Calzaturificio Diemme, founded by brothers Dennis and Maico Signor, has been quietly producing for the last two decades hardworking yet memorably cool footwear in Montebelluna, the seat of a bible college and a ski boot-production hub that’s an hour outside of Venice. The brand’s story, however, goes back even farther: Dennis began making hunting boots as a 13-year-old, and the boys’ grandfather was an industry veteran at Calzaturificio Rondini, one of Italy’s most famous shoe factories. Diemme Footwear‘s approach to crafting hunting, mountaineering, and trekking boots – distinguished by an emphasis on craftsmanship and high-quality materials – has led to partnerships with luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo.
True to the brand’s Italian Alps heritage, the Fall 2013 collection features some supremely heavy-duty models inspired by the world’s toughest places, including Tibet and Siberia. But the standout is the Roccia Vet, a Diemme hunting boot repurposed for city use with a big sole and fine leather. Though it has the roundness of a Danner boot, the Vet is a bit lower profile and more simply finished. For similar ease and range of wear, the Verona Chelsea boot is precision-engineered with supple suede treated for thermal insulation atop a lightweight Vibram Morflex sole (a third the weight of composition rubber), which adds generous give and bounce. The Marostica Mid in navy, for its part, aces a whole new category: the hiking boot/mid-top sneaker hybrid, with metal lacing hardware and a vulcanized rubber sole. The leather: antelope. The result: A wild, rugged boot that is both hardy and office appropriate. [Marostica Mid, $375; endclothing.com]