Onitsuka Tiger
Introduces MEXICO 66™ CACTFUL™, the first style to use a material derived from cactus

Color variations that express the bounty of nature, which is difficult to express in real leather


Onitsuka Tiger is pleased to announce the launch of the MEXICO 66™ CACTFUL™ sneaker, a new version of the brand’s signature MEXICO 66™ shoe model using a cactus-derived material more than 20% in the upper for the first time. We have co-developed a new material with DESSERTO (R) engineers that uses Mexican cactus fibers as the raw material for the upper, which features a production process that targets reducing environmental impact and meets the quality and product standards established by Onitsuka Tiger’s intelligent technology and can be deployed on a global scale. While keeping the iconic design elements of the MEXICO 66™, five custom colors are available to enhance the soft texture that is characteristic of this material, which is difficult to express in real leather. Another feature of this cactus-derived material is lightweight, which is utilized in shoe design, as well as containing a proportion of recycled materials in the shoelaces and other parts.

Onitsuka Tiger’s deep ties to Mexico date back to 1966. The “”Mexico Lines”” (now Onitsuka Tiger Stripes) were introduced as Onitsuka Tiger in 1966, and the shoes worn by the Japanese athletes at the 1968 Mexico Games are the roots of today’s MEXICO 66™ model name and design. Onitsuka Tiger has sensed an affinity of common roots – Mexico – and potential as environmental-friendly materials to this plant-based material derived from the Nopal cactus, which is found in large numbers in Mexico, one of the countries that inspired the birth of Onitsuka Tiger’s iconic model, leading to the development and release of this new product.

Developed by Adrian and Marte in Mexico, DESSERTO® does not use phthalates or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which are harmful chemicals, and consumes less water, so it has begun to attract worldwide attention as an environmentally friendly bio-material. It is highly durable and resistant to UV rays, with a supple texture. This time, Onitsuka Tiger has co-developed the cactus-derived material with DESSERTO® tailor-made to meet Onitsuka Tiger’s strict standards which is both environmentally friendly and durable.

Compared to conventional genuine leather, the material used in the MEXICO 66™ CACTFUL™ reduces CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process by approximately 84.8%*. In addition, efforts are being made to use leftover cactus from production for food purposes at the food industry. In addition to the main upper portion of the shoe, other parts such as the sockliner and shoelaces are also made of recycled materials.
*This results are based on early-stage life cycle analysis conducted by DESSERTO on Desserto products following life cycle analysis related ISO guidelines (14040 and 14044) and based on preliminary data and estimates for manufacturing process and materials in the relevant supply chains.

To celebrate the unveiling of this new product, the Embassy of Mexico in Japan supervised the shoe design and concept. The launch event will also be held at the Mexico Embassy on Thursday, October 27th. The MEXICO 66™ CACTFUL™ will be available at Onitsuka Tiger flagship stores in 15 countries worldwide from January 2023. Enjoy the texture and coloring that can only be reproduced from cacti grown in the land of Mexico.

Comment from Ambassador Melba Pria, Mexico Embassy in Japan :
We are honored to have this connection with Onitsuka Tiger through Mexican Cacti. We hope that by producing this new product, we can contribute to distributing the made with cactus material around the world, creating jobs, connecting diplomatic relations, which hopefully will lead to industrial prosperity.


  • ITEM CODE:1183C137

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Desserto® is a highly sustainable plant based material as an alternative to leather made from cactus, often distinguished by its great softness at touch while offering a great performance for a wide variety of applications and complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards. The aim is to offer cruelty free, sustainable alternatives, without any toxic chemicals, phthalates and PVC. The result, Desserto®, the cactus material, is partially biodegradable and has the technical specifications required by the fashion, leather goods, luxury packaging and furniture industries.