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Alex Valcko was just a teenager when he saw a fixed-gear bike for the first time. Having grown up in Paris, Alex had discovered skating at a young age and was deep into the culture by the time he traded skateboarding for pedaling. Recognizing many of the parallels between skate and fixed-gear cultures, it wasn’t long before cycling came to the forefront.

Alex’s affair with fixies led him to bike polo, a form of polo popularized by bike messengers in cities around the world. When the aggressive sport began to take its toll on his bike and components, particularly his pedals, Alex started riding TIME ATAC and has been ever since.

Alex believes that you don’t have to compromise if you customize, and that’s the ethos behind his Paris brand, Valcko Studios. At Valcko Studios, Alex has been customizing Vans, Nikes, and even Crocs into full-blown cycling shoes, perfectly fit for shredding with style.

It was this same uncompromising drive to create and innovate that launched the TIME brand back in 1987 and we’ve been changing the way people ride ever since. TIME is proud to present Alex’s story, “Sole of Paris: Valcko Studios.”

Alex Valcko working on a custom Vans sneaker in his studio.
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Alex Valcko with a completed shoe next to a pile of shoes in process.
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