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K-Swiss Free Running Sneaks: Fashion Meets Function

If you’re never heard of parkour or free running, you’ve probably at least seen it before. (Remember that intense wall-scaling, rooftop-hopping chase through the Marrakesh markets in the James Bond flick Casino Royale?) What was once an underground physical activity has clearly made it to the mainstream, confirmed by the launch of K-Swiss’ new line of sneakers especially made for this urban gymnast’s sport. (The stuntman behind the Bond chase scene, by the way, is Sébastian Foucan, K-Swiss’ official spokesperson for the line.)



I dropped by the USF campus yesterday where the brand was promoting its new men’s and women’s free running shoes with a seven-city college tour featuring DC-based troupe The Tribe. The performers were all, of course, wearing the flashy new kicks, which look like a colorful hip hop-inspired twist on the all-white preppy K-Swiss classics we grew up with. For such free-running enthusiasts as Skipper Hughes, a 21-year-old member of The Tribe, it’s the perfect shoe to wear for strolling around town—and should the mood inspire him—hand springing over a concrete obstacle or two. “We all used to do this with just regular running shoes,” says Hughes, a recent graduate of American University. “But this shoe has the right amount of grip and slide for making contact with walls and then dropping from different heights to the ground.”