Clinch is made by BRASS, one of the first high-end shoe repair shops to open in Japan, owned and operated by Minoru Matsuura. They quickly evolved from shoe repair; to re-lasting to their custom lasts; to building incredible footwear around their custom lasts.
These lasts are where the magic is. Most modern lasts are optimized for mass-production. Wider, straighter, easier to pump through a production line, and easier to fit every single person into. Clinch's lasts start narrow, with a tight fit and a lot of contours to them, much like the lasts of the early 20th century.
The Service Shoe is Clinch's interpretation of the iconic USN Low Quart Shoe or Officer's Shoe, rendered in their exceptional French calfskin leather. It's an extremely versatile and near timeless style, pairing well with casual and formal outfits - it's rarely the star, but never detracts from a look thanks to the sleek, classic design. Available in standard (MIL Last) and wide (MIL-WIDE Last) fittings, there's a comfortable fit for just about anyone.
They're constructed with a 270 degree flat welt featuring a single row of tonal stitching, complimenting the sleek look and low profile of the last. Clinch's welting process is highly precise, utilizing "old-world" manufacturing processes in tandem with their custom lasts & patterns. First, the insole is soaked, then molded to the bottom of the last. From there, the boot is build around that insole. Every step of the welting process is done by hand, except for the final sewing of the outsoles, a task best done by machine.
Finished with a gentle shine, the French calfskin leather is immediately appealing, with a full black dye that's struck through the entire hide for lasting color, unlike tea core leathers. Calfskin ages differently to both other cow and horse leathers, forming small, tight creases in clusters rather than larger rolls or the more thick creasing of mature cowhide.
Even the most minor details are considered - from the blind eyelets, to the meticulous stitchwork, to the t-shaped backstay. They stand on reproduced O'Sullivan heels, made exclusively for Clinch and to their specifications. The thick yet pliable leather outsole features a grip topy, applied for traction and durability, then finished with solid brass nails from Japan.
For a more comprehensive look into Clinch as a brand, you can also read this detailed article by our friends at Stitchdown.
Built on the MIL Last. See sizing tab for advice on fit.
- Black French calf leather
- Full leather lining
- Leather insole
- 270 degree flat welt
- Hand-sewn welted construction
- T-shaped backstay
- Blind eyelets
- Nails from Japan
- Welting from Japan
- O'Sullivan's reproduction heels
- Leather soles with grip topy
- MIL Last
- Resoleable and rebuildable
- Unstructured toebox
- Hand-made in Tokyo