Treat your body — or at least your feet — like a temple. Worship, of course, requires special care and attention, and that’s precisely what a new line of shoes from Salomon wants to do. Meet the new ME:sh line from Salomon’s in-house incubator S/Lab. It’s a fully customizable shoe that promises to be unique to each customer.
We first told you about the line in May, but four months later, we’re now closer to the launch of the ME:sh program in earnest. “A foot is like a fingerprint,” Jean-Yves Couput, innovation director at Salomon, told Outside Online. “It’s unique to the individual.”
As such, there’s nothing off the shelf about the shoes emerging from this product line. To the contrary, each and every piece of footwear from ME;sh is designed for one person and one person alone. Initially, that person was meant to be professional ski mountaineer and distance runner Kilian Jornet, who requested the first specially designed pair of Salomon shoes. But now, almost a decade later, Salomon is saying that you don’t have to be a professional athlete to warrant your own custom-built pair of shoes.
Literally everything about a ME:sh custom runner is exactly that — custom. According to S/Lab, anatomical biomechanics, usage analysis, and aesthetic preferences are all taken into account in designing your shoe. Indeed, you’ll play a part in the design yourself — S/Lab promises digital co-creation that merges Salomon’s “DNA and expertise with needs and preferences of the consumer.”
The upper portion of the shoe is constructed using a 3D-knit technique, while the lower part is determined by the wearer’s drop, cushioning, and outsole specifications.
So how much will a truly unique pair of runners cost you? Around $327, but that’s not the most difficult part. As it stands, you have to actually visit Salomon in order to get your perfect fit, which means that you’ll either have to trek to one of the company’s eight locations in France or the one in Belgium in order to even have the opportunity to drop this kind of cash.
However, if you’re willing to accept a slightly less customized experience, you can also check out the location-specific Unique to Community models, or one of the two Kilian Jornet models.
While the program is currently focused on shoes, Couput notes that there’s potential for further customization in other products as well. Indeed, we may soon see customized jackets and backpacks, not only from Salomon, but from other companies as well. “It’s great to be the first mover,” Couput said. “But the first mover doesn’t always win the race.”
Update: Salomon is looking to launch ME:sh in the fall.
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