Onitsuka Tiger Mexico ‘66 Trainers
For a long time I’ve been interested in garnering myself a pair of Onitsuka Tiger trainers. In the recent January sales I managed to score myself a pair of classic Mexico ‘66 Onitsuka Trainers for the absolute bargain price of only £30.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a review on Good Clobber, so it’s high time we revisited this feature. So here it is, my review of the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico ‘66 shoes.
First up, let’s have a very quick look at the history of Onitsuka Shoes: The company, founded in 1949 by former military officer Kihachiro Onitsuka is one of the oldest shoe companies in Japan. Onitsuka made history by introducing a basketball shoe with suction cups on the sole to improve grip; a feature which apparently found it’s genesis when Onitsuka was trying to prise a piece of squid tentacle from the bottom of a bowl.
In 1977 the company was having great success and merged with two other sports apparel manufacturers to become the ASICS Corporation. Despite the name change, the range vintage of shoes are still sold under the name Onitsuka Tiger. This particular style of shoe was originally called the ‘Limber Leather’ but is now called ‘Mexico 66’, a homage to the Japanese pre-olympic trials for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
So let’s take a look at the shoe. It’s easy to see why they’re popular; they have a sleek and subtle style, they’re not obviously ‘shouty’ and yet they are easily recognisable, mainly because of the classic ASICS stripes on the side. This shape a style has been copied many times but never bettered.
Lightweight and well cushioned, these trainers are comfortable. The leather and suede upper is very flexible and so far they have held a good shape. I wouldn’t recommend them for anything more than everyday use; these aren’t shoes that were made for athletics or outdoor sport. I take a UK size 8 shoe and they fit fine, although I did add an innersole to this pair - just to make them a nice snug fit.
They tend to make your socks ride up around the heel. It’s a strange thing and I’ve never experienced this before in a pair of trainers. I think it may be something to do with the suede tab at the back - or it could just be the socks that I wear. Strange.
Also, be warned; the toes and some of the upper of these shoes are partly made of suede, a material that can look a little worse for wear if it gets wet or dirty. I’d recommend purchasing a suede spray and a good suede brush to keep them looking as new as possible.
This particular pair of shoes are in a grey / red colour way, which is why I think they were on sale - however there are many, many variations available and I don’t think this colour combination are the most popular. I picked up my pair in the sale at the UK high street shop Republic but you can find them in loads of shoe retailers.
I’d recommend these shoes. They look great, they’re comfy and so far they’ve held up well. I dare say I’ll be picking up another pair later in the year - keep your eyes open for sale prices.
Check out the official Onitsuka Tiger website here.