Salomon’s Decade of Victory

The Silhouettes that Transformed the French Sports Brand into a Fashion Icon


The current intersection between high fashion and functional gear can be blurry. Outdoor brands are navigating a delicate balance between keeping their original vision intact and catering to a broader audience. One brand has become the undisputed champion of this competitive realm.


Salomon was the fastest-growing sneaker brand on the marketplace last year, experiencing a whopping 2000% trade growth in 2022 over 2021. Since their inception in 1947, the brand has been pushing the envelope. First by revolutionizing ski bindings, and later by developing gear for trail running in 1992 - quickly gaining a dedicated fanbase within the sport. So how did footwear for multi-day runs through dense and often unforgiving wilderness become fashion's latest obsession?


George Egan, the Salomon North America director of Sportstyle explains it this way:


"If you look at Salomon on the traditional outdoor performance wall, we’ve always been a bold and expressive brand compared to traditional brown leather hikers. That’s what fashion is. Fashion is expressing yourself through what you’re wearing.”


In the early 2010's, Salomon’s S/LAB line became the latest “if-you-know-you-know” footwear for tastemakers globally. Designed for extreme long-distance trail running, S/LAB silhouettes were aggressive in their looks, with toothy outsoles and a one-pull lace system. Keen fashion buyers began reaching out to Salomon, and the shoes felt remarkably at home in stores whose shelves weren’t lined with freeze-dried meals and the latest copy of Outside Magazine. Often sold in monochromatic colours, the sneakers were easily assimilated into any tapped-in city-dweller's wardrobe.


Let's take a closer look at the Salomon silhouettes that transformed the brand.


Salomon XT-4 and XT-6


No list would be complete without the iconic XT-4 and XT-6 first introduced through the S/LAB line. Both highly technical, the biomechanical uppers and often extravagant colorways were unlike anything seen in trail running or fashion at the time. Salomon’s patented Agile Chassis System and Contagrip outsole were favored by athletes, forming to the foot and stabilizing descents, but the rugged looks were equally appreciated in select circles of streetwear. Salomon has built on this legacy, releasing pairs in colours paying homage to their initial 2013 releases, as well as new and equally eye-popping shades. Collaborations with high profile designers and retailers worldwide have made the shoe a staple of the modern wardrobe, with the two styles keeping things sleek and comfortable from the trail to the runway.

If you look at Salomon on the traditional outdoor performance wall, we’ve always been a bold and expressive brand.


RX Moc 3.0

Building on the first two versions of their signature recovery shoe, Salomon went back to the drawing board in 2013, reinforcing the heel, changing the upper fabric to mesh, and adding pull tabs at the heel for ease of use. The 3.0 was a hit at release as the mesh allowed for a snug fit that created a sense of compression, something many runners sought after during recovery. The firm counter at the heel made them ideal for casual use, elevating the shoe from an exclusively indoor or 'walk to the mailbox' silhouette to something that could be used daily. Returning in 2022, the RX Moc 3.0 maintains its original appearance but has been brought up to speed with Salomon’s now signature colour choices, using gradients reminiscent of the XT-6. Maintaining all the benefits the shoe was known for when first introduced, the RX Moc 3.0 remains a number one pick for those seeking comfort, whether post-hike or pre-coffee run.



Pulled from the archives, the mid-2000s tech flavour the ACS Pro packs hits all the right spots. Initially designed as an ultra-stabilizing trail runner, the shoe was first known as the GCS Pro, standing for Ground Control System. Built as a shock absorber, the GCS design ensured even weight distribution around the heel, minimizing opportunities for injury. Revered by trail runners at the time, the overbuilt heel and transparent upper helped the shoe maintain a space-age appeal, while updated colorways have modernized the hard-wearing style.


XT-Slate Advanced

Not one to coast on their legacy, Salomon continues to build their range, introducing new technology and developing new styles. The latest from Salomon, the XT-Slate Advanced, was inspired by the jagged rock faces and irregular landscapes of the trails they know so well. The waffled, lightweight mesh upper maintains a sense of brutalism, expertly blending urban, concrete-like structuring, while the midsole’s smooth and curving textures keep the shoe grounded in its nature-leaning roots.