For lonesome journeys across the North Pole, to the top of the mountain, or for the autumn hunt in Hardangervidda. When you're going out for a walk, Alfa is the best choice. We have been on big and small journeys since 1931 and have played a part in Norwegians' most important hiking experiences. That's what we will continue to do.
From children's shoe producer to the polar heroes' favorite. There is a lot that sets ALFA apart from the company it was in 1931 to what it is today. We have crossed Norway, crisscrossed Canada, and traversed Siberia - but all our victories can be attributed to our roots as a children's shoe producer. Because when you make shoes for someone who grows every day, you are forced to do the same. It is this lesson that has made us experts on walking, and together with Norwegian outdoor enthusiasts, we vow to always stay one step ahead in development, innovation, and sustainability.
Alfa's products have been on the Norwegian market for over 90 years. Our vision has become "Developed by Norwegian nature," and today we focus on shoes for outdoor activities, skiing, and hunting. Our goal is to be world-leading in these areas, and to achieve that, we have combined good Norwegian hiking traditions with innovative product development.
Alfa is passionate about design, and every detail should serve a purpose. Throughout history, Alfa has won international design awards and important business tenders. The military boot M/77, developed in the 70s, is still used by conscripts in the Armed Forces. This only proves that good design endures - and things that endure are not only good for consumers but also for nature.
At Alfa, we live for, and off, producing products used in nature, so we must also have a conscious approach to how we can take care of it. Alfa is an Eco-Lighthouse, and that is why we are transparent about our suppliers and every step of the production chain, so you can venture into nature with our shoes on your feet with a clear conscience.
The ALFA timeline:
1931: Alfa is founded by Maurice Filip Christensen as the main actor. "Children need shoes," he asserted. The name Alfa means the first, the beginning.
1932: Einar Stuhaug, who later becomes crucial for the company, joins as a co-owner.
1934: Alfa produces 1000 pairs of shoes per week, and Maurice Filip realizes that the company needs larger premises. A nearby shoe factory has had to cease operations, and Alfa moves into St. Halvards gate 39 in Oslo.
1940: Turnover and profits steadily increase towards the outbreak of war in 1940. During the war, leather and other quality materials become scarce. Already then, Alfa was focused on branding and quality, and it was a conscious choice not to give the crisis products made of paper or cod skin the brand name Alfa. Shoes made from surrogate materials are thus sold under the name Omega, the opposite of Alfa.
1950: After the war, the business flourishes in all areas, and at its peak, there were about 180 shoe factories in Norway. In 1950, over 5 million pairs of shoes were produced in Norway.
1953: Maurice Busch Christensen, son of Maurice Filip, starts his own shoe factory in Brandbu. He has secured the rights to use Walt Disney characters in trademarks and marketing, and "Bambi Skofabrikk" becomes a success.
1954: The expanding shoe is announced. This was a shoe with an insert at the heel counter that could be taken out as the child's foot grew. This way, the pair of shoes could be expanded by one size, and the owner could use them a little longer.
1956: Alfa moves to Brandbu and merges with Bambi. Alfa is now referred to as the country's largest factory for children's footwear. At the same time, the management decides to focus on ski boots. As the only ones in the world, Alfa produces ski boots with vulcanized rubber soles. The method involves shaping and molding the sole directly onto the upper. Although it is an expensive method, the new boot types quickly become popular, and a number of models are produced over the years using this method.
1957: Jacob Ihlen is hired as the CEO of Alfa. This marks the start of two decades of increased activity and a range of products much larger than in any other period in the company's history.
1965: Alfa and Jacob Ihlen receive the Norwegian Design Council's award for good industrial design for the ski boot model 2001. The award states, among other things, "The ski boot has gained valuable functional and aesthetic properties through the new method of connecting rubber with leather." For the consumer, it was a great innovation when Alfa introduced direct vulcanized rubber soles with standard measurements. The width was 75 mm at the studs, and when Rottefella introduced a binding that the boots could fit directly into without adjustment, it was a world first.
1967: Production of the M/66 march boot for the Armed Forces begins. This product group becomes very important for Alfa because it is a user group that presents significant challenges to footwear, and the experience becomes useful in the production of other types of boots.
1970: New design award for Alfa and Ihlen, for the cross-country ski boot 1014/6014. At this point, Alfa produces over half a million pairs of ski boots annually and has a leading position in the ski boot market. Alfa sold 130,000 pairs of ski boots to the USA and Canada annually.
1973: The jogging trend hit Norway in the early 1970s, and in 1973, Alfa invested in a versatile leisure shoe suitable for outdoor use. However, price competition quickly became a reality, and Alfa dropped the product after a few years.
1976: Alfa Skofabrikk burns down on the night of September 22. The reconstruction starts immediately, and incredible optimism, determination, and hard work turn the disaster into the beginning of a new and successful period for Alfa.
1977: The Norwegian Armed Forces adopt the M/77 march boot. The boot was lightweight, durable, and required minimal maintenance. It could withstand water immersion for at least 30 minutes and tolerate rapid drying. It revolutionized military boots.
1980: In the 1970s, the Suveren shoe factory in Halden had a leading position in racing ski boots. When the factory closed around 1980, Alfa took over, and the products became a natural addition to Alfa's own collection.
1992: Simen and Sjur Mørdre go to the North Pole, becoming the first to ski to both poles.
1993: Erling Kagge becomes the first person to ski alone to the South Pole.
1994: Alfa receives significant orders in connection with the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, supplying footwear to officials and volunteer staff. The hiking boots Walk King and Walk Queen become a success.
1997: Pål Olimb starts as Sales and Marketing Manager at Alfa. He later becomes the CEO from 2011 to 2023.
1999: Alfa is acquired by the Swedish company Haglöfs, which aims to further develop the mountain and hiking footwear segment.
2006: Pål Olimb leaves the company and starts A-sport AS. When the board of Haglöfs decided not to continue investing in ski boots, Pål brings Alfa's ski boots to his new company. He rebuilds Alfa Ski Boots as a leading brand in Norway.
2007: Haglöfs sells Alfa to the Møller family.
2008: The M/77 march boot wins the Norwegian Design Council's Classic Design Award. Without any new innovations, the boot has been the best all-round boot for the Norwegian
Armed Forces for over 30 years. Quality is timeless!
2010: Alfa loses the defense contract, and half of the revenue disappears overnight.
2010: Cecilie Skog crosses Antarctica on skis. Cecilie was the first woman in the world to reach the "Three Poles": the North Pole, the South Pole, and Mount Everest.
2011: A-Sport AS, led by Pål Olimb, merges with Alfa, bringing ski boots back to the company.
2012: Alfa undergoes a period of major restructuring, resulting in many employees losing their jobs. A plan is developed to foster growth and profitability in the company again.
2014: The brand is relaunched and achieves great success. The new visual identity is well received. Ski boots make a comeback and stand out with GORE-TEX membranes. These ski boots are waterproof while allowing sweat and moisture to escape, keeping the feet dry and warm throughout the trip. It brings a whole new skiing experience with greater comfort and fewer cold feet.
2015: Revenue reaches 50 million. Alfa receives the "Good Design" award from Designrådet for the Lyng A-P-S shoe.
2019: Alfa Impact is launched. The belief is that we should become better at repairing our belongings. Just because a part of the shoe is worn out doesn't mean it needs to be discarded. Alfa Impact is a handmade quality shoe where all parts can be repaired, thus ensuring the shoe lasts a lifetime.
2020: The pandemic hits, and the world shuts down. However, the sports industry is relatively countercyclical, and Alfa's best years have been during times of crisis. People stay at home, stop traveling, and Norwegian outdoor activities become a safe haven.
2021: Revenue reaches 167 million. Alfa regains the contract from the Armed Forces.
2021: The innovation project Xplore is launched, featuring new boots and binding systems developed in collaboration with Rottefella. The collection consists of lightweight and stable mountain ski boots. The sole is designed to be torsionally stable while allowing flexibility in the toe area. Top touring technology has made its way into the world of mountain skiing, marking the biggest innovation in cross-country skiing in over 30 years.
2021: Alfa introduces the low shoe model Steg, developed according to orthopedic principles and natural foot movement. It is created in collaboration with former Nike designer Mike Friton and is tailored to a single purpose: walking. The shoe wins the Scandinavian Outdoor Award in the "Footwear Category."
2022: The winter shoe "Ull" is launched. The pure Norwegian wool makes the shoes soft and comfortable to walk in while providing insulation and breathability. The shoe wins the "Overall Winner" award at the Scandinavian Outdoor Awards.
2023: Atle Bjerkli becomes the CEO. Alfa won «Product of the Year» with model Stad during the Design Industry Awards. Alfa continues to work on creating high-quality shoes that withstand active use and last a long time. The goal is to make it easy for customers to make more sustainable choices. Through proper maintenance and the option for repair, you can enjoy your Alfa shoes well into the future.