12. Dec 2019
Culture
The Strolz Ski Boot
Made-to-measure at the highest level
Beginnings

The invention of the Strolz ski boot dates back almost 100 years and was developed shortly after the appearance of skiing on the Arlberg. In 1921 Ambros Strolz, the inventor of the Strolz ski boot, opened a small shoemaker’s workshop in Lech, where he made leather ski boots for the occasional skiers on the Arlberg. His son, Martin Strolz, followed in his father’s footsteps as a master orthopaedic shoemaker. He was a successful member of the Austrian national ski team. Martin was not only a ski star but also his own test pilot, product developer and promoter. At the World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden, he became vice world champion in downhill skiing on his own ski boots. Thereupon he equipped not only the Austrian national team but also other nations with his ski boots. His two friends Othmar Schneider and Egon Zimmermann both raced on Strolz ski boots. For more than 25 years Strolz was the outfitter of many international ski teams. But the boot was not only intended for racing: Skiers from all over the world came to the Arlberg to have a handmade ski boot from Lech made out of the best leather.

 

Reorientation

In the 1960s the first plastic ski boots were introduced. Martin Strolz recognized the potential and launched his first plastic shoe in 1969, the “Competition” model. Out of five well-known manufacturers of leather ski boots in German-speaking countries, only Strolz mastered the switch to plastic shoes. A further step was the development of the “Foam-Fit-System”, the foaming of the gaps in the inner shoe to achieve a perfect fit. Over the years Strolz perfected this technique and successfully mastered the leap into a new age. In 1990 the son of Martin Strolz, Hannes, took over the family business and has been running the company ever since in the third generation.

 

Philosophy

There should be as wide a range of offers as possible. The ski boot can really be made individually for each person, so that even those who have problems with their feet can find a ski boot that allows them to ski without pain.

 

Made-to-measure

A Strolz ski boot corresponds exactly to the anatomy of the individual foot and is still adjusted by hand in the house own manufactory. In most cases, a custom-made shoe can be made in a single day. The whole procedure includes two appointments. The first is a measurement appointment, which involves determining the needs and dimensions of the foot using a 3D procedure. In addition, the shell, inner shoe and model are selected. After that there is a break of about four hours. Meanwhile, , the ski boot shell is adapted to the customer’s foot shape with millimetre precision using wooden strips in the workshop, directly in the main building. The second appointment is for foaming. Here, the inner shoe is adapted again exactly to the anatomy of the foot in order to avoid pressure points.

 

Strolz ski boot today

Today Strolz offers two main models of the shoe, each with two different hardenings. The ski boot itself is manufactured in Langen am Arlberg, a small town just 15 kilometers away from Lech. In addition to Hannes Strolz, eight other employees work there. In the Sport & Modehaus Strolz the made to measure production takes place. The head of department Christian Festner and 15 other employees work there in the shoe department.  Meanwhile, the Strolz ski boot is sold in 15 different countries, mainly Central Europe, but also Scandinavia and America. In 2015 the Strolz family received the Best of the Alps Award.

 

Not only the ski boot itself is unique, but also what Ambros, Martin and Hannes Strolz have created. The Strolz ski boot is known worldwide and is an essential part of Lech Zürs am Arlberg. It represents craftsmanship, design and comfort. A shoe with a lot of history and made-to-measure work at the highest level.