Onitsuka Tiger Vs Nike : A Comparative Analysis of Two Iconic Sneaker Brands

The consumers consider Onitsuka Tiger and Nike to be the most renowned sneaker brands around the globe. Both sneaker brands have been bestowed efficiently to the footwear market and contain an affluent history in the footwear industry. There has been a brutal competition between Onitsuka Tiger and Nike for decenniums as both sneakers perform at their best in case of comfort and have perfect patterns. 

Onitsuka Tiger is prominent for its running shoes and originated in Kobe, Japan, in 1949; it is best known for its split-tongue pattern. On the other side, Nike has become the most noticeable brand globally and was founded in 1964 in Oregon, USA. Users consider the Nike Cortez and Onitsuka Tiger Corsair the classic and durable sneakers that are still best known today and have resisted the test of time. 

The Nike Cortez contains a sporty and slender pattern that intensifies the performance of the sneakers, and these shoes were instituted in 1972. Both players and casual wear consider these sneakers the best among other shoes because of the padded midsole, characteristic swoosh, and feathery formation. Onitsuka Tiger Corsair and Nike Cortez were launched simultaneously and had similar patterns. The sneakers are still popular today, and when you look at the sneaker industry, these shoes have a rich and ample history. 

Comparison Table: Onitsuka Tiger Vs Nike 

AspectOnitsuka TigerNike
HistoryFounded in 1949 in Kobe, Japan, now known as ASICSEstablished in 1964 in Oregon, USA
Classic ModelsMexico 66, CorsairCortez, Air Force 1, Air Max, Dunk, Air Jordan, React
Design PhilosophySimplicity, practicality, split-tongue patternInnovation, style, technology, iconic swoosh, Air cushion
Materials Used (Upper)Leather, nylon, suedeLeather, synthetic leather, mesh, Flyknit
Midsole TechnologyGEL technology for shock absorptionAir technology for cushioning and shock absorption
Outsole PatternsWaffle pattern for traction (Corsair)Herringbone pattern for grip (Cortez, Air Force 1)
Product RangeMexico 66, Corsair, Ultimate 81, SerranoAir Force 1, Air Max, Dunk, React, Zoom, various collections
Market PresenceConcentrates on running, volleyball, basketballGlobal reach, diverse offerings, extensive marketing
Brand AmbassadorsCollaborates with actors and musicians globallyPartnerships with famous athletes like Michael Jordan, LeBron James
Target AudienceFashion enthusiasts, athletesDiverse audience including fitness fanatics, players, fashion lovers
Technological InnovationsGEL technology for shock absorption, varied materialsAir technology for cushioning, Flyknit for lightweight design
ComfortPadded footbed, comfortable and featherlight (Corsair)Cushioned collar, Air-Sole unit for support and comfort (Air Force 1)
Price RangeGenerally more affordableVaries, often higher due to technology and limited editions
Overall Presence and PopularityEspecially popular in Japan, known for vintage styleGlobal dominance, renowned for performance and style

Why is the Onitsuka Tiger so Expensive?

Onitsuka Tiger originated in Japan and is considered a renowned athletic shoe because of its top performance and iconic style. The brand provides snug and hard-wearing shoes, and these features maintain the high quality of the shoes. However, Onitsuka Tiger shoes are costly because of the following reasons:

  • High-Quality Materials: Onitsuka Tiger’s manufacturing utilizes top-quality materials. Suede, premium leather, and several other classic materials used to prepare these shoes greatly help them in snug and hard-wearing shoes. The shoes are expensive mainly because of the high-cost materials used in their formation.
  • Exceptional Craftsmanship: Extraordinary focus on detail is used in the manufacturing of Onitsuka Tiger. Perfect standards are attained because the crafting of the shoes uses skillful materials. The higher price of the shoes is because of the more excellent standard of craftsmanship, as it demands skill and a lot of time.
  • Heritage Brand Reputation: Onitsuka Tiger manufactures top-quality shoes, and it has been written in its history. The brand has been generating functional and modern shoes since 1949, and this is the reason for these shoes being so reputable and famous. The boots are highly priced because of the vintage brand reputation.
  • Limited Edition Releases: Fashion enthusiasts and athletes mainly search for the categories produced in limited editions by the brand. Therefore, regular shoes from the same brand are affordable compared to limited editions of the same brand.
  • Exclusivity: Onitsuka Tiger shoes are costly because they are not found in most countries, making them exclusive.
  • Popularity Among Fashion-Conscious Consumers: Fashion enthusiasts love the top-quality and style of shoes and would love to pay a high cost for Onitsuka Tiger shoes, making them famous among other brands. This target audience is a plus point in contributing to the high cost of the shoes. 

In conclusion, top-quality materials, extraordinary manufacturing, limited edition of several articles, and admiration among fashion lovers amalgamate to make the Onitsuka Tiger expensive shoes. These are the main features responsible for the Onitsuka shoes having a premium price. 

Brand Histories

Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger Origins

Onitsuka Tiger was created in 1949 in Kobe, Japan, by Kihachiro Onitsuka, and now these sneakers are renowned as ASICS. The brand can manufacture various shoes, such as volleyball, wrestling, and running, but its primary purpose was to produce basketball shoes. 

Both casual wearers and athletes praise these sneakers for their lower price and top performance. 

Nike Origins

In 1964, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman established the Nike shoes that were popular as Blue Ribbon Sports in Beaverton, Oregon. Nike began to produce shoes by their name, giving perfect patterns later, but initially, it was working in the United States as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger shoes. In 1972, Nike manufactured its first shoe with its logo, Nike Cortez. 

Top-quality gymnastic and sporty shoes give both Onitsuka Tiger and Nike first place in history. Nike is famous for everyday footwear, and users around the globe consider it an identifiable shoe; on the other hand, Onitsuka Tiger is well-known to have a richer history in the market. 

Design Philosophy

Onitsuka Tiger Aesthetics

Simplicity and practicality are the main reasons on which the design philosophy of Onitsuka Tiger depends. The main reason for manufacturing these shoes was to amplify the players’ performance. Support, longevity, and comfort are the chief features on which the founder of the Onitsuka Tiger focused and then structured the shoes by keeping these characteristics in mind. 

Signature stripes are considered particular attributes of the Onitsuka Tiger sneakers that enhance the design of these shoes. These stripes were utilized to support the boots, but with time, the shoes contained these stripes as a peculiar pattern. The users can wear Onitsuka Tiger sneakers with different outfits because of their modest pattern and fine lines, making them versatile among other sneakers in the industry. 

Nike Shoes

Nike Innovation

Revolution and innovation are considered foundations for achieving success, as Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, believed in the philosophy of innovation. Therefore, style, technology, and performance are the main features that help manufacture the perfect Nike sneakers, as innovation plays a significant role in executing the plan of design philosophy. 

Nike shoes contain Air technology, featured as the most revolutionary of all attributes. In 1978, the Nike Air Tailwind was the first pair of shoes in which Air technology was utilized for the first time. Players who want to perform their best should go for Nike sneakers because of the presence of support and additional padding due to Air technology. Nike sneakers are renowned for having brilliant colors and bold patterns, and these attributes make these sneakers stand out in the footwear industry. 

Distinct pattern philosophies are utilized in both Onitsuka Tiger and Nike shoes. Innovation is the primary purpose of manufacturing the Nike shoes and going across boundaries to have the most efficient results; on the other hand, simplicity and practicality are the main points on which the construction of Onitsuka Tiger mainly depends. 

Onitsuka Tiger Vs. Nike Features


Patterns and materials are the main factors on which both sneakers’ uppers vary. Leather is used to manufacture the Nike Cortez, and the upper part is made up of synthetic leather overlays; conversely, leather and nylon are used to design the upper part of the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair, containing suede overlays. 

The appearance of the Nike Cortez is modish and slender; conversely, signature stripes on the edges of the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair provide a vintage pattern. 


The design and materials used to form both sneakers differentiate the midsole of Onitsuka and Nike sneakers. A more reactive and snug ride is available if the players use Nike Cortez, as it contains a mushy midsole on the other side; the feathery EVA midsole in the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair offers you support and padding. 

Both sneakers’ users feel closer to the ground as a deep-profile pattern is adorned. 


The outsoles of both Onitsuka Tiger Corsair and Nike Cortez sneakers vary when grips and patterns are considered, although rubber is used to manufacture both sneakers. 

The users of Onitsuka Tiger Corsair can enjoy remarkable traction on different kinds of surfaces because of the availability of the waffle pattern present in the outsole of these sneakers; on the other hand, the Nike Cortez provides finer grip on smooth surfaces only because the outsole of these sneakers contain herringbone-pattern. Both sneakers can resist regular wear and tear because the outsoles of both sneakers are hard-wearing and long-lasting. 

The variation in the patterns and materials used in the upper part, midsole, and outsole of both sneakers differentiates them. Another factor that individualizes both sneakers is the traction and grip. Your inclination and intended use matter in selecting the sneakers of one brand out of the two.

Product Range

Onitsuka Tiger Collections

Various preferences and styles are available in the Onitsuka Tiger, providing a broad range of categories. Mexico 66 and Corsair are considered vintage and iconic patterns of the Onitsuka Tiger collections. On the other hand, Ultimate 81 and Serrano are deemed to be stylish and modish designs. 

The Mexico 66 was launched in 1966, and since then, it has won the hearts of sneaker fanatics. Different designers and creators collaborate with this brand to make innovations and variations in the quality of the sneakers.

Nike Diverse Offerings

People with various preferences, sports, and lifestyles can go for Nike sneakers as they have a broad range of categories and are renowned for their diverse offerings. The best-known Air Force 1, Dunk lines, and Air Max are part of Nike’s collections. 

Furthermore, Nike’s performance-oriented collections include React lines and Zoom. Nike’s product line is diverse, with numerous artists, players, and designers collaborating with the well-known brand, Nike.

Market Presence

Onitsuka Tiger Market Strategy

In 1949, a Japanese man originated a footwear brand called Onitsuka Tiger. Guaranteeing the formation of top-quality shoes was the primary market strategy of this brand so that they could endure for elongated periods. 

Running, volleyball, and basketball are the main areas where the Onitsuka Tiger concentrates, as these shoes are ideal for such athletic activities. First-class materials and versatile patterns used to manufacture Onitsuka Tiger shoes make them the best-known among players. 

Nike Global Reach

More than 190 countries around the globe offer various Nike collections. Nike is booming in global reach because of its broad range of marketing strategies and campaigns. 

The brand has been fortunate to maintain its strong reputation, which is possible because of the robust advertisement. One of the leading marketing techniques is sponsoring famous and well-reputed athletes, and Nike follows this method to improve and innovate its products.

Nike collaborates with various online trading centers and several retailers, which is the main reason for Nike’s successful global reach. Individuals from every class can grab their hands on Nike shoes because of the price range. Moreover, Nike collections are accepted worldwide mainly because of its collaboration with retail stores. 

Nike successfully made revenue of approximately $51.21 billion in 2022 alone because it is renowned globally. Product designs, innovation, and robust marketing strategies are the main reasons for the popularity of these shoes among other brands. Iconic designs and first-class materials make players and fitness enthusiasts opt for Nike products.

Overall, throughout the footwear market, people admire both Onitsuka Tiger and Nike, and their popularity among various audiences maintains the reputation of both brands. Nike’s marketing strategies are up to the mark, and this is the reason for the domination of this brand globally. On the other hand, Onitsuka Tiger manufactures first-class shoes mainly for athletes, which is popular because of the production of sporty shoes. 

Endorsements and Sponsorships

Onitsuka Tiger Brand Ambassadors

To promote and advertise its products, Onitsuka Tiger collaborates with various designers and top-favorite athletes, which has long been this brand’s marketing strategy. 

Actors and musicians from multiple countries around the globe are the brand ambassadors of Onitsuka Tiger, such as American actor Jedan Smith, Seo-Joon, a famous South Korean actor, and Japanese actor Masaki Suda. This versatile way of advertising campaigns makes the Onitsuka Tiger stand out in the market because of its various collections’ wide range of releases. 

Nike Celebrity Partnerships

The brand usually collaborates with well-known players and top-profile celebrities for Nike’s promotion. Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James are some famous superstars who have partnered with Nike, and as a result, the brand is promoted effectively. Nike is renowned around the globe because of its robust marketing strategies, which is the main reason these sneakers are the most versatile and classic shoes; one prominent example of its advertisement is the Air Jordan line. 

Nike has also collaborated with musicians and designers such as Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh, as collaborations with the athletes proved remarkable for the brand. Both fashion and sneaker fanatics have played an enormous role in the versatile and classic release of sneakers because of the collaboration. 

Consumer Base

Onitsuka Tiger Target Audience

Fashion enthusiasts are considered the primary audience of Onitsuka Tiger. Young individuals search for modish, economical, and snug shoes, and such young enthusiasts are the target population of this brand. Initially, the Onitsuka Tiger designed shoes for men, but now this brand is trying to attract women by manufacturing outclass footwear. 

Versatile patterns and top-quality materials make Onitsuka Tiger a well-known brand. Sneaker lovers admire this brand’s footwear because of its iconicness and heritage, and many individuals are eager to know about its history. 

Nike Demographics

Many users admire Nike and regard it as a global brand. The consumers are mainly fitness fanatics, fashion lovers, and players. Nike caters to both males and females of almost every age, and its audience is diverse. 

Revolutionary patterns and top-performance technology are the main reasons Nike shoes are well-known. The fitness fanatics and players needing to perform at their best should opt for Nike sneakers. The brand automatically gets admiration and applause if it collaborates with any celebrity or high-performance athlete.

Various groups need and admire a particular brand, so both brands have distinct audiences. Mixed audiences such as fashion enthusiasts, fitness lovers, and players go for Nike sneakers; on the other hand, youngsters who are more into style and vogue buy Onitsuka Tiger shoes. 

Technological Advancements

Onitsuka Tiger Tech Features

The footwear market has been catering to Onitsuka Tiger as a pioneer for almost decenniums. Durability and top quality of the materials utilized in the manufacturing of shoes are the main reasons for the popularity of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. To maintain the company’s name and reputation, various technological innovations have been made to the patterns of the shoes. 

GEL technology is used in many designs of the Onitsuka Tiger shoes, and it is considered a significant attribute among other brands. This technique offers the absorption of shock; moreover, the user gets extraordinary comfort by wearing these shoes because of the padding system available in them. Onitsuka Tiger Corsair contains the GEL technology; moreover, many other brands’ shoes also get admiration because of the availability of this technology. 

Besides GEL technology, diverse materials are utilized to form the Onitsuka Tiger shoes. The modish and snug materials used to manufacture the various shoes of Onitsuka Tiger are mesh, suede, and leather. 

Nike Technological Innovations

Consumers admire and accept Nike; it is considered the most pioneering brand among other brands around the globe. Using different innovations in the technology utilized in the design of Nike shoes helps them maintain their position and reputation. 

Air technology is considered one of the remarkable characteristics and is used in the formation of Nike shoes. This technology offers extraordinary ease because of a padding system; moreover, it is structured in a way that helps absorb the shock. Nike Air Max contains this famous technology, and other brands also offer Air technology. 

Various kinds of materials are used to manufacture distinct shoe designs; among all these materials, Air technology is considered remarkable. A porous and feathery material called Flyknit is utilized to manufacture voguish and snug shoes in Nike shoes. 

Overall, different innovative technologies have been utilized in the formation of both Onitsuka Tiger and Nike shoes, and as a result, the shoes are modern and extremely snug. Air technology is used in Nike. On the other hand, GEL technology is utilized in Onitsuka Tiger, and a diversity of different materials is also a part of the manufacturing of both shoe brands. 

Wrapping Up

To sum up, the sneaker business has become more popular since classical and versatile names like Onitsuka Tiger and Nike have joined the mix. The Nike Cortez was based on the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair, but it has features that make it easy to switch between styles.

Onitsuka Tiger has a wide range of trainers for players who like to be active outside and value functionality. People who love fashion all over the world respect and follow the Onitsuka Tiger, but Japanese people love it the most. 

On the other hand, casual wearers and players like Nike trainers because they are known for being stylish and functional. The Nike Cortez is well-known and famous among shoes because of its classic and long-lasting style.