I have just discovered a new brand on IG and after looking over some of their work think I hit the gold!
The brand is Raymar and they are the house brand of a Japanese shoe factory that specializes in Goodyear and hand-welted footwear. I am unsure of which brands they make for, and I won’t speculate (even though I am confident of many) but appears to offer quite the selection of shoes themselves and for prices that you won’t imagine. I had actually discovered them a while back, saved a photo of their shoes and today while scrolling my screenshots for ideas to write on the blog, came across the picture that I saved.
After digging a little deeper into the brand I recognized some of their work (inside insignia/sole etc), so I read more and more and found that they are the factory in Japan that I have always wondered about. It would appear, that like most factories in the 2020’s, they decided to have a run at selling directly to the clients of the shoe world with their own house label. Under the house label, it would appear that they have two main categories of shoes. Goodyear welted shoes that go as low as $175 and hand-welted as low as $275. Wait, did you just read that right? Well unless XE Currency is selling me lies, the featured pair is 33,000 Japanese Yen and translates to $275. Which is nearly unheard of and jaw-dropping amazingness to say the least. That featured shoe looks at least like an $800 shoe.
One thing to note is that the reason they can be at a price point this low is that the shoes are not fully made in the Japanese factory. They are started in China and then sent back to Japan for finishing. This is not uncommon, even for many European and British brands, and is how they all keep the costs low. So do take that into account as it had me scratching my head too. But nonetheless, wherever they are made, the fact remains that they are of jaw-dropping quality for $275!
There is one issue though and that is trying to order a pair or more might be challenging for those that do not speak Japanese. The main website has its own English translation but the shopping version of the site is in Japanese and there is only Google translate that does not do a great job. My suggestion, which seems to be a common theme when working with many Asian footwear brands is to first reach out via Instagram to gain as much ordering info as you can.
The shoes themselves are very classic and that is quite standard with Japanese footwear. I imagine that most of you prefer that as well. The wholecuts featured as well as the semi brogues are simply beautiful and elegant. No foolery, just straight-up well-made shoes at incredible prices.
Their website: https://www.raymar.jp/english/
The Shopping website: https://store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/raymar-shoes/c1b4bea6c9.html
Their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raymar_shoes/?hl=en