This page is dedicated to in-depth user opinions on Yuketen.
this is my favourite shoe brand
I own three pairs and that number is only going to go up
edit 15/08/2013: I own four pairs now. I still have good things to say about the brand. I don't know if I'd still call it my favourite, and they are a little bit overrated relative to their american competitors. One of the most important reasons to consider competitors is the customer service side of it: Quoddy, Rancourt, Oak Street Bootmakers, Russell Moccasin, etc. all offer various repair services. Yuketen doesn't say they do (and I would be surprised if they did). The reason is obvious: Yuketen sells mostly to an Asian market. US sales aren't what they're after. Besides that, they have a slightly overblown "legendary quality" reputation and outpace their competitors on the style side of things. So they don't need to offer the same level of support for their product post-production in order to make sales.
As I said, the quality is overrated. It's on par with all the others, although some of their products (like the Maine Guide line of boots) are a little bit more interestingly built (that said, they run a full $100-200 more expensive than the competition). But their basic products, like their chukkas, are virtually identical to their competitor's counterparts (like an unlined Quoddy chukka; I say this having tried both). That said, the pricing comes closer to standard on those products.
I don't know who makes Yuketen's shoes. I haven't been able to find someone who does. I know that Viberg makes their Johnson line, I know they have collaborated with Paraboot for some shoes that are easily identifiable as Paraboot. I don't know who makes their shoes in Mexico, and I don't know who makes their shoes in the US. Yuketen isn't exactly transparent about these things. It always struck me as odd that they never called their Johnson boots "Yuketen X Viberg" or anything to that effect (considering Viberg's fantastic reputation). I suspect the reason is that they wouldn't want to announce who they're working with for every shoe. I also suspect that they make very few of their offerings themselves, if any.
The biggest reason to buy Yuketen is that the sale prices are good. You can say the same thing of Quoddy, but you can't say it of Oak Street Bootmakers. Yuketen keeps a very good stockists page, just keep up with all of them throughout the season and watch for when the price drops. I've bought all four of mine from different retailers during end-of-season sales; the closest to full price I ever paid was 30% off.