“Running isn’t punk. Running is exercise, it’s collegiate, it’s fitness conformity.”
Maybe these statements were true at some point, but they certainly aren’t now. The mass appeal that began germinating in the 1970s has turned into a culture of its own and even fractured into a weave of identifiable subcultures. Satisfy recognized this and responded with a collection of apparel that’s unlike anything you’d find at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Today the brand unveiled its first shoe, which is built in collaboration with Salomon.
Salomon might be perceived as an unlikely match for Satisfy. Salomon is a giant around the world; Satisfy is boutique. Salmon’s tagline is “Time to Play,” Satisfy’s is unstated (but phrases like “Leave Them All Behind” and “Running Cult Member” adorn its clothing). The contrast is perhaps most simply summed up as: Salomon is mainstream, and Satisfy isn’t. But there is an essential connection between the two, and it isn’t that they’re both based in France.
“I grew up in the French Alps, and Salomon was a big part of the outdoor culture there (Annecy, where the brand is based, is 50 miles from Grenoble where I grew up),” says Brice Partouche, Satisfy’s founder. There, Partouche immersed himself in skateboarding, snowboarding and punk rock, diversions that he views as not unlike running. “Salomon is for those embedded in outdoor culture — they make products which only a few thousand people are skilled enough to actually use, like skis for off-piste or a special shoe designed specifically for a 100-person uphill race. It’s about catering to a niche, and this is exactly what we are doing at Satisfy with long-distance running.”
The shoe itself, a reimagination of Salomon’s Sonic RA Max, is built for stacking miles. It’s maximalist (meaning there’s plenty of foam), and features vibration-dampening Vibe technology, a seamless collar and rubberized non-slip laces. It also weighs less than 250 grams. They’re not flashy, and they don’t pay homage to any marathon legend — they leave all characterization to the runner as the individual, providing one guiding word on each shoe’s insole: “possessed.”
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