In 1976 Celestino Vercelli did lay the foundation of Vittoria Shoes. Back in the days there wasn’t much choice of artisan cycling shoes. To perform on the highest level in cycling the shoes are one of the key contact points to the bike. With a family tradition of classic Italian shoe makers and 10 years of experience as a professional cyclist he decided to create high quality cycling shoes himself. Only a few years after the foundation of Vittoria Shoes Celestino moved into his own factory.
Starting with leather shoes and wooden soles Celestino was always aiming to look for innovations and to improve the performance. New materials like nylon mesh quickly made it into the production making the shoes lighter and more breathable. Nylon fibre and later carbon fibre technology for the sole massively improved the performance and the power transfer to the pedal.
Aside of the new materials for the upper and the sole the closure system was another focus. Moving from traditional laces to velcro straps Vittoria was the first brand on the market to introduce their own developed rotor closure system with the Fulcrum shoe in 1991. Since 2016 Vittoria is closely working together with BOA closure systems to provide the best adjustability on the market.
The performance and style – where Vittoria was one of the first to introduce coloured cycling shoes – quickly grown a big fan base in the Pro Peloton. Providing shoes for legends like Marco Pantani many big victories have been added to the palmares of Vittoria shoes.
With all the history from traditional shoe making Vittoria stays true to their heritage still producing all their shoes in Italy.
How long does it take to manufacture a modern cycling shoes and what are the steps? Cutting the upper material, stitching the different parts and closure system together, shaping the upper and finally glueing it to the sole simplifies the steps a lot as there is a lot of manual grinding and adjustments on the way. From start to finish it takes about 8 hours to produce one pair of cycling shoes.
Whereas most producers on the market normally manufacture specific models once per season certain sizes and colours can quickly run out of stock. Having their own production in Italy Vittoria is able to delivery any model in any size within a maximum of 2-3 weeks.
In addition to the standard production the Vittoria customers can request custom solutions like different sizes for each foot or have an extra wide fit on request.
The sizes and shape of the feet develop over time and require constant updates and improvements in the shape of the last to adapt to the needs of the modern cyclists. About 20 years ago the average size was about 41 to 42 now in 2019 being 44 to 45.
The entry level Vittoria shoes are cut a bit wider to provide more comfort where the pro-level shoes have a close fit to provide the best power transfer possible. The standard sole of Vittoria shoes are already a lot wider than the classic Italian shoe last following the trend of size development in the recent years. A special Asia-Fit allows for the needs of the Asian market with a higher volume of the shoe.
Vittoria also pays a lot of attention to women cycling developing special insoles for their needs. As recent studies show the shape of women’s feet are not much different to men’s feet.
Words and pictures Manuel Buck @mach_bar