Introducing LOPER: footwear re-invented through craft and technique by creative platform PROEF. Discover our unique glueless construction with the premiere MACALON and DERBY unisex styles. Join us in bringing this project to life and help making the industry a little more responsible. And be the FIRST to wear our unique LOPER shoes.

An initiative developed by Japanese creative platform PROEF (founder Katsuhiro Igarashi and designer Manami Saito) in collaboration with Dutch footwear designer Roderick Pieters. Sharing ideals and a passion for craft, former classmates (ArtEZ Institute of the Arts), Roderick and Manami bonded over an idea to simplify footwear production. In November 2012 Katsuhiro invited Roderick to Japan to discuss the LOPER concept. A shared vision of the project’s potential sealed the collaboration. Along the way great people joined the project, making it a team effort.

Looks good, feels good!
We present you DERBY and MACALON. Traditional leathercraft and streetwear origins combined in two contemporary unisex designs. Sleek lines and refined shapes echo the form-meets-function aesthetic. Typified by the innovative LOPER rope construction.

Your feet will love the smooth high-grade leather. The leather breathes as in nature. It is soft to touch and ages richly over time. Plus it will conform to the shape of your feet. Together with a thick cushioning EVA midsole and the durable rubber outsole we guarantee you a comfortable walk.
Fabricating beautiful shoes is great. Fabricating them responsibly is even better.

By supporting LOPER you will help making the industry a little more responsible. We’ve set out to make footwear production (and distribution) simpler, safer and more logical. Here’s how, step by step:

Shoe factories are generally unhealthy workplaces; mainly because shoe production often involves large quantities of toxic glue. For workers in the factory it is nearly impossible not to inhale the harmfull vapors that come off the glue. Despite modern air circulation systems. Next to that, glue makes recycling of shoes nearly impossible.

So, the absense of GLUE makes production less harmfull for workers and it reduces the impact on our environment. LOPER shoes are assembled by hand using the LOPER rope construction system: instead of glue, we simply use rope to connect the upper to the sole. It eliminates the need for toxic glue during assembly and reduces workers exposure to toxic vapors.

The rope construction system includes a strong nylon rope with an integrated ‘needle’ and a purpose-engineered moulded rubber sole prepped with 44 holes, 2 start-points and an integrated stopper.

Most shoe factories enforce minimum order standards. Massive quantities of product must be sold to cover costs. Often, these standards exceed the demand. Overproduction as a result. Meaning WASTE. We want to stimulate a more sustainable, more flexible production system. Selling before making, producing on demand.
Our solution is based on a simplified production line. LOPER shoes can be assembled very fast by one or two people. Lower machine costs and minimal manpower make it more attractive to produce to order rather than producing in bulk.

Mass-produced footwear is made in the cheapest factories and shipped all over the world, bringing unnecessary environmental and economic costs. We want to increase localised production to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and support local economies.The simplicity of the LOPER shoe system makes it easy for us to set up assembling locations anywhere around the world. Making the chain from producer to you, as the end customer, more direct and logical. The first orders will be produced in Japan. With your support we will be able to set-up an assembling unit in Portugal and in the US.

When your sneakers are worn-out, normally you will throw them away. With the LOPER rope platform it will be made possible to order separate LOPER parts and replace them by yourself. Enabling you to either repair your shoes or to make new exciting combinations.

Our dream is to produce the LOPER collection. With your help it will be possible. We have set our goal on € 25.000,-. Which will cover for all costs concerning the full size range molds and lasts. Creating the LOPER sole platform. For men and women. Because, we want everybody to enjoy our LOPER shoes! Hopefully this is the start of something beautiful. With our sole designed as a platform, it’s ready to take on many different future styles. Simple. Elegant. Glueless. Production on demand. With a low carbon footprint. This is what LOPER is all about.

Share our beliefs? Like our styles? Join us in bringing the project to life! Be the FIRST to get LOPER shoes on your feet.

For press enquiries and further information please contact LOPER Shoes