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K-Swiss History

K-Swiss history

Like several of the other brands we stock here at Cloggs, K-Swiss trainers are the product of the American Dream. In the 1960s, two brothers from Switzerland, Art and Ernie Brunner, immigrated to the US and began setting out plans for a business.

The sports- mad brothers (both were highly rated skiers) landed upon the idea of tennis shoes after they developed an interest in the sport, and began importing Künzli tennis shoes from their native Switzerland. The shoes were popular with players, thanks largely to the support and flexibility offered by the leather upper (an unusual innovation, as well as the fact that it looked great.

In 1966, with a market for leather tennis shoes clearly established, the brothers began their own production company. They picked the name K-Swiss as a homage to their country of birth, and that year produced the “Classic”. Adapted from the Künzli design, the shoes incorporated five stripes on the side and improved on the Künzli shoes through the introduction of a cushioned sole made from a thin strip of treaded rubber, offering greater on- court comfort and dexterity. They were an instant hit.

As well as making an instant aesthetic impact on the world of sports shoes, the brand’s trainers quickly picked up a reputation for durability and a cool, smart-casual style, with word spreading up and down the West Coast. Demand for the brand was bolstered from Japan, as tourists from the country to the US became enamoured with the Classic - to this day, K-Swiss enjoy a cult status in the Far East.

Unlike their competitors, K-Swiss took a deliberate step to stay above the fray as far as trends went, limiting the number of lines they produce at a time and focussing on timeless designs over gimmicks. The result is a range of trainers that offer simplicity and class like few other brands.

Today, the brand is held in a unique regard by sneaker fans everywhere. With the current trend for minimalist, fashionable trainers, their strategy of focusing on the timeless rather than chasing trends has paid dividends, with their classic lines and sleek, understated designs never looking more at home among contemporary designs and outfits.

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