The Toughest Italian Shoes

Mj 618_348_the toughest italian shoes

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;]

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