Salomon History Case Study

Salomon was founded in 1947 in France. It began in a lakeside Alpine town of canals and peach-colored palaces. Additionally, Salomon was built around function rather than function. However, it was a hard-wearing sneaker that became a favorite around trail runners. These sneakers have been worn by Rihanna and West and are a popular choice for streetwear blogs. Salomon has appeared in Hypebeast and Highsnobiety and collaborated with brands like Palace Skateboards and Wander. We’ll explore Salomon history in detail in this article; let’s begin.

Salomon History – The Beginning

Salomon history revolves around innovation, engineering, and smart changes. The company’s story went way before the second world war when Francois Salomon started making saw blades in a little home workshop. After the war, most tourists began to revisit the mountains to start skiing. When this happened, Francois saw an opportunity to improve his skill to ski edges that helped skis turn sharply. However, Francois’s son Georges took the business forward. 

Georges studied engineering in night school, and the first idea he had was to build a machine that could manufacture the edges. This allowed his father to focus on creating ski equipment instead. Georges was able to create two innovative ideas in the fifties. This was a time when skiers still used fixed leather straps as binging. Most times, this would result in broken bones because legs got twisted with jammed skis. The first idea he had was a releasable skade bind. This attaches to the toe-end of a boot.

On the other hand, he created a system known as Le Lift. This system allowed the binding to release on heavy impact. This innovation was advertised as ‘your guardian angel’ because it helped eliminate a common pain point. To date, most ski bindings today utilize the same design. 

Because of these innovations, Salomon because the top binding brand in 1972. The brand made over a million of them each year, selling at an impressive speed. Solomon began to branch into ski boots in 1979 and started with the forward-flexing SX91. In 1984, this boot was called the most influential ski boot. 

Salomon History – The Acquisition

That’s not where the company stopped; Salomon also branched into making Alpine hiking shoes, skis, and snowboards. On the other hand, Georges was obsessed with innovations, which led him to acquire US golf manufacturer Taylormade. This company’s founder Gary Adam created the world’s first metal driver. Adidas acquired Salomon in 1997, then sold the company to Amer Sport, a Chinese sportswear giant, in 2005. At a time, Adidas was shifting its focus away from ski equipment and clothing. 

Salomon was mostly known for their skiing shoes at this time. Top trail-running champions like Killian Jornet Burgada wore Salomon shoes. Kilian’s fastest-ever ascent of mountains like Mont Blanc, Everest, and Matterhorn brought the sport into popularity. Killian wearing Salomon shoes also brought the company into the limelight. Over a million pairs of the Speedcross shoes he wore during his ascent sell out yearly. 

Salomon History – Moving into Fashion

Salomon and the world of fashion didn’t collide till 2015. Its shoes featured bright neon colorways, providing high visibility for extreme runs and hikes. However, the brand’s journey into the limelight began when a customer walked into a top Paris streetwear store called The Broken Arm and asked for a pair of Salomon Snow Cross Boots. The shoes looked like aqua socks ideal for trail running in the snow rather than walking down the street. However, this led to The Broken Arm and Salomon forming a collaboration. Although the new shoe would use the same core designs as the Snow Cross, it would feature a new outer sole and a distinct colorway that included grey, tangerine, and green.

This marked a game-changing moment for the brand and what made it better was that it was all very organic. The Broken Arm wasn’t just buying into the brand’s heritage; it was also exploring the technical aspects of the shoe. Soon after, many collaborations followed up, starting with the German menswear designer Boris Bidjan Saberi. He is famous for his use of technical materials. In early 2016, he redesigned the iconic Speedcross 3 trail-running shoes making them all-black and all-white instead of using a colorway. Following this was a growing demand for lifestyle-focused shoes. Therefore, Jean Philippe Lalonde joined the movement. He decided to start a Sports-Style division at Solomon. His goal was to combine street style and performance. This division started with just three employees and a black slate.

Salomon History – Growth

The program created by Jean-Philippe maintained the core shoe design. However, some upgrades included were bold colorways and design features. The team has grown from three employees to twelve. However, it remains just a fraction of the company’s product range. It covers producing gear for snowboarding, running, skiing, and hiking. Despite being small, it is the fastest-growing part of the business. Salomon continued to grow over the years, and in 2018, it got a showroom at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. This felt like a coronation for the brand; today, it is entirely a part of the fashion world. New collaborations are coming up for the brand, including an adaptation of the low-profile RX Slide 3.0 recovery sneakers into a Mary Jane Mule. This adaptation is for Commes des Garcons, whose founder had always been a fan of Salomon. 

Salomon’s Best Technological Developments

Throughout Salomon history, the company has created impressive technical products within its clothing and equipment line. While the equipment became stronger, the clothing now offered an excellent fit. In addition, the company consistently listens to customers to improve its product’s usability. Below are some of the top options we found in the brand; let’s look.

Women’s Salomon Icon 2 Custom Air Helmet

This is the latest version of the air helmet. It is lightweight because it now features a flyweight shell bonded to a high-performance EPS 4D technology liner. The technology in the liner acts as a shock absorber to effectively protect the wearer’s head. Ear pads are removable and washable along with the liner. The custom air also comes with a different fine-tuning adjustment system. The idea is to ensure the helmet is comfortable and safe by pumping and releasing air as the wearer wants.

Salomon Women’s Sense Goggles

Throughout Salomon history, there’s always an improvement in the goggles to ensure it offers exceptional fit and vision. This technological development comes with a multilayer lens technology that provides Google with an iridium appearance but also offers a wide range in different light conditions. It also provides sharper vision and glare reduction. A skier’s blind spot is quite different from a snowboarder because of the body position you take when you’re traveling down the mountain. So you need to consider this when you’re in the mountain.

Salomon Men’s Ice-Rocket Snow Jacket

The company pays special attention to the ice-rocket jacket. It comes with Advanced Skin Dry 4-way stretch fabric allows for unlimited movement. This is crucial for adjusting ski boots between runs; it also offers a MotionFit technology that allows the jacket stays in place. The jacket also offers breathability and waterproof features that ensure excellent weather production even after a long day of riding in wet conditions.

Men’s Salomon X Max 100 Ski Boot

This boot is for advanced and expert-level skiers and offers excellent features and adjustments. The X Max 100 Ski Boot has a high flex level rating of 100. It is for experienced skiers looking for a stiff boot to effectively support them, unlike less powerful skiers looking for a softer boot to flex appropriately. It is quite gentle on foot due to the Twin frame technology. This technology features the use of high-density plastic on the frame of the boot. This extends to the upper shell and offers a more accommodating softer plastic on the instep.

Lessons to Learn from the Salomon Brand

Salomon history shows the brand’s move from a trial run to a catwalk. There are some crucial lessons you can learn from the brand’s transition into fashion; below are some key lessons to note.

Focus on Trend Timing

Salomon has always been at the forefront of techwear trends. This includes brands like On, Marmot, and Hoka One One. However, there’s been an increasing interest in technical and functional sneakers. In addition, the pandemic increased people’s desire to be outside, so the demand for functional products increased. That’s where Salomon shines the brightest; its product does what people expect it to.

Be Authentic

Although there’s a need to time trends, you shouldn’t just follow them. One of the main appeals of Salomon is the brand’s authenticity. The brand makes the sneakers with a commitment to performance. The brand bases most of its collaborations with other brands on previous designs from the brand. Salomon’s goal is never to stray far from the brand’s core, which involves product technology. People are always looking for functional designs that offer safety and comfortability, and that’s where Salomon Brand comes in. 

Collaborate Smartly

When you want to collaborate, you must ensure it is in your best interest. Throughout Salomon history, the brand only collaborates with other brands when it feels organic. This doesn’t mean the band is playing it safe, as is apparent in its collaboration with Palace Skateboards. This brand’s audient is more street-focused and younger, while Salomon’s audience is older and outdoorsy. However, with this collaboration, Salomon could build its customer base. The brand also collaborated with Wander, which encouraged the brand’s designer to utilize reflective surfaces. 

Continue Building

It is crucial to continue building on the brand. Salomon teams are always working on design problems to upgrade the brand. The brand is continually prototyping various designs like trail-running vests, Nordic ski poles, and many more. The brand’s goal is to be innovative in street-style space work. 

Final Thoughts

For over seven decades, Salomon has been the leader in technical and innovative products in the snow sports industry. The brand began in France and is now available in international markets worldwide. The company also has a wider product range with equipment for both skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Salomon history shows that it is a brand you can trust to offer you quality, functionality, and comfort. 

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Salomon History Case Study Not many people expected Salomon to be famous. However, it is one of the popular footwear companies; read about Salomon history here.
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