Behind the Cannolis: An investigation into DMT Shoes
The DMT shoe has so far played the Italian stereotype and played it well. Typically, gentlemen in street-style fashion shoots or continental cycling adverts are seen as stylish, interesting, but perhaps a tad mysterious and unapproachable - a marketing direction DMT enjoy pursuing. So, in true Always Riding myth busting style, we took off our cycling caps and put on our Sherlock style deerstalkers to investigate the real story behind the brand...
Our first task was to find out where DMT shoes are made, answer Verona. Still playing the role well - a city rife with historical and cultural significance. Dig a little deeper however and it becomes clear that Verona is less star-crossed lovers and more lovers of cross stitch. Verona district is in fact one of Italy's most important manufacturing areas for footwear. This revelation helped greatly to explain all the pictures from DMT of Italians holding half assembled Vega shoes - could they be the skilled factory workers who stitch much of the shoes by hand?
We sought answers, and despite our best attempts to prolong the mystery, we got them! DMT do in fact make many of their products in Italy - in Verona itself where the company is based. Famed for its footwear production, the Verona district is characterized by a number of smaller family run firms and a handful of medium sized companies. DMT stood strong against the move of labor to other parts of the world in the 1990s and still manufacture in Italy with a second production line carefully assembled in Bosnia.
So how do DMT ensure style and frankly great looking shoes whist maintaining quality, careful manufacture? This surely is the crux of the investigation. It turns out that DMT have, at their Verona base, a design lab, a prototype lab, and two labs for performance and stress resistance. In addition to this they take detailed feedback from 250 international athletes who test the initial samples all the way through to the finished products on roads, trails and everything in-between.
There is an emphasis during manufacture for manual labor, hand tools and a calm approach. This ensures a rigorous and precise assembly - skills that are passed from the senior workers to the junior apprentices. The gluing of the sole for example is done by hand as only a manual approach guarantees the precision necessary to create a durable shoe.
So DMT - all style and no substance? Our investigation concludes they are definitely not guilty.