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Kalenji is a sporting brand who became known in the free running and parkour communities for their Kalenji Success shoe, which was the shoe of choice among many free runners due to its cheap price and impressive grip.


Kalenji Success

The Kalenji Success running shoe

The Kalenji Success was a shoe which became one of the most commonly worn shoes in the free running community by late 2008. Available from Decathlon for £9.95 and with impressive and durable grip, they spread quickly and became the shoe of preference for many free runners.

On April 10, 2009, Tim Shieff created a Facebook group to announce that Kalenji had stopped production of the Success and replaced it with a newer model with grip that quickly tore up[1]. The situation was dubbed as the Kalenji Crisis, and as word spread among the free running community, the group soon reached over a thousand members[1].

Efforts to bring the shoe back included a photo petition, with several hundred photos sent in[2], and contacting Decathlon or Kalenji directly to complain. The company confirmed that the design had indeed been updated, and the name changed to Kalenji Ekiden 50[3]. It was soon backed up by many people who tried the new model of shoe that the grip tore up much faster than the Success'[4][5].

Scott Bass took the initiative to take the contact with the company further, and successfully got them to agree to produce a limited run of the shoe if there was enough interest[6]. He set up an online data collection form to gather information about the volume of interest[6], and is still trying to create an agreement with them, but is having trouble due to bad organisation on Kalenji's side[7].

In July 2011, a new version of the shoe was announced, dropping the Kalenji branding and simply being labelled the Success. The shoe only features slight changes to the original model, and is set to retail in Decathlon UK stores in December 2011 for £16.99.[8][9]

Kalenji Ekiden

The Kalenji Ekiden 50

The replacement model for the Success was the Ekiden 50[3], which is currently priced at £11.95[10]. The shoe also comes in other, more expensive models[11], however many people in the community agree that none of these match up to the grip of the Success as they all tear up very quickly[4][5]


The New Success

According to Parkour UK, a new line of Kalenjis Success will be produced and sold exclusively in Decathlon UK and they will retail at £16.99. The shoes are programed to launch on December 2011.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kalenji Crisis 2009". Facebook.com
  2. "Photos from Kalenji Crisis 2009". Facebook.com
  3. 3.0 3.1 "3RUN Forums • View topic - Kalenji Crisis!". 3run.co.uk
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Kalenji Ekiden 75 - 3RUN Parkour & Freerunning Forums". forum.3run.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "YouTube - Kalenji crises". Youtube.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Kalenji". 3run.co.uk
  7. "3RUN Forums • View topic - Kalenji Success". 3run.co.uk
  8. "A Success-ful Return . . .". facebook.com. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  9. "Theyre reproducing...". facebook.com. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  10. "Decathlon - sports running shoes KALENJI - Ekiden 50 KALENJI - running on an occasional basis (once a week for up to 30 minutes) on roads and paths.". Decathlon.co.uk
  11. "Kalenji - Ekiden 200 - sports running shoes - Designed for  running on an occasional basis (once or twice a week) for up to 1 hour on roads and paths.". Kalenji-running.com