Onitsuka Tiger Vs Asics: Everything You Need To Know!

Have you ever wondered why Onitsuka Tiger and ASICS have the same logos? Yes, they are from the same company. You can call Onitsuka Tiger the father of ASICS, as they first appeared in the 1940s when everyone wished for the sun of happiness to rise in the Land of the Rising Sun and received sports as a gift of patience. It later merged with other companies to form ASICS, but it retains its own identity.

Despite the uncanny resemblance in looks and basis, ASICS isn’t the same as Onitsuka Tiger. The main focus of Onitsuka Tiger shoes is tiger design, natural leather, comfort, and Japanese details. Asics are more modern, affordable, and diverse, but less comfortable than Onitsuka Tigers.

If you’re perplexed by the similarities between the companies, keep reading to find out. 

asics vs onitsuka tiger

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ASICS Vs. Onitsuka Tiger Features

ASICS and Onitsuka Tiger have some distinguishing features, which I have summarized below:


ASICS is well-known for its breathable, thin, and soft synthetic fabric upper. Their uppers are distinguished by a meshy surface that improves breathability and reduces odors.

Despite being mostly mesh-free, the upper of the Onitsuka Tiger features both synthetic and natural leather, including basic cow smooth and goat smooth leather. The iconic suede Onitsuka Tiger Stripes add a stylish touch to any upper. And those that are meshed, such as Mexico 66, are generously meshed and have a cool appearance.


The midsole is the spongy layer that connects the outsole and the upper, and both brands use different technologies depending on the requirement. ASICS, for example, employs SpEVA and Solyte materials in their midsoles.

The SpEVA enhances rebound by 20% and boosts performances by producing impactful steps. ASICS also feature gel cushioning in some of their shoes’ heels and forefeet, allowing the feet to produce effortless energy and stabilization with reduced chances of injury and hard work. 

In contrast, Solyte offers more lightweight properties to the shoes. But the EVA foam that is 55% lighter than traditional EVA foams is ASICS Flytefoam technology, which gives a great long-distance running experience.

Kihachiro ONITSUKA had his second Eureka moment when he saw how hot water wrinkles toes and discovered that heat causes blisters. So he made the MAGIC RUNNER have holes in the midsole for air circulation. Additionally, the Onitsuka Tiger midsole features lightweight EVA memory foam called AMPLIFOAM, which provides excessive cushioning with every ride.


The outsole is the main character in Onitsuka Tigers and has a strong historical connection with the brand. The idea came after Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka encountered an octopus sucking his salad plate, which inspired him to make an OK shoe, having an outsole patterned with a suction cup. The resulting grip was enough to produce sudden breaks during the game. 

Like Onitsuka Tigers, ASICS has a unique outsole material called the ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber (AHAR+), having excellent durability, traction, and cushioning qualities on both wet and dry surfaces. 

The outsole also features a space trusstic, a spaced plastic bridge underneath the shoe’s arch. It adds flexibility to existing shoe strength and stability. Plus, some shoes feature the Dual-Stencil processed rubber lugs, stretching from forefoot to midfoot, which make the traction game even more robust.

onitsuka tiger mexico 66


Despite having similar designs, both ASICS and Onitsuka Tigers follow different design philosophies. ASICS are designed according to the Impact Guidance System (IGS). IGS aims for a very holistic philosophy that shoe components should work in sync effectively enough to allow the body to perform naturally without correcting the movement of legs and feet. 

Furthermore, they should only complement this movement, and any new feature should be added to the shoe only if it works with the existing features of the shoe. But ASICS’ Guidesole technology is one of their best design technologies, consisting of a rocker sole with two layers of FLYTEFOAM® for the bounciness, structure, and cushioning.

Check price of Onitsuka Tigers Mexico Classic here.


Comparatively, Onitsuka Tigers ($80- $150+) are more expensive than ASICS ($55-$150+) and have all the right reasons for being so. Onitsuka Tiger is Japanese-made and has been manufactured using traditional handcraftsmanship, employing materials and methods under the ‘Real Japan’ notion.

 Since Japanese craftsmanship is naturally expensive, Onitsuka Tigers are so. Whereas, except for the ASICS Japan series, ASICS doesn’t encounter handcraftsmanship. Plus, the difference in leather material also adds to the expense of Onitsuka Tigers.


ASICS Vs. Onitsuka Tiger Size charts

Here’s the size chart for ASICS men’s shoes:


Onitsuka tiger’s Size chart for Men


ASICS Women’s Size Chart

Here’s a chart for ASICS women:


Onitsuka Tiger Women’s Size Chart


ASICS Japan S Vs. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 

If you see the look of these two best sellers, your naked eye wouldn’t be able to select the best one; they are that similar in looks! But what makes them different? Firstly, it’s the price for sure. ASICS Japan S is just $70, while Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Mexico is almost double the price, i.e., 120 bucks! Both feature the iconic tiger stripe pattern, a thin, comfortable, breathable insole and upper, and a firm laced-up look. 

Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 features a perforated insole, while the ASICS Japan S doesn’t. In contrast, Ascics’s upper is meshy and more breathable, while Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66’s isn’t meshy but breathable. And due to their flat insoles, both models give a shoe-less feel but are a no-no if you are looking for arch support, though Onitsuka still provides better support than ASICS.

Even Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 has extra padding on the tongue side but no padding on the heels. As a result, users have claimed many episodes of heel slippages with a lack of heel support. But the outsole is the strangest difference between these two OG models. Instead of Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 getting the suction cup sole, ASICS has it. In contrast, the former has a triangular, unique tread pattern, and I find it more incredible and sturdier than the suction cup sole.

Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 exceeds in the leather material too. However, unlike Japan S’s synthetic leather upper, Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 is built with original leather- which explains why it’s pricier than the former. Secondly, Japan S is far heavier than Onitisuka’s Mexico 66. Regardless of the minimal difference, both are comfortable and similar in looks, design, and quality. Hence, I would go for ASICS to save some bucks on the same style.

ASICS Women's Japan S Sportstyle Shoes, 8.5, White/Thunder Blue
  • Based on the original 1981 model: Modified cupsole
  • Modified cupsole:
  • Timeless design:

Wrapping Up

I believe both ASICS and Onitsuka Tiger shoes are right in their own ways, despite having the same roots. ASICS is less expensive than Onitsuka, with many designs available, and more light on pockets than Onitsuka Tiger.

In contrast, OTs are mostly limited to the tiger print design, which is expensive but more comfortable than ASICS due to their arch support. 

However, both companies need to work on the variety and enhanced availability of thick, detachable insoles and heel foams. Onitsuka takes the lead with its better arch support, upper material, history, handmade craftsmanship, and innovative technologies. But if ASICS fix these issues in their shoes, Onitsuka Tiger fans would switch to ASICS because of the price.

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