1994 – 2012

To make an impact on and succeed in the market these days it is not enough just to make skis. The focus is increasingly on the entire system of ski, binding and Fischer starts to develop away from the ski factory pure and simple in 1994, when it presents a cross-country boot of its own for the very first time, to be followed by Alpine bindings and boots in the new millennium. The only gap left is plugged in 2004, with a cross-country binding under the Fischer name. Since then Fischer has established a reputation as a full-range supplier of Alpine and Nordic hardware around the globe.

Fischer starts making its own cross-country boots in 1994, in partnership with Salomon, who supply the soles. The actual boots are manufactured by Hartjes, a local shoe factory in Pramet. Fischer and Hartjes jointly design a shell system that makes cross-country boots much more stable. At the end of the 1990s boot production is relocated in the Far East. Cooperation with Hartjes continues on a limited scale until the 2003/04 season. In 2006 Fischer sets up Fischer Footwear S.r.l. in Italy; the entire development process and material procurement are located in Montebelluna. Since the 2010/11 season the Fischer subsidiary in Italy has taken over the production of crosscountry racing boots.

In 2004 Salomon is also Fischer's partner in manufacturing cross-country bindings. Fischer takes care of styling, and present the first Nordic binding with the Salomon Nordic System (SNS) under its own name that year. In the 2007/08 season Fischer switches to Rottefella's New Nordic Norm System (NNN). By then the Amer group (including Atomic) has taken over Salomon and Fischer is worried that it might be at a loose end alongside Atomic and Salomon. In addition, the European Commission vetoes a cooperation agreement with Salomon on development projects.

Thanks to Salomon's cooperation with Fischer, the SNS system has caught on in central Europe and the core markets. Initially the switch to NNN leads to dramatic reductions in Fischer's sales of boots. The NNN system is well established in Scandinavia and North America, but so far unimportant in central Europe. Fischer moves NNN into the fast lane. It takes only three years for Fischer's sales with NNN to recover to the level they had been at with the SNS system. Today NNN is the leading binding system in central Europe, too.

From 2000 on Salomon manufactures Alpine bindings for Fischer, too. Collaboration continues until 2002. From 2003 on Tyrolia provides a way for Fischer to establish a genuine brand identity with its own design of binding shell and its own styling. Tyrolia continues to make the Alpine bindings for Fischer in Lower Austria and the Czech Republic.

The first Fischer Alpine ski boot is launched in 2003. Here Fischer implements a revolutionary idea together with Hans Leitner, a cobbler from Tirol: in Fischer boots feet can retain their natural V position, which reduces muscular effort and improves agility. The technology is marketed under the name "Somatec".

In 2006 Fischer agrees a joint venture with the Oberalp group in Bozen, which owns the Salewa and Dynafit brands, and sets up Fischer Footwear S.r.l. in Montebelluna. Fischer cooperates with the Oberalp group on developing and manufacturing boots – a great help in keeping costs under control.

Product management for Fischer boots is based in Ried. The boots are developed at Fischer Footwear S.r.l., which shares resources with the Oberalp group. The boots are produced in Italy, and Fischer in Ried procures the finished product from Fischer Footwear S.r.l. Up to now this arrangement has worked very successfully. For some years now part of boot production has been located in the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the HTM group. Fischer achieves a real breakthrough in Alpine boots with its VACUUM FIT technology, available since the 2011/12 season. This technology makes it possible to adapt the boot to fit the anatomy of the foot exactly.

Further stories 2000-2013