The goal is the sport, not the product,” Grenet says. “With S/Lab, we have the freedom to develop this type of product because it doesn’t have a real commercial purpose. It’s a pioneer. The S/Lab product is a solution to overcome the borders that come up. It helps athletes realize a dream, and advance their practice."
To be clear, when we speak of “alpine running” we’re talking about way off-trail and out of competition, where runners draw their own route to the top encountering any and every conditions imaginable along the way. From scrambling over rocks or up snowy ridgelines to cutting a path up and down grassy slopes, this is “improvised trail,” says Assistant Product Line Manager Pierre Minary, with his runner’s mentality. “But let’s be clear: just because we don’t have bibs on our backs does not mean the run is not about performance.”
Julie Cornu makes the design office-workshop roundtrip several times each day to control the production of prototypes. The proximity of the workshop speeds up the evolution of the product, gaining time when an idea turns into an object capable of running. "It's valuable to be able to create a shoe overnight…well, almost overnight,” says the Product Manager Engineer in Salomon’s R&D Footwear department.