Dromarti's range of classically styled cycling shoes, apparel and accessories undoubtedly won't appeal to everyone – especially not tech-heads – but for those that can appreciate their timeless aesthetic, there's an awful lot to like.
The Italian leather uppers are beautifully hand-stitched and impeccably dyed, and even the interiors get similar treatment with leather liners and insoles. All Dromarti shoes fasten with traditional laces to retain the stylistic theme – and to their credit, few modern closures can match the way they evenly distribute pressure across the top of the foot. Certain models also get perforations to complement leather's natural breathability for additional comfort in warm weather.
Dromarti will offer its shoes in three styles and two colours. The Race uses a fibre-reinforced nylon sole with a standard three-hole drilling while the Storica is designed for toe clip use with its smooth, textured sole (Dromarti also offers toe clip-specific cleats for the Race if you're so inclined).
Finally, there's the Sportivo with a recessed two-bolt pocket for mountain bike-type cleats and a walkable sole.
The matching gloves use genuine Nappa leather palms stitched to hand-crocheted backs piped with additional leather. The high-density palm padding extends to the base of the wrist for extra comfort and it all comes in a leather storage pouch, too.
Dromarti has specifically tuned the colours of each item to coordinate with each other
Dromarti's latest item is a cycling jersey, whose colours naturally match the rest of the range with impressive accuracy. The 30-percent wool blend material is notably light and airy, and the pocket array shows a good amount of thought. In addition to the standard trio across the lower back, there's a zippered waterproof pocket piggybacked in the centre, concealed sleeves for a mini-pump and tool, and even a music player-specific location with built-in wire management.
The natural materials do require more care than usual, though, and all of that laborious construction doesn't come cheaply, either. The jersey is US$170, the shoes range from US$195-495 depending on style and colour, and even the gloves are US$150 per pair.
Even so, company principal Martin Scofield says the response has been far better than expected and he's already running out of sizes across the board. Moreover, the hand-built nature of the items limits how much Dromarti can produce. Scofield says he's already blown through the initial run of 100 pairs of gloves just four months into 2010 and can only get another 200 for the year – so if any of these items strike a chord, get them while you can.