An insider’s perspective on the awesome Zamberlan boot factory in Italy, where traditional craft partners with high tech machinery and materials to produce some of the best boots out there

Zamberlan is based in the Piccole Dolomiti area of north-east Italy where, in 1929, Giuseppe Zamberlan, a cobbler and the company’s founder, was driven by his passion for the local mountain range to make the best boots. Taking the traditional Italian craft of shoemaking along with modern manufacturing methods, his desire was to make commercially viable footwear for his environment to be enjoyed by all.

He was lucky to be working in collaboration with the revolutionary ideas of Vitale Bramani, founder of Vibram, to develop rubber soles; these would later replace the existing ones for what we now take for granted to be modern footwear.

credit: Archant

Today, the third generation of the family, Marco and Maria Zamberlan, have taken the brand worldwide with 90% of production exported for sales in more than 45 countries, without sacrificing the benefits inherent to hand-made techniques.

WATCH Chris Parkin’s tour of the factory, and try not wince as the bootmakers’ hands seem to come dangerously close to the massive sewing machines!