Pumps. Or ‘Pompes’ as they were originally known back in the 1500s when men and servants wore shoes without heels. In a modern setting, they’re functional, simplistic, timeless, and go with just about everything. Pumps have been offered by just about every footwear brand under the sun, and we all have our favorites.
Paradise Rubber Athletic Shoes, known as PRAS, has taken the humble pump and Japan-ified it, resulting in a rather elevated version of this age-old piece of athletic footwear. They feature a cotton canvas upper woven in Kojima, Japan, kiln-fired vulcanized soles — which can only come from Kurume, Japan — a chunky toe box, and subtle branding to the heel.
Other than vintage originals, we’d hedge our bets that these are among the closest you’ll find to those seen in military and sports photos of the ’40s or ’50s. Oh, and it’s said that including PRAS, only three companies in Japan are producing using vulcanization, in a factory with over 75 years of history in production. Hard to beat, that.
Available for $176 at Redcast Heritage