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Onitsuka Tiger

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Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers

Since 1949, the fine company Onitsuka Co. Ltd. Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka himself founded the company. Onitsuka brought the very first Japanese banquetboot on the market. This was quite a unique moment because at that time there were no specialists for sportsshoes in Japan at all. 

The first shoe looked more like a sandal made of reeds than a basketball shoe, but despite that, Onitsuka worked hard to make a good basketball shoe. He observed the sport closely and watched how the players moved on the court.

The man in question took his inspiration from the suction cups of an octopus's tentacle in 1951. After he launched his first real basketball shoe, the shoe went viral that, according to him, Onitsuka had fifty per cent of the shoe market in Japan.

In 1958, Onitsuka went ahead and bought the Tiger brand. When he saw the Ethiopian, Abebe Bikila, win gold in bare feet at the 1960 Olympic marathon, Onitsuka immediately saw his chance. He offered Bikila products to wear during the Mainichi marathon. Without a doubt, he won.

In 1966, Onitsuka released the Mexico 66. This was the very first shoe that had the famous stripes on the side. Besides the fact that this is a recognizable symbol of Onitsuka, it really added to the shoe. The stripes gave you more support while running.

Over the years, many more athletes have become associated with the brand. Among them, Kenji Kimihara, Derek Crayton, Lasse Viren and many more. Onitsuka appeared in several films and in victories on the racetrack. The legend Buce Lee is one of the group of very famous people who will forever be associated with the brand.

There are few companies that can boast of having achieved so many performance improvements throughout their history. Onitsuka eventually found that shoes alone were not enough and in 1976 entered into a partnership with sports star manufacturer, GTO and with a knitting company called, Jelenk. The companies together created the Asics brand the following year.