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Since 1966, K·Swiss has represented innovation, quality, performance and style. Its signature K·Swiss "Classic," the first leather tennis shoe, made its debut at Wimbledon in 1966, and more than 40 years later, is still a style staple both on and off the court.

 

Today, K·Swiss' premium sports heritage has expanded from tennis footwear, to also lifestyle, running, training, nautical, and free-running footwear that stands up to the performance demands of world-class athletes and trendsetters alike.

K-Swiss was founded by two Swiss brothers, Art and Earnest Brunner, who moved to California in 1966 and promptly started their business venture. The Brunners were both avid skiers and tennis players, and together the two decided to design a shoe that would respond to and support the specific needs of the tennis player. The Brunners focused particularly on cushioning for the soles of the feet, as well as the construction of a firm upper that would not easily give way to the pressure of forceful lateral movement.

 

Calling their shoe "the Classic," the Brunners introduced their design at Wimbledon in 1966 to instant success. The shoe's design was intended for intense use, but its appearance was pointedly austere: three sturdy leather pieces constituted the shoe's upper, which was held in place by five narrow leather strips. The shoe's sole was a thin but strong strip of lightly treaded rubber, which allowed it to be light and relatively frictionless. Outside of a small Swiss flag on the heel of the shoe, K-Swiss's design was entirely white in color, and thus gave the shoe a timeless, preppy appearance.

 

Unlike its competitors, which include the retail giants Nike and Reebok, much of K-Swiss's success is due not to keeping up with constantly changing styles and trends but instead to the company's reliance on a single distinctive design in a type of shoe the company calls 'the Classic.'

 

K-Swiss appeals directly to upscale consumers, and for the first two decades of its existence did not even advertise, preferring instead to gain its reputation through word of mouth. In the past few years, K-Swiss had changed its focus from the exclusive production of tennis shoes to a broader range of performance shoes, including footwear for technical climbing and aerobics