So, dear readers, do you know what this is?
Those of you who guessed right must be gum connoisseurs!
This time we’d like to introduce Spingle Move, a rubber‑soled Japanese sneaker brand from Hiroshima.
The raw gum material you just saw is kneaded, pressed and made into a sheet, and then ‘sole shapes’ are manually cut out one by one.
This is also done manually; this upper (the part that covers the top of the foot) is fitted onto a wooden mold.
Of course, there are products made with canvas, among other materials, but leather sneakers are Spingle Move’s main product.
With an impressive sound, the enormous furnace opens. This is the “vulcanizing method”, a process where pressure and heat is applied. It’s so cool!!
The craftsmen take the sneakers out of the furnace. Hot, hot, hot!!
These are freshly made sneakers, the special characteristic of which is that the sole is wrapped over the upper!
The vulcanizing method is the name given to a manufacturing method where by adding heat and pressure in the furnace, soles made out of gum with sulfur and other ingredients added are fastened to the uppers.
This manufacturing method, which came from the USA around 180 years ago, is currently only used in a small number of places in Japan. However, sneakers made in this way are so comfortable that they remind wearers of Japanese work tabi (shoes with rubber soles and split toes) or gym shoes, both of which can only be made using the vulcanizing method.
Even today, the Spingle Company continues to use this rare manufacturing method.
They also offer interesting collaboration products for those who want a pair of comfortable, cool sneakers.
As you can see, these are “Hiroshima Carps” sneakers! The sandals are nice, too…
These sneakers have “Setouchi” as their theme. While the two shoes on the left are made using Hiroshima prefecture’s Onomichi city canvas cloth, the two on the right are made using Okayama prefecture’s Ibara city denim cloth.
As well as online, Spingle Move products can be purchased at specialized shops and retailers all over Japan. Among those shops, the ones in Hiroshima city apparently have the best selection, so how about getting some as souvenirs? And if you do, remember to take pride in having bought them in Hiroshima.
Shops in the Hiroshima area where Spingle Move products can be purchased:
Spingle Move Hiroshima Shop
Address: MITAKIYA Ginza Shoten 1st floor, 1-3 Tatemachi, Naka ward, Hiroshima city, Hiroshima prefecture
Closed: No regular holidays
Garage Fine Hiroshima Shop
Address: Fukuromachi Anba 1st floor, 6-1 Fukuromachi, Naka ward, Hiroshima city, Hiroshima prefecture
Closed: No holidays
MITAKIYA Aeon Mall Hiroshima Fuchu Shop
Address: Aeon Mall Hiroshima Fuchu 2nd floor, 2-1-1 Osu, Fuchu-cho, Aki district, Hiroshima prefecture
Closed: No holidays
The shop next to the main office:
『GLOBAL SHOES GALLERY』
Address: 74-1 Fuchu-cho, Fuchu city, Hiroshima prefecture
Closed: New Year Holidays
The Spingle Move Online Shop:
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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