Remarkable Japanese Footwear Trend


A coworker sent me these photos of a shoes that are supposedly all the rage in Japan right now. The Japanese are never ones for subtlety when it comes to their fashion trends, and these shoes are certainly filled with enthusiasm. I used to have a black leather pair that had the inverted horse’s hoof heel, and then I saw Jane Weidlen of the GoGo’s was wearing them and talking about them on Rock and Roll Jeopardy on VH1 maybe 5 years ago. They made awesome prints in the snow.

I also was super into platforms, and had many a pair, including one pair that I had “built” on shiny red Airwalks in 1995 in NYC. There was a tiny cobbler’s shop on St. Marks Place which turned regular athletic shoes into dance-club visions. You could pick your colors of rubber and the style you wanted them to look like. So in typical ‘me’ style, I did black and white stripes–they were about 8 or 10 inches high. You paid by the layer. It was pretty rad.

Actually, for my wedding in 2004, I brought the look back by wearing Sketchers white platform sneakers under my dress. They were maybe 4 inches of platform which was fabulous. No one could see really them, and they let me take off the uncomfortable heels and dance up a storm. I promptly sold them on eBay as wedding sneakers and they went immediately.

So check out these beauties. Certainly there is a fetish element here that I could have written about, but I’ll leave that to your comments.






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  • christina May 23, 2008 10.10 am

    while not as crazy – your post made me think of Marc Jacobs’ recent shoes that I saw in Vogue, with the heels turned sideways projecting from the toe area.

  • Monica Sklar May 24, 2008 08.24 am

    Christina-thanx for the comment-I’ll post some photos of those shoes to compare.

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  • Jenn August 27, 2008 02.54 pm

    The horse hoove boots were done to perfection by John Fluevog…knee high in black vegan leather or horse hair, devil red! Nice try Louboutin!!

  • Redd August 28, 2008 12.32 am

    I believe all these shoes are actually from they’ve been big in the fetish scene for years. I believe the company is based in Europe, so technically Japan is stealing it… šŸ™‚

  • Darev November 11, 2008 07.07 pm

    No wonder so many women in Japan are killed falling off their shoes. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a bazillion times….. those people are very strange.

  • Jewelly Girl November 15, 2008 05.07 pm

    These are not all the rage in Japan now – unless you’re into ballerinas and horse play. These are fetish shoes. Google “fetish shoes” for more info on THAT.

  • Jaimie December 10, 2008 04.58 pm

    These shoes look as though they would give you terrible blisters without gel toe pads like real pointe shoes, but I’d have a go! I like the tap shoe style ones.

  • Jess November 17, 2009 06.17 am

    I would really like to know where to get those horse hoof shoes.

  • lynasa June 18, 2010 09.13 pm

    now i know where lady gaga gets her shoes.

  • Jenna November 17, 2010 06.40 pm

    These shoes have me speechless! Also nostalgic, as I knew the man who made custom platforms on St Marks Place in the 1990s well. He once constructed according to my design a pair of 10 inch cantilevered satyr hoofs onto a pair of Doc Martens. Wonder what he is doing now, and how many of his creations are in the back of closets around the world!


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