Adventures with TokyoMike (Fool's Judge)
What's good people, it's your friendly neighborhood TokyoMike coming thru once again with some more tidbits of sneaker pleasure from Tokyo, Japan.....so sit back, if you're at work or school or driving past the cops, go ahead and crack open a cold one, and enjoy the pictures of today's featured Japanese sneakerhead hotspot; Fool's Judge.
Like alot of the other shops I've hit up and sent TSG pics of, Fool's Judge is located on the same street as Kicks Lab, Atmos, Neighborhood, Supreme, BBC, LTD etc...... I kinda just refer to it as "heart attack alley" because if you're not ready for that amount of heat, physically or finacially, well, you'll feel your heart explode when you see everything over there, and it's hard to tell the guy working at the shop you need a size 10 when you've got bleeding in your chest.
Unlike Kicks Lab and Atmos, which are like finding a venereal disease in a Thai stripclub, Fool's Judge is like ALOT of Japanese shops, in that it's tucked away down in a basement, somewhat hidden away and not as easy to spot. Their sign doesn't indicate that it's a shop worth stopping at, but their display case has enough certified heat in it that, once you see it, there's no chance of you passing by without at least a peak inside.....you know, just to look at the price tags, feel poor, cry, and go home a broken, sad soul.
When you get inside.......I'm not sure how to say this.......OK, I'll put it in
easy-to-understand sneakerhead language......THIS PLACE LOOKS LIKE A NUCLEAR FALLOUT SHELTER FOR HYPEBEASTS.......for real, it looks like 100 filthy rich Hypebeasts knew the world was ending, and so they stocked up on all the good stuff.....just to stay dipped in only the freshest clothes and kicks out there, so they can look ultra-flashy when they came out of the shelter and had to start re-populating the planet. Fool's Judge seems to move alot of stock in and outta the store, so as far as kicks, you never know what you'll see inside the store, but one things for sure, they always have heat. RACKS, AND RACKS, OF HEAT.....it's a very small shop with VERY limited room as far as being able to really look around "comfortably," but hey, I'll take a tiny shop with Heat over a strip mall Foot Action full of wack a$$ kicks anyday.
Apart from the BAPE stores themselves, Fool's Judge has THE biggest selection of legit BAPE's I've seen, period. In fact, you're better off going to Fool's Judge vice the actual BAPE store, since they're always sold out, and this place has RACKS full of it......and I figured someone'd want to be a $m@rt @$$ and crack "Bape Sucks" jokes, so I asked the guys at the shop what sells the best, and before I could even finish butchering that question in my half-a$$ Japanese-nglish, they let me know, without fail, it was in fact the BAPE merchandise that was making them the most money.......not a surprise to me, but it may be a surprise to someone else.
They also carry all the other brands we drool over, and this day had a very good amount of Jordan stuff, from some recent releases like the Toro Bravo Flop, uh, I meant "Pack", to some older stuff from way back in the good ol' days. On this day, outside on their discount table were some Retro "Mars Blackmon" 4's in excellent condition, for about $80.00.....they were my size too, and I DIDN'T grab em......not too sure why, but I think it has something to do with me being a goddamn idiot.
As far as the evil lady we all have a Love/Hate relationship with (Nike SB) Fool's Judge is not messing around with the good stuff.....they had a few of the newer releases here and there, but for the most part, they keep the shelves stocked with the kicks everyone loves to talk about.....lots of pink box bangers, including what I think may have been a whole size run of Tiffany's,....which is odd to see.....well, then again, when you need to sell a kidney to afford em (79,000 Yen, or $770.00,) maybe it's not that odd afterall. Jedi's, True Reds, Zoo Yorks, Supreme's, blah blah blah.......lots of nice SB's......and on this particular day, they had two pairs that blow straight past nice.......Autographed De La Hi's and Lows. I wanted to buy em, but my name's not Bill Gates, so it didn't happen. Let's move along shall we?....
This place also stocks ALOT of Visvim kicks, which are so far off the average sneakerheads radar, I almost don't want to mention em, but I feel compelled to speak about em. Visvim more or less SH*TS on every brand out there as far as quality......they're hand sewn, made with untanned elk leather, which molds to your foot over time and becomes "part" of you. The prices and availability, especially outside of Japan, are insane.....apart from Dover Street Market's online shop, HUF's online shop, and a few other very select retailers, you're not gonna see these shoes outside of Japan....and, of course, you're gonna pay ALOT, but again, it's like owning a Ferrari......you either own one and can comment on it with honesty, or you don't know what the hell you're bumping your gums about. That being said, Fool's Judge has ALOT of Visvim.....
They also carry an INSANE amount of Adidas kicks, a few other off brands, and like I said, they're not just playing with the shoes....they've got a very good amount of clothing in there too, from Supreme's older stuff, to NBHD stuff, to....well, you get the idea.......this is again, one of those places you have to set foot in to actually know and feel how crazy of a shop it is.
Overall, from a personal standpoint, I'd have to rank Fool's Judge as......maybe, the 4th or 5th best shop in Japan for kicks. Definitely worth hitting up when you're making your money wasting rounds thru Tokyo.......speaking of which......I always buy something at the shop I profile for TSG, and today, I got to add another gem to my ever growing vintage collection. So, my pick-up of the day at Fool's Judge, was a pair of deadstock, OG 1992 Air Ballistic Forces.....those lovely, super high top neck breakers that David Robinson used to rock back in the day, and one of the sneaker models I pray, on a NIGHTLY basis, that Nike would retro (along with the Command Forces......please Jesus make it happen!.....) Only paid $30.00 for em too, which is always a welcome break from the usual routine of dropping a bill or two on some newer stuff.
Anyhow, I hope everyone likes the pics, and I'll do my best to head back up there soon to snap up some pics of the other wacked out, insanely wonderful sneaker shops we've got over here........