Salewa began in 1935 in Munich, Germany as Saddler and Leather Wares—Sa(ddler) + Le(ather) + Wa(res)—producing photobags, backpacks, soccer balls, and other leather items. Eventually, they began producing ski poles and more mountaineering-specific equipment. In the 1960s, Salewa gained international recognition as a leader in alpine innovation with the development of a fully adjustable crampon.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Salewa continued to work with top mountaineers like Reinhold Messner and Kurt Albert to test new ideas and equipment during their expeditions.
The following decade yielded even more innovative products from Salewa, like the Helium helmet—at the time the world's lightest mountaineering helmet. This was one outcome of the "Half Weight - Double Resistance" ethos Salewa began pursuing at the time. More lightweight yet functional products followed: in 2001 Salewa launched an entire lightweight collection that included the Sub 33 Carabiner (sub 33 grams) and an Ultra Jacket with a weight of less than 350 grams. Then, in 2005, Salewa launched their footwear product line.
Today, Salewa continues to be one of the most technologically innovative technical mountaineering brands in the world, with a concentrated focus on their customers' needs, and a strong desire to produce functional gear to explore our world.