Translated by Matcha Admin
Perfect For The Rainy Season - Shine or Rain Shoes From Scotch Grain
Written by IshizawaYoshinori
The long-established Shoemaker Scotch Grain is known for comfortable real leather business shoes. To enjoy the comfort of their business shoes also during rainy days, they have created a specially coated, water-resistant leather shoe.
Does Rainy Season equal Rain Boots?
Rainy Season in Japan means sudden downpours of rain causing wet shoes and socks. Most people refrain from wearing their favorite shoes during this season or even opt for rubber boots.
However, in business situations or if you want to look put together, rubber boots or cheap shoes you don't care about are not an option. If you want to have fashionable business shoes which are also waterproof, you should check out Scotch Grain.
Scotch Grain - High-Quality Shoes Made-in-Japan
"Shine or Rain" are special waterproof leather shoes from the renowned Japanese shoemakerScotch Grain. The shoes are made of real leather and elegant enough to wear in business but also comfortable enough for private.
The Scotch Grain "Shine or Rain" shoes are not completely waterproof, just water-resistant. If you stand in a puddle for a while, the water might seep into through the thread of stitch. This can be helped by putting shoe cream onto the stitch on a regular basis to make it water-resistant as well.
The writer decided to get a pair of these amazing shoes for himself. While he was admiring his new shoes, he got a chance to interview the principal of Hirokawa shoe incorporation, Mr. Hirokawa.
Interview - Scotch Grain's Shoes for Rainy Days
MATCHA: What gave you the idea to develop the "Shine or Rain" series?
Mr. Hirokawa: To make a long story short, I want the people who like Scotch Grain the opportunity to wear Scotch Grain even in the rain. It is not as simple as it seems. Even though a rubber sole would not get wet from the bottom, the leather on the surface still gets wet. Once a normal leather shoe dries, the salt from the sweat seeping into the leather on a regular basis becomes crystallized. This is what makes the white lines on the shoe's surface after rain. This crystallization is really bad for the leather and can make it hard. This doesn't match our concept of practical shoes that can be used for a long time with great comfort.
The Scotch Grain "Shine or Rain" undergoes the same process as our other shoes. It is called the Goodyear welt process, which is the traditional method for the manufacturing men's business shoes. However, we changed the material for the surface and the sole. They are not just shoes for rainy days. They are an overall comfortable shoe.
MATCHA: The surface material of the shoe does not get wet at all even if it's raining hard. What is the secret?
Mr. Hirokawa: We soak the leather in fluorine during the tanning process. However, there are many methods to make shoes rainproof. One method is just to spray a water-repellent on the shoe after it is done. However, this will just protect the surface and also washes off over time. Other shoe creators use gore-tex inside of their shoes to make them waterproof.
We aimed to make them as comfortable as our other Scotch Grain shoes. The user should not feel any difference when using our "Shine or Rain" shoes except the added moisture control. To make them as legit as possible, we decided to use fluorine for leather even though it costs more. If you are worried about the price, please know that you can use them for a long time and we do offer to fix our shoes if there is an issue.
MATCHA: Ordinary business shoes created to be used in rain often don't look like real leather but "Shine or Rain" are totally different, right?
Mr. Hirokawa: That's right. It is hard to get a natural luster using artificial leather which is normally used for rain-resistant shoes. "Shine or Rain" uses real leather, so you can enjoy the natural luster as long as you take care of them with shoe moisturizer and polishing.
MATCHA: Do these shoes slip?
Mr. Hirokawa: It is easy to slip at the train station, isn't it? It is not good enough to just make them water-resistant. That is why we introduced our fiber grip.
Glass fiber is infused into the pattern of the sole. They are three-millimeter in length with a micro-level width. The glass fiber is inserted perpendicular to the ground. If the sole wears off, new glass fibers are exposed. These glass fibers are just like needles, so it is difficult to slip on ice as well.
If you touch and feel the sole, you will recognize it is rough like as a file. This makes them slip-resistant.
Great for Rain or Shine
Scotch Grain's shoes are of great quality and comfort. The "Shine or Rain" shoes are a great invention that can be worn year-round. They can be worn even if you are unsure if it will rain, which is a common phenomenon during the rainy season.
You can find their shop at the Tokyo Sky Tree Solamachi. Feel free to go and check them out!