Yuketen, the brainchild of Yuki Matsuda, couples creative sprite with a studious drive to create leather footwear using time-honored techniques. From its establishment in 1986, Matsuda has pursued partnerships with legacy footwear companies and manufacturers, lending a scrupulous attitude toward achieving the best possible version of an idea. The company’s design philosophy is centered around its Maine Guide Boot, adapted from the ones worn by individuals certified to assist northern travelers in the first half of the 20th century. Guides needed to be resourceful enough to withstand extreme conditions in the absence of a formal infrastructure, and their shoes reflected that. Yuketen’s version, made in Maine like much of its line, honors its predecessor with adjustments made for increased comfort with daily wear. Its only purely aesthetic addition is a carefully constructed leather tab at the back of the boot, considered by Matsuda with the same reverence he has for the body of a 1970’s Alfa Romeo. Designs are revisited with each collection, the boundaries of which are pushed fiercely alongside their consistent qualitative scrutiny. Yuketen upholds the virtues of artisanal craftsmanship while continuing to push footwear forward.