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Things to know about Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger

Since 1949, Onitsuka Tiger has been standing for trendy sports equipment along the lines of old Japanese craftsmanship. The company was founded in Kobe, Japan by Kihachiro Onitsuka. In the post-war period, he wanted to give the young people in his country a new vitality through sports. At that time, basketball had been among the most popular sports in Japan, that’s why Onitsuka decided to first produce a basketball shoe. For a long time, he had sat and watched the Kobe basketball squad playing in order to develop a sporty and comfortable shoe which was to fit the needs of the basketballers.

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Onitsuka still wasn’t fully satisfied: in his opinion, this first shoe wasn’t sophisticated enough. Then, one day, the solution for the perfect technology seemed to directly lie on his plate: he ate salad and squid at his mother’s table when he had the crucial idea. He saw the little knobs at the tentacles which are used to catch their prey. So why not place small suckers on the sole of a sports shoe to ensure better traction?! He then developed the Suction Cup Sole but this prototype wasn’t well engineered since the athletes stuck to the floor and tumbled.
But Onitsuka kept on refining until a sophisticated basketball shoe was created in 1951. Thanks to his attentive observation of the environment and his insatiable curiosity, he drew the inspiration for an optimum ventilation system from a motorcycle. The upper of the Magicrunner, a long-distance running shoe, was provided with perforations to guarantee a better foot climate. Designed for the 1960 Olympic Games at Rome, the Nippon 60 was a delegation shoe the athletes wore at official meetings and ceremonies. The rising sun was the symbol placed on this shoe. For the 1968 Olympic Games he developed shoes which featured the so-called Tiger Stripes. These stripes run vertically and horizontally on both sides of the shoes, making the upper even more supportive. The Mexico Lines or Mexico 66 was born which, even today, ranks among the most successful Onitsuka Tiger models. In the 1960s, Onitsuka Tiger shoes were distributed in the United States by Blue Ribbon Sports, the precursor of Nike. On request they developed the Cortez, later called Corsair, which had especially been designed for the American market. The first clothes collection was designed in 1975 to equip the Japanese committee at the Montreal Olympic Games.
A very emotional moment for Kihachiro Onitsuka was when the Finnish runner Lasse Virén proudly presented his Onitsuka Tiger shoes by taking them off and holding them up to the skies. Apart from basketball and running shoes, the company also produces shoes for winter sports like skiing. Gym shoes and volleyball shoes were to follow. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with two other companies of this sector to form Asics. The name of this large manufacturer of sports equipment derives from the Latin “Anima Sane In Corpore Sano”, which translates to “Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body”. The Tiger Stripes and the ∂ placed in front of the Asics lettering are the Asics trademarks. We take delight in presenting Onitsuka Tiger products at our Schuhdealer online shop. Both men and women can make a find here, so come and shop for the things your heart desires.


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