We discussed Salomon's new footwear customization system, called Me:sh, in our last issue. Tecnica is now launching its own customization technology for trekking shoes, called Forge. As Tecnica's officials point out, their process is carried out more rapidly and even closer to the final customer – in the retailer's own store rather than in a highly automated laboratory.

Taking inspiration from the Custom Adaptive Shape (CAS) concept already used in Tecnica's alpine ski boots, Forge allows the shop to apply an anatomically personalized fit to a new model in the brand's line of outdoor shoes in only 20 minutes.

Tecnica's patent-pending system heats up and compresses some critical parts of the boot around the brand's proprietary anatomical last. These parts are made up of a specially developed thermo-formable polymer applied in the key comfort and foot-hold areas of the shoe: the heel, the arch, the ankles and the footbed. The footbed itself is fully thermally formable, sporting a customized instep and arch support.

The company's new Forge line of trekking shoes also features a new overlap cuff design that reduces the pressure points on the medial malleolar pad, allowing a better customization of this critical area and facilitating the step-in through an elastic insert on the Gore-Tex liner. It features a unique self-locking lace design with high-tenacity Kevlar loops for better adjustability of the laces on a rugged lace surface.

Tecnica Group Outdoor Footwear Sales (Number of pairs)

 

2016

2015

2014

2013

 

Pairs

Change

Pairs

Change

Pairs

Change

Pairs

USA

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

RoW

245,920

1.3%

242,767

0.8%

240,774

3.7%

232,121

Tecnica Outdoor

245,920

1.3%

242,767

0.8%

240,774

3.7%

232,121

USA

148,426

3.3%

143,699

-0.7%

144,722

8.7%

133,130

RoW

2,357,993

2.1%

2,308,658

12.9%

2,044,085

10.9%

1,843,423

Lowa Outdoor

2,506,419

2.2%

2,452,357

12.0%

2,188,807

10.7%

1,976,553

USA

148,426

3.3%

143,699

-0.7%

144,722

8.7%

133,130

RoW

2,603,913

2.1%

2,551,425

11.7%

2,284,859

10.1%

2,075,544

Tecnica Group

2,752,339

2.1%

2,695,124

10.9%

2,429,581

10.0%

2,208,674

Furthermore, an Adaptive Sole System features a unique bottom where the oversized lugs are reversed and move to conform to the variations of the terrain. The upper layer is made of Nubuk leather, and according to Tecnica, it naturally conforms to the thermo-formable inserts during the customization process. The collar is elastic.

Tecnica Group Outdoor Footwear Sales (€)

 

2016

2015

2014

2013

 

Change

Change

Change

USA

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

RoW

11,944,270

8.9%

10,964,974

3.6%

10,581,337

2.6%

10,308,244

Tecnica Outdoor

11,944,270

8.9%

10,964,974

3.6%

10,581,337

2.6%

10,308,244

USA

15,765,015

6.1%

14,855,133

22.8%

12,099,756

14.2%

10,592,646

RoW

138,864,803

0.1%

138,769,944

13.1%

122,679,863

12.2%

109,359,774

Lowa Outdoor

154,629,818

0.7%

153,625,077

14.0%

134,779,619

12.4%

119,952,420

USA

15,765,015

6.1%

14,855,133

22.8%

12,099,756

14.2%

10,592,646

RoW

150,809,073

0.7%

149,734,918

12.4%

133,261,200

11.4%

119,668,018

Tecnica Group

166,574,088

1.2%

164,590,051

13.2%

145,360,956

11.6%

130,260,664

The Forge series includes a women-specific model in three colors, with a women-specific last where the volumes are reduced in the heel and the forefoot, for a total weight of 520 grams, compared with 595 grams for the men's model, offered in four colors. All the models will carry a recommended retail price of €239 per pair in Europe.

Tecnica will present the Forge program to the trade at the OutDoor show starting in Friedrichshafen this coming Sunday. It already demonstrated it to selected European dealers at an event at Lake Garda in Northern Italy a few days ago, where the 100-odd participants walked away with their personalized shoes. A similar event will be held later this month for selected retailers in the U.S., where the Tecnica line of outdoor shoes has not been offered in recent years. Several European specialty retailers have already agreed to adopt the technology for the spring/summer 2018 season.

The Forge project has been steered by Federico Sbrissa, who was appointed product line manager and strategic marketing manager for the group's Tecnica Outdoor division a year ago, joining the group after working in the previous 13 years for Garmont, Dynafit and Salewa footwear at Oberalp, and Arc'teryx footwear at Amer Sports.

Forge is expected to contribute strongly to the Tecnica Group's growth in the outdoor sector as from 2018. Including Lowa, the outdoor segment generated last year only small increases of 2.1 percent in volume to 2.75 million pairs and 1.2 percent in value to €166.6 million. Lowa suffered from lower average prices and the loss of military contract (see our previous issue). Tecnica's line of outdoor boots grew by 1.3 percent in volume and 8.9 percent in value. The historical tables on this page excludes the revenues from Dolomite, a brand that the group sold to Scott Sports in 2015, when it had a total turnover of around €18 million including apparel.

The growth rates will be higher this year, according to the management.