Shoes Like Pottery: The Process
Durable, Unbreakable and Beautiful
The hallmark of Shoes Like Pottery is the vulcanizing, or ka-ryu, process in Japanese, performed by only a select handful of shoe manufacturers around the world. In the ka-ryu process, each shoe is fired in a kiln which causes the sulfur mixed inside the raw rubber to chemically react, returning the rubber to its natural elasticity and creating a soft, flexible, and durable sole.
Shoes Like Pottery sources only the highest quality materials, carefully chosen to maintain the integrity of each pair of shoes. Sewing the cutting die parts firmly is carried out by skilled craftsman whose handiwork is indispensable.
A skilled craftsman attaches the upper to the outsole according to the shape of the last, and then puts a tape around it. This process is impossible to do by machine, therefore each pair is done by hand. Shoes Like Pottery outsoles are very flexible because they are made of raw rubber that feels like soft clay, supporting the shape of each shoe. Our rubber adhesive cements the outsole to the upper, creating a resilient and lasting shoe. Once fully assembled the shoe is arranged on a rack to get ready for vulcanizing in the kiln.
The shoes are fired in a 120 °C (248 °F) kiln for 70 minutes, similar to the way Japanese pottery is fired. The extreme heat and pressure causes the sulfur mixed inside the raw rubber to chemically react, returning the rubber to its original shape. Our unique ka-ryu process enables us to hand-craft small batches of some of the world’s finest vulcanized shoes.