Onitsuka Tiger Goes Full Steam Ahead With Sneakers Mirroring Bullet Trains
By Mikelle Leow, 03 Jun 2023
Onitsuka Tiger is unleashing a sleek trio of sneakers that trainspotters might be able to catch sight of from 199 mph away.
A close collaboration with the West Japan Railway Company and travel brand Terroir Tabi, the footwear—revving on the Mexico 66 GDX silhouette—rides on the Shinkansen, or Japanese bullet train, as inspiration. More specifically, the shoes pay tribute to three styles of Shinkansen that can be seen passing through Hyogo, the prefecture of Onitsuka Tiger’s home city of Kobe.
As a reference to the structural integrity of the trains’ bodies, the sneakers feature an embroidered, three-dimensional Onitsuka Tiger stripe made from high-density threads.
The Japanese sportswear retailer points out that although the stripes are almost the same hues as the uppers, they are slightly different, building depth and “a refined effect.”
Each shoe is also finished in pearl processing to mimic the gloss of real bullet trains and make you look like a track star from afar.
At the first stop, you’ll find the silver 500 series Shinkansen, laced with steel blue.
Then there’s the white N700S colorway, which sports subtle blue detailing.
Both variants are interestingly envisioned as train carriages; you’ll see that the seating plans of their muses are printed on the insoles.
The most vibrant of the lot is the ‘Doctor Yellow’ design, a vivacious nod to a test train rarely seen in the wild.
On its insole, Doctor Yellow displays a different carriage configuration due to the original train’s makeup of monitors and wiring, instead of seats.
The three styles, hand-crafted in Kobe beef leather using traditional methods, arrive in boxes that individually label the train model they’re based on, along with matching tote bags created with Banshu weave, an art form from the Kita Harima area in Hyogo.
Buckle up, as they’re heading to Onitsuka retailers and online on July 1 for a price of ¥44,000 (US$314). They aren’t the most affordable trainers (pun intended), but they’ll last you countless trips.
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