The GRANDPRIX sneaker has been in the GPO Collection from the beginning. In the first ten years, it was relegated more to the background, but in the middle of this decade it started taking off and has become more and more popular with our customers. Some might rememeber when the sole and profile (that looked a bit like a car tire) were made of a soft rubber mix, which made them comparatively soft and grippy like a Pirelli tire. The sneakers were so comfortable that our customers always wore them, resulting in heavy wear of the sole and sides after some months. We had to find a solution to increase their durability without sacrificing their great comfort and grip. It was “hard“ work in the truest sense of the word – wedidn’t want to end up with a sole as hard and as uncomfortable as the run flat tire of a BMW M Series. At some point, after a lot of long tests, we found the right mix and the success story could continue.
In the last decade, and in the last few years, the popularity and the sales of the GPO sneaker have jumped considerably. Now it is available in six different colors. In the 2013 and 2014, Laguna Seca blue was in the pole position and then it was replaced by Monza indigo in 2015 and 2016. In 2013, we lived through an episode when the Italian shoe producer sharply increased the prices and we couldn’t complete orders for a while. The stock was quickly gone and there was a vacuum on the market. Customers were dumbfounded, and needless to say, they were not amused. They had become accustomed to the great fit they felt walking, driving or just hanging out in them, which isn’t easy to find in a fully-leather shoe today. And they always felt appropriately dressed, something you can’t say about a pair polyester shoes from ADIDAS or NIKE.
There was great sigh of relief when GPO offered them again at the Oldtimer Grandprix at the Nuerburgring 2013. On that August weekend, there was a true run-on the shoes, with some customers buying two or three of them in their favorite color or size saying they “never wanted to go without them again!“ That is how legends are born. GPO sneaker has acquired a rather cult following and ha become the icon of the GPO Collection. In 2016, the new RACING SNEAKER line was introduced. It features a chequered flag on the heel and comes in car lover’s favorite color combinations. The “Corsa rosso“ edition, in red with bit of masculine black contrast, is for Italian car lovers. For British classic car fans, there is bottle green with contrasting old lemon like the solors of a Lotus racecar. The shoe with the highest demand, and the one that was quickly sold out, is the blue and orange edition, an obvious homage to the unforgettable Gulf racing cars from the sixties and seventies. In the summer of 2016, we introduced the Lady Racing Sneaker. For years we have heard from the ladies why such a great shoe was only available for the guys. Once in the race, the Gulf Racing Sneaker for the ladies quickly moved to the pole position.
Looking back, in 2016 we had our share of delivery bottlenecks due to the high demand. A lot of customers ended up paying for shoes in advance and had to patiently wait two months for delivery from our online shop. We would like to take the opportunity now to thank them for their trust. Our production in Italy is done by hand by an old Italian family and this means only a limited number of shoes can be produced with the required care and attention to detail. For our customers, this means long waiting times and the occasional bottleneck, but it also means exclusivity – something miles away from the mass production of other shoe brands.
Starting in November 2016, GPO sneakers will be unavailable for a while as we will use the winter months to stock up on enough shoes to be ready for a March 1st season start and delivery date. After then, you will be able to choose from a fully stocked selection of “classico” models and 5 different colored racing sneakers.