JSEP is the combination of 3 Japanese shoe brands: Oriental/Matsumoto, Miyagi Kogyo, and Kiten

Ahead of the free-trade-agreement with EU, which is expected to be in place already in February, Japanese brands are introduced to the European market (with Brexit it’s still uncertain what happens in England with this, we’ll see, but the super trunk is held before). Jsep, Japan Shoes Export Platform, are introducing Oriental/Matsumoto, Miyagi Kogyo, and Kiten. They also attended last year and made a big impression. Make sure to really take the chance and study these up-close, if you happen to visit this year’s event.

Here’s a quick summary of all three brands.

Oriental/Matsumoto makes very well-made shoes on well-balanced lasts, with elegant narrow waists and ever so slightly tapered heels. Matsumoto only uses high-grade European leathers from Annonay and Weinheimer. Price starts around £530/€600.

Courtesy of Skomaker Dagestad

The shoes of Miyagi Kogyo is often compared to Edward Green, with similar, traditional last shapes and with a similar sole treatment. They also have a nice burnished toe. Kogyo’s shoes cost somewhere at £415/€470.

The last brand is a bit different, it’s Kiten who makes more casual shoes. They are made with a Bologna construction, a sort of moccasin type, which makes really comfortable shoes, and since they have full rubber outsoles cemented on it doesn’t leak any water. A good compromise between comfort and durability. Price around £265/€300.

The London Super Trunk Show 2019 will be held at on Saturday, March 23th, 2019

To read more about the London Super Trunk Show 2019, please click HERE

The Braided Shoe by Allen Edmonds


One thing I have always liked about Allen Edmonds was their boldness to do a lot of braided-leather shoes. From loafers to oxfords and even derbys, they always had braided options in ‘ol catalog. And even better still, they continue offering them to this day and that is what thing I love about this classic American company. The model above is apparently one of their new options added to one of their older models, the Strand. I actually remember when the Strand was released. I was working at Nordstrom at the time and selling plenty of AE shoes. And at that very time, I actually had the shoes in the pictures below, known as the Hampstead (something they no longer offer). It was one of my favorite shoes and if you see my Rainier IV model in braided leather, you can probably see where some of the inspiration came from.

Great to see AE keeping it up! Let’s see if they ever re-release the Hampstead. For me it was the best shoe they ever made!

30% Off All Products at The Shoe Snob


It has been a good run with The Shoe Snob brand and accessory range but after much debate, we have decided to get rid of most of the products in this range to focus on our shoe line and accessories that correlate specifically to shoe purchases (i.e. belts and shoe trees).

The rest shall go!

Therefore, we are offering 30% off the entire collection. Most of these will not be reordered so now is your time to get a steal of a deal while supplies last. Good time to stock up on shoe polish, brushes, socks and laces as we will not bring those back!!

The Shoe trees and belts will be the only products we restock and there will go back up to full price shortly so do also take advantage of that offer while it is on the table.

Thanks for all of your support with The Shoe Snob Brand. It is not disappearing forever but we are simply putting our efforts elsewhere for now


Justin FitzPatrick

Goldilocks Boston Marathon Winner champions the Glycerin 17 for Brooks


With Brooks confidently stating the Glycerin 17 is their softest running experience, they’ll be delighted to know their athlete and Boston Marathon champion, Des Linden is promoting her love affair with their latest shoe.

“The Glycerin is my first love. It’s the first Brooks shoe I put on, and it immediately felt right for my foot.”

So what’s the science behind this fairytale enchanted chemistry? Brooks say that the Glycerin has always been the pinnacle of their cushion experience but that they offer even more with the 17 because of the combination of the DNA LOFT midsole and the addition of a new Ortholite® sockliner.

Let’s break that down further.

The DNA LOFT is Brooks’ self-claimed softest cushioning ever ( don’t forget, it also features in the Ghost 11 and Adrenaline GTS19).

With a midsole drop of 10mm, Brooks want to ensure that each step you make is a step closer to hitting those dream-like clouds rather than hitting the hard road. Their DNA LOFT is made with a mix of Brooks EVA foam, air, and rubber and together those three key elements should provide a softer feeling underfoot without sacrificing responsiveness or durability.

With a revamp in the midsole, Brooks’ next challenge was to make the rest of the shoe more luxurious – enter the Ortholite® sockliner.

The internal stretch bootie aims to cradle your foot with a secure fit. In addition, Brooks have re-engineered the 3D Fit Print mesh upper to offer neutral runners a ‘Goldilocks’ level of ‘just-right’ stretch and structure – all with a weight of 10.6oz.

Turning your attention to the outsole, the Glycerin 17 combines IDEAL Pressure Zones (which should disperse impact away from the body) with a Plush Transition Zone ( which encourages your foot to move smoothly from heel to toe).

Just like choosing porridge, Linden knows how to choose her latest ride, “The Glycerin is soft, but not too soft. It’s cushioned, but it’s not overweight. It’s just right”

The Glycerin 17 debuts in four colour ways and launches at the beginning of March with a retail guide price of $150.

Asics MetaRide: Preview


With two years research under their belt, ASICS are this week launching, in limited quantities, the METARIDE™ which they believe will disrupt the world of long-distance running.

Turning the spotlight on to the Japanese ASICS Institute of Sport Science reveals a two year project which focuses on the minimisation of the ankle joint.

Why? ASICS believe that by minimising movement at your ankle they will save you over 1/5 of energy.

The science behind shifting your body weight forward with a new precision-shaped curved sole called the GUIDESOLE™ will then aim to give you the feeling of effortless motion.

So what have the science bods created? A 10.8oz neutral shoe which built on three layers creates a rocker sole design. There’s no drop – with a 31mm heel height and a 31mm forefront height, the ASICS crew are saying that this GUIDESOLE™ will lessen your fatigue and make your leg muscles work less – hence the ‘saved energy’.

Let’s examine the three differing layers and see what’s on offer.

  1. The midsole is firmed up with a layer of FLYTEFOAM® LYTE TECHNOLOGY. This is giving you your structure and cushioning.
  2. FLYTEFOAM® PROPEL TECHNOLOGY forms the second layer. We’ve seen this in other tried and tested stalwarts such as the Kayano and Cumulus and ASICS are confident of its energy and bounce.
  3. Turn to the heel and the visible REARFOOT GEL® TECHNOLOGY is backing up the cushioning at your foot-strike.

So with a price tag of $250 are we confident that we are getting value for our money? ASICS President, Yasuhito Hirota says, “ Our athletes have told us that METARIDE™ is already transforming how they train, race, run and recover. This is just the beginning of a new era for ASICS…We bring the best innovations to our fans while attracting a new generation of runners”

So with all this proposed extra energy left over what do ASICS want us to do? ‘Go beyond the finish line and meet your next milestone.’ ASICS are encouraging all runners to put the METARIDE™ shoe to the test with the WIN THE LONG RUN™ program on the RUNKEEPER™ app.

Asics Metaride Photo Gallery

VANELi Qalila Slip-on Sneaker in Extended Sizes and Multiple Widths


VANELi Qalilia

VANELi Qalila Slip-on Sneaker

This review of the VANELi Qalila slip-on is sponsored by Marmi Shoes (owns and designs both VANELi and Sesto Meucci shoes). The opinions are completely our own based on experience.

VANELi Qalila

VANELi Qalila

Waiting for spring in Chicago reminds me of the old Heinz ketchup commercial. A kid holds the glass ketchup bottle over his hamburger expectantly waiting for the red stuff to make its way out of the bottle while Carly Simon soulfully sings “Anticipation.” Here we are at the beginning of March waiting for spring to show up and spread its green goodness over our frozen gray yards. Our feet long for sandals, but aren’t quite ready for that kind of exposure. A cute and comfy athleisure slip-on like the VANELi Qalila is the perfect pick for this season of transition.

VANELi Qalila

VANELi Qalila in beige-gold combo

The perforated leather upper, jute-wrapped midsole and layered white and gray outsole give the Qalila a fresh springtime vibe while keeping the toes covered (which is great if you haven’t had time for a pedicure yet). Just when you’ve had it with drab and dreary, the Qalila’s metallic cap toe adds a touch of spring bling.

Kirsten wears the VANELi Qalila

I like to call VANELi a “fit” brand as they offer extended sizes and multiple widths in many styles (see our review of VANELi Shoes Acajou loafer); the Qalila is no exception (sizes 5-13 and three widths). And while it seems that many brands cater to wider-width feet, VANELi has the narrow fit down well with a snug fit at the heel and tapered toe with no gaping at the mid-foot.

The removable memory-foam insole is thick and provides excellent cushioning while the slight one-inch heel provides just enough lift to keep heels from pounding the pavement. Arch support is moderate (but you might be able to add your favorite supportive insole since the footbed is removable).

I’d recommend the VANELi Qalila for low-volume and truly narrow feet (and if you’re on the wider side of medium, you may have more luck with the wide width).

Find the VANELi Qalila in sizes 5-13, three widths for $135 (save 10% on any spring style with code KIRSTEN) from at Also available from Zappos.

About the Author

Going Bold for Friday Festivities – Baudoin & Lange


I don’t really dress as bold as I used to. Not sure if it’s laziness, that I am getting older and just don’t care anymore about much other than making my thought process less stressful so just resort to simple colors or the fact that my tastes are actually changing. I think the latter is probably the least likely as I still appreciate seeing men go bold, like our good friend Sanjay here of @windowstomysole on IG. Most likely it’s a combination of the first two as every now and then I make an effort and go colorful and bold and feel good about it. But I like doing that when wearing suits and I really just don’t break those out anymore.

I have always been a sucker for Blackwatch tartan and pairing green and blue, so naturally was attracted to this photo when I saw it. I love everything in this outfit and think that green suede loafers are just about one of my favorite things. Happy to see others take part in that idea and see that Baudoin & Lange made a particularly beautiful shade of green suede in their classic loafer. A great choice indeed. Well done Sanjay!

A beautiful weekend to all!

-Justin FitzPatrick



Project TWLV is a Swedish/Italian quality footwear brand in the midrange price segment, that focuses on Blake-Rapid stitched and Goodyear welted boots. The brand was founded by two people with extensive experience from the shoe industry’s more fashion-oriented sector. Wanting to branch out, they used their knowledge of the industry and contacts gained during there time in it to build their brand and quickly get it’s name widely spread.

Their boot range is vast, with everything from a clean-cut chelsea boot (see above) to really heavy boots with cuban heels etc. The materials they use are quite different to what you typically find in classic brands. The grain leathers are unique, not like what you typically find in a dress shoe brand. But look sturdy yet supple. They use some kangaroo leather as well as a specific horsehide that is called soft cordovan and cordovan. But it’s not your regular shell cordovan hides, but rather hides often referred to as culatta which is horse butt made with a similar tanning process as shell cordovan, but it’s not the muscle membrane used but the outer grain part.

Prices start at £425/€480. It’s a good deal for a great pair of boots!

The London Super Trunk Show 2019 will be held at on Saturday, March 23th, 2019

To read more about the London Super Trunk Show 2019, please click HERE

Crockett & Jones – New Camden Tassel (less) Loafer for SS19


Crockett and Jones have broken the mold on their very classic and popular Cavendish loafers by taking away the tassels and the lining to create the new Camden model for Spring/Summer 2019. Coming in the 3 colorways as shown; Ocean, Snuff and Mushroom, your options for versatility in any of the colorways are pretty much endless. I actually love all three colors. The Mushroom is particularly interesting though. The Snuff is quite common and well so is blue suede, but the Mushroom, with that lovely contrast stitch, is something to behold. I can just imagine it underneath a nice set of chinos, sockless on a hot Summer day, with a nice white oxford shirt, sleeves rolled up having a pint on the pavement in London. The Good ‘ol days when I used to do just that. No drinking on the sidewalks of NYC though! But hey-ho, one can still envision!!

Being a wholecut loafer and unlined, I can just imagine that the comfort on them is next level. And being so, it could very well become your go-to loafer for the warm months to come. The brown version have a leather sole while the blue (being darker and thus also suitable for Autumn) has a thin city rubber sole.

Priced at only £360, it is a no-brainer to grab a pair for the weather to come!

A great day to all!

-Justin FitzPatrick

New Balance 860v9 Review


New Balance 860v9 Intro

New Balance’s website overwhelms you with running shoe options.. There are old school options (the 990), new school options (the Rubix), and everything in between.

The 860v9 falls in the middle; it is a tried and true stability shoe with updates to keep it fresh and effective. New Balance focuses on the type of ride, not just cushioning, in each of their stability trainers.

The 860v9- v9 meaning ninth edition – is New Balance’s flagship stability shoe. It offers a moderate amount of stability.

The 860s retail for $125. This puts them in competition with the Mizuno Wave Inspire, Saucony Omni, Brooks Adrenaline, and Nike Zoom Structure. ON Cloudflyers and Saucony Guides provide comparable, medium stability and cushioning.

New Balance 860v9 First Impressions

I enjoyed the colorway and design of the shoe as soon as I opened the box. The majority of the shoe is petrol (a bluish green) which makes it look unique. One change I would of have welcomed is more accents of flame (orangish red) on the upper.

The N logo on both sides of the shoes pops and is extremely reflective. The inner and outer sides of the upper is symmetrical, something that is becoming more uncommon in today’s running shoe market.

This symmetry adds another layer of appeal to this shoe. This is my first pair of New Balances. The firm and responsive cushioning caught my attention when I slipped them on.

The arch was an area of snugness for me while the toebox was wide and deep. It hugged my heel with a generous amount of cushioning.

My first run out of the box was a relaxed 6 miles on paved city trail. It was a responsive and firm ride from start to finish.

New Balance 860v9 Sole Unit

The midsole unit the 860v9 is both cushioned yet firm, something they haven’t changed it from the 860v8. It is a TruFuse midsole, which has two types of foam along with a dual density medial post.

This provided me with a firm but stable ride throughout all of my runs. The firmness softened after a few runs which made the shoe more enjoyable to run in.

The medial post in the 860v9 runs from the balls of your foot to where the shoe starts to curve around your heel.

The length of the post help with the support it provides by distributing the support along the side of the foot. The amount stability provided by the 860v9 would be ideal for mild overpronators.

I felt the midsole absorb the impact of my foot strikes effectively, but struggled to return the energy on my toe offs because of the firmness.

This meant I was spending a little bit more energy for toe offs, which left me a little bit more tired after my runs in the 860v9.

The 860v9’s midsole has a lower profile, which helps counteract the lack of energy return felt. The lower to the ground my foot was the more leverage I was able to get when my foot transition from midfoot strike to toe off.

The bottom of the New Balance 860v9 has blown rubber outsole. I found the outsole handled all weather conditions I ran in, from dry to snow and ice. It also provide the shoe with the right amount of flexibility and durability.

New Balance 860v9 Upper Unit

There are a few changes to the upper of the 860v9. The mesh in the forefoot has been tailored to be more breathable and comfortable.

While this is true I found it to be almost too breathable to make it a four season trainer.

There is a series of openings on the small toe side of your foot, where you can see the color of your socks, which allows a great deal of cold air in when you are running in the winter.

The midfoot of the upper underwent a visual design and reconstruction from the 860v8. There are fewer overlays and a slightly different stitching to tighten up the fit.

These small changes achieved their desired results. It took me a few times of tying them to get the proper fit and feel. Because of the seamless application of the upper, there are no points of irritation.

The heel collar has a generous amount of cushioning along with the tongue. The cushioning is soft which means it is adaptable to your achilles and the top of your foot. This cushioning work well with the heel counter they have in place.

The 860v9 narrows in the midfoot, I found this to be slightly uncomfortable at times. The arches is where I felt it the most.

The toebox widens out and allows for the toes to completely splay out as your stride transitions from heel/midfoot to the forefoot.

This help counteract the lack of energy return I was feeling. Having more area in the toebox made it easier to push off every stride.

New Balance 860v9 Conclusion

As a runner one aspect you look for in a running shoe is consistency. You want a shoe which will leave you with the same satisfied feeling after every run.

The New Balance 860v9 struggled to give me that satisfied feeling after every run in them. Some runs felt fantastic while others left me disappointed.

The New Balance 860v9 are a firm and responsive ride which takes some miles to have them feel like they are broken in. I found the medial post effective in providing me the stability I needed on my runs.

They absorbed the impact of stride but I found a lack of energy return during my toe offs. This cause my legs to be worked a little harder.

This became more evident the longer the run was (especially in double digits). The lower stack height of the heel and forefoot did help combat this lack of energy return.

The visual redesign of the New Balance made the shoe look more traditional along with improving the fit of the shoe.

New Balance running shoes looked shiny cheap to me in the past, but the redesign made the 860v9 look timeless, traditional, and higher quality.

This paired with the lower profile and cushioning in the heel area of the shoe made this a valuable update.

Since I was reviewing these in the middle of winter in the midwest I knew they were going to experience the elements.

I found out quickly these were a bit too breathable in the winter because of the number and locations of the openings in the forefoot. This was one of the first pairs where I experienced my toes struggling to warm up.

On the other hand, this would mean they would make fantastic shoes to run in during the summer months.

I experienced some snugness in the arch area of the foot in these. It was a bit uncomfortable for a run or two but then it wasn’t an issue anymore.

The toe box was a positive aspect of the upper for me. It held my feet but also allowed my forefoot to spread out and truly give me space to toe off.

The New Balance 860v9 grew on me throughout my review. The runs slowly become more enjoyable as the shoes were broken in.

Sadly, there were aspects, lack of energy return and too much breathability which prevented it from being a great shoe.

On the flip side, there are positive aspects of this shoe, the stack height, once broken they grow on you, and visual redesign.

For some the New Balance 860v9 will be their workhorse that gets them through runs day in and day out. For me, they were inconsistent trainers who I would run in occasionally but would not make them my daily trainers.

We purchased a pair of New Balance 860v9 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Weekly Edition | Boletin Semanal

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