“Mexico 66” ONITSUKA Tiger: Sneakerlegende from Nippon

The “limber” or even “Mexico 66”, as the cult sneaker today, was the first model that was decorated with the brand-typical tiger stripes.

Behind the brand “ASICS” is an abbreviation of a Latin proverb that says: “A healthy spirit lives in a healthy body.” A credo, the Kihachiro ONITSUKA in 1949 to moved a small shoe factory named “ONITSUKA Tiger” to set up, said sports goods giant finally should emerge from the. Although the brand DNA then much has changed, a sneaker model still reminiscent of the glorious early years. His name: “Mexico 66”.

Japan is commonly known as the home of filigree aesthetics. Consider alone to the high art of flower arranging “Ikebana”, pedantic draped sushi or “Haiku”, a lyrical genre that knows how to inspire readers through simple, perfectly shaped verse for over 500 years. The list of impressive cultural products from the land of the rising sun is similar, as with the Japanese, new technologies integrate the fervor in their everyday life. Obviously, both factors played together when Kihachiro ONITSUKA 1968 presented a sports shoe in the run-up to the Olympic Games, whose design and technology should inspire all generations of sneaker fans according to SHOESESPECIALLY.COM.

Nippon Sneaker Goes Mexico

The “limber” or even “Mexico 66”, as the Cult sneaker today, was the first model that was decorated with the brand-typical tiger stripes. The athletes appreciated him for his supple, breathable upper and his thin, good springy soles, which came amazingly close to the feel of running barefoot. Such comfort was not a stroke of luck, but the result of decades of cooperation with the Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila. A cross-cultural friendship arose from the initially skeptical business relationship and the first shoe, Bikila put off starting in 1957 it was able to travel the distances of his Marathon barefoot.

“Mexico 66” by ONITSUKA Tiger Goes on a World Tour

During the 1950s, another athlete lost his heart to the Japanese running shoes and should play a significant role in their global success: ONITSUKA Tiger already had a branch system of about 500 stores in Japan In 1955, but wary of expansion in foreign markets. The American runner Philip Knight attended Stanford University Marketing and sensed the enormous economic potential behind sneakers, probably one of the first. His fascination for the training shoes from ONITSUKA, offering highest quality at a reasonable purchase price, his opinion led him to a trip to Japan, where he was approached as a potential American sales representative – with more than success. Its subcontractors “Blue Ribbon sports”, briefly BRS, recorded such gains in subsequent years, the resourceful sneaker fan made independent and founded a company called “Nike”.