Martin Jahns

ISPO Award Product of the Year 2018 Outdoor: Tecnica hiking shoe

Tecnica Forge S can be completely customized by the retailer

The Forge S hiking shoe from Tecnica is the first completely customizable outdoor shoe in the world. The Italian brand was awarded as Product of the Year 2018 in the outdoor segment at the ISPO Award. In our interview Tecnica explains the history of the custom-made shoe.

Tecnica's Forge S is the world's first fully customizable outdoor shoe.
Tecnica's Forge S is the world's first fully customizable outdoor shoe.

"A fully customizable outdoor shoe is a win-win situation benefitting all sides: better comfort and fit for the customer, more service offered by the retailer". That was the jury statement about the Tecnica Forge S. The shoe was chosen as Product of the Year 2018 in the Outdoor segment at the ISPO Award.

Thanks to a special CAS machine (watch the video below), specialized retailers can tailor the fit and foot-bed to the customer’s individual anatomical needs in 20 minutes. Additional ankle pads are included and the out-of-the-box fit as they are anatomically pre-shaped. The upper cover removes pressure points from the ankle and offers foot support thanks to the self-locking lace design.

Federico Sbrissa, BU Manager and Group Strategic Marketing Manager of Tecnica Outdoor, explains in an interview with how the brand wants to reach even higher levels of customization and how the ISPO Award opened new doors.

Hiking boot Tecnica Forge S solves problems for customers and retailers How did the development of the boot Tecnica Forge S come about? Has there been a certain flash of genius?
Federico Sbrissa: We wanted to create a solution for both consumers and specialty outdoor retailers. For consumers we wanted to solve the most obvious problem: Having perfectly fitting custom footwear. For the specialty retailers we wanted to answer their problem to offer valuable service and defend themselves from online retailers and hard discounts in the market. The fit customization process of the boot solve both the consumer desire of affordable custom shoes and of the retailers as the customization operation can only be done in a specialized brick and mortar shop.

What about your product do you think ultimately won the ISPO Award jury over?
Both the level of innovation – in fact it is the only customizable shoe – and also for the very clean and innovative design.

Modern and clean design is an outdoor trend

Where do you still see further potential in the outdoor industry? Is there a need for more individualized products?
Absolutely! We are 100% into customization and individualization. Also the products we will launch next summer and next winter will be leading this trend in our industry.

Which other trends do you see in the outdoor segment?
Next to customization it certainly is the more modern and clean design, specific solutions to support specialized retailers instead of competing against them. And there is a growing respect towards nature and environment.

Additional requests from German retailers

Where is your ISPO Award trophy? 
In the entry hall of Tecnica we have a sets of display to highlight the key products from our brand. The hiking boot and the ISPO Award trophy are there next to the entry door.

What feedback did you get on your ISPO Award from the outside?
Being elected Outdoor Product of the Year was a great prestige for the footwear team and for the whole company. Moreover we got a lot of additional requests from in particular German retailers to become an authorized dealer for the Forge S shoe. 

What weight does the ISPO Award have in the industry?
In the industry it is definitely relevant, especially for the German speaking markets, in particular being the Product of the Year.

Would you recommend participating in the ISPO Award to others?
Yes. It is part of our industry and it’s prestigious to win.

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Martin Jahns