The story of WINQS is more than just a corporate tale. It is a story of friendship, passion for sports, and determination to change the landscape of the sporting goods industry. Jan and Marek, once bitter rivals on the field, joined forces to found WINQS, a brand that combines performance and sustainability.
Through their efforts, WINQS has become a major player in the industry, receiving recognition and support from top partners.
A connection that changed everything:
Better together than against each other
Jan recalls their first meeting with Marek. As youngsters, both had grown up in Prague, with sports playing a central role in their lives. Marek was an aspiring decathlete, while Jan tried his hand at various team sports. However, fate brought them together in the world of floorball, an exciting discipline of field hockey.
After following separate paths of study, they came together in the Bundesliga in Germany and became teammates. It was the beginning of a friendship that would change the course of their lives.
An idea that took shape.
After completing his studies and working for a Swedish sports brand, Jan had the idea of creating a brand that combined performance and sustainability. The sporting goods industry was struggling to adapt to greater sustainability, but many big brands seemed to be reluctant to make significant changes.
Jan felt called to build a brand that would change the rules of the game, putting environmental responsibility at the center without compromising performance. Marek was initially skeptical, but Jan was not deterred and decided to quit his job to devote himself fully to this vision.
The birth of WINQS:
Although the pandemic had paralyzed the world, Jan’s idea took shape. Prestigious partners such as Michelin and Lenzing believed in the project and joined WINQS. Step by step, the brand came to life and in 2020 WINQS became a reality; Jan and Marek realized that they were destined to achieve something extraordinary together.
”We want to serve customers that understand that the way the sporting goods industry has been working so far is a dead end. We also know that no athlete will compromise on essential features of their products – with shoes it’s weight, cushioning or grip.
Therefore we tweaked and twisted every detail to deliver a performance running shoe with the least possible environmental impact.”
The GeckoGrip outsole: the key to the success of WINQS shoes
The secret to the success of WINQS’ hybrid running shoes lies in the GeckoGrip outsole; this innovative technology offers superior traction on all types of surfaces.
With its ability to grip reliably on urban roads and rough terrain, the GeckoGrip outsole allows runners to push their performance to the max without worrying about grip loss. This distinctive feature makes WINQS shoes the ideal choice for runners seeking a balance between speed, comfort and safety.
Speaking of Awards…
Berlin-based start-up WINQS received the prestigious ISPO Award 2022 just a few months after its launch. The award was granted to their innovative Zerofly™ running shoe, which impressed the jury with its excellence and innovation in the sports industry. It is the first running shoe to be made with biobased and recycled materials.
Jan considers the award to be an important testament to the work done so far, demonstrating that the WINQS brand is leading sustainable change and offering high-performance products for ambitious athletes. He also expresses gratitude towards the partners and suppliers who contributed to the project’s development during a challenging period with patience and innovation.
Marek sees the award as a significant signal to the business sector, as their goal is not only to create a niche for environmentally conscious sports brands but to change the entire industry.
During the world’s largest sports trade fair, ISPO in Munich, WINQS was bestowed with the prestigious title of Sports Startup of the Year 2022. This esteemed recognition is part of the annual competition organized by SAZsport, the foremost medium in the German sports industry.
WINQS is more than a sports brand; it is the result of a friendship that has defied obstacles, embraced sustainability, and sought to make a difference in the sporting goods industry.
The founders have proven that with passion, commitment, and the help of trusted partners, it is possible to create a brand that combines exceptional performance and environmental responsibility. WINQS continues to grow and earn accolades, making its mark in the sports world and beyond.
The strength of friendship, Jan’s determination and Marek’s willingness to embrace change led them to join forces once more.
Marek said. The rest is history.
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