Verdict from 38 user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • A significant number of commenters are impressed by the vintage looks and retro appeal of the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN.
  • Several reviewers found the running-inspired sneaker lightweight and easy to walk on.
  • Numerous reviewers find the soft fabric lining and the padded collar and tongue comfortable.
  • The vintage-inspired sneakers and a massive variety of colorways allow for versatile styling options and fashionable matching according to many of its wearers.
  • A good number of customers find the suede and nylon upper materials quite durable for casual use like walking and hanging out.
  • A considerable number of fans of this low-top sneaker appreciate its durable sole and toecap that despite being thin does not wear out quite fast and remains protective of the feet throughout the day.
  • The rubber outsoles with jagged tread patterns have a good grip and traction even on slippery surfaces.
  • Some users noted how the full-length EVA midsole tend to absorb a bit of shock from the impact as well as provide dependable cushioning to the feet.
  • A handful of commenters like the suede T-toe and rubber toecap features as it protects the feet from bumps.
  • When it comes to durability, a large number of customers gave rave reviews on the quality construction and built of this vintage designed low-top kicks.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Quite a lot of complaints were focused on the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN’s lack of arch support that results in discomfort to those with pronation problems.
  • Some commented that despite the padded collar, the heel and collar kept rubbing at the back causing some blisters the first few days they wore the shoe.
  • A couple of reviewers noted that the suede and nylon materials are thin that the shoe shows signs of tearing after daily use at work.
  • A reviewer added that despite the thin upper material, the shoe could have been better if an even more breathable material is used in construction.

Bottom line

Catering to the demands of sneaker fans, the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN takes us on a trip down memory lane. The Japanese-designed shoe, that is at par or even better than its Western counterpart the Nike Cortez, is equipped with a full-range EVA midsole for shock absorption and a high-traction rubber outsole for a steady grip. All for the pocket-friendly price of $80, this low-top shoe is worthy of consideration for its durability, flexibility, and comfort that has made it an enduring sneaker silhouette for the brand.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

Known for their snug and narrow fitting, the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN retains the round toe profile of the well-loved running sneaker of the 1970s. With a T-toe suede detail and a rubber toecap detailing at the front, the low-top sneaker is available in medium width – D for men with available sizes ranging from 4 to 14 with half-sizes available for a flawless fit. Women’s sizes can be reached by deducting 1.5 to the existing men’s sizes. Sneakers are kept secured by regular flat shoelaces.

Heritage sneakers like the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN give any outfit that vintage appeal with its contrasting color combinations and suede overlays. The lightweight low-top sneaker comes fully prepared with styling options as it remains fashionable when matched with shorts, pants, and jeans. Grab a plain tee or a button down shirt or pair them with the latest Kawai’ fashion from Japan that is very popular in the Asian markets and you’ll be the next style icon of your circle. The Eastern fashion seems to have recently caught up with the US and European fashion scene with the addition of vibrant colors and unique sneaker iterations that remain youthful and trendy up to the present.

The longevity of the running-inspired Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN’s heritage design is further proof that the vintage appeal crosses over from one generation to the other with an extensive range of age groups patronizing the Japanese company’s shoemaking legacy. While many seemed to have been captivated by similarly shaped running-inspired kicks, Onitsuka Tiger’s heritage silhouettes have remained a massive market for its cult following of old school sneakerheads that value shoe history and the quality of Japanese designs that have endured the test of time.

The vintage design and round toe profile of the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN is its main sneakerhead draw. The heritage running sneaker has a full-range EVA midsole that absorbs impact while its jagged-soled rubber sole has a superb grip. The nylon and suede combination keeps the sleek design lightweight while its padded insole, tongue, and collar add comfort to this long-lasting silhouette.

Founded in September 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka, Onitsuka Co. Ltd. had its beginnings in Kobe, Japan with a vision of creating quality athletic shoes by fostering the people through sports. The company slowly inched its way into popularity first by manufacturing basketball shoes and other sports performance footwear.

However, on July 21, 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK to form general sports equipment manufacturer Asics Corporation. Despite the name change, a vintage range of Asics shoes is still produced and sold internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger label.

With a distinguishable Asics or Onitsuka Tiger logo designed by Herb Lubalin, the company continues its legacy of contributing to the global sports culture by helping people around the world to live in health and happiness through sports.

One of the most enduring designs of the Onitsuka Tiger label after favorite Mexico 66 is the Corsair. Originally named the Cortez, the design of the iconic running shoe sparked a new generation of modern running silhouettes today. Released just in time for the 1966 Mexico Olympic games, the Corsair was officially launched in 1969. At that time, distribution rights of the shoes in the United States was owned by Blue Ribbon Sports (later on called Nike) was then headed by Phil Knight and his former track coach Bill Bowerman.

Bowerman, then a technical advisor to Blue Ribbon Sports, created a new silhouette from two Onitsuka Tiger models, with permission from Onitsuka Tiger. One of the new profiles was called the Aztec but was later named as the Cortez after Adidas released a model named Azteca Gold. Unknown to Onitsuka officials. However, the Cortez models’ signature stripes were replaced with Nike Swoosh logos that came as a surprise to the Japanese company. The surprising move of Nike caused friction between the two firms that resulted in Blue Ribbon Sports losing the rights to sell Onitsuka Tiger shoes in the US. After a long legal battle, a US court, later on, ruled that both the companies could sell the silhouette of the Cortez. Later on, the Japanese company renamed the model into the Corsair while Nike kept the name of the silhouette as the Cortez.

  • Regular flat shoelaces kept the feet secure and fastened to the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN.
  • Jagged rubber soles bring in superior grip and traction.
  • EVA-lined inner soles and midsole absorbs shock and protects the feet from impact.
  • Onitsuka Tiger brand label attached to the tongue while the signature contrasting stripes are found at the side of the retro sneakers.
  • The foam padded collar and tongue retains the vintage-inspired running sneaker comfortable.


How Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 8% sneakers
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Bottom 14% Onitsuka Tiger sneakers
All Onitsuka Tiger sneakers
Bottom 7% low sneakers
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The current trend of Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.