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Our Story

FOUNDED IN CALIFORNIA IN 1966




EXPLORE OUR TIMELINE

1966

 

Using functional design concepts from ski boots, the K-Swiss founders focus on supporting the lateral movement of tennis, building the K-Swiss Classic.

 

The K-Swiss Classic makes its debut at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

 

1970's

 

The style and function of the iconic K-Swiss Classic makes it a staple on tennis courts, and in country clubs, around the world.

 

1986

 

20 years after the company's founding, K-Swiss debuts its second ever style, The Gstaad.

 

1986

 

K-Swiss is purchased by Steven Nichols, who sees potential in the 'country club' footwear brand

 

1990

 

K-Swiss goes public, and launches a high top version of the beloved Classic.

 

1990

 

K-Swiss is named "Company of the Year" by Footwear News magazine.

 

1991

 

K-Swiss opens distribution in the UK and Europe for the first time.

 

1992

 

K-Swiss was granted the patent to the D-R Cinch lacing system, a multi-ring design which gave the wearer more support during lateral movement.

 

1993

 

The K-Swiss Si-18 International tennis shoe is honored as the "Shoe of the Year" by Footwear News magazine.

 

1993

 

K-Swiss enters the fast growing aerobics market and premieres a line of basketball shoes, worn by NBA athletes.

 

1994

 

K-Swiss premieres footwear styles for the walking and hiking market, expanding its reach to different types of athletes.

 

1996

 

K-Swiss celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Classic.

 

1997

 

Rapper Ice-T appears on The Arsenio Hall Show wearing the North Classic.

 

1998

 

K-Swiss launched a $17M ad campaign called 'Club K-Swiss' as sales soared, prompting Footwear News to say that K-Swiss 'epitomized the little athletic footwear company that could.'

 

1998

 

The Altezo becomes a huge hit, selling more than 1 million pairs.

 

2000

 

Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the French Open in Men's Doubles wearing K-Swiss.

 

The Classic got its first makeover with the Classic LX, offering a thicker sole and a more refined silhouette.

 

2002

 

K-Swiss ranked #10 on Forbes list of 200 Best Small Companies.

 

 

The 'I wear my K-Swiss' ad campaign takes over TV's in the US market, with a memorable tagline and young people wearing the Classic.

 

The K-Swiss ST329, with it's chunky profile, becomes a hit, driven by the baggy style of fashion of the early 2000's.

 

2005

 

K-Swiss global sales pass $500 million.

 

2007

 

K-Swiss announces Anna Kournikova, tennis star, as the new spokesperson for the brand.

 

2008

 

Designed for the dynamic sport of Parkour, or street running, K-Swiss debuts the Ariake.

 

2009

 

K-Swiss makes a push into the technical running category, gaining Best New Shoe and Best Debut honors in Running Network and Runners World magazines.

 

K-Swiss announces a long-term, official partnership with World Triathlon Corporation, owners of the Ironman brand.

 

2010

 

The Blade Light Run is named Best New Shoe by Running Network.

 

K-Swiss introduces Tubes, a dynamic cushioning concept using tubular structures to cushion the foot.

 

America's Toughest Trainer, Jillian Michaels, host of The Biggest Loser, stars in a campaign to promote the benefits of Tubes.

 

 

Fictional TV character Kenny Powers of HBO comedy Eastbound & Down creates a viral ad campaign for K-Swiss, one of the most talked about campaigns of the year.

 

2011

 

K-Swiss partners with American menswear designer Billy Reid to create a collaborative line of premium dress sneakers.

 

2012

 

The Bryan Brothers win the Olympic gold medal wearing K-Swiss, while holding all four Majors in mens' tennis doubles.

 

2013

 

K-Swiss is sold in 80 countries across 5 continents.

 

2014

 

Under new ownership by Eland World of South Korea, K-Swiss begins a turnaround plan

 

2015

 

K-Swiss selects DJ and music producer Diplo to lead 'The Board', a team of 100 young entrepreneurs making real decisions on K-Swiss' business.

 

2016

 

K-Swiss collaborates with AAPE by A Bathing Ape, for a special and limited Made In Japan version of it's Classic 66.

 

K-Swiss celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company, launching the 50 Love campaign.

 

2017

 

K-Swiss launches the Generation-K Campaign, positioning young entrepreneurs as the new heroes of youth culture, with the Gen-K Icon as the hero shoe.

 

Partnering with famed entrepreneur Gary Vee, K-Swiss debuts the world's first signature sneaker for an entrepreneur, the Gary Vee 001.

 

2018

 

To celebrate Gary Vee's 5th New York Times best-selling book, Crushing It, K-Swiss creates a special version of the Gary Vee 001 which sells out in minutes.

 

 

K-Swiss returns to global growth and profitability, setting the stage for the next chapter in the brand's storied history.