Obstacle Mud Runner - issue 12

01732 452404 ForEliteAtheletes toFunRunners 19 FOOTWEAR : REVIEW consumers and even designers from the fashion world. Today, Speedcross shows up on Fashion Week runways in Paris, Milan and beyond. In fact, Salomon footwear has been approached by some of the most popular designers in fashion to collaborate on elaborate Speedcross designs. “Previously, we had colours that were designed for a core sports audience and those colours would find their way into lifestyle and everyday life,” Besnard says. “But the flow is now in the opposite direction – from the person watching the sport to the person doing it. The core is so core now that it doesn’t inspire the culture. In fact, if you look at trail running today, we see all kinds of people in all kinds of styles. You come into a sport as you are, in all styles and codes.” Because the shoe is being used much more widely today than it once was, the decision of what colours to offer had to be made with a broader audience in mind. The “wearability” of the Speedcross 5 had to reach beyond the sports world. “The performance design is about the sport,” Besnard says. “We are certainly not making a fashion shoe for the sport. Thanks to our Innovation Sport Science biomechanists and to our simulation models, we get an acceleration of improved and quicker performing solutions and technologies. But the aesthetic design is more urban. The whole design is more emotional, intriguing, inspiring. It’s a less busy, but bolder product than before. In car terms, it’s more like a Defender than an SUV. We re-created a love or hate effect. If you try to reach more people, you please less people. More people might care, but they won’t care as much.” Performance-wise, Speedcross 5 was built to deliver more comfort and more grip, with bigger lugs and a bigger bottom unit. The upper provides better hold in the heel and there are no pressure points or stiff areas. For Besnard, who has worked in Salomon footwear for 13 years, the fact that Speedcross’ appeal has stretched beyond the core outdoor enthusiasts to urban consumers who love the look has injected new excitement into the task of re-inventing Speedcross. Of course, not without a firm footing in the source code. “If you are a young designer, you don’t go to Porsche to create a combination of Ferrari and a Porsche. You go there to make a newer, cooler Porsche,” Besnard says. “There are two kinds of excitement as a designer. There is working with a blank slate or working to regenerate and make something more exciting – like the fifth generation of a shoe that we sell millions of pairs of when no one knows how we can make it better.” If you are a young designer, you don’t go to Porsche to create a combination of Ferrari and a Porsche