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Testing Ingenuity shoes by Kamioka - Page 2

post #16 of 31
wear is not excessive.

It's all to do with how you walk.

I can do that much damage to a brand-new pair of shoes in 10 minutes walking down the street.
The key is that the upper remains in good condition from first wear to last.
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

How many times have them been worn? It does seem a lot of wear and tear around the toe areas of the sole for its relative age. Did your other shoes have similar wear patterns?

I`ve been wearing them every 2 or 3 days for the past 3 weeks. The most I`ve worn is 12 hrs straight, with lots of street walking.

Sure they aren`t exactly oak-bark soles, but I doubt the sole material is inferior in quality. Yeah, the toes do seem to wear fast. I suspect the soles got overly dried and flaky after getting drenched by rain, coupled with the way I walk. Toe steels would have helped (all my other shoes have toe reinforcements).

One solution I found (from the R&D site) is to condition the sole and use something hard (spoon/bone) to firmly roll/press the fiber down.


Rolling with a stick (Abbeyhorn), using conditioner as a lubricant


Left: after applying conditioner and rolling/pressing with a stick
Right: Before (dry and flaky with loose fiber)

from R&D
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
btw the entire stock of Kamioka/Ingenuity shoes are all on sale (20% off) at their Tokyo showroom `til 8/19

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These loafers are probably my favorite, and apparently the #1 seller. In line with EG Winchelsea (the Dover stitched loafers). They also share the look of D.C. Lewis/ Kent Wang`s HandGrade penny loafer (also produced by Turnright, and probably made at the same factory in Laos)
Retails for ¥42000 ($430), get it now on sale for ¥33600 ($350 USD)
Edited by nutcracker - 8/16/13 at 9:29pm
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Look what I found...just when I needed it

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Bootblack Leather Sole Conditioner
It cleans, nourishes, and mildew-proofs the sole


I`ll just dab some of this liquid, and rub it in with some paper towels

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The sole looks dry and the fibers look flaky.

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Dab dab...

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Rub rub...

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...and some more

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Dab dab....

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Voila! I`ll let it dry overnight.

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The toes look refreshed.
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Life with Shinsho / Ingenuity (in Taipei, Taiwan)

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I think I`ve worn these shoe for over a month now, and I think the break-in period is pretty much over. The sole has gotten quite soft/flexible (which is good), and the upper leather`s been looking as good as ever. I`ve been taking good care of them mwink[1].gif, (daily brushing etc...) but well, there are some water stains from the constant downpour (I`ve been told a full wash with saddle soap is the only way to get rid of the stain marks)

During the Summer season, Taipei`s weather is prone to sudden (massive) downpour, which could be quite devastating for leather shoes/soles.
So I finally decided to apply some rainproof spray on my Kamioka shoes. At first I wasn`t so sure about it (the silicone compound`s its long term effects on the upper leather?), but it proved to be quite useful the other day. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

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I`ve met quite a few folks from the shoe industry here, and it was quite surprising to see how many of them were more than familiar with Turnright (Ingenuity) shoes, but have never seen it before. Several of them asked me if they could handle/observe my shoes. These Ingenuity shoes are actually made in Laos, and are not available in Taiwan (so far). Apparently the versions sold here (in Taichung city) are made in Taiwan, and cost quite a bit more.

If you`re interested in knowing more about the shoe stores in Taipei, please check out this thread (if you haven`t already)
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
I got a pair of shoetrees for my Ingenuities after another bout with a downpour. facepalm.gif

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Red cedar trees from a local brand O`Ringo.

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Soak up the moisture! Stretch out those creases!

post #22 of 31
Great thread Nutcracker, love seeing the progress. I think they look great, especially considering you seem to be wearing them on consecutive days without rotation and survived a few downpours!

Will definitely try to make it to Taichung to see these in person this winter
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subutai View Post

Great thread Nutcracker, love seeing the progress. I think they look great, especially considering you seem to be wearing them on consecutive days without rotation and survived a few downpours!

Will definitely try to make it to Taichung to see these in person this winter

Thanks Sub'!

Yeah, they did see quite a bit of abuse, and yes I've worn them consecutively on few occasions (they were the only dress shoes I took on my trip). I think there are more selection available at the Kamioka showroom in Tokyo. so if you do happen to drop by Tokyo, let me know fing02[1].gif
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm finally back from a 2 week trip in Taiwan. Gave my Ingenuities a good cleaning and a polishing job @ Kutsumigaki Honpo fing02[1].gif

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Refreshed after a long trip. Looking very good.

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Looks a bit dry, due to constant exposure to rain. Still, the leather looks good!

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Now I know officially.... I walk lopsided!

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The profile.

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The sole.
post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I've had these shoes for a little over one month, and I made sure they saw quite a bit of action (probably 20 days of wear). Here are some of my thoughts to wrap up the occasion for now...

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The shoes' last (RE07) was designed by a Norwegian shoemaker for Kamioka/Turnright. I was told he incorporated his knowledge of medical orthopedics to create a last that was tailored for Japanese/Asian feet. Spending a month with these shoes, I am completely sold, in terms of the comfort level. The shoes have more than ample room to wiggle my toes, the waist support is superb, and the heel cup is snug and tight.

I do appreciate the orthopedie tradition in European shoemaking (esp. German), but I don't find the silhouette of this last to be particularly suitable for dress shoes. The toe is basically shaped like a perfect semicircle. For my particular pair, I think the plaintoe design and the cognac color helped pull off an informal/casual look. Although I do dig them, they may have looked even better as a blutcher (instead of an oxford).

Again, I have to mention how impressed I am with the leather. The Ingenuity collection uses Annonay's Vegano calf almost exclusively, and suedes are sourced from C.F.Stead.

So it does somehow come down to the pricing. Ingenuity shoes are sold for ¥39900 ($400 USD), which seem quite generous considering the leather used.

The shoes are made in Laos, and the the low cost of operation is what keeps the price at bay. Judging from what I see here in person (including some high-end jobs for display), as well as from what I hear about the D.C.Lewis shoes (made at the same factory), I know the shoes are made to a very high standard of quality.

There are a number of European and Japanese brands that offer excellent selection in this mid-tier price range (¥40K~¥50K). Japan's very own Miyagi Kogyo shoes are mostly priced in this range too. I think Ingenuity/Shinsho shoes do indeed offer an excellent value proposition, with one reservation. Kamioka is a relatively young brand, and I think they're still searching for an identity. I see 3 or 4 completely different lasts being offered side by side, with a set of designs exclusive to each of them. While I was told the RE07 last, which my shoes are on, was designed exclusively for the launch of the Kamioka in Japan, some other lasts and designs were presumably taken from Turnright's archive of prototypes and past OEM work. Understandably, they don't have a cohesiveness in their collection as some established brands do.

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Some of the other offerings by Kamioka. Interesting, yes, but may be a bit too quirky for some.



The 2 best selling Ingenuity models, both happen to look very English. I would like to see Kamioka expand more in this direction...

While I may sound a tiny bit critical, I am very optimistic about their future offering. The two models above (I've tried them both) are quite excellent, and in my opinion, should be offered in other variations. The adelaide semi-brogue shoes in the egg toed RE08 last looks particularly 'classic'. I can envision the same last used on straight tip oxford or brogue shoes.

Ingenuity's cousin across the pond, D.C.Lewis, seems to show what Kamioka is capable of by spending just a little more on each shoes. Priced around $475 (if I recall properly), I think they use even higher grade leathers, as well as finer details such as closed channel / fiddleback waists. I also find their sleek lasts (101 and 102) and their limited but classic styled patterns to be well thought out and handsome.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90
D.C.Lewis / Kent Wang Handgrade in Ilcea Radica calf. $475 USD


D.C.Lewis / Kent Wang Handgrade in Crocs. costs a bit more than the above.

I really like what Turnright/Kamioka has been doing for D.C.Lewis, and I think they should consider doing something equal for their own brand. Turnright is quickly becoming one of the foremost OEM shoe manufacturer in the world, and I think OEM will remain as their core business (and hence the focus of their efforts). So far their RTW shoes are offered in a very limited fashion, namely in Japan and in Taiwan. If they are really serious about expanding their market and turning the world's RTW shoes market upside down, in my opinion they definitely have what it takes.

While this concludes my informal diary/report on the Ingenuity/Shinsho shoes for now, I will definitely keep wearing these shoes. I will try to give some updates on my shoes from time to time, and would also be happy to take questions and comments. I would like to thank Kamioka (and their wonderful staffs) for giving me this opportunity!
post #26 of 31
Excellent write up!
post #27 of 31
Nice thread
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post

Nice thread

Hey there, long time no see. Thanks! biggrin.gif
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
Kamioka will be exhibiting at the MAGIC MARKET WEEK 2014 @ Las Vegas Convention Center!

Aside from seeing Kamioka`s (Turn Right Shoes) OEM offerings (they make shoes for D.C.Lewis / Kent Wang HG etc...), this would be a great opportunity to check out their original Ingenuity / Shinsho RTW shoes in person. I heard they are also bringing the first samples of their premier handsewn welted line.

February 18-20th
LVCC South Hall
Booth 84005

http://www.magiconline.com
http://www.ingenuity.co.jp
post #30 of 31
They make awesome shoes.
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