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1927 Company founder Werner Künzli opens his first workshop in Trimbach near Olten. He specializes in the production of ski boots. Success leads to further developments and the production of specific footwear in the fields of football, ice skating, handball and bicycle racing. Nevertheless, the economic crisis of 1938 drives the company into bankruptcy. Werner Künzli is not discouraged, however, and founds a new company in Brugg. Together with a dozen employees, he now manufactures ice skates and ice hockey boots.

1955 son Kurt Künzli joins the company as a certified shoe technician and 1956 The new factory building in Windisch is occupied. It still serves as the company headquarters and production site today.

1959 Künzli registered the sports shoe lacing as a patent. This involved five perlon stripes integrated into the ring lacing from the sole, giving the foot special support. This patent lacing with the eye-catching 5 Künzli stripes quickly became the trademark of all Künzli sports shoes. The patent was registered in other countries and the shoes were exported to Europe, the USA and Asia. Now Künzli sports shoes are omnipresent: the national soccer team and many top clubs kick in them, tennis models are on the courts, ice skates are just as much part of the range as cycling, athletics, jogging, curling or parachute target jumping shoes.

In the USA, Künzli initially sells the products through several distribution partners. Particularly in demand is the 'Game' model, the first leather tennis shoe - previously only canvas was known. 1966 one of the partners, the Swiss-born Brunner brothers, founds his own company Brunner Ltd. with the aim of marketing sports shoes with 5-patent lacing. In 1972, the import company is renamed K-Swiss - from Künzli Swiss. Soon K-Swiss itself, with the help of Künzli, produces shoes with 5-patent lacing. Export of Künzli shoes to the USA is phased out. Künzli's US patent is disregarded from the beginning - but without opposition. In 1987, the founders of K-Swiss sell their company to a US investor group, which later provides the CEO.

1968 Werner Künzli retires and Kurt Künzli follows in his father's footsteps. The son devotes himself to the development of lightweight sports shoes with special refinements. Various inventions make Kurt Künzli a pioneer of the modern, joint-saving sports shoe: the aforementioned patent lacing, the sandwich sole with supporting heel section and impact-absorbing air cushioning, as well as the principle of two lateral, vertical stabilizers (Midsize Protect) to prevent the ankle from being overrun.

As early as the 1970s, low-cost competition from Asia challenged the company's innovative spirit. The sports shoes come under pressure. In constant contact with doctors, chiropractors and athletes, Kurt Künzli improves the Midsize-Protect system into today's Ortho® system. This is how the Ortho® stable shoe was invented, an innovative medical aid that is now indispensable in the treatment of ankle and ligament injuries. In the years that followed, Kurt Künzli continuously refined the orthopedic product line and finally developed the Ortho Rehab rehabilitation model. With revolutionary content - because instead of a long healing process with a plaster cast, the shoe enables the patient to walk again without pain within a few days.
In 1996, an unexpected illness takes the then 65-year-old Künzli out of life. The succession is settled with Andreas Peter. Peter, who has been with the company since 1988, takes over the company through a management buyout.

2004 there is another change of ownership. Barbara Artmann becomes the first woman to head the company. Under her aegis, the Swiss Olympic Team in Athens is competing on Künzli special creations. The new All'Tag range combines sports shoe tradition with the sneaker trend. Fashionable, sporty leisure shoes are created - exclusive pieces with Swiss esprit and the typical five Künzli stripes. The core competencies in the orthopedics area are also revitalized: With the Ortho Nacht stabilizing bandage, there is now Künzli stability protection around the clock.

2005 Ortho Donna and Ortho Junior are launched on the market. The Open Light model helps patients into shoes where no one else fits. The Protect prophylaxis shoe program is positioned and supplemented with new models and designs. The foreign neighbors take notice. The Ortho range in particular is gaining recognition, but the All'Tag sneakers are also being presented internationally by informed boutiques.

2006 Künzli is once again supplying the Swiss Olympic Team with sneakers, this time for the Winter Olympics in Turin. The Oly Ice model inspires athletes and officials and goes on sale for the first time in its original version.

K-Swiss, which once emerged from Künzli, now wants to dispute Künzli's invention of the five stripes. Künzli fights back, and K-Swiss unceremoniously terminates the distribution of K-Swiss shoes in Switzerland, which had been carried out by Künzli until then. The US company also takes Künzli's All'Tag customers in Germany to court. Künzli takes over and wins the case. From then on, Künzli concentrates on the production and marketing of Swiss-made shoes for special requirements.

2007 Künzli launches the Ortho-Sandal, a novelty that is not only used on hot days. All'Tag complements the winter shoe and sneaker range. The Swiss customer base grows, exports to Germany are restarted.

For the 2008 European Football Championship, Künzli surprises the public with models in football style. The shoe made of red buffalo leather is particularly well received. The fiery Draco helveticus sneakers with the embroidered dragon for the Swiss Olympic Team also attract the attention of non-football fans. In the Ortho® segment, the Ortho®Swiss adds color to the range and technical innovations demonstrate Künzli's many years of expertise in stable shoes. The Golf Protect is launched. Its safety convinces the players, its design the fashion customers.

Künzli makes himself 2009 with the All'Tag line to Germany and is very well received both at the PREMIUM trade fair in Berlin and at GDS in Düsseldorf.
The Ortho line will also be presented at the major orthopedic congress in Berlin.

For Vancouver 2010, Künzli is this time the official supplier for the Swiss Olympic Team. The models are also available for fans in specialized shops.
Revised with the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Biomechanics) and top medical experts, Ortho Rehab Total has been received with great interest by customers.
The All'Tag line comes with successful new cuts, sneakers in derby cut and bottines for winter.

Lightweight women's casual sneakers arrive in stores for summer 2010 and, as a special highlight, the edel.grün series: models committed to sustainability, made from Swiss raw materials and tanned and dyed with natural and vegetable substances. With the launch of the new CI, the casual shoes All'Tag category is renamed Classic.

2011 Künzli loses the main action filed by K-Swiss and has to take back shoes from German stores.
A footwear relaunch of the Ortho® line brings more beautiful footwear with greater stability for the foot in no less than seven renewed models.

March 2012 After 7 years of legal disputes, Künzli lands the coup: 5 "squares" instead of 5 stripes as the new trademark. Künzli thus frees itself from all trademark disputes in one fell swoop - and yet remains completely Künzli. The Künzli Classic Collection Fall|Winter 2012|13 bears the new trademark 5 Squares for the first time.

July 2013 the 3 product lines of Künzli get their own logo with the "first name" of the line and Künzli as family name. Künzli offers 2 medical lines: Künzli Ortho, the ankle shoes for rehabilitation of ankle injuries and Künzli Protect, the smart Swiss shoes against twisting an ankle. Aimed at fashion is Künzli Classic - the classy Swiss sneakers.

November 2013 The relaunch of the Ortho Standard marks the beginning of the conversion of the Künzli Ortho line to an innovative 3-part lacing system for improved hold on the forefoot, limitation of talus advancement and all-round comfortable fit. Subsequently, further models are equipped with the radiologically tested lacing system.

2014 September Künzli opens its own web store. Fine sneakers from Künzli Classic and smart shoes from Künzli Protect, as well as some Künzli Ortho work shoes, are now available over the Internet. The new service and sales channel is quickly very well received. Soon stationary retailers will be able to use the webshop as a stock check and for orders outside opening hours.

2014 in November the Protect line gets a new modern design. The protection against buckling - mechanical and muscle-activating - can now be seen in the shoe, the system shines in technical silver.

2016 December The new style from Künzli is called K style. With the new name and logo for the sneaker line comes a bundle of innovations: a new authentic design gives the noble sneakers an unmistakable Künzli signature.
And, Künzli pushes the collection rhythm with new seasonal items every two months.

2017 December With the Ortho Rehab Absolut, Künzli is expanding its range for the treatment of Achilles tendon injuries. The knee-high shoe for the injured side is combined with a deep compensating shoe. Innovative relief and protection technologies ensure an optimal healing process.

2018 April/July Künzli bundles production in the modern plant in Albania - and invests in the future of the company. Changing customer requirements, accelerated technology in product and sales, and intensified price pressure now require an adjustment of processes. The Albanian subsidiary Künzli factory Sh.p.k. is reuniting the sewing and shoe assembly operations that have been outsourced for 25 years. Künzli thus has the entire chain of development and production back in its own hands.

 

 

 

Hauserstrasse 47
CH-5210 Windisch
Switzerland

Customer service

Monday till Friday
8.00 - 12.00 / 13.00 - 17.00
+41 56 200 85 00
info@kuenzli-schuhe.ch

Factory store opening hours

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Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
closed
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14:00 - 18:30
14:00 - 18:30
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