Brand: https://www.highsnobiety.com/tag/cav-empt

Release Date: November 5

Price: ¥33,000 (about $290)

Buy: Cav Empt's website

Editor's Notes: Toby Feltwell and Sk8thing's upstart Cav Empt collective has retreated into itself since its heyday a half-decade ago but that doesn't mean that it's done doin' stuff. Instead, the Japanese brand caters to a core audience of fans who get the brand's wearable social commentary.

In fact, C.E is so comfortably within its zone that the label has developed its first-ever in-house sneaker. The appropriately named "CAV SHOES" (all caps, if you please) have bowling shoe energy in all the right ways.

Low-profile and quietly premium, the CAV SHOES sport breathable, eVent-lined leather and mesh in black or tan above a grippy Vibram sole, with an embroidered Ziggurat symbol on the rear to serve as the only bit of branding.

It's a perfect representation of where Cav Empt is today: unbothered by trends, the Japanese brand is free to experiment with its own voice.

Cav Empt's first shoe was actually an obscure Vans model, the Bearcat, which dropped in 2016.

In early 2019, C.E dropped a collaborative Nike Air Max 95, complete with matching tracksuit. Actually, this might've been its last big launch before getting a bit more introspective.

Since then, C.E has tightened the number of stores it sells to while continuing to dish layering pieces both graphic and technical, usually made in Japan and often dynamically dyed.

There are some domestic collabs and timely drops but, especially considering that Cav Empt is best known overseas for its no-holds-barred branding, this subdued second life must be a refreshing change of pace for Cav Empt and its collaborators.

It always feels better to create at your own pace. Perhaps that's why it took so long for Cav Empt to foray into the realm of original footwear design.

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