If you think you’re not a sneaker person, now may be a good time to reconsider. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that sneakers have become prevalent over the past couple of years. Gone are the days when they were only preserved for gym bunnies. Sneakers have transformed from athletic to a trendy everyday footwear for women and men of all ages. From offices to bars, they’ve become socially acceptable in a diverse range of occasions. Below is a list of 3 Japanese shoe manufacturers that produce good quality sneakers. Turns out there’s more to sneakers than Nike, Adidas and New Balance.

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1. Onitsuka Tiger

If you’re a sneakerhead, chances are you’re already familiar with Onitsuka Tiger. Founded in 1949, Onitsuka Tiger has long introduced the Japanese to stylish shoes that won’t hurt your feet. They are also notably known as the sneakers that Uma Thurman wore in Quentin Tarantino’s smash hit film, Kill Bill. This year retro-cool sneakers are back in trend and nobody does it better than this Japanese brand.

・Mexico 66

You guessed it. Mexico 66 is inspired by Onitsuka Tiger’s iconic shoes from the 60’s. A hybrid of the Limber up model and the Limber model which was created in 1996 beforehand for the 1968 Mexico Olympics. This lineup gives an instant oomph to recreate a vintage-inspired outfit. These kicks require no breaking in and you can walk all day in comfort.

2.Shoes Like Pottery

Don’t be fooled by the name, Shoes Like Pottery certainly sells shoes. The vulcanizing process of their shoes are what sets them apart from many others. Each shoe is fired in a kiln like a pottery which causes the sulfur mixed inside the raw rubber to chemically react. The end result is a shoe with a soft and durable sole. There are only a handful of shoe manufacturers that use this process, so if you want to get a pair of unique kicks, look no further.

・Leather White

If you’re wondering which shoe to buy at Shoes Like Pottery, why not get their leather whites? These chic looking white sneakers are perfect to elevate any outfit. The blue rubber stamp on the shoes also adds a nice touch.


Perhaps one of the most prestigious sports apparel manufacturers in Japan, Mizuno is recognized for producing high-performance shoes that are lightweight and flexible. By constantly integrating cutting-edge technology to their footwear, Mizuno has managed to maintain a loyal fanbase over the years.

・Wave Sonic

Looking for a cheap pair of running sneakers? You’ll be content with Mizuno’s Wave Sonics. These sleek kicks will seamlessly move with your feet. Whether you’re going for a run or going out to grab a coffee, these sneakers are versatile enough to get you through your day.

Shoe Size Chart

Not sure about your shoe size is in Japan? Check the conversion chart below to find out your size.

・Women Size

21.5 4.5 3 33
22 5 3.5 34
22.5 5.5 4 35
23 6 4.5 36
23.5 6.5 5 37
24 7 5.5 38
24.5 7.5 6 39
25 8 6.5 40
25.5 8.5 7 41
26 9 7.5 42

・Mens Size

24.5 6.5 6 39
25 7 6.5 40
25.5 7.5 7 41
26 8 7.5 42
26.5 8.5 8 43
27 9 8.5 44
27.5 9.5 9 45
28 10 9.5 46
28.5 10.5 10 47
29 11 10.5 48

Top Image @Kazuhiro Keino