Japanese Sneakers

Japanese fashion has always been a distinct expression of style, a particularity of the Extreme Orient. Its originality has always fascinated the rest of the world and has been subject for inspiration for many artists and designers.

The mix of modernity and fashion has always been ahead of its time in this region and this can be noticed with everything created here, including Japanese sneakers.

Japan is the place where designers can be as outlandish in creating sneakers as they want and still be successful. Simply walking around Tokyo and watching what people are wearing will prove you that.

Japanese Sneakers

Japanese Sneakers

Besides fashion boots, sandals and high heels, you’ll see that the Japanese have a huge fetish for sneakers. The range of colors and models is just unbelievable.

This explosion of color has spread all over the world and Japanese sneakers are fast becoming a new global trend.

To fill this growing demand, there are the Japanese designers who’ve always been doing their thing and now are taping the global market, and then there are the global apparel companies who’ve dedicated special lines of Japanese styled sneakers. For now we’ll just focus on the first.

A Bathing Ape / Bape

The best known Japanese sneaker designer has to be Eye Candy Nigo with his brand A Bathing Ape. These shoes sell for (many) hundreds of dollars in a number of exclusive and well hidden stores around the world and if you manage to get yourself one pair, you can call yourself lucky.

Bape Sneakers

Bape Sneakers

This brand has been around since 1993 and Nigo has never been shy to let everyone know why he uses these prices.

It’s simple: with prices like this, you’re guaranteed to never run into somebody who’s wearing the same kicks. It’s a price for exclusivity.

As for the style, only a Japanese designer could get away with these color combinations.

Not that they are too outlandish, but I just can’t imagine somebody else succeeding in the US or European market with the same style.

Onitsuka Tiger / Asics

Onitsuka Tiger is another Japanese sneaker designer that is well represented in the US under the name Asics.

The first Onitsuka Tiger apparel collection was created in 1975, when Kihachiro Onitsuka was asked by the Japanese Olympic committee to supply the official clothing for the country’s team at the 1976 Olympic Games.

Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers

Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers

Runner Lasse Viren won a double Gold medal wearing Onitsuka’s sneakers, after his team made some last minute heel adjustments the night before the race.

After this first success, they’ve added lines of basketball, jogging and gymnastic shoes that proved to be a huge success. Asics was born in 1977.

Read more about Onitsuka Tiger sneakers here.

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