The History Of: Salomon
Born in the French Alps, the birthplace of modern alpinism, Salomon was founded by François Salomon in 1947 with a legacy steeped in tradition and technical innovation. Creators of some of the most advanced trail footwear to date, with a design style centred around celebrating all there is to admire about the great outdoors.
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Born out of a one-room metalworking shop in Annecy, Salomon’s metal ski edge beginnings began after Georges Salomon, son of François, noticed the postwar rise in North American and European tourists passing through Annecy on their way to The Alps. Persuading his father to trade saw blades for ski parts, the brand soon gained international attention, becoming known as the leading ski binding manufacturer by the year 1972. With monumental designs such as the Skade and ‘le Lift’ binding behind them, the late ‘70s and early ‘80s saw the introduction of revolutionary ski apparel, their SNS (Salomon Nordic System) binding technology and boots such as their SX91, designed in collaboration with French skier and designer Roger Pitot and considered as one of the most influential ski boots of all time. As the late ‘80s approached, Salomon delved further into the ski industry, introducing the monocoque technique with their hyper dampening S9000 model.
A Transition to Hiking
Diversification into mountaineering footwear and hiking shoes came naturally to the brand during the ‘90s and ‘00s, just a short time after their ski’s made their debut at the Albertville Olympics in ‘92. Transferring their technical knowledge and passion for alpine innovation into the creation of resilient, tactical and trail orientated footwear, the brand released the iconic Raid Race in 2001 alongside a deviation towards speciality trail running; the first design from the brand’s lightweight XA trail series and known also for being a foundational influence for many successors such as the Raid Wind and the XA Pro 3D.
Despite a transfer in ownership to Adidas and then to Amer Sports in 2005, the brand continued to source their creative design inspiration from their Annecy origins. Their hiking and trail running offering continued to grow, with styles such as the Speedcross, Adventure 7 and ACS Pro also launching during the early ‘00s. With trail technicality and all-terrain function a continued focus of the brand, a strive to deliver the best in performance was, and continues to be maintained through the introduction of technology such as their Quicklace® System, Profeel TPU film overlays and SensiFit™ cradling, with both EnergyCell™ and Vibe technologies providing additional cushioning and on-foot energy return regardless of terrain.
Salomon’s Gorpcore Influence
Recontextualising performance classics through a contemporary lens, Salomon launched its Sportstyle category in 2016. With an aesthetic now synonymous with Gorpcore trends; a term coined by Jason Chen and New York Magazine’s The Cut in 2017, Salomon’s foray into contemporary and streetwear fashion culture continues to build upon the alpine layers of the brand’s foundation. Collaborations began with Paris streetwear store The Broken Arm on a revised Snowcross, as well as with Topo Designs on a leather and Cordura version of the Instinct Pro, with additional performance footwear collaborations soon following from the likes of and wander, Palace Skateboards, Gramicci, Carhartt WIP and experimental designer Boris Bidjan Saberi. Named after the colloquial term for trail mix, Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts, Gorpcore aesthetics ultimately chime into the appeal of off-mountain function, technical insulation and good old all-terrain versatility. Enriched with classic Salomon DNA, the brand’s Sportstyle collection and Advanced Line sub-category continue as a vision of practicality and purpose, as well as being a statement to both modern design and mountain culture.
Designed with city and outdoor lifestyles in mind, Salomon introduce their Sportstyle collection to Flatspot with modified trail favourites including the XT-6, XT-4 OG and Techsonic LTR. Inspired by its early 2000s predecessor, the Salomon ACS Pro is an archetypal technical shoe available in classic colourways of >Vanilla Ice & Lunar Rock and Black with a built-in Kurim envelope construction and exoskeletal caging, whilst the X-6 Mindful 2 remasters the ultra-distance favourite with a sustainable shell made from a mix of recycled PET bottles and TPU chips. In keeping with their continued use of resilient, weather-resistant and anti-abrasive materials, GORE-TEX® collaborations also include the XT-6 GTX and the XT-6 GTX Utility.