For more than 85 years, La Sportiva has been handcrafting some of the world’s highest quality technical footwear for alpine pursuits. Located in a small mountain town at the foot of the Dolomite Mountains, La Sportiva is a family-run business, and many of its employees come from families that have been with the company for eight decades. It’s a unique situation in the modern world of often disconnected, dispassionate corporations. Also unique is that La Sportiva manufactures more than half of its merchandise in a small, 150-person factory in Italy that’s owned and operated by the company rather than outsourcing production to cut costs.
In 1928, Narciso Delladio began manufacturing boots and clogs for farmers and lumberjacks in Italy. During the Second World War, he provided custom mountaineering boots for Italian soldiers; following the war, Narciso produced his first ski boots under the name La Sportiva. During the ’70s Narciso and his son Francesco diversified production to include other growing mountain sports, including climbing and mountaineering. The ‘80s saw an explosion in the popularity of free-climbing, which provided another opportunity for growth. La Sportiva introduced the revolutionary Mariacher shoe, the final evolution of a long series of groundbreaking designs, and it redefined the sport.
Around that time, La Sportiva began selling abroad, and its boots and shoes became favorites of the world’s best climbers and mountaineers. Since then, la Sportiva has established itself as one of the world’s premier manufacturers of footwear for rock climbing, mountaineering, trail running, light hiking, and alpine ski touring. Regardless of their function, the company’s shoes and boots are renown for their support, durability, protection, and performance.
In 1996, La Sportiva moved to its modern manufacturing facility in Ziano di Fiemme in the heart of the Dolomites. Manufacturing has expanded to include technical apparel, including shirts and jackets, but the main focus is―as it always has been―on high-quality handcrafted footwear. La Sportiva stands out as one of the few companies left that won’t sacrifice craftsmanship for lower production costs, and it shows in every item that leaves the factory.