Onitsuka Tiger Limber Up Moscow and Asian Review

The other day, somebody was asking me to identify a pair of Onitsuka Tiger shoes that he’s had for a while and wanted to know what model that was so he could get another one.

Once I got the picture, I started doing some digging and no matter what I did, I kept running into the California 78. Indeed, the 78 was dead close to his pair. Many details were there, including the zigzag suede on the upper.

It looked close, but just not quite.

I was ready to give up and accept that I’d have to tell man that I’ve no idea what his sneakers were, when I decided to take a final look. I swear, the last shoe that I was going to check was the perfect match! No kidding!

It was the Onitsuka Tiger Limber Up Moscow 80 (or Limberup – if you want).

Onitsuka Tiger designed the Limber Up shoe to be used by the Japanese athletes in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow for warming up. Things like stretching, some jogging, all that stuff.

It was perfect for its job. Lightweight, with a sole that offered perfect grip and a soft fabric that made is super flexible, it was every athlete’s dream.

Onitsuka Tiger Limber Up MoscowOnitsuka Tiger Limber Up MoscowThe shoe featured three ventilation holes in the heel, perfect for shock absorption. That meant less ankle pains and a much more comfortable ride overall.

Well, the Limberup took off after the Olympics and was pretty popular for a number of years after the Moscow Games.

Nowadays, it’s been reissued and is a fantastic vintage sneaker. It has all those old-school traits that every retro enthusiast loves.

What I’ve noticed is that this model is much more popular in Europe. In the US, you can barely find a couple of pairs on eBay and Amazon, while in the UK they’re everywhere.

Don’t worry, I’ve tracked a couple of pairs in the US too. Get your pair of Onitsuka Tiger Limber Up Moscow here.

Asics Limber Up Asian 81

The next year, in 1981, the “4th Annual Track and Field Asian Games” was in full gear and of course, Onitsuka Tiger had everything prepared. It deigned the Asics Limber Up Asian which became the official training shoe for the Games.

Onitsuka Tiger Limber Up AsianOnitsuka Tiger Limber Up AsianIt didn’t look anything like it predecessor. This one had mesh upper, different lines, no more zigzags. Completely different shoe.

You will notice the four distinctive tubes in the sole which were supposed to offer better cushioning.

Well, the Asian did its job perfectly. The mesh upper kept its weight low and kept the feet well ventilated and cool.

So this model has been also reissued these days.

Go get your pair of Asics Limber Up Asian here.

Leave a Comment