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Watanabe weekday essay | I like those shoes. Which shoes?

Watanabe weekday
Daily necessities enthusiast. In addition to miscellaneous goods and interior design, we often talk about snacks and coffee shops. Currently, she is serializing her essays in ``LaLa Begin'', ``Nordic Living Tool Shop'', etc. twitter: @wtnbhijt

*This article is a repost of an article written in 2019.

The beginning of things

“Would you be willing to wear the blueover sneakers for a while and review their usability?”

It was around the end of May of this year that Mr. Koide from Struct (blueover's flagship store) approached me. At that time, I was half happy and half confused. I had already known him and knew about Struct, so I was very happy when he offered me the job. On the other hand, I'm not very knowledgeable about shoes, so I wasn't sure if I could properly review them. Will he be able to successfully meet expectations?

Sneakers made in Japan blueover mikey Hiira Watanabe's series Insole view

...I was really worried. But now I'm tapping on the keyboard like this. The deciding factor was Koide's words, ``Write it however you like. Include everything, the good and the bad.'' I feel extremely blessed as a writer to have been trusted so much. And I felt strongly that I wanted to respond to that feeling. I will give a frank review, including any areas of concern. Nice to meet you.


On this day, Blueover's Mikey arrived at my house. Let's just open it up.

Japanese-made sneakers blueover mikey Hiei Watanabe's series Photo of the entire shoe

...The blueness of the sea before dawn gently caressed my heart. What a beautiful blue.

I would like to try it on right away, but I have a photo shoot coming up so I'm holding off. After all, you want to take photos in as beautiful a condition as possible. However, I'd like to put work aside for a moment and wear them as soon as possible. Still, I feel like it's been a while since I've been this excited about shoes. As I wrote at the beginning, I don't know much about shoes. More precisely, I try not to get hung up on it. Because of my job, I spend a lot of time on foot every day, and my footwear gets ruined quickly.

That's why I always choose sneakers that are simple, easy to use, and that can be found anywhere. There is no room for playfulness to intervene, so I no longer feel excited when choosing shoes.

Japanese-made sneakers blueover mikey Hiei Watanabe's series The view of the lining

Even though I am not familiar with the shoe industry, there is one thing I understand. That said, this sneaker is a pretty interesting product. It's simple, but it's not ordinary. I would like to try using it soon and confirm that intuition.

About mikey A model that symbolizes blueover, embodying universal ease of use and beauty. Although it has a simple design, it has a uniqueness that is different from any other sneakers. By the way, the cute name comes from the Goonies character Mikey.


    I couldn't resist wearing it for a while. The first thing that surprised me was its firm grip. It feels as if your ankle is firmly gripped, and is extremely reliable. The word "robust" fits perfectly. On the other hand, there were concerns that it might be tiring to walk for a long time. I usually choose loose-fitting clothes, so I'm curious about the fit. Once again, I was half happy and half confused. (Well, you won't know until you actually use it...) I thought to myself as I put Mikey away in the shoe box.

    This is a complete aside, but when I read back my notes from that day, I wrote that I felt like Achilles, grabbed by the ankles and dipped into the river of immortality. What are you talking about?


    On this day, I headed to a friend's house to photograph Mikey. The rainy season is the rainy season. I was staring at the sky, wondering what was going to happen, but somehow I managed to hold on.

    We arrived at our destination around noon. After a while of chatting, I took Mikey out of my bag. My friend was surprised and said, ``These are cute shoes. Wait, are they made of leather?'' Indeed, at first glance, they don't look like leather shoes. From a distance, they look like regular cloth sneakers. However, when you put it on, you immediately realize that it is not "normal". They have the comfort of cloth shoes, yet have the reliability of leather shoes, making them incredibly comfortable to wear.

    When I asked Mr. Koide of struct why, he said, ``The toe and heel have cores, so they have a strong hold, and they have a sturdy finish that looks and feels good when worn.'' I see, there is a secret hidden behind its solid usability. Because of this, it goes well with both casual clothes and formal fashion.

    At the urging of a friend, I decided to try them on on the spot. I couldn't help but feel embarrassed, wondering how long it had been since I had worn new shoes around the house. Furthermore, my friends compliment me and say, ``You look great,'' so I feel even more embarrassed.

    At that moment, I suddenly had a strange feeling: (I have a strange feeling that it goes beyond looking good on me. I guess the horse suits me...).

    I think he and I are similar in some way. I've been stubborn since I was little, and although I'm not a brat, I've been making losses ever since I was a child. On the other hand, I hear that blueover, the company that makes these shoes, is also a very dedicated manufacturer, which is rare these days. The product that comes out of this cannot be "honest."

    Or maybe we resonate. It may seem a bit exaggerated, but I felt like we were meant to meet each other. As I was thinking about this, I started to feel a bit doubtful about the future. I decided to rush out to take some photos while the sun was still out.

    The upper (outside of the shoe) is made of velor. Use waterproof spray when using outdoors. The lining (inside the shoe) is made of natural leather that has excellent moisture absorption and release properties, so it is comfortable even in summer. It felt quite comfortable when I wore it with linen socks. While walking, I asked a friend about taking photos with the concept of "natural objects and man-made objects." From the first time I saw this product, I had the impression that it was somewhere between hand-made and machine-made. It turned out to be a good idea, so we decided to shoot on the grass and asphalt.

    The hard sole makes it hard to get tired even when walking for a long time. It's perfect for walking around town. As expected, it turned out to be a very nice photo session. I think he is very familiar with both natural and man-made objects, and has shown off his charm to the fullest. This was a complete coincidence, but I was a little surprised to learn that Koide and his colleagues had also done shoots with almost the same concept. Maybe Mikey secretly told me about it. Needless to say, "things" don't talk, but great products often speak like this without being talked about.

    They ask a leather manufacturer to express the unique color. Because so much of the work is done by hand, the texture varies slightly from season to season, and I think this is what gives it the impression that it's somewhere between handmade and machine-made. Even so... In the heavy air that is typical of the rainy season, the blue sneakers gave me a refreshing and dashing feeling. Well, now that the shooting is finally over, I'll start wearing them in earnest tomorrow.


    A novelist once said, ``When you wear nice sneakers, people on the street often ask you, ``What brand are those shoes?'' Although I am an avid fan of the author, I was skeptical (I'm not the kind of person who would write lies, but that's not true). ...until I came across these sneakers.

    I've always been the type of person who is easily talked to by strangers, but now I'm noticeably more likely to be asked, "Which shoe are you wearing?" when I'm walking around town. On this particular day, a man around my age asked me a question while I was waiting at a traffic light, and while I was answering, the light turned red and I had the tragedy of missing the train. Of course, I didn't feel bad at all.


    Two things have changed since I started wearing mikey. The first thing is that I am more concerned about the weather than before. Since these are leather shoes, moisture is strictly prohibited. I started to carefully check the weather information to see if it would rain. Somehow, I feel like I've become an adult.

    However, sometimes the forecast is wrong, and there are cases where we are hit by torrential rain that even experts can't predict. The second change was that I started carrying a rain cover with me at all times in preparation.

    This is a product of a brand called "ALL DAY ALL DRY" launched by a Japanese miscellaneous goods manufacturer. It can be folded into a small size and carried around, and the sole is quite sturdy, so it's quite useful. (I want to take these with me when I'm traveling, but if it rains on the way, I'll be in trouble. But I don't want to bother preparing extra shoes...) That problem can be solved in one go by carrying this with me.

    I feel like I can hear people asking, ``Do you want to go that far and wear them?'' Yes, I want to go that far and wear them.


    While I was enjoying online shopping, I discovered a blueover banner ad. As I was looking at the item, thinking, ``It's as fashionable as ever,'' I was surprised to see the phrase, ``You can exchange the size once.'' In addition, the manufacturer pays for round-trip shipping costs.

    I'm a little nervous about buying shoes online, so this is helpful for me as a buyer. However, the cost to manufacturers due to this measure is likely to be considerable. I ended up forgetting to go shopping and was deep in thought about my intentions.

    Perhaps, but I feel like the message is not just that we're confident in our craftsmanship, but also that we want people to wear shoes of the correct size and live comfortably. I think it's probably not that big of a mistake (I'll ask next time).


    It's been 2 months since I started using mikey. When I looked back at my notes, I found that I had worn them 21 times during that time. It's about once every three days. I took this as a break and looked back on what was good and what I was concerned about.

    What I thought was the most wonderful thing about it was that it really defined the impression of my feet. Even if you're wearing a casual outfit like a T-shirt and denim, pairing it with this will really brighten up your look. Of course, it goes well with a chic jacket style.

    Honestly speaking, I was also impressed with how comfortable these shoes were. It was a hold that I had never experienced before, so I was worried at first that it might hurt my feet, but my fears were completely unfounded. Since the shoes are made of leather, they gradually adapt to the shape of your feet.

    The sole is also excellent, with a hardness designed for use around town. I tend to have flat feet, so I get tired fairly quickly, but thanks to this, I was able to walk around town much faster. I have a few sneakers that claim to make my feet less tiring, but these are more comfortable than any of them, and I can't help but smile.

    On the other hand, as someone who doesn't often wear leather shoes, having to be careful not to get them wet was quite difficult. You can protect yourself to some extent with waterproof spray or a rain cover, but you still need to be careful.

    Also, although my feet didn't hurt, I did suffer from blisters. It was especially difficult when I first started wearing them... You'll get used to this as you use it, so I don't think you need to worry too much about it, but I think you should be careful when you first use it.

    Yeah, I've been using it for 2 months and this is what I noticed.

    The peak of summer is behind us, and autumn is just around the corner. Once the weather gets a little cooler, I'm making plans to travel and enjoy the outdoors.

    Mikey has taught me the importance of choosing shoes, the joy of growing shoes, and many other things, and I want to show him many different things. I think I'll be walking around a lot, but I hope you'll continue to take care of me.

    photographer: Yo Noguchi twitter: @ktzgw

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