Best Year of the Tiger-themed sneakers to snag ahead of Lunar New Year


By Kelly Lim

Best Year of the Tiger-themed sneakers to snag ahead of Lunar New Year

Did you know? While buying new clothes are seen as a great way to start the Lunar New Year, shoes are an entirely different story. According to Chinese tradition, the word ‘shoe’ is a homophone for ‘rough’ in Cantonese and ‘evil’ in Mandarin, so technically the best time to get score a new pair of kicks for the year ahead is before the new year actually begins (February 1) or after. If you plan on doing some last-minute shopping for Chinese New Year this weekend, how about some limited-edition Tiger-themed shoes to put your best foot forward?

Read on for our pick of the best sneaks to snag from your favourite brands and beyond: 

New Balance

New Balance is celebrating this Year of the Tiger with a striking limited-edition Lunar New Year collection inspired by the words of English poet Siegfried Sassoon: ‘In Me, the Tiger Sniffs the Rose’. The line, taken from In Me, Past, Present, Future meet, conjures the dual strength and softness of human nature to guide the new design, which also channels the powerful spirit of the tiger into their signature footwear.

Rendered in a black and brown colourway, the retro 327 collection arrives embellished with a tasteful accent of red to symbolise bravery and resolve. Meanwhile, the ever-popular hybrid 57/40 is adorned in a deep tranquil blue with pops of bubblegum pink and ocean green in a spell-binding display of flair. Finally, the XC-72 series manifests in the form of a slightly wild, rough-around-the-edges beauty, with its earth-coloured body, plush textured suede and distinct tiger stripes in an act of fearless courage.

The latest collection is exclusively available at New Balance boutiques in Pavilion KL, Mid Valley Megamall and Mid Valley Southkey for a limited time only.


Onitsuka Tiger

2022 marks the Year of the Tiger, which also happens to be Onitsuka Tiger’s brand icon. As such, the brand has planned to unveil a year-long lineup of artistic projects and collaborations to commemorate the auspicious year. And just in time for Lunar New Year celebrations, they’ve released a series of unique tiger motif products dedicated to the Zodiac animal. Alongside apparel and accessories, a series of unisex shoes are available for sneakerheads, featuring the track-inspired Serrano adorned in all-over tiger stripes and orange laces; and their iconic Mexico 66 reimagined in tribute to the simple and lightweight Lawnship 3.0 shoe and rendered in playful, digitally printed tiger graphics with sizes for the whole family.

The Year of the Onitsuka Tiger release is available online and in-stores now.



Nike’s ’90s icon, the Air Force 1, steps into its 40th birthday year with a Tiger-inspired celebration of the Lunar New Year. The swoosh gets a yellow and black paint job, while a mini tiger graphic is embroidered on the heel. Elsewhere, accents of bold red, orange, yellow and a hint of turquoise brighten up the model’s classic white-on-white design, with the Chinese character ‘king’ stitched onto the top of the tongue in honour of the Zodiac king of all beasts.

The Nike Air Force 1 Year of the Tiger collection is available online and in-stores now.



With a new year comes new opportunities, and Adidas celebrated these possibilities with an update of their beloved ’70s basketball trainer for the Year of the Tiger. The Superstar comes reimagined with a sleek leather upper accented with a festive pattern on its iconic stripes, with a celebratory sockliner to match (and spread the luck with every step).

The Adidas Superstar New Year’s Classic is available now. 



For the Year of the Tiger, Vans has teamed up with renowned Chinese artist Chen Yingjie (aka Huatunan) to create a festive collaboration that connects the tiger spirit with that of the brand’s ‘Off the Wall’. Drawing from his famous artwork ‘Stay Hungry’, Chen Yingjie combined urban streets with natural elements through splashed ink, oracle bone inscriptions and modern city street signs that adorn classic Van silhouettes.

The Authentic––a 1966 Vans classic––has been reimagined with signature street ink graphics and a transparent striped outsole to present the vivid style of the tiger. Elsewhere, the Sk8-Hi Echo DX brings a reinterpretation of the classic Sk8-Hi sneaker in black suede alongside Chen Yingjie’s signature street ink graphics. Lastly, the Old Skool arrives in two styles––the first pair with a black suede upper that matches Chen’s hand-drawn tiger pattern, while the second features the signature ink accent and a ‘Stay Hungry’ slogan.

The Vans x Huatunan Year of the Tiger collection is available online now. 


On the hunt for more Tiger-inspired collections? Read our round-up of the best luxury capsules here and catch more Chinese New Year stories here

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