Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 1, 2013.

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Hydrogen-1: crossover sneakers for work or anywhere, combining luxury Italian leather with sneaker comfort.

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From being just sports shoes, sneakers have become footwear for any casual occasion. Now, as office wear becomes more relaxed, it’s time for sneakers you can wear to work - or anywhere. Hydrogen-1 introduces that next breakthrough: crossover men’s sneakers. Hydrogen-1 is the fundamental element of style: premium Italian quality combined with sneaker comfort.

My name is Hero Nakatani, creator of Hydrogen-1 sneakers. Like many men, I had a job where I needed to dress professionally. I wanted to look stylish and modern, yet feel comfortable at the same time. I always struggled to find leather shoes that met my needs. The comfortable shoes were too clunky and old-fashioned; the fashionable ones, too constraining. I thought how nice it would be to have superbly-made Italian shoes with comfortable sneaker soles.

I looked at what’s out there in the sneaker market and found only multicolored sport sneakers. In the fashion sneakers category, they were overpriced and over-stylized with logos plastered all over the shoes. In short, fancy sneakers that you could not wear to work, especially not with suits. So I set out to create shoes with the style and quality of my favorite work shoes, but also the comfort of my favorite weekend sneakers.  Shoes that could wear all day – at the office, or hanging out with friends in the evening.

Hydrogen is the simplest, most fundamental element in the universe. Hydrogen-1 applies that idea to making sneakers with a modern, minimalist aesthetic – simple yet stylish. Remove all the unnecessary details and what is left is a clean, effortless style, right for the times and never overdone.

Getting it right in combining Italian quality with sneaker comfort also meant finding a manufacturer who “got it”. After an exhaustive search, I found that partner in Italy’s Le Marche region. Known as the heart of the Italian footwear industry, artisans here have honed their skills over generations. As our manufacturer has done for other well-known labels, each sneaker will be tailored and manufactured using the finest materials.

First Collection

For our first collection we have two lines, with twelve styles in total. For the suit-and-tie guy, the classic line includes styles like Oxford, Chelsea, and Wingtip. For the khaki-and-jeans guy, the urban line comes in high, mid, and low cut styles.

Why Order Now - Limited Founder Edition

The project is in its final stage of design and development and ready for production.  To make it all of this happen I need your help. I need to raise $89,000 to purchase the first inventory. If you like the shoes and want your own pair, please buy your limited, first edition shoes through this Kickstarter.

Participating now is the only way you can get the limited, founder edition shoes. These come with a distinctive Hydrogen-1 Founder edition logo and numbered certificate of authenticity, with special discounts of up to 30% off post-launch retail pricing. Within one month of the Kickstarter completing successfully, we will email you to finalize the style and size you wish to order.

When you buy high-quality sneakers, they can last longer and save you money in the long-run. Your cost per wear can be lower with high-quality sneakers that last for several years, versus a cheaper one that lasts for only one season.

For a complete detail of each of the 12 shoes please go to hydrogen-1.com or contact me directly at hero@hydrogen-1.com if you have any questions about the shoes or this Kickstarter.  

Our Styles 

Beryllium (Be4) is a classic city slicker. An Oxford style, it's made from top grade Italian calf leather with a high quality rubber sole.  It's a classic style, but with textured leather that complements both casual and formal wear. For added comfort there is a extra padding around the ankle.  Comes in your choice of black or cream color rubber sole.  

Beryllium: a classic city slicker.
Beryllium: a classic city slicker.

Boron (B5) is a full English brogue but is a Gibson instead of an Oxford.  Just like classic brogue (or wingtips) they have the characteristic toe cap with extensions (wings) that run along both sides of the toe. We use very high quality Italian calf leather for breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. The leather will develop a patina over time

Boron: a brogue style, made comfier.  The leather develops a patina over time
Boron: a brogue style, made comfier. The leather develops a patina over time

Lithium (Li3) is simplicity itself. The thing is with simplicity, the balance has to be perfect - nothing to distract.  Made from the finest Italian calf leather, this is shoe making at its best. It comes in textured leather to give it a modern look. Comes in your choice of black or cream rubber sole. 

Made from the finest Italian calf leather
Made from the finest Italian calf leather

Hydrogen (H1) is the boot version of Boron: our biggest, baddest boot. We use very high quality Italian calf leather for breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact.  

Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time.
Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time.

Krypton- KR36 mid cut sneakers are a contemporary blend of minimalism and expert Italian craftsmanship. What stands out is the special matte leather in blue. The pared-down design eliminates unnecessary stitching or gimmicks. Additional details include the hard-wearing sole, and full leather lining with padding around the ankle for extra comfort.

Oxygen-O8 is high cut sneaker with a less-is-more aesthetic. This versatile two-tone black sneaker can be dressed up or down.  It features a premium full leather upper with luxurious black leather lining and a hard-wearing sole.

Oxygen: versatile, high-cut sneaker. Two-tone black can dress up or down
Oxygen: versatile, high-cut sneaker. Two-tone black can dress up or down

Our Size Chart

We will offer D, E, EE, EEE sizes

Size chart
Size chart

Rubber sole images

For the regular sneakers
For the regular sneakers
For the boots
For the boots

Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Risk and Challenges
What if my shoes don’t fit?
We want you to be happy with your Hydrogen-1 shoes. If they don’t fit, ship them back to us in tip top condition and the original packaging, and we will be happy to exchange them for another available style or size.

Logistics
Supplies of leather to the manufacturer or other projects could cause manufacturing delays. We could experience shipping delays due to US customs.

Inventory
The range of sizes required in the shoe business, and our planned styles, mean that our inventory may not match demand. Such mismatches may result in write-downs for hard-to-move inventory. We plan to address this by working to reduce order sizes and cycle times, and building in to our business model some allowance for this.

FAQ

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    You will receive a custom Hydrogen-1 shoe bag for your future purchase of hydrogen-1 sneakers, plus a mention on our website.

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    You will receive a custom Hydrogen-1 shoe bag, shoe horn and shoe brush for your future purchase of hydrogen-1 sneakers, plus a mention on our website.

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL . You receive ONE pair of limited, Founder edition Hydrogen-1 sneakers and certificate of authenticity, The first 85 pairs we produce will be signed by the founder and will ship first.

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    LIMITED OFFER. You receive ONE pair of limited, Founder edition Hydrogen-1 sneakers and certificate of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website… OR, BEST DEAL two pairs for $400, see below

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    SPECIAL CUSTOMIZATION - You will receive ONE pair of limited, Founder edition Hydrogen-1 OXYGEN model sneakers, signed by the founder, with a certificate of authenticity, and free US shipping. You will be able to customize your sneakers with your choice of leather and color of the rubber sole from the available options. THIS CUSTOMIZATION OPTION IS AVAILABLE ONLY ON THE OXYGEN (O8) MODEL.

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    BEST DEAL. Early Bird Specials are gone, but get the same price on TWO pairs of limited, Founder edition Hydrogen-1 sneakers and certificate of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website.

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    You receive TWO pairs of limited, Founder edition Hydrogen-1 sneakers and certificates of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website.

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    You receive TWELVE pairs - the full collection, of limited Founder edition Hydrogen-1 sneakers and certificates of authenticity, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website.

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Funding period

- (23 days)