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Brighten Up The Rainy Season

For about a month and a half from June through July, most areas in Japan suffer from a muggy, uncomfortable rainy season. To weather this rough period, the Japanese have developed various rain goods over the years. Recent hit items include a 16-rib umbrella strong enough to withstand storms and blasts and a super-light and super-thin folding umbrella, but the most notable phenomenon reflects the needs of functionality and fashion: bright color footwear which attracts young followers and whose popularity spreads quickly.

From town style to heavy-duty, the bright color variations of waterproof rubber boots are seen everywhere in the rainy season in the past few years.  With chic design and form, they are growing even in the fashion district. This craze for colorful rain boots encouraged a non-Japanese, world-class outdoor brand to develop a boot line specifically targeting the Japanese market. Vividly colored climbing shoes are also currently in the spotlight. Superior in waterproof function and ventilation, this model which used Gore Tex® is a front runner of its kind. As soon as the global outdoor footwear and apparel brand Merrell released a Japan limited color two years ago, it got a lot of attention not only in the domestic market but also outside of the country.

The boom coincides with a couple of cultural trends. Mr. Senichiro Imai, Merrell’s marketing manager, explains, “When we brought this collection two years ago, the market was swept by earth colors. But the introduction of iPod nano multi color and the comeback of hippie culture brought attention to more brightly colored items, and now they are a mainstream aspect of the outdoor apparel industry.”

By brightening up your feet with colorful, heavy-duty and comfortable footwear, you can enjoy outdoor activities rain or shine and furthermore they will lift your mood!

——– Reported by Mark Minai

Mark Minai resides in Japan and writes articles and books on cultural trends and fashion issues.