30 best Onitsuka Tiger sneakers

Based on reviews from 78,006 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. Updated May 2020.

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  • Gender Size
  • Brand
  • Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

    Collection
  • Color
  • Sports

    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.

    Casual

    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

    Inspired from
  • Price
  • Leather

    Leather is considered by some as an upgrade over canvas. This is the kind of material that gives sneakers more durability, protection, and sophistication. Many of the most popular leather shoes are variations of the original models that were previously made of mesh or canvas. See *leather sneakers*

    Canvas

    The material that is originally designed for sneakers. Back then, canvas was sought after as it was durable, flexible, and extremely lightweight. Today, sneakers made of canvas are wide-ranging as they are normally affordable with plenty of options where style and versatility go. See *canvas sneakers*

    Suede

    Suede kicks are covered with a fibrous version of animal leather giving its users shoes with a softer and more luxurious finish. These footwear provide more durability but considered disadvantageous as it attracts water and dirt easily. Suede sneakers are typically worn during Spring and Winter as many found this modish while providing warmth for the chilly days. See *suede sneakers*

    Mesh

    The most common of all materials used in sneakers or shoes of all kinds. Whether it's a performance shoe or a lifestyle shoe, mesh is a most coveted material. It is durable, breathable, and is one of the reasons why a shoe is reasonably-priced.

    Knit

    At the forefront of technological innovation is knit. It offers breathability, sophistication, durability, and lightness that is not found in other materials. It is arguably the best material found in the upper of a sneaker.

    Rubber Sole

    The tried and tested outsole material of practically all shoes. It brings a nice mix of cushioning, durability, and impact protection.

    Vulc Sole

    The skaters' bestfriend is known for its flexible and soft nature for better board feel. Sneakers with vulcanized sole are ideal for skating for just a casual walk around town.

    Gum Sole

    Also known as crepe soles, gum soles are sought by sneaker fans for their hot or edgy look while bringing in a ton of grip on slippery conditions. It is also more durable than regular rubber soles.

    Cup Sole

    Cup soles are basically the regular rubber variety but with more height on the side walls that allow the rubber to "cup" the upper part of the shoe. The design offers better support during movement.
    Material
  • Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

    Top
  • CoreScore
  • Breathable

    Although breathability is subjective, it is safe to say that shoes that are mainly made of mesh or has perfortations are particularly superb in providing optimum ventilation. Breathable shoes are sought after as they help prevent users from developing blisters or having a slipper feet. Sneakers with good ventilation also enable sneaker fans from using their shoes sockless without fear of having a smelly feet. See *breathable sneakers*

    Orthotic-friendly

    Fit is highly personal and a shoe that is Orthotic-friendly raises this feature to a different level. Sneakers with removable insoles allow the user to be more comfortable and also give a more "customized" support based on usage. Across all brands, Orthotic-friendly shoes are found at an affordable price and in stylish designs. See *orthotic-friendly sneakers*

    Vegan

    Vegan sneakers are generally produced using methods and materials that do not involve experimentation on animals, which make them technically cruelty-free. Ideally, all sections of a vegan sneaker – from its upper down to its sole composition, including the ingredients used in the assembly of the shoe, such as adhesives -- are free of any traces of animal parts and animal by-products. See *vegan sneakers*

    Waterproof

    Style never goes out even during the rainy season. Sneakers made of waterproof material is quickly becoming a must-have, particularly for people on the go. Waterproof sneakers prevent water from seeping into the shoe and help keep the foot warm and dry.

    Reflective

    Sneakers with reflective materials are now sought by many. Although shoes of this type are not as important as those used for running, these kind of sneakers are also needed by sneaker fans for safety, particularly while going out at night.
    Features
  • Dad

    Also dubbed as ugly shoes or turbo trainers, dad sneakers are chunky footwear inspired by the rubber shoes our fathers strutted in the 80s and 90s. These kicks feature massive soles adding few inches to the wearers' heights, with a thick and well-padded upper for ultra-comfortable strides, and often finished with curvy lines, patterns, and striking colors for flashier charm. See *Dad sneakers*

    Classic

    In the sneaker world, classic is the name of the game. The older the shoe is, the more it is sought-after by sneaker fans. Classic sneakers are basically the original models with very little or almost no changes since they were released years ago. Fans of classic sneakers can have their fill as the choices are so many and they vary in price, style, and design. See *classic sneakers*

    Platform

    Oversized and thick soles best describe platform sneakers. Specifically, sneakers within this category are outfitted with at least 1” sole. *Puma Thunder Spectra* and *Balenciaga Triple S Trainers* are the widely popular models of this category. The trend started and continues to be a hit among women, but has recently caught the attention of men as well. See *platform sneakers*

    Retro

    These are sneakers that are initially released in the past, preferably a decade ago, and eventually resurrected due to its popularity. These re-released sneakers are now assembled with modern materials though their constructions lie close to the original model. Some of the most famous lines capitalizing on this trend come from the Jordan series as well as the Air Max, New Balance 990, Adidas EQT lines to name a few. See *retro sneakers*
    Style
  • Boost

    Adidas' most popular cushioning technology, BOOST utilizes the TPU(thermoplastic polyurethane) in the midsole that offers superior energy return and impact absorption to wearers. Many of Adidas' classic sneakers are now featuring this sophisticated midsole tech.

    Primeknit

    Adidas fuses its own technology on ordinary fabric to create a flexible, yet long lasting upper. This material is renowned for enhancing the comfort and and fit of sneakers in Adidas collection.

    Adiprene

    A midsole cushioning tech that provides efficient shock absorption in the forefoot and heel. An enhanced version is also available, called the AdiPRENE+.

    Joyride

    The Nike Joyride is a cushioning technology that uses thousands of strategically positioned small TPE beads in the midsole. These beads arrange themselves around the foot for a unique underfoot experience. As the foot strikes the ground, the beads experience multi-directional displacement to absorb the impact while maximizing the energy return.

    Lunarlon

    The Nike Lunarlon is a lightweight cushioning technology that was inspired by the manner on how astronauts bounce on the moon. This tech provides spring-like cushioning to its wearers and distributes impact across the foot. This shock-absorbing technology is used in many of Nike's performance sneakers, such as basketball, tennis, skateboarding, running, and training.

    Flyknit

    The top of the line upper material of Nike that is made of micro-engineered knit for lightweight, durable, and form-fitting fit. Sneakers with Flyknit uppers are some of the most comfortable shoes around.

    ComfyCush

    One of Vans' latest tech that is launched to improve the comfort and support of the old classics. Most of Vans' iconic shoes now offer this midsole and outsole tech for an even better sneaker experience.

    UltraCush

    Vans' DNA as a skating brand is not lost despite their classics being used as a lifestyle wear than usual skating. For loyal Vans fans, the UltraCush HD for sockliners brings more protection without sacrificing board feel from the brand's top of the line sneakers.
    Technology
    • Number of reviews
    • Sping

      These are sneakers that are normally durable, versatile, and are usually stylish due to the spring-like vibrant colors. There's a wide variety of options for those who wish to travel in Spring as the choices for breathable and comfortable sneakers are just as easily available. Considering that Spring sneakers are some of the most affordable and versatile on the market, it's no wonder they are a dime dozen for everyone. See *spring sneakers*

      Summer

      These must-cop kicks for the warm season are typically made of durable, lightweight, and breathable materials that will lessen its wearer's chance of having smelly or sweaty feet. Generally covered with brightly colored hues, these heat-busting footwear will surely suit the intense heat of the sun while keeping the user's overall ensemble on-point for the summer. See *summer sneakers*

      Winter

      Still retaining its street-style look, these winter-ready sneakers will undoubtedly keep its wearers feeling comfortable and toasty even when the temperature is way below the freezing point. These kicks are commonly loaded with innovative fabrics, lining, and right technologies designed to retain heat aiding its wearers to survive the sub-zero temperature. Also, some brands add grippy lugs on its flexible outsole for wearers to endure the slushy, slippery terrains. See *winter sneakers*
      Season
    • Good to know

      A masterful team-up between two or more entities, usually between brands and artists, pro-athletes, designers, and boutique labels. Limited Releases are very popular and are normally sold out in just hours or minutes upon release despite the hefty price tag. Collaborative works for General Release regularly come with a decent price tag, but can sometimes cost an arm and a leg because of hype, social media anticipation, or marketing strategy. Kanye's collab with Adidas is one such example.

      Collaboration
    • Slip-on

      Sneakers that can be quickly put on or removed and usually possess an upper with a fused tongue with matching elastic accents to keep the shoe in place. Some shoes with straps, toggle laces, and waterproofed iterations in a bootie construction exclude them almost naturally from being called slip-ons. Most major brands contain at least one slip-on in their catalog while a few like Vans and Keds capitalize on the trend.

      Lace-up

      Easily the most common and popular type of closure in sneakers. The use of laces allow the user a more customized fit and hold. It is for this reason that lace-up shoes are extremely popular and versatile.

      Strap

      Sneaker fans who value convenience find these shoes perfect for their needs. For those who are always on the go, sneakers with straps as closure are a must have. Previously coming almost exclusively in white, different brands now offer this kind of shoes in a multitude of colorways for versatility when it comes to style.
      Closure
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      Filter

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      1. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - SAFARI KHAKI/DARK TAUPE
        Any color
        Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - SAFARI KHAKI/DARK TAUPE
        Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - Simply Taupe/White
        Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - Blanc Vert Sapin
        Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - White/Black
        Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 - SIMPLY TAUPE/WHITE
        $120 $46 Save 62%
      2. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Slip-On - White/Tricolor
      3. Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - Polar Shade/White
        Any color
        Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - White/Fire Opal
        Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - Polar Shade/White
        Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - RED SNAPPER/WHITE
        Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - Yellow
        Onitsuka Tiger Serrano - Black/white
        $75 $56 Save 25%
      4. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 - Black
      5. Onitsuka Tiger GSM - White/Black
        $110 $68 Save 38%
      6. Onitsuka Tiger Corsair - Tiger Yellow/Black
      7. Onitsuka Tiger New York - BLACK/WHITE
      8. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Mid Runner - Mehrfarbig White Daphne 0143
      9. Onitsuka Tiger EDR 78 - Azul Marino Rojo
      10. Bait x Bruce Lee x Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five - Yellow
      11. Onitsuka Tiger Ally - Safari Khaki/Safari Khaki
      12. Onitsuka Tiger Corsair VIN - Beige
      13. Onitsuka Tiger California 78 VIN - Martini Olive/Taos Taupe
      14. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 SD  - PHANTOM/PHANTOM
      15. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Delegation - Black/White
      16. Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five - Birch White
      17. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Delegation x Disney - Black
      18. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Deluxe - Yellow
      19. Onitsuka Tiger California 78 EX - STONE GREY/GLACIER GREY
      20. Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five MT Samsara - Black/Black
      21. Onitsuka Tiger Dualio - Grey
      22. Onitsuka Tiger Serrano Slip-On - White/Black
      23. Onitsuka Tiger Lawnship 2.0 - WHITE/WHITE
      24. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Paraty - BLACK/WHITE
      25. Onitsuka Tiger Alvarado - Glacier Grey Glacier Grey
      26. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 x Disney - Black
      27. Onitsuka Tiger OK Basketball MT - MIDNIGHT BLUE/MIDNIGHT BLUE
        $120 $110 Save 8%
      28. Onitsuka Tiger Tsunahiki  - Beige
        $80 $40 Save 50%
      29. Onitsuka Tiger MHS - Black/Black
      30. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate Trainer - onitsuka-tiger-ultimate-trainer-bd41

      Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers 

      Best Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers
      Best Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers - May 2019

      Born in Kobe, Onitsuka Tiger products specifically their sneakers, embody the Japanese's dedication to artisanal quality, attention to detail, perfectionism, and hard work. Having been around since the dawn of lifestyle footwear, the brand has amassed a rich history, extensive experience, and reputable name in the sneaker and early sporting world.  

      Whether you're a die-hard Onitsuka Tiger fan or just curious and intrigued by the company's low-key yet strong presence in the market, this in-depth write-up on the brand might interest you. From its inception story to collaborators, famous sneaker models to sizing information and classifications, explore the full particulars of the Onitsuka Tiger brand below. 

      The DNA of Onitsuka Tiger lifestyle shoes 

      Although the earliest reported shoe release of the brand was designed for basketball, most of their designs were created for the sport of running. The brand's rendition of the Marathon Tabi started their slew of running shoes and eventually led to constant innovation to enhance the athlete's performance. Majority of their designs display a low-top profile, which stems from their running roots, and features innovations grounded in the same sport.  

      Every brand comes up with a signature look to their footwear design so consumers can quickly identify their brand from the rest of the market. Some examples are the six-inch yellow boot for Timberland and the high-top Chuck Taylor for Converse. As for Onitsuka Tiger sneakers' signature characteristics, check them out below. 

      • Most Onitsuka Tiger sneakers have a low-top construction given its long history with running shoes. Other than that these low-profile sneakers accentuate the freedom of movement and versatility for various activities 
      • Despite carrying a number of more modern and minimalist designs, the majority of the brand's sneakers still display the significant ASICS stripes on the sides as their logo. 
      • Although there are plenty of design variations in Onitsuka Tiger’s sneaker line up today, consumers still equate the T-toe overlay style to the brand. The Mexico 66, the company’s most popular silhouette, made this aesthetic famous. 
      • Onitsuka Tiger takes pride on its Nippon Made collection. This range is the brand's high-end line where pairs are entirely made in Japan by hand. With high-quality materials and the Japanese artisans' high-level techniques, Nippon made sneakers are superior quality shoes. 
      • Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are made available for men, women, and kids that come in a wide array of colorway options, textures, and prints. 
      • As with any brand that has stood the test of time, their inventory eventually expanded to include trendier pieces to catch up with today's competitive market. As a result, despite having been grounded in low-top running footwear, Onitsuka Tiger now offers mid-top and high-top sneakers but mostly as an iteration of previously released models. 

      Sizing Guide: Are Onitsuka Tiger sneakers true to size? 

      Ever since the boom of the Internet and online shopping we've seen or read unfortunate reviews about sizing issues on the merchandise consumers sometimes receive through the mail. Hence we've rounded up the footwear sizing offered by Onitsuka Tiger to help fans and first-time purchasers. 

      This sizing guide presents a general guide on the brand's sneaker sizes and fit. Keep in mind that each release could have a different fit compared to previously released shoes from the same range. It is also of utmost importance to note that each foot is unique and individual when it comes to shape, size, and needs. 

      The brand's adult sizing is based on standard U.S. footwear sizes and shows a 1.5 difference between male and female sizes (with the male being higher). It also shows a centimeter-based sizing that's grouped accordingly to its corresponding U.S. size. 

      Based on reviews, Onitsuka Tiger sneakers with leather uppers tend to fit stiff and narrow at first. But after some break-in period, the upper would eventually soften and contour after the shape of the wearer's foot. Below are some of the brand's sneakers that are grouped based on the majority of the users' sizing feedback.  

      True to size: 

      Narrow: 

      Small: 

      Big: 

      Classifications  

      A significant part of the brand's footwear designs remains unchanged as when they first came out in the 50s to the 70s and therefore displays minimal, simple, and retro yet classic aesthetic. Most of the distinction can be seen through materials used, textures, prints, and colorways. To further help you in your decision on which pair you should go for, or maybe you just want to get familiar with the brand's different offerings, well then no need to look any further because we've compiled a brief run-through of Onitsuka Tiger's various sneaker types. 

      This part is sorted into two groups: design-based and collections. 

      Design-based 

      This first group is based on the distinct design elements of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that could play a significant role in the consumer’s decision process.  

      Upper Materials 

      The shoe's upper material plays a big part in how the shoe will last, look and fit. Just like any other brand most of Onitsuka Tiger's sneakers are made from leather due to the material's durability, premium look and ability to shape after the user's feet. But their footwear is not limited to this. Below are the current upper materials being used by the brand. 

      • Original models released between the 50s to the 60s are usually made from leather, as it was the norm for shoes back then. Moreover, Onitsuka Tiger's latest releases of metallic colorways are crafted from leather. Users have said that Onitsuka Tiger shoes crafted from this material seem to fit quite snug at first but would eventually contour after the shape of their feet. Check out Onitsuka Tiger Colesne Lo and Onitsuka Tiger Fabre Nippon Lo as examples. 
      • As the years progressed, the combinational use of either nylon and leather or mesh and leather started surfacing in the world of running. This fusion of materials reduced weight on running shoes and kept the athlete's feet dry at the same time. Example of a mixed material kick is the Onitsuka Tiger Serrano. 
      • Onitsuka Tiger sneakers with uppers made from suede or wool are predominantly made for aesthetic and leisurely purposes. Take Onitsuka Tiger Ally and Onitsuka Tiger EDR 78 DX as examples. 
      • Canvas or Knit materials combined with leather make for a great summer shoe, as it is lightweight, breathable and sturdy at the same time. Consider including Onitsuka Tiger’s Mexico 66 Knit and Lawnship 2.0 Knit in your list of summer shoe purchases. 

      Closure System 

      Onitsuka Tiger sneakers' closure systems technically only fall into two categories: slip-on and lace-up. However, the brand utilizes different designs for their slip-on construction for enhanced style and aesthetic. Read on to know which one will suit you best. 

      • Lace-up – This traditional closure system provides a snug, lockdown fit and offers an old-school yet time-tested sporty look. It uses eyelets and shoelaces to make sure feet are in place. Almost all Onitsuka Tiger sneakers make use of this closure system such as the Onitsuka Tiger GSM and Tsunahiki models. 
      • Slip-on– This type of sneaker is easy to use and displays a minimal upper design. As the name implies, the user just has to slip his/her feet in to wear it. Most consumers prefer it due to its effortlessness of not needing to lace up shoelaces. Look up Onitsuka Tiger Appian and Tiger Slip-On Deluxe for examples. 
      • Laceless  - These shoes have all the features of a lace-up Onitsuka Tiger sneaker except shoelaces. It displays a tongue along with eyelets, but it primarily works as a slip-on kick as its tongue is stitched onto the side panels of the upper. Some shoes that fall under this category are the Mexico 66 Slip-On and Paraty Mexico 66 version.   
      • Modern Lace-up system– This closure system can be seen on the Onitsuka Tiger Monte Creace, which utilizes a one-piece bootie constructed upper with a side loop lacing system. The shoe could be used solely as a slip-on kick given its bootie construction, but users are presented with options to tighten it further using the lace-up system. 

      Collections 

      This second group of classifications includes the brand’s different collections. Each collection features Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that share the same distinct characteristic that makes them special and different from the rest of the shoes in the brand’s lineup and sometimes from the rest of all sneakers in general. 

      Nippon Made Collection 

      The shoes that fall under this category are said to be special because the entire process of manufacturing takes place in Japan. And with the reputation of the Japanese of being hardworking, perfectionist, and excellent attention to detail, consumers are treated with a premium quality shoe. 

      • Materials used on these sneakers are very high quality. Nippon Made sneakers are usually crafted from premium leather and suede. 
      • Making one of these shoes is labor-intensive as everything is made by hand, from cutting to dying to stitching.  
      • Most of the metallic finished pairs are part of the Nippon Made Onitsuka Tiger sneaker collection 
      • Some of the models included in this collection are the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate Trainer, Mexico Mid Runner DX, and Tiger Corsair Nippon.   

      Court Collection 

      This collection houses the brand's tennis-inspired sneakers, which displays an entirely different aesthetic compared to most of its running-inspired models. Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that are included in this court-based collection feature bulkier designs and thicker soles that take after the 70's tennis kick prototype.   

      The Court Collection consists of two shoe models, the Onitsuka Tiger GSM and the Onitsuka Tiger Lawnship 2.0, and their various iterations. The Lawnship 2.0 exudes a more minimal style as it replaces the ASICS stripes with perforation details and embossed logo branding. Both shoes are available in various colorways, upper materials, and finishes. 

      Vegan Collection 

      As what the straightforward name of this collection implies, it consists of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that are crafted from vegan-friendly materials, which means the kicks is not made of any animal by-products. This group of lifestyle sneakers caters to consumers who choose not to support any merchandise that took part in animal cruelty.  

      Onitsuka Tiger sneakers with vegan uppers are made from various combinations of the following materials: 

      • Mesh 
      • Nylon 
      • Canvas 
      • Synthetic leather 

      Most of the sneaker models that are included in this collection have not always been manufactured with vegan-friendly materials, and vegan consumers were reported to have a hard time figuring out which is vegan, so the brand made this collection to make it easier. 

      As of this writing, the sneaker models that are included in this range are the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 and the Mexico 66 and their different versions.  

      Mexico 66 SD Collection 

      Thanks to pop culture the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 is the brand's most popular silhouette ever. Bruce Lee and Uma Thurman wore it in hit movies that eternalized the shoe into stardom. But this collection showcases the famous kick in a more premium light as it has been reimagined to commemorate the founder Kihachiro Onitsuka's 100th anniversary. 

      Renamed as the Mexico 66 SD, the sneaker retains its original design with the signature stripes and T-toe overlay, but this time it features two different densities of the fuzeGEL technology in its midsole and combined with OrthoLite insoles for enhanced comfort and cushioning. It is available in a number of colorway options including the world-renowned Tai-chi Yellow and Black colorway. 

      Notable Onitsuka Tiger lifestyle sneakers collaborations 

      Bruce Lee x BAIT x Onitsuka Tiger 

      BAIT is a sneaker store from the U.S. that houses a vast collection of anything streetwear, from clothes to accessories and of course sneakers. In 2015, BAIT along with Onitsuka Tiger released a collection to celebrate the late Bruce Lee's 75th birthday. The collection included two iconic Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, the Corsair in "Jeet Kune Do" colorway and the Colorado Eighty-Five in "Legend" colorway. 

      The classic Corsair is the kick Bruce Lee famously wore in Game of Death and the name of the colorway "Jeet Kune Do" serves as a nod to the iconic martial artist's philosophy. The kick is crafted from luxurious black suede and premium navy leather. Engraved dragon motif and Bruce Lee's "Kickman" logo pay homage to Bruce Lee and the grand masters of martial arts. 

      The second pair included in this collaboration is the Onitsuka Tiger's old school Colorado Eighty-Five in the "Legend" colorway which takes design cues from Lee's final film, Game of Death's infamous yellow and black. 

      Andrea Pompilio x Onitsuka Tiger 

      Andrea Pompilio is an Italian designer who's known for his relaxed yet sophisticated style. He has been a long time collaborator of the brand who has put his own twist on Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, apparel, and accessories for at least three collections. 

      The partnership started in 2013 and had produced several stylish sneaker designs like the iconic X-Caliber silhouette from the 80s donned with paint-splattered designs. Pompilio's favorite Onitsuka Tiger's sneaker silhouette seemed to be the Colorado Eighty-Five, which he reimagined at least four times. Finally, the latest sneaker collaboration between the two was in 2015, which included two silhouettes: the Glory Gladiator and the Alliance. These kicks donned a minimal and tonal design as it was intended for the hotter seasons. 

      END. x Onitsuka Tiger Colorado 85 

      END. is a UK-based retailer who's known for collaborations with different brands. In 2015, END. and Onitsuka Tiger partnered to release a sneaker that drew inspiration from the shoe's namesake state of Colorado's wildlife. This release's colorway is dubbed the "Bluebird," which took cues from Colorado being the home to three species of Bluebird. Finishing details consist of blue-tinted 3M panels, a feather print at the heel, and rope shoelaces. 

      Coach x Onitsuka Tiger 

      In 2014, an unlikely partnership blossomed between the iconic leather goods label Coach and longtime footwear brand Onitsuka Tiger. The two companies released a collection of various Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that include high and low-tops with premium leather construction. The pairs displayed tonal and subdued colorways with Onitsuka's signature stripes and Coach's logo subtly incorporated in both the upper and the footbed.

      Crew x OnitsukaTiger Colorado 85 

      The two brands have teamed up in their very first partnership in 2015. This release marks the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Colorado Eight-Five sneaker model. Two colorways were launched in a limited edition and took design inspiration from Colorado’s natural landscapes. Lastly, the tongue showcases artwork by artist and illustrator Christopher David Ryan. 

      Frequently Asked Questions   

      Are Asics and Onitsuka Tiger the same? 

      No, they are different. A bit of background might help. A former military officer named Kihachiro Onitsuka launched Onitsuka Tiger in 1949. He believed that being fit and active is the solution for post-war physical and mental health issues, so he wanted to provide the right footwear for it. Fast-forward to 1972, three brands namely GTO, Jelenk and Onitsuka combined into one and became known as ASICS.  

      Today Onitsuka is still under ASICS but caters to an entirely different market and exudes a more mature and old-school style compared to ASICS' designs. 

      Are Onitsuka Tiger casual sneakers cheaper in Japan? 

      Travelers have shared that it depends where you're from and the sneaker model in question. Some have noted that a particular model is cheaper in the UK than in Japan while other models are more expensive. The advantage you could get when you choose to shop Onitsuka Tiger sneakers in Japan is that you can get hold of Japan-exclusive releases and original styles.  

      Aside from the brand's official retail stores, shoppers often flock to Japanese specialty stores that offer shoes from different brands including Onitsuka Tiger. Prices of sneakers in these stores are said to have 20% to 40% off the original prices in the US. Here are some of these stores you can try on your next trip to Japan: 

      • Step Midosuji in Osaka (near Namba station) 
      • Ame-mura area (American Town) 
      • Shotengai in Osaka 
      • Ueno Ameyoko Street Market 
      • London Sports Ameyoko Shop in Tokyo 

      Are Onitsuka Tiger shoes comfortable? 

      Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are mostly unaltered since their first release in the 50s to 70s; hence consumers should expect retro comfort as well. Users said that vintage models such as the Mexico 66, Serrano, and Corsair provide an "okay comfort," not too comfortable and not that uncomfortable either. Some people with feet problems were concerned with the shoes' thin sole, and they resolved it by inserting their own insole. 

      You could also search for newer iterations of retro models as the brand has released a few with technologies for enhanced comfort. 

      If you want thicker soled Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, check out their newer models such as the Mexico 66 SD, Ultimate 81, GSM, Tiger MHS CL, Colesne RS, the Tiger Ally or the Fabre Nippon Lo. 

      Where to buy Onitsuka Tiger lifestyle sneakers online? 

      With today’s technology, consumers and retailers can buy and sell products over the Internet. But with the limited nature of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers especially in sizing, spotting the right pair for you might seem impossible. These following online retailers offer quite a good amount of Onitsuka Tiger sneaker models: 

      • Zappos 
      • 6pm  
      • END. 
      • Revolve  
      • Saks Fifth Avenue  
      • Amazon  
      • Onitsuka Tiger US Site  

      How to spot fake Onitsuka Tiger sneakers? 

      Sneaker models that have fake counterparts are mostly popular silhouettes. For Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, at least three models have counterfeit versions available in the market today. These are the Mexico 66, Ultimate 81, and the Serrano. Here are some ways that could help in identifying an authentic Onitsuka Tiger shoe from the fakes. 

      • If you’re eyeing for a particular design or model, make sure to visit Onitsuka’s official site to see if they carry the design. 
      • If the pair’s price is being sold at a suspiciously low price, say under $50, given the fact that Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are quite pricey then it is most likely a fake.  
      • Poor quality in stitching and materials are another excellent way to spot a fake. 
      • For models with extended rubber toecap such as the Mexico 66 make sure to check if the rubber is flush to the touch. It should feel like the rubber is integrated into the upper material and not bulging out. 

      Remember that the best way to avoid buying fake Onitsuka Tiger sneakers is by purchasing from reputable shoe stores, be it an online or a brick and mortar store. 

      Brief history 

      In 1949, Kihachiro Onitsuka launched the brand to help the youth of Japan after the war ended. He believed that playing sports and staying active was a great way to unite the people and uplift their spirits. 

      Commitment to detail and innovation have always been at the core of the brand's DNA since its inception. Furthermore, the brand is grounded by the vision of "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano," which means A sound mind in a healthy body. With this belief, Onitsuka Tiger strived for constant betterment and innovation. 

      Kihachiro's eureka moment occurred while he was enjoying an octopus salad and noticed that a tentacle got stuck onto the bowl. He applied the tentacle's suction concept onto shoes' outsoles for better grip. His shoes quickly became the footwear of choice in the burgeoning high school basketball scene in Japan during that time. 

      Years after, Onitsuka Tiger sneakers crossed continents and were frequently seen on professional athletes' feet. Most of the shoes that the brand manufactured during the 50s to 80s are either for running or tennis - the two most popular sports during these eras. 

      In 1972 Onitsuka Tiger along with two other companies merged together and dubbed this unified brand as ASICS. But some time in the late 80s to the early 90s, Onitsuka Tiger sneakers seemed to fade into the background amidst intense competition between footwear companies. Fast-forward to 2001, ASICS resurrected the Onitsuka Tiger brand and had since been discovered by old and new fans alike.  

      Today, Onitsuka Tiger is best known as a lifestyle brand that fuses its Japanese heritage with modern flair. The brand now enjoys groups of loyal fans from worldwide and offers apparel, bags, and accessories as part of their lineup. Moreover, the Onitsuka Tiger sneaker range is ever growing with new and more modern silhouettes without compromising its roots and heritage. 

      Fun facts  

      • In the brand’s early days the company was initially called Onitsuka’s Tiger 
      • The first shoe released by the brand that featured the suction cup patterning from the octopus tentacle is called the OK Shoe. OK means Onitsuka Kahichiro. It was introduced in 1950. 
      • In 1955 the first wrestling shoes were made by Onitsuka Tiger, as requested by two people from Japan’s wrestling scene. It didn’t do well in the local market but became a hit in the U.S. with at least 100,000 pairs sold. 
      • In 2016 the brand held an exhibition in Singapore to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its iconic stripe logo. The company tapped on 50 Singaporean creatives to come up with a custom pair of the Mexico 66 silhouette. 
      • A year later in 2017, the brand along with Japanese fashion label called Anrealage introduced the first ever augmented reality sneaker.  
      • In early 2018, the Japanese brand released a Chun-Li-inspired Mexico 66 SD to celebrate Capcom’s Street Fighter’s 30th anniversary. Its colors took inspirations from Chun-Li’s yellow kicks first seen in 1995’s Street Fighter Alpha series. 
      • Other brands that collaborated with the company to put their own twist on Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are: 
      • MasterMind Japan 
      • Mita Sneakers 
      • FACETASM 
      • WOEI 
      • I Love Ugly 

      8 best Onitsuka Tiger sneakers

      1. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Mid Runner
      2. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
      3. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Slip-On
      4. Onitsuka Tiger Serrano
      5. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81
      6. Onitsuka Tiger Corsair
      7. Onitsuka Tiger New York
      8. Onitsuka Tiger GSM
      Author
      Danny McLoughlin
      Danny McLoughlin

      Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.

      daniel@runrepeat.com