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Onitsuka Tiger LimberUp Moscow

Initially designed for the 1980 Japanese Olympic team, the iconic shoe has been made brighter and better for the new season

The Japanese may have never made it to the 1980 Moscow Olympics after joining a well-documented boycott with a brace of other nations, but their footwear for the event was a specially commissioned creation—developed in 1979—that became a cult classic. Onitsuka Tiger's LimberUp Moscow was modelled on the Mexico—a shoe built with the 1966 Olympics in mind—and Corsair DNA was the proposed weapon-of-choice for Japanese athletes.

Those "air flex grooves" that go straight through the sole unit for ventilation and shock absorbency were once state-of-the art and they aid the stealthy appearance of this silhouette. Now those Olympic dreams are over three decades in the past, as a lifestyle look, the Limberup Moscow performs perfectly as an everyday wear. For this season, it's available in unisex variations with an emphasis on the iconic Tiger stripes, and brighter, more feminine styles will ensure it gets the moment in the spotlight that it was denied on its introduction.

Text by Gary Warnett