As Usual, Japan Gets the Best Exclusives

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Brand: Moonstar 810s

Season: Fall/Winter 2021

Buy: Moonstar, eBay sometimes

Editor’s Notes: Japanese company Moonstar was founded in Kurume, Japan, in 1873 as a rubber processing plant, first applying its production know-how to the construction of jika-tabi shoes and eventually updating its techniques to create some pretty hardy contemporary sneakers. Most frequently stocked overseas at workwear-leaning boutiques, Moonstar’s oeuvre is actually extremely far-reaching, going far beyond stylish shoes into the realm of functional footwear for service professionals. Its latest sub-label, 810s, is a hybrid of bold worlds.

Moonstar has been making shoes for hospital, factory, and kitchen staff for decades, but only in 2019 did it launch 810s as a hybrid of utilitarian design ethos and stylish concern. Even its name is appreciably humble: “810s” is a Japonization of 8/10s or 80%, which Moonstar describes as “a state just appropriate… neither excessive nor insufficient.” Good enough, basically. 810s applies the useful elements of Moonstar’s industrial silhouettes to attractive sneakers, yielding nifty designs ideal for all-weather application.

FW21 models include plenty of 810s staples and some new designs. Returning iterations include the “KITCHE,” a chef shoe that swaps laces for an elastic band, the buckled “MARKE” work boots, and “HOSP,” which boasts an elastic forefoot strap and collapsible heel. New seasonal editions range from the loafer-like “PROO,” finished with a moccasin toe, to the “SNOWF” boot and backless “CAF WARM,” a mule that’s insulated for extra warmth.

All are imagined in black, white, navy, beige, grey, and similar versatile tones ideal for uniform dressing. The best part? None of the styles retail for more than ¥6,000 (about $60), making them a reasonable grab for service workers and the average customer alike.

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