It's been a long time since I've been introduced. From Russia. AFOUR. It's a country that doesn't have much of an image as a fashion market, but there's a very unique sneaker-making there. Under the influence of the coronavirus, I was unable to leave Russia for a long time. But this time too, the quality of the shoes has been put together firmly, so please feel at ease there. AFOUR CODE Matt Black material _ oiled nubuck (cowhide) size_37,38(womens).40,41,42,43(mens) This AFOUR model is all black except for the leather lining. There are other brands in the lineup, but I think this CODE black leather is the most complete, and the combination with clothes is well thought out, so I think it's very well-balanced. The upper leather is originally a slightly brushed nubuck leather, but oil is added to the leather to lay down the fluff and create a matte texture. This is so unique. I think it's something that has never been used for leather products like this before, not just for shoes. Of course, the texture of the leather is fine, and it is obvious that the leather looks very expensive. Because it's this leather, it's okay to put oil in it and brush it like you would with leather shoes. By doing so, the luster of the surface will be gradually born to the dull expression. Another thing is that you can wear them roughly like you would a regular sneaker, without any special maintenance. It is a shoe that can be freely associated with the person who received it. As you can see, the surface of the insole and the lining are ivory leather. The lining is changed to cotton canvas from about the middle to the toes, but it is tough, slips well, and snuggles up to your feet. When you put it on, you can see a little bit of the leather lining. The shoelaces are made of flat cotton laces with a wax coating that blends well with the main body of the shoes. The sole is an EVA sole and an SVIG rubber sole that is rarely seen in Japan. The outsole has a high density, so it is durable and highly spec. Also, the midsole is also made of EVA, so the feeling of wearing it feels quite high rebound. Most sneakers tend to sink heavily under your weight, but you can see that this has a repulsive force that most people have never experienced, and it really supports your feet. . It's very comfortable to walk on, so it's very suitable for walking. Well, if you change the way you look at it, it looks like walking shoes. I added a military essence to the walking shoes that my grandfather wore, rewinding the times a little and making it quite high quality. AFOUR shoes are made by three shoe craftsmen led by Vladimir in a small workshop in Russia, not in the usual automated production process at a large-scale sneaker factory. So it looks like a sneaker, but the making process is completely leather shoes. It's only after a while that you can see it and feel it. Of course, we make full use of traditional Russian tools and high-quality raw materials, so you can fully feel the high quality even when it is brand new. The only way to understand the true potential of something is to use it "beyond it". Even ordinary sneakers can be deformed according to the shape of the foot, making them a little easier to wear, and that is what it means to "get used to", but AFOUR is not at the level of sneakers like that. The elongation of the leather on the upper, the sinking of the insole, and all the fittings will change. It's comfortable to wear, but the appearance of the outer leather changes accordingly. As with leather shoes, wrinkles entering the toes and movement of oil in the leather create shadows on the upper. I think that by improving the "feeling of the body" in terms of comfort and the "appearance of the shoe" in proportion, the shoes will become more comfortable to wear. But the important thing is from here. AFOUR shoes are "standing". Almost any kind of new shoe that has just been completed has a vertical three-dimensional effect that defies gravity. However, the more you use it, the more it will wear out, and the three-dimensional effect will gradually disappear, and it will become a form that looks like it is squashed sideways. But not AFOUR. The maximum potential of AFOUR can be seen "beyond" after using it. Despite looking like sneakers, AFOUR shoes always stand on their own. This is a result of the brand's technology being packed into it, and it shows what Vladimir and others are doing, but that's not all. I've written about this on this blog before, but Mr. Izumi, who handles AFOUR in Japan, is amazing. The AFOUR brand definitely wouldn't have been possible without Mr. Izumi. A long time ago, I saw a book written by Mr. Inamori of Kyocera. I've seen it written that it's important to create something that "cuts your hand when you touch it." Of course, even if you don't cut your hand when you actually touch it, when you put your heart into it and sharpen your nerves, the finished product will feel as if your hand was cut the moment you touched it. I think that's the "ideal" in making things, and that's what AFOUR is about. When I went to Mr. Yamauchi's place in Yamauchi before, the gallery shop had a bright, bright atmosphere that was similar to the sales floor of a store. And just by taking one step, I felt that the atmosphere was completely different. A tense feeling of tension, as if a string were stretched straight. The atmosphere is completely different when you're working on a production site, where you put all your energy into. Going back to AFOUR, when Mr. Izumi asked Mr. Vladimir to make a CODE sample, it was about two or three months. No, was it half a year? ? Under various circumstances, he put down the sample shoes and just stared at them. all the time. Why did you do that? There are many shoes in the world, but when Mr. Izumi brings AFOUR brand shoes to Japan, the world's largest fashion market, he always looks at it to see if it's really worth it. was Put it in a variety of places, such as places with high humidity, places with high temperatures, ordinary places, living rooms, etc., and keep an eye on it to see if any part of CODE's Matt Black shoes is damaged. I was staring. For example, there is always a sign that something will sag or some negative phenomenon will occur. Then this is fine. Two years ago, he came to Okayama to show me what I thought. Our relationship started from there. Of course, Mr. Izumi doesn't just introduce us to what Mr. Vladimir made, and this CODE Matt Black was also created by Mr. Izumi. Vladimir and others are making it into actual shoes. AFOUR is currently only available in Japan at inside my glass doors, wunder, and CASANOVA&Co. in Osaka. The thing common to all the shops is that they deal with "Yamauchi". That's it. They have very few followers on Instagram, but I think they make great shoes. If you like it, please take a look.