By Shu Xie
Onitsuka Tiger’s collaboration with Andrea Pompilio has always yielded some rather atypical kicks. This season, apart from those with the usual patchwork uppers, they have come up with a sneaker, conspicuously missing the tongue.
The tongue-less shoe, which Onitsuka Tiger calls ‘sandals’, could be a blessing if you, like me, are easily annoyed by those tongues that do not come with two slots in the centre through which you can guide the laces so as to better hold the tongue in place. Although tongues gone askew is not a pretty sight or comfort to the upper feet, many sneaker makers still do not consider how they can be secured.
Onitsuka Tiger X Andrea Pompilio’s Monte Sandal AP appears to solve the problem of the movable tongue by dispensing with it altogether. The lace guards and eyelets are also missing. In their places are a simple strapping system—forming a zig-zag—for laces to go through. Although the leather straps can be a little abrasive if you choose to go sock-less, they can be kinder to your feet if they’re first treated to a good shoe conditioner such as the Saphir Renovateur before use.
When you slip your feet into them, they feel like kungfu shoes. If you look at them from the top down, they look like Mary-Janes (with lace harness). Either way, these are kicks that, to me, will go well with wide-legged pants or, if you’re so inclined, ‘skorts’.
Onitsuka Tiger X Andrea Pompilio Monte Sandal AP, SGD169, is available at Puma, Suntec City. Photo: Puma