Feiyue

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Industry Footwear
Headquarters China, Shanghai; France, Paris
Products Shoes
Website feiyue-shoes.com
A pair of the original FeiYue Shoes.
A pair of the original FeiYue Shoes.

Feiyue is a sneaker brand originally produced in Shanghai, China, in the 1920s. Today, they are still produced in China. Since 2006, Feiyue is also a French owned company, separate from the original Chinese company.

What the brand name means[edit]

Feiyue (simplified Chinese: 飞跃; traditional Chinese: 飛躍; pinyin: fēi yuè), means ‘to fly over’ or ‘to traverse’. This meaning is reflected in the slogan of the brand: Flying Forward, and evokes a dual elevation, which can also be translated simply as ‘elevation of body and mind’.

History of Feiyue[edit]

Feiyue (pronounced « Feî-ué ») originated in Shanghai in the 1920s and are manufactured by a company called DaFu (大孚). They became famous during the 30's for their robustness, flexibility and comfort which were considered essential requirements for martial arts and various forms of athletics. The shoes are a staple for almost all wushu practitioners and athletes in China with the shoes even being used by numerous shaolin monks and kung fu masters. Feiyue continued to be popular for numerous decades with hundreds of thousands of shoes manufactured by the original factory over the course of its lifetime continuing to the present day. The shoes are a popular export with numerous foreign martial arts clubs and schools importing them as the standard shoes for their students. According to Chinese tradition, Feiyue symbolizes the dual elevation of both body and mind. With the opening up of China and the associated cultural and economic changes, this sneaker was gradually forgotten and began to lose prominence in China.

In 2005, Patrice Bastian, an entrepreneur living in Shanghai decided to team up with a group of artists to recreate the brandname with the intention of improving the image and appearance of Feiyue. Nicolas Seguy and Clement Fauth were part of his team to redesign Feiyue for the contemporary Western consumer. In February 2006, they launched the first French-designed Feiyue collection.

Distinctions between the Chinese and French versions[edit]

Both the original Chinese versions of the Feiyue shoes and re-designed French versions have a number of differences. The differences include:

1. Sole of the Shoe
The sole of the Chinese Feiyue shoe contains reduced padding on the bottom of the shoe, which is considered desirable for running and jumping. The sole of the French version has richer padding on the bottom and is designed for more general purpose use.

2. Canvas Material of the Shoe
The canvas material of Chinese Feiyue shoe is thin resulting in a large range of ankle flexibility. The martial arts application requires a wide range of foot motion. The canvas material of the French version is much thicker.

3. Color of the Shoe
The Chinese Feiyues originally came in only two colors, black and white and also come in HI and LO version of each. And it is also lack of styles, only with simple stripes with some different colors. Now Feiyue China has expanded its range to a range of colors and styles

Overall the Chinese Feiyues are designed as Martial Arts shoes and the French Feiyues are meant to be casual shoes.

Feiyue Shoes in popular culture[edit]

Feiyue shoes currently enjoy cult status as both a fashion item and as a shoe for martial artists. Feiyue shoes had returned into the spotlight after actor Orlando Bloom had been spotted wearing the shoes causing a resurgence in interest for the brand. The shoes were also worn by a number of performers during the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games showing that they are still in common use in China

Chinese Feiyue shoes being worn by performers during the 2008 Olympic Games in China.
Feiyue shoes being worn by performers during the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

The shoes can also be seen in the music video for Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks."

Chronology[edit]

In the 1920s, A cloth shoe is manufactured in China, this was to later evolve into Feiyue years later.

In 1958, Da Fu Rubber Company designed and produced a kind of civil Jiefang shoe known as "FEIYUE". These were a modification of the cloth shoes used by the Shaolin monks.

In 1959, the modified cloth-bound rubber shoes "FEIYUE Shoes" officially entered the market.

In 1963, using FEIYUE and double arrow-labeled chevron with of "FEIYUE track and field", "FEIYUE" became the best-selling shoes in China with an output of 1,616,000 pairs, which is also prevailing in the market today.

In 1963, 1977, and 1985, the classic rubber shoes successively received Shanghai-level and the national-level awards of footwear in China. Nationally famous indoor football coache Xu Genbao and player Qi Hong participated in contests wearing "FEIYUE track and field" shoes.

In the 1980s, "FEIYUE" sports shoes was awarded as "Shanghai's top brand-name products" several times.

In 2005, a French company started producing its own unlicensed version of Feiyue. An attempt by the French company to expand sales to China was refused by the Chinese government on intellectual property grounds.

In 2009, the Dafu rubber company reorganized and sold the rights to make Feiyue to the Shuang Qian Group Co. Ltd which then leased manufacturing back to Dafu, and another manufacturer Top One, both traditional producers of Feiyue shoes.

Today, the shoes are used in China for general lifestyle and leisure, training, running, especially for martial arts and military training, and by touring Shaolin monks around the world.

They are also popular worldwide amongst practitioners of parkour for their light weight, thin sole, and flexibility.

References[edit]

External links[edit]