as potters carefully fire their creations to achieve desired results, Shoes Like Pottery treats each pair of sneakers as a work of art. The shoes are individually placed in the kiln, and skilled artisans monitor the temperature and duration of the firing process to ensure optimal results.

This meticulous approach to manufacturing is time-intensive, with each pair of Shoes Like Pottery sneakers taking several hours to complete. However, this attention to detail is what sets the brand apart, resulting in sneakers that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also built to last.

Materials: Quality and Sustainability

Shoes Like Pottery places a strong emphasis on using high-quality materials to create their sneakers. The canvas used for the uppers is made from 100% cotton, ensuring breathability and comfort. The rubber soles are sourced from Wakayama, a region in Japan known for its rubber production. These natural rubber soles provide excellent traction and flexibility, making Shoes Like Pottery sneakers suitable for various activities.

In addition to prioritizing quality, Shoes Like Pottery also values sustainability. The brand uses environmentally friendly dyes for their canvas uppers, minimizing their ecological footprint. By opting for natural materials and sustainable practices, Shoes Like Pottery demonstrates their commitment to both craftsmanship and the environment.

The Philosophy: Simple Elegance and Versatility

Shoes Like Pottery embodies a philosophy of simple elegance and versatility. The brand’s minimalist designs allow their sneakers to seamlessly blend with various styles and outfits. Whether paired with casual jeans or dressed up with a suit, Shoes Like Pottery sneakers add a touch of sophistication to any ensemble.

Furthermore, the durability of Shoes Like Pottery sneakers ensures that they can withstand the test of time. The vulcanization process and high-quality materials used in their production result in sneakers that are not only comfortable but also resistant to wear and tear. This longevity makes Shoes Like Pottery a sustainable choice for consumers who value quality over quantity.


Shoes Like Pottery has successfully combined traditional Japanese craftsmanship with modern shoemaking techniques to create sneakers that are both stylish and durable. Their unique ka-ryu process, inspired by pottery firing techniques, sets them apart from other footwear brands. With a commitment to quality, sustainability, and timeless design, Shoes Like Pottery has carved a niche for itself in the world of artisanal sneakers.

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