History of Strolz Ski Boots

Discover the incredible history of our ski boot brand.

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100 years of experience and quality.

The invention of the Strolz ski boot began more than 100 years ago in Lech, i.e. shortly after the invention of skiing - also here on the Arlberg.

In 1921, Ambros Strolz opened a shoemaker's workshop and made leather ski boots for the not so numerous skiers. His custom-made leather ski boots were of such high quality that even the department store "Galeries Lafayette" included them in their range after the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937. At the time, of course, Ambros had no idea to what extent the company would grow and generations later it would meet the same standards that he had set himself: To make ski boots individually and by hand for his customers at the highest level of craftsmanship and from the best materials.

From racer to entrepreneur.

Ambros' son Martin followed in his father's footsteps as a master orthopedic shoemaker. But he was also an extremely successful member of the Austrian national team and thus his own test pilot, product developer, ski star and promoter. In addition to many other top runners, he also outfitted his friends Otmar Schneider and Egon Zimmermann, who both became Olympic champions in Strolz shoes. At the Ski World Championships in 1954 in Åre, Sweden, Martin Strolz became vice world champion in downhill skiing – on his own ski boots, of course. The international ski elite, above all the Austrian national team, were customers of Martin Strolz from then on and after he had ended his own active racing career. For more than 25 years, Strolz has been the outfitter of many international ski teams.

Martin Strolz brought everything that predestined him for the development and manufacture of ski boots at the highest level: his own racing experience at the top of the world, manual skills, orthopedic expertise and the unconditional desire for perfection. So it was only natural that Martin Strolz took over his father's business and began to expand it. However, the Strolz ski boots were not only intended for racing: skiers from all over the world valued the ski boots made from the best leather, which were handcrafted in the company's own workshop in Lech.

The art of changing the material.

The company prospered over a period of 15 years and faced a major challenge towards the end of the 1960s: the introduction of the first plastic ski boots marked the end of the leather boot era. Martin Strolz recognized the opportunities and risks of this new technology. Although he had immense experience with the craft tradition of processing leather, mold making and injection molding for plastics were something completely different. And both technology and material were designed for the production of large quantities and that contradicted the philosophy of the Strolz company for the greatest possible individuality or one-off production.

From previously five well-known manufacturers of leather shoes in German-speaking countries, only Strolz managed to switch to plastic shoes. In 1970, Strolz launched its first synthetic shoe – the “Competition” model came onto the market.

With the development of the Foam-Fit-System, the foaming of the gaps in the inner shoe, an almost perfect manufacturing technique could finally be established.

Crisis as an opportunity.

Since 1990, Hannes Strolz has been running the family business in the third generation. He was also trained as an orthopedic shoemaker and then studied graphic design before joining the family business. In addition to the technical competence, the design of the ski boots should now come from our own company.

Despite growing competition and concentration on the part of the manufacturers, he also managed to strike a balance between tradition and modernity.

Hannes Strolz used the occasion of the 100th anniversary and the demerger of Sporthaus Strolz and Strolz shoes in 2021 for a product-strategic renewal and the development of an independent brand "Hannes Strolz", which is rounded off by the sub-brand "POP by Hannes Strolz".

Hannes Strolz has vouched for the quality of his ski boots with his name for 3 decades.

History of Glide & Slide and Strolz.

Glide & Slide was founded by Steven Hankin, a former professional ski instructor, in 1996. Situated in the West Yorkshire town of Otley, the business has grown from strength to strength achieving reputation as one of the best specialist ski boot fitters in the UK. Steven started his career as a ski instructor in Glen Shee in Scotland at the Cairnwell Ski School. After this he worked for many years in the French Alps.

Steven first came across Strolz while working at Cairnwell Ski School under the renowned Austrain skier Gustav Fischnaller. Since this point he has skied in nothing else. Steven remained at Glenshee ski teaching race training and running the Ski School until leaving in 1988 having gained two teaching qualifications which he then took with him to Les Menuires, France where he ran his next Ski School until returning to the UK in 1993.

Steven then spent the next two years managing the artificial ski slope in Harrogate alongside race training the Ravens Ski Club and the Yorkshire and Humbershire Squad. Eventually starting Glide and Slide in 1996.

In 1999 when Gustav returned to Austria, it was agreed that Steven, with his extensive knowledge and love of Strolz, should continue as the sole UK importer and his new base in Yorkshire would act as a more central location.

Ally Bolton joined the team in 2004 after returning to the UK from Canada where he had been working as a Ski Instructor. Having worked his way through the ranks and himself becoming an expert boot fitter Ally, along with Maddy Hankin, now run the shop. They continue to work very closley with Strolz provideing the same high level of service that Glide & Slide customers have come to expect.