K-Swiss launches first ever sneaker designed for professional video game market
Heritage footwear brand K-Swiss has created the first sneaker line designed for use by an esports professional gaming team. The debut gaming sneakers are offered in 2 models, one for performance and one for lifestyle.
"Esports is the new frontier of sports and entertainment, and this is another way for K-Swiss to contribute to culture in a progressive and modern way,” says Barney Waters, K-Swiss’ brand president, in a statement.
The lifestyle model is the first to roll out. It is designed with traditional sport features such as breathable mesh and four way stretch. The shoe is meant to also support pro gamers who frequently travel while on the competition circuit. There will be men's and women's styles.
The performance model is currently still in development. K-Swiss' designers and developers have been studying the unique movements and physical demands of professional gamers at esports partner Immortals LLC's Los Angeles-based training facility.
Immortals CEO Noah Whinston explained the market need for a gamer shoe, likening the industry to more traditional sports. Whinston said, "Like any professional athlete, esports competitors look for any advantage they can use against their opponents."
He added, “By wearing a uniquely designed shoe specifically created for our esports players with their input, they know that they have an immediate advantage -- both physically and psychologically."
Ari Segal, President and COO, Immortals, said that K-Swiss and Immortals plan to launch premium lifestyle and performance apparel in the future for both the pro gamers as well as fans.
The lifestyle shoe will be available to consumers in December, with the performance sneaker slated to hit the market early 2019. Price point for the lifestyle shoe is expected to be $110. The shoe will be sold online through K-Swiss' website as well as at select retail partners.
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