55 users: 4.2 / 5
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Onitsuka Tiger Lifestyle Shoes
Colorways: Black / Green / Grey

Verdict from 9 hours of research from the internet

7 reasons to buy

  • Most people who tested the Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN shoes have remarked that the low-top sneakers are very comfortable and “like walking on marshmallows.” 
  • Many consumers love the clean and vintage styling of the casual Onitsuka Tiger shoes which have earned several of them compliments.
  • The lifestyle shoes feel light on the feet, according to a good number of purchasers.
  • The shoes’ flat soles make the kicks ideal for everyday general use and low-impact athletic activities, a few users have commented.
  • Several reviewers are delighted with the Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VINs’ wide variety of eye-catching colorways to choose from.
  • Some individuals are pleased that these low-top sneakers from Onitsuka Tiger have turned out to be sturdy and well-made.
  • One person has stated that the California 78 VINs clean up easily and dry quickly.

3 reasons not to buy

  • According to a significant number of testers, the Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN sneakers run narrow. 
  • The casual shoes lack lateral stability, several users say, because the shoe walls are fairly flimsy.
  • Since the soles of the California 78 VIN sneakers are mostly flat, they do not have any arch support.

Bottom line

These groovy 70s kicks are still as stylish as ever. Armed with simple yet eye-catching colorways, Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN sneakers are ready to turn heads. Flat but padded soles make them ideal for a wide variety of activities, and the shoes’ sturdy build means you get to enjoy these activities for a long time. The cut is a bit odd as the shoes run narrow. 

The Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN shoes are unisex. The shoes follow the old retro styling of runners with their flat, low to the ground build. 

These kicks are made for speed. The materials, while not providing enough arch or sidewall support, are extremely light. 

Seven pairs of eyelets and flat laces comprise the closure system. 

Keep it hip and simple by pairing your Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN shoes with cargo shorts and a white collared shirt. Women, meanwhile, can go the Japanese-style route and match their retro lifestyle kicks with skinny jeans, a long-sleeved fitted striped shirt, and a hooded knit vest.

The California 78 VINs keep the nostalgia of those bygone days very much alive. The retro kicks maintain the old-school looks with the suede eyestays, toecaps, and heel tabs. But also as noteworthy is how the wider and curved heels of the soles give wearers balanced landings and aid in their forward motion as they jog.

Originally named just the California, these low-top lifestyle sneakers were introduced in 1978 during the “jogging boom” that started in the state, and which later on gripped the entire USA and the world. The silhouette featured soles that were wider and longer than the uppers to cover more ground surface while running as well as to provide a more balanced landing.

Inspired as well by the growing popularity of night-time jogging in Japan, the sneakers contained revolutionary reflective panels on the back heels to keep the runners visible from up to 300 meters away. They were also considered the first mesh-type shoes and were popular for letting the feet breathe while you run.

The silhouette, considered one of the hallmarks of the Onitsuka Tiger family, was reissued in 2013 as a tribute to the model’s 35th anniversary.

  • The Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN (Vintage) kicks feature soft nylon uppers, suede overlays, and two-toned EVA midsoles.
  • The California 78s have underwent several iterations including a 2015 collaboration between Tokyo-based Mita Sneakers and the Onitsuka Tiger brand called “Tequila Sunrise.”

Size and fit

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Small (3%)
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Large (0%)
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.