Luxe.CO Exclusive | HOKA vs. Salomon: Who is Advancing Further in the Chinese Market for Outdoor Sports Footwear?

8月 21, 2023

In today’s Chinese sports and outdoor market, HOKA ONE ONE (referred to as “HOKA”) and Salomon have both garnered significant attention due to their distinctive outdoor sports footwear products. The market activity of these two brands over the course of this year has been quite comparable.

It’s worth mentioning that both of these brands originated from the southeastern French town of Annecy, nestled at the foot of the Alps. However, there is a 62-year gap in their histories. Interestingly, HOKA ONE ONE, now headquartered in the United States, had both of its co-founders previously working as executives at Salomon.

Based on data compiled by the world’s first real-time fashion and business dynamic platform, Luxe.CO Tong, under Luxe.CO, this article will compare the development history, product composition, and China market positioning of HOKA ONE ONE and Salomon. Specifically, we’ll delve into the latest market trends in the Chinese market from January to July of this year. Let’s explore the divergent growth paths these two outdoor sports brands, originating from the same roots, have taken.

Note: Original article is written in Mandarin.

Two Major Outdoor Sports Brands from the Foothills of the Alps

Foundation Date and Location

  • HOKA ONE ONE: Founded in 2009 in the town of Annecy, France. In 2013, it was acquired by the US-based Deckers Brands, and its headquarters were relocated to the United States.
  • Salomon: Established in 1947 in Annecy, France.


  • HOKA ONE ONE: Founded by Frenchmen Nico Mermoud and Jean-Loc Diard. Both co-founders had held positions at Salomon. Jean-Loc served as the CEO of Salomon from 1998 to 2007, while Nico Mermoud secured third place in the prestigious UTMB® trail running event in 2007.
  • Salomon: Founded by Frenchman Georges Salomon, born into a family known for manufacturing ski bindings in Annecy, France. He obtained an advanced diploma and, rather than becoming a teacher as his father intended, he returned home to join the family workshop. In 1947, he patented the ski edge.

Current Parent Companies

  • HOKA ONE ONE: Acquired by the US outdoor apparel group Deckers Brands in 2013.
  • Salomon: Acquired by the German sportswear giant adidas in 1998. In 2005, adidas sold its entire outdoor sports division, including Salomon, Arc’Teryx, and five other brands, to the Finnish premium sporting goods company Amer Sports. In 2019, Amer Sports was acquired by a consortium led by China’s ANTA Group.

Iconic Product Features

  • HOKA ONE ONE: The Bondi series, the brand’s first thick-soled road running shoes, revolutionized the running shoe industry with its cushioning and lightweight ultra-thick midsole when it was introduced in 2011. Over the past twelve years of continuous iteration and upgrading, the Bondi series has also gained attention from many trendsetters due to its design. The combination of professional performance for comfort and stylish design for everyday wear has made the Bondi series a popular product for the brand.

The brand-new Bondi 8 running shoes, launched by HOKA ONE ONE in 2022.

  • Salomon: The XT-6 series was initially launched in 2013, becoming the preferred choice for world-class athletes participating in ultra-long-distance races under harsh conditions. In 2016, Jean-Philippe Lalonde, who had just become the General Manager of Salomon’s lifestyle footwear division, transformed the temporarily discontinued XT-6 into a fashionable shoe. Today, the XT-6 series is popular on major social media platforms both domestically and internationally.

The Salomon XT-6 series.

Category Expansion Path

Core Categories and Product Pricing Ranges

How Have Both Brands Positioned Themselves in the Chinese Market?

Entry into the Chinese Market

  • HOKA ONE ONE: September 2021.
  • Salomon: 2008.

Total Number of Stores in the Chinese Market (Direct and Partner Stores)

Top 3 Cities for Store Layout (Direct and Partner Stores)

Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen are the three cities with the densest retail networks for both HOKA ONE ONE and Salomon in China.

Direct Store Layout in the Chinese Market

What Market Dynamics Have These Two Brands Demonstrated in China in the First 7 Months of this Year?

– New Store Openings

– New Product and Marketing Dynamics

Based on data from Luxe.CO Tong, from January to July of this year, HOKA ONE ONE has had the most new product releases, accounting for 48%. On the other hand, Salomon has had the most collaborative initiatives, making up 38% of the dynamics.

(Note: Collaborative initiatives refer to collaborations between brands and other designers, streetwear labels, concept stores, etc., to redesign their signature shoe models.)

| Image Source: Created by Luxe.CO
| Editor: Zhu Ruoyu