Sneakers You Must Buy When You Visit Japan!

[Japanese College Girls Tell All!] There's a huge sneakers boom around the world and everyone has at least a pair of these fashion items. Check out these popular sneakers and sneakers from top Japanese brands recommended by female college students!



Sneakers are experiencing a boom globally and they're now seen as must-have fashion items. While they've always had a place as sportswear, men and even women now wear them to make a fashion statement. Check out this exhaustive list of sneakers from top Japanese brands that you should buy when you next visit Japan!


Mizuno is one of the representative sports equipment manufacturers in Japan. As a brand that focuses on the competitive sportsman, it receives love from top athletes from all over the world. Check out these 2 models from the ever-popular MIZUNO1906 series and 1 from the M-line series.

MIZUNO1906 - MIZUNO RS88 / 10,800 yen 

The RS88 is a reproduction based off the RACING STAR 100, a spiked athletics shoe that was released in 1988 with the aim of achieving the top speeds in the world. The orange, navy and grey version is featured in the photograph. The colors stand out without appearing gaudy so it's the perfect focal point for your outfit. The design of the forefoot of the outsole uses the original model as inspiration. In that model, the pins could be rearranged according to the shape of the athlete's foot and the grounding sensation. It's a shoe that's designed with much attention to detail!

M-line - MR-e / 17,820 yen

The M-line was recently reissued in March 2016. One big difference is that it's made in Japan! It's not so well-known globally due to its recent release so this is a great chance for you to get a pair before everyone else does! Its design is based on a line of shoes that was designed for marathons, so this shoe is particularly light!

MIZUNO 1906 - WAVE GV / 19,440 yen 

This MIZUNO WAVE sneaker is the model that was released in commemoration of the series' 20th anniversary. The MIZUNO WAVE is said to be the sole structure that's synonymous with the Mizuno name. This model features the INFINITY WAVE, an improved version of the MIZUNO WAVE. Additionally, the design of the AIR GENOVA, a popular high-performance running shoe from about 30 years back, is used in the shoe upper. You can see from the photograph that there's a space in the sole of the shoe! This design includes excellent cushioning that makes it easy to walk; it even looks cool! It comes in black or grey. The simple colors make it easy to coordinate with your outfits.


HP: [M-line] (Japanese Only)

2. White atelier BY CONVERSE (Japan-only Branch)

White atelier BY CONVERSE is a Converse store in Cat Street, Harajuku that was opened in July 2015. Here, you can get Converse sneakers customized to your tastes in just a day! On level 1, you'll find White atelier limited edition sneakers, charms, and other goods like stationery that can only be found here and nowhere else.

ALL STAR COLORS R HI / 7,560 yen

As the photo shows, the ALL STAR COLORS R HI is a pure white sneaker that's available only at White atelier BY CONVERSE. You could get it as it is but if you head down to the customization area on B1, you can use the sneaker as a base and customize it with your very own design. Customized sneakers can be collected within the same day (for orders made before 6 PM)! Printing on the shoe upper and tongue costs an additional 2,000 yen each. 

There are also artist standard designs available. These are collaborations between famous artists and Converse that are available for a limited period of time. New collaborations are unveiled periodically. Alternatively, you can select your favorite standard design and add your own touch by customizing it with your own initials or the date of your Japan visit to commemorate the trip. This becomes a one-of-a-kind sneaker so be sure to drop by this store!

White atelier BY CONVERSE

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 08:00 PM

Closed: Closed on irregular days

Access: 7 minutes' walk from Exit 7, Meiji-Jingumae Station on the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / 10 minutes walk from Omotesando Exit, JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station

Address: B1-1F, HOLON-III, 6-16-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (Google Map)



Converse is an American brand that's been loved by many generations. In 2013, the brand started producing Made in Japan models. Converse produces its sneakers in various locations globally but the Made in Japan models are particularly rare and popular all over the world, so they tend to have a higher value. Converse designs are simple and easy to match with any outfit so a few years ago, the brand's sneakers became hot again in Japan. Check out the 2 Made in Japan models and 1 Japan-only model below. 

ALL STAR 100 KATAKANA HI / 8,100 yen 

The 1917 Chuck Taylor model is representative of Converse. In 2017 as part of the model's 100th birthday, a revamped version, the ALL STAR 100, was introduced! This time, the theme was "The World's Japan." This new product was released in June 2017. The iconic ankle patch is written in Japanese katakana characters! In recent years this has been trendy overseas, with many brands incorporating Japanese characters in their designs. Since it's in Japanese, you should buy it in Japan! 

You'll find the katakana on the heel label as well! The left label is in katakana while the right is in English. The sneaker is available in blue, red or black; the eye-catching blue version is the perfect focal point for your outfit. More Japan-only products are planed for release after July 2017,  so keep an eye out for them!

CANVAS ALL STAR J HI / 12,960 yen 

This is the Made in Japan model of the ever-popular CANVAS ALL STAR. The Made in Japan model is different from regular CANVAS ALL STARs in terms of the tape used, the cotton shoelaces, and the Made in Japan text that is included at the bottom of the heel patch. This adds a premium feel to the sneaker. It's somewhat pricey but it's a pair of quality shoes. Why don't you get a pair of the CANVAS ALL STAR J HI that incorporates the Japanese focus on good products?

ONE STAR J / 21,600 yen

The ONE STAR is a representative shoe from Converse that was put on the market in 1974.  As the smooth leather used in the shoe was difficult to procure, production of the shoe stopped after just 2 years and it's known as "The Phantom of the 70s." This current Made in Japan model faithfully retains the design and high quality of the original while incorporating the use of a wear-resistant sole that will reduce the damage caused by walking, enabling the shoes to last longer than before. The design may be simple but the star on the design stands out, making this a valuable addition to your collection.

Converse (Japanese Only)


Asics is a Japanese brand that competes on the global stage. As a Gold Sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you can expect the brand to be in the spotlight as the event draws closer. It has dabbled in a wide variety of genres and owns the Onitsuka Tiger and Asics Tiger brands, both of which are known to be very fashionable and immensely popular globally. This time, the recommendations are new releases from Asics, which has a big market share in running shoes!

GEL-KAYANO - GEL-KAYANO 24 / 16,740 yen

Introducing the new GEL-KAYANO 24 series in the GEL-KAYANO line! It's more of a real sports shoe as opposed to fashion sneakers but it boasts many great features. High-quality and impact resilient, SpEVA was used in the midsole and FlyteFoam, optimized to be lightweight, is also used in the shoe. The shoe is gentle on the feet and very popular globally as running shoes. The GEL-KAYANO series also includes many shoes with Japanese designs or colorful designs that remind you of summer.  Be sure to grab a pair of Asics shoes when you visit Japan and experience the smoothness of running in these.



HP: (Traditional Chinese)

HP: (Japanese)

5. NIKE 

Nike is a hugely popular American sports equipment manufacturer. It's a major player that everyone knows and it's said that the beginning of Nike has influenced the shoes of Japan. Check out these 3 recommended shoes from Nike's lineup for this summer.

GYAKUSOU - NikeLab GYAKUSOU LunarEpic LOW Flyknit 2 / 20,520 yen

Started in 2010, GYAKUSOU is a collaboration between Nike and Jun Takahashi, designer at Japanese fashion brand Undercover. Undercover is very popular in Japan as a street fashion brand.  Takahashi, a member of  the Tokyo running club called GIRA, goes for both design and fitness in GYAKUSOU. The shoes are regarded as "cool" by people all over the world. Check out the new NikeLab GYAKUSOU LunarEhpic Low Flyknit 2, tis summer's addition to the series.

The standout feature of the Nikelab GYAKUSOU LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2 is its excellent cushioning. The outsole includes cushioning around areas that are subjected to pressure while running. Additionally, the vent holes in the forefoot area provide for great ventilation! The Nike Flyknit material envelopes the feet, supporting the feet like socks and providing for a comfortable run even over long distances. GYAKUSOU running wear is also known to be very fashionable! Why don't you run in comfort this summer?

CORTEZ - Nike Women's Classic Cortez Premium / 11,880 yen

The CORTEZ turns 45 in 2017 and this commemorative model includes a special design on the shoe tongue and logo! The simple and versatile design is a big hit! The classic colors are refreshing and a perfect fit for the current season.

The shoe's XLV insole boasts a history of 45 years while the shoe tongue includes labels with 1972 (the year of Cortez's creation) and 2017 (the 45th anniversary year) on them. This model is in Cortez's iconic colors and uses top quality leather; it's definitely a premium product you should own!

SOCKRACER Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit / 14,040 yen

You can adjust the fit of the Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit via the two straps on the shoe, making this an excellent product. The incredible lightness of the shoe has got to be its key characteristic. The comfort it provides and its stylish appearance propelled the "slip-on" boom in Japan. The Flyknit material provides good breathability and makes it perfect for the coming season. The photograph features the yellow version which is reminiscent of the summer sun. A total of 5 colors are available. Wouldn't you like a pair for the summer?



HP: (Traditional Chinese)

HP: (Japanese)


If you're visiting Japan, be sure to grab Japan-only items or products with Japanese designs that will remind you of your trip. There are many other Japanese sneaker manufacturers besides the ones featured. Why don't you get a pair of new sneakers for the summer?

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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