The Best Salomon Collabs of 2023
Salomon is currently at the apex of their popularity, thanks in part to their growing roster of collaborators. With a quarter left in the year, here are 10 of their best partnerships in 2023.
Salomon’s shoes may be designed to weather even a perfect storm, but their ascent in the status quo, metaphorically, is one. They went from riding the waves of fashion microtrends, to creating their own. They went from walking terrains, to walking runways. They went from the feet of mountain climbers, to the feet of celebrity high-flyers.
Exploring the great outdoors was one of the few socially-distanced activities people could do during the global pandemic. But it didn’t just make people want to go outside, it made them want to go outside—of what they were used to. Leading them to explore footwear options they didn’t normally consider. Thus, the rise of Salomon and their contemporaries such as HOKA, Merrell, and On.
External factors may have set the stage for the French outdoor specialists to shine, but they played their part by offering function-focused footwear—when the world needed it most.
The spotlight’s on them, and thanks to a supporting cast of collaborators; designers and brands the likes of JJJJound, Sandy Liang, Palace, and other reputable names; the Salomon hype train is in full locomotion, with every new collaborator adding more coal to the steam engine.
So all aboard! Here are the best Salomon collabs of 2023:
Made in conjunction with JAH JAH, a Parisian Afro-vegan restaurant. It’s an F&F exclusive so look up to see if it’s a blue moon if you ever lay eyes on these in reality. It’s on the list for one, just for how visually striking it is, how much it stands in contrast to the rest of Salomon’s body of work. Scroll down and come back and you’ll see our point.
Moreover, the red, yellow, and green hues are representative of the unity, strength, and resilience of the African and Caribbean communities that inspired it. To say nothing of the comfort it provides coming from the model’s oversized EVA midsole and lightweight upper.
Japanese streetwear purveyor BEAMS have always produced some of the most interesting collaborations. For their sophomore effort on the RX Slide, they deliver the pair with floral baroque graphics.
An elegant presentation, a surprising turn considering the utilitarian nature of Salmon’s shoes. It’s definitely one of their most fashion-forward offerings, elevated by its earthy palette so beloved at the moment.
Salomon owes plenty to The Broken Arm, the French boutique that first stocked them in 2015. It would be the first unofficial endorsement of the brand as a fashion-forward option. It’s a partnership that’s ongoing to this day.
Together, they outfit the hybrid XT-Quest 2 Texas with cow prints on the overlays, and its matrix knit upper with dark brown hues. A reference to the French rural landscape and arid Texan climate. For its performance highlights comes the Contragrip outsole for superior traction and durability against all conditions.
Chicago-based retailer Notre gives the brand staple, yet oft-overshadowed XT-4 a much needed boost in repute. Just because the XT-6 casts a long shadow doesn’t mean the (officially dubbed) XT-4 OG is lying dormant.
It already has an MM6 Maison Margiela collaboration under its belt, alongside a slew of coveted inline colorways. Every dog has its day and this one’s about to have theirs. It’s imbedded with the industry-leading technology that Salomon’s been synonymous with such as the Agile Chassis System and Contagrip outsole.
Known as one of Salomon’s most high function models, the XA PRO 3D embodies everything that the brand has been reputed for: strong stability, cushioning, grip, and lightweight and soft comfort.
The upper is embedded with GORE-TEX membrane to withstand the elements, while the brand’s other hallmarks are a mainstay as well. Such as its toggle one-touch lacing system, as well as the iconic tri-color tag, this time claimed by and wander.
The XT-6 is at the vanguard of Salomon’s offerings with many designers favoring it as a canvas. Its panelling is unique making for an interesting color-blocking.
As its name suggests, truffle-inspired colors form its palette, addressing too the graphics printed on the footbed, and co-branded imprints on the heel. From a technological standpoint, the model also features a Quicklace system and EVA cushioning on the midsole.
■ Children of the Discordance x COSTS x Salomon XT-6 ADV
Salomon started strong on the collaborative front this year thanks to this tripartite collaboration with Chinese retailer COSTS and Japanese label Children of The Discordance.
It’s one of the best efforts in imbuing artistic elements on a scientifically-designed shoe. Perhaps, that’s the genius of COTD’s Hideaki Shikama, seeing a canvas for his disparate influences, when it’s especially hard to see one.
Even when Palace (Skateboards) can’t surprise us anymore, they still do. Just the sheer frequency and audacity of their collaborative output. Just the last month, they put out one with Champion, a few weeks after that with Crocs, and a few weeks after that with McDonald’s, and a few weeks after that: a two-piece with Salomon.
Offered in “Black” and “White”, they might look too simple relative to the wilder aesthetics Salomon’s collaborators have employed, but perhaps simplicity is what the palette requires considering the heavy-duty nature of the XT-Wings 2. Skateboarding or gorpcore, whatever your camp is, these pairs exist at the confluence of both.
JJJJound is foremost a tastemaker and he (or they) made the right call on this XT-Wings 2. Similar to Palace’s, its appeal lies mainly in its simplicity. Dressed predominantly in white with sporadic blue accents.
There’s plenty to love about the pair. One can be in it for the superior comfort and durability of the model, the versatility of the color palette, or simply for the JJJJound endorsement. No one can fault you. It really is a pair for everybody.
While it’s aesthetic is clean, it’s overdesigned from a technological standpoint. SensiFit, EndoFit and All Terrain Contragrip all in one shoe. Kidding, who’s going to hate it? It’s a Level 99 shoe and it’s just doing side quests at this point.
The Sandy Liang x Salomon XT-6 Expanse isn’t just one of Salomon’s best collaborations this year, it’s easily one of the best collaborations this year.
When one thinks of Salomon, elegance is never the first word off the top—until Sandy Liang. It breaks all assumptions about what a hiking footwear is, and shows what a hiking footwear can be. It’s proven it’s not just for the great outdoors, it’s also for the concrete jungle. It’s not all function, now it’s as much fashion. And neither of the aforementioned leans to any gender, she’s proven it’s for everyone.
Salomon is currently at the apex of their popularity, at the mountaintop once reserved for Nike and adidas. Brands catered to stadium sports, not sierras. But, who says they can’t reach the stratosphere? The air is thinner at the peak, and that’s where Salomon started from anyway.
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