Are Onitsuka Tigers Good For Running

As a seasoned runner and sports enthusiast, I have explored various running shoe options over the years. Among the countless brands and models available, Onitsuka Tigers have piqued my interest. Known for their sleek design and heritage in the world of running, I’ve often wondered whether Onitsuka Tigers are truly good for running or if they are better suited for casual wear. Join me as I delve into the details to uncover the truth about Onitsuka Tigers as running shoes.

Understanding Onitsuka Tigers

Onitsuka Tiger, a sub-brand of ASICS, has a rich history in athletic footwear. The brand’s origin can be traced back to the post-war era in Japan when Kihachiro Onitsuka founded the company with the mission to provide quality sports shoes. While Onitsuka Tigers have gained popularity as lifestyle and fashion sneakers, they also have a legacy in the world of running.

Design and Construction

One of the striking features of Onitsuka Tigers is their classic silhouette and minimalist design. Typically constructed with a durable canvas or leather upper, these shoes boast a low-profile, which may appeal to runners seeking a more natural feel. The cushioning and support may vary depending on the specific model, with some offering more robust midsole padding and arch support.

Performance on the Track

Having personally tested Onitsuka Tigers on the track, I found that they excel in shorter distance runs and sprints. The lightweight construction and flexible sole provide a responsive feel, making them ideal for quick bursts of speed. However, for longer distance running, the minimal cushioning and support may pose challenges, especially for those prone to foot fatigue or requiring additional stability.

Considerations for Runners

When contemplating Onitsuka Tigers for running, it’s crucial to assess individual running biomechanics and specific training needs. Runners with a neutral gait and a preference for low-drop, minimalist shoes may find Onitsuka Tigers to be a suitable choice for speedwork and shorter runs. However, individuals requiring more cushioning or support for overpronation or supination may need to supplement these shoes with orthotic insoles or opt for a different model.


In conclusion, Onitsuka Tigers can offer a unique running experience for certain types of runners. Their sleek design and lightweight nature make them ideal for speedwork and shorter distances. However, it’s essential to recognize their limitations in terms of cushioning and support, especially for longer runs or individuals with specific biomechanical needs. Ultimately, the suitability of Onitsuka Tigers for running depends on individual preferences and running style.