Away from what is typically discussed in the sneaker world, Nike Adidas etc, Kaizen Footwear is quietly gearing up to make big noise in 2016. If you don’t know, now you know.
Kaizen was founded in 2014 by James Howe, as Howe Concepts, which is now the brands freelance footwear design company (more on that later). James dreamed of designing sneakers and wanted to get into the industry, but to get into the industry you need experience and to get experience you need to get into the industry. Rather than admit defeat, James choose to pursue his dream and in 2015 Kaizen went into business.
It wasn’t long until Kaizen began to draw serious interest with their unique story. In November of 2015 Howe was flown to Miami to meet with future NBA Hall of Famer, Dwanye Wade and hand deliver a pair of their flagship model -the Futuro.
Kaizen’s style of performance inspired footwear is in line with what is exceedingly popular right now (think flyknits, y3 etc), but Kaizen comes at the market with something truly unique. The Futuro.
The Futuro is the first shoe to be released by Kaizen Footwear. A futuristic silhouette, as indicated by its name, the futuro features a largely neoprene upper, with suede accents on the heel and toe cap. Panels of mesh can be found on the toebox as well as medial and lateral sides of the shoe, which contributes to the sport theme of this sneaker. Lockdown is provided by an elastic strap and panel across the tounge. While weighing in at 0.3kg the Futuro simultaneously features a plush leather interior and heel pillow, luxurious touches usually not found on a sneaker at such an affordable price point.
On foot the neoprene upper and strap system make for easy access and a one to one fit. The Futuro’s lightweight construction makes for comfort over a long period of wear.
The Kaizen Futuro retails for £75 which is an incredible price considering this is for 1/50 in existence. Along with the premium materials and packaging, this is great value and a chance to own a piece of history.
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Howe Concepts is the freelance footwear design side of Kaizen Footwear. What exactly does this mean? Well in simple terms, they’ll help you to design a sneaker of your own and to contact manufacturers to make your sneaker. This service can make your sneaker dreams come true is you fancy yourself as a designer. To find out more visit them on Kaizen’s site.
For those of us who are so inclined the Futuro’s packaging is truly A1 and the sneaker comes double boxed, with a dustbag and other nice touches from the brand.
In 2016, off the strength of the Futuro, Kaizen looks to expand into basketball performance models.