The rise of Salomon: the go-to hyper-functional sneakers

Ever wondered how Salomon went from a winter sport essential to the choice footwear for high fashion runways and models? Here’s a detailed look at its history and the meteoric rise of Salomon to mainstream popularity.

Some of Salomon's most popular collaborations.GOAT

Having pioneered two groundbreaking technologies that revolutionized ski binding, Salomon is known for their innovation in the world of outdoor sports. Since Salomon has always focused on function over fashion, you might be wondering how it rose to popularity and scored collaborations with some of the biggest brands in the fashion world. Let’s deep dive into the rich history of Salomon and find out how their shoes became so sought-after. 

The history of Salomon

Founded in 1947 in the French Alps, Salomon started out by making ski equipment and only ventured into skiwear and clothing much later; the brand didn’t start producing footwear until 1992, in the form of hiking shoes. Five years later, Salomon was acquired by Adidas, was eventually sold to Amer Sports in 2005, as the German brand was moving away from winter sports gear. 

How Salomon rose to popularity

Salomon’s astronomical rise in popularity can be partly attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. During lockdowns, hiking was an easy way for people to leave the confines of their homes while remaining socially distanced. Salomon, being a dominant name in outdoor gear, quickly gained traction and became an essential footwear for people’s new found love for the outdoors. People got to experience the comfort and functionality of Salomon sneakers and many were persuaded to wear them off the trails as well. 

Another reason for Salomon’s success is the emergence of the gorpcore trend, where people incorporate outdoor gear into daily outfits with streetwear sensibilities. Thanks to Salomon’s hyper-functional design elements and fashion-forward colorways, it has become a favorite among gorpcore enthusiasts. 

Salomon’s entry into fashion 

Fashion icons spotted in Salomon’s sneakers have further boosted the brand’s popularity, with celebs like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner photographed in the XT-4 trail running shoe and others like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber rocking the popular XT-6 silhouette. However, it was Rihanna’s Superbowl performance that tipped the scales. The pop icon wore the MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon Cross Low and immediately, the sale of Salomon sneakers increased by 17%. 

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Salomon sneakers have gained popularity also thanks to their fashion week appearances. Salomon and Sandy Liang collaborated for the fashion label’s Spring/Summer 2021 New York Fashion Week runway show, releasing the XT-6 Expanse ‘Cradle Pink’, which sold out online in both the U.S. and Europe. A collaboration with MM6 Maison Margiela for their Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 runway show cemented its place on high fashion runways.

Salomon’s key collaborations

Just as collaborations with Sandy Liang and Maison Margiela introduced Salomon to high fashion runways, a series of choice releases with legendary New York retailer, Kith, Japanese cult brand, Atmos, and Montreal design studio, JJJJound, have made the footwear brand a streetwear staple. Models like the XT-6 and XT-Wings 2 have become the go-to models for collaborators and designers alike. Scroll for our picks of the best Salomon collaborations you can shop right now. For selling information, check out this Salomon reselling guide.

Model: Sandy Liang x Salomon XT-6 Expanse ‘Cradle Pink’
Price: S$566.41 (US9)
Shop here: GOAT

One of Salomon's collaborations, the Sandy Liang x Salomon XT-6 Expanse ‘Cradle Pink’.GOAT

Model: JJJJound x XT-Wings 2 ‘Lapis Blue’
Price: S$603.13 (US9)
Shop here: GOAT 

One of Salomon's collaborations, the JJJJound x XT-Wings 2 'Lapis Blue'.GOAT

Model: atmos x XT-6 ‘Stars Collide’
Price: S$394.72 (US9)
Shop here: GOAT

One of Salomon's collaborations, the atmos x XT-6 'Stars Collide'.GOAT

Model: Dover Street Market x XT-6 ‘Alloy Magnet’
Price: S$1,126.96 (US9)
Shop here: GOAT

One of Salomon's collaborations, the Dover Street Market x XT-6 'Alloy Magnet'. GOAT

Model: Kith x XT-6 GORE-TEX ‘Quail Moonscape’
Price: S$519.94 (US9)
Shop here: GOAT

One of Salomon's collaborations, the Kith x XT-6 GORE-TEX 'Quail Moonscape'.GOAT

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