Fencing shoe review- Onitsuka tigers by asics

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Robb_D, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Robb_D

    Robb_D Rookie

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    I have so many bad things to say about this shoe, I honestly have no clue where to start. People often confuse the reproduction of this shoe to the ones that were made for the japanese team at the Los Angeles olympics. The ones made for the jap team will have "LA 84" under the pulltab on the back. These shoes were made very well actually, and have a much thicker rubber outsole than the reproduction ones, and better support but are also nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find, and ridiculously expensive, as compared to the reproductions, which are very cheap. The reproduction ones have a VERY thin outsole on the bottom, and a competitive fencer will rub them completely flat and smooth in about 6 weeks. (Mine took about 5 weeks, fencing 5 days a week for two and a half hours). They are also made of something that feels more like a hard foam than actual rubber. The outsole also started to peel off of the bottom at the shoe along the outside edges of the shoe. They also have absolutely no support for your feet or arches, unless your arches are completely flat. There is no cushioning in the insole, and it is completely flat, so if you have knee problems (like me) than it will agitate them greatly, regardless of the severity. Long lunges and ballestras are also very painful for your heel due to the lack of support. I actually came very close to bruising my heel several times because they're so thin. The shoe doesn't breathe very well, so your feet will be very hot as well. Overall, id rate these shoes about a 0 out of 10. DO NOT buy these, fencing in running shoes would be more comfortable.
     
  2. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    I've seen a fair amount of the repro Tiger fencing shoes about, mainly on folks who are riding their fixies to Riverwest bars to down a few PBRs and smoke some American Spirits. Agree that they really have no place actually being used for fencing (ironic, but then hipsters love themselves some irony :)).
     
  3. migopod

    migopod Podium

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    I wore Onitsuka Tigers before hipsters thought they were cool.
     
  4. shlepzig

    shlepzig Podium

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    Like any shoe, your mileage will vary. Shoes are personal things and what works for you may or may not work for someone else.

    The LA 84 shoe is actually a reproduction as well, that came out in the earlier Oughts. I fenced in those and have not tried the re-re-release of the Onitsuka Tiger Fencing Shoe from the last year (my wife threatens to call me Imelda and leave me when I add new shoes to my collections)

    The original shoes from 1984 would be manufactured by Onitsuka, not "By Asiscs under Onitsuka".

    That said, the reproduction shoes I had were fantastic. I fenced with them for a couple years until the gum rubber sole hardened enough that they no longer had sufficient grip on gym floors for safe practice. I still wear them around the house and go running in them now and again (they are essentially the same as my zero drop running shoes). My regular training weeks were 4-5 nights a week with frequent tournaments.

    1 have no appreciable knee or foot issues to contend with despite my considerable bulk and advanced age (knock on my own wooden head for luck there). What you say is true that they are thin and have little impact cushioning, though it never caused me any issues. I land most of my footwork more around the mid-sole than hard on the heel (the heel will touch down first, roll forward and my weight lands on the mid-sole.)

    I found ventilation of the woven nylon body to be very good (better than anything else I have worn), and the toe protection also very effective (I am a foot roller and this is big wear point for me). I liked how little these shoes weighed, and how well they secured on the feet (no slippage or shifting). Even as the body of the shoe stretched there was enough space that I could keep them tight with the laces.

    Personally, I much preferred them to the first generation LP Blades I purchased, and way above the early Absolute shoes. Construction and cushioning-wise they appear comparable to the Addidas Dart's.

    Your opinion is valid, these shoes clearly did not work for you. They did work well for me, but I agree that they aren't for everyone. If you prefer a light shoe with little padding or arch support, the price is fair if you can get them for 60 or less. Otherwise you should be looking for one of the more substantial shoes, the Addidas En Guard, LP Scimitar or some of the popular court shoes (Stabils and Asics Volleyball shoes).
     
  5. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    I too completely disagree with this. They are probably the best-ventilated fencing shoe I've ever tried and if the nylon fabric isn't cool enough for you, try the stainless-steel-mesh version for $15 more. The mesh is about 30% holes and conducts heat as well.

    They are remarkably light at around 7oz., and no, they don't have much cushioning - some of us prefer it that way.

    As to wear, I wore a pair of the LA 84 version for 3 years (about 1000 fencing sessions), and the weapon-side heel is finally worn smooth. so I bought the newer version (in metal mesh). BTW, you can buy three pairs for the cost of LP or Nike shoes, so if they wear out twice as fast, you are still ahead of the game.

    I'm a shoe-maker guy, and the only obvious difference that I see between the LA84 and the current ones is that the latest versions use an eva foam insole instead of rubber foam.

    Sorry they don't work for you, but I like them a lot.
     
  6. Beloit Fencer of Old

    Beloit Fencer of Old Rookie

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    I believe that this is not the first time you have said this. Then again, I have hung around here a long time. Carry on.
     
  7. EldRick

    EldRick Podium

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    P.S. - I just held up a few-year-old "LA84" version next to a new shoe, and the sole thickness and construction is identical.

    Now I don't know if my pair are "The ones made for the jap team...", but they do have LA 84 on the pull-tab.
     

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