Things I noticed while making shoes with pigskin.
The new Mikey Suede has pig suede on the upper instead of cow velor.
Until now, Blue Over has used pigskin for the lining, but this is the first time that pigskin has been chosen for the upper. As the title suggests, this time I will be writing about the development of what I noticed while watching shoes being made from pigskin up close.
The text on the ground is Egawa, and the one-word comment is by Mr. Higashi, a shoemaker.
Is pig suede really light?
The pig suede used for the upper of Mikey Suede is, in other words, pig leather.
Pig suede has the advantage of being thin but durable.
So I decided to actually compare the weight with other Blue Over models. Is Mikey suede really light?
First, we will measure and compare the standard Mikey, which many customers say is "light".
As a result of weighing, the weight of one 26.5cm leg of the standard Mikey was 294g.
Most sneakers weigh between 300g and 500g, so Mikey, which weighs less than 300g, can be said to be quite light to begin with.
One of the secrets to this lightness is the use of cemented manufacturing method.
Looking at this diagram, you can see that the cemented manufacturing method, in which the sole unit is glued to the upper, has fewer parts than other manufacturing methods. In other words, you can see that it is easier to make it lighter.
Now, next we will measure Mikey suede of the same size.
light! Compared to the standard Mikey, Mikey Suede is nearly 20g lighter at 276g.
Some people may have the impression that leather sneakers are heavy, but Mikey suede shoes are especially light.
After this, I closed my eyes and compared the standard Mikey and Mikey Suede with one foot in each hand, and out of 100 shots, I was able to hit the lighter one, that is, Mikey Suede (lol)
Thin and durable pigskin. I wanted to give it a ``solid feel'' like the standard Mikey, so this time I applied the lining material used in shoe manufacturing to the entire back of the leather.
Still, it's so light!
Difference in appearance between pig suede and velor
Now, I hope you've noticed the difference in weight between Mikey Suede, which uses pig suede, and the standard Mikey, which uses velor.
Next is the difference in appearance, texture, and color appearance.
As you can see, the standard Mikey has a firm pile, while the Mikey suede has a shorter pile, giving it a slightly more elegant feel.
Also, while velor has a uniform color, pig suede has a shading of color similar to well-worn denim due to its characteristic pores.
By the way, Mikey suede shoelaces are round laces in the same color as the leather to match the pig suede feel.
It may be fair to say that pigskin, with its fine irregularities and pore patterns on the leather surface, has a richer natural expression than cowhide.
Pig suede is made from pigs eaten by the Japanese!
Leather, like all leather, is made from the hides of edible animals.
I don't think we often take the time to reflect on things in our lives. So, the meat you eat and the leather products come from the same source, and the leather is a material that has been used to its fullest.
I'm a little surprised when I realize it again.
In particular, Japan has a very high self-sufficiency rate for pork skin (or meat).
There is no burden on the environment due to "imports". In other words, it has a small carbon footprint and is, in a sense, an eco-friendly material for Japanese people.
Of course, the pig suede used for Mikey suede this time is also made from Japan.
Chrome-tanned pigskin is rubbed with sandpaper, brushed, and soaked with oil. It's very soft to the touch, and as you use it, you'll get a luxurious shine!
Pigskin is a high quality leather
By the way, in Japan, when we think of leather, there is an image of cow leather. For some reason, I get the impression that cows are of a higher grade than pigs.
However, from an overseas perspective, Japanese pigskin is considered high-quality leather. Pigskin is known for its high quality and is considered one of Tokyo's specialty products.
In fact, one of the characteristics of pigskin is that it has good breathability due to its pores, and it is also lighter and more resistant to abrasion than cowhide. It can be said that it is a material with many advantages.
The rich expression of the leather due to the characteristics of pigskin is probably one of the reasons why overseas brands use pigskin.
Personally, I feel that Mikey suede looks more mature than the standard Mikey, which uses velor.
Mikey Suede is a pair of locally produced and locally consumed shoes.
Originally, Blue Over worked with Japanese tanners to make and purchase leather. The shoelaces are also made in Japan, the parts are made in Japan as much as possible, and the shoes themselves are made in Japan.
Mikey Suede is even made in Japan, including the raw leather used for the upper. The result is a pair of shoes that can truly be called locally produced for local consumption.
Mikey is currently available in 8 colors, including the standard Mikey and Mikey suede. Available in a variety of colors to choose from.
People who pick up Blue Over because they like the design, color, and functionality may be unknowingly contributing to Japanese shoe making, and choosing items that have a low impact on the environment.
That kind of initiative is really cool. It's a bit of a miso, but I realized this when I made shoes with pigskin.