Skip to content


12 resultsPage 1 of 1

K-Swiss Sneakers

K-Swiss is an American company founded by Swiss brothers Art and Ernie Brunner in 1966. The name ‘K-Swiss’ comes from the word Kalifornia, a slang name for California in the 60s, and the brother’s own nationality.

Unable to find a pair of tennis shoes to play in that fit their specifications, they realised there was a gap in the market and set out to make their own comfy, stylish, and durable tennis sneakers. They then created an all-leather, all-white tennis shoe they called the Classic, constructed from three sturdy pieces of leather on the upper that were held in place by five narrow leather strips, a D-ring lacing system, and a sole made from a thin but strong piece of lightly treaded rubber. The inspiration behind the design came from the upper, bindings and five D-ring lacing system of a ski boot. These features made a boot perform better for the lateral movement of skiing, which is exactly the support that tennis players need, leading K-Swiss to quickly becoming a staple on the court.

Relying on the single distinctive design of the Classic for over two decades, it wasn’t until 1986 that another model was introduced, the ‘Gstaad’, which was named after a small town in the Swiss Alps. In the same year, Steve Nichols headed a group of investors that purchased the K-Swiss brand for $20m, becoming the company’s CEO and the driving force behind much of the brand’s success in the late eighties and nineties.

In 1989, the brand also releases the SL-18 International model, which was the first K-Swiss sneaker to use their unique (and now patented) D-R Cinch lacing system.

K-Swiss didn’t enter production of sneakers for other sports until the 1990s. In 1993, they introduced three models made specifically for basketball, and in 1994 they produced twelve new designs intended for hiking or walking. Five styles followed for hardcore climbing. In 2008, the Ariake model was debuted for parkour.

It also started making apparel, and in 1991 began cultivating a customer base in Europe, partnering with C&J Clarks to distribute K-Swiss shoes to department stores there.

In 1998 the company revamped its image by launching a $17m ad campaign called “Club K-Swiss”, utilising professional athletes as spokespersons, and producing commercials with hip-hop music and flashy images of sports events interspersed with K-Swiss products. It worked, and sales soared. Anna Kournikova became a spokesperson in 2007, appealing to the female audience.

In 2000, the Classic LX was introduced as a reinterpreted design based off the original Classic model, with a thicker sole and redefined silhouette, keeping the authentic style but giving it a modern update.

The company updated its brand identity in 2014, inspired by its heritage and beginnings in tennis. After releasing a number of signature shoes for entrepreneur Gary Vee in 2017, K-Swiss has now found an identity in being the sneaker of choice for young business men and women and other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Do K-Swiss Sneakers fit true to size?

Generally, K-Swiss sneakers do fit true to size.