Sneaker Review: Onitsuka Tiger Serrano

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a pair of Tiger sneakers in basic black with fast-looking, bold white stripes.  Like Chuck Taylors and Puma Suede Classics-the Tiger Serrano is a throwback shoe with a timeless design. It doesn’t try to look high-tech, use plasticy materials, or “look at me!” neon colors that never match anything. Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly difficult for me to find nice kicks in black and white. In this case, Journeys may be the only U.S. retailer that carries them in those colors as I have not seen them elsewhere.

These sneakers look great with jeans unlike their odd, space-age foam cousins (the performance running shoe). Onitsuka is the lifestyle brand of Asics who makes some of the very best high-performance running shoes (albeit in mostly nasty bright, neon, and silver colors). I actually like how a lot of the shoes in the Onitsuka Tiger line look, but I can’t speak on how comfortable they are or the material-quality because I really haven’t seen them in stores and don’t want to risk it with mail order.

Tiger Serrano shoes

Tiger Serrano shoes. So nice I didn’t want to take them out of the box!

The Serrano would have fit in nicely during the height of the track and field era during the ’70s. It’s nearly a minimalist running shoe, although I plan to wear them for casual use only. It’s very low-stack design with a thin, nubby rubber outsole.  Like other minimalist/transitional shoes, it fits like a slipper. You can feel the road and your stride is catlike and must be calculated. The weight is 9 oz. which does place it in the light to midweight category of  running shoes, but I have found modern, performance running shoes to be the same weight, yet with better cushioning and support for running.

The shoe fits true to size and runs slightly narrow. I am actually unable to wear Puma Suede Classics because they are too narrow for me. The shoes are nylon (think windbreakers) with suede accents and have a soft leather collar. Mine aren’t broken in yet so I have a few hotspots where the collar rubs my feet.

Onitsuka Tiger Serrano photo

Onitsuka Tiger Serrano

Understated. Sleek. Retro. These Tigers just look good.

One Comment

January 14, 2015 12:40 am

The Serrano is one of the coolest retro kicks on the market. A bit too narrow and minimalistic for me but I would still wear them.

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