On 19 November 2017 at 12:11 | updated on 11 February 2018 at 18:11

Montebelluna, the old Silicon Valley of inline skating

Montebelluna, the old Silicon Valley of inline skating

Before China got the world's greatest place of production, Montebelluna in Italy (not far from Venice) was the number one place of production for inline skating. The region was responsible for almost 80% of ski boot production and 50% of skate production...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

A great shoe tradition

MontebellunaMontebelluna is a small town in the province of Treviso in the region of Veneto. It is about sixty kilometers north of Venice. With just over 31,000 inhabitants, it is home to many major footwear brands: Fila has a research and development center there; Northwave, Geox and also Trezeta are located there. In addition, Montebelluna is home to the largest Nike football factory.

Why such a concentration?

Montebelluna has been producing and marketing shoes since the Middle Ages. In the second half of the 19th century, Montebelluna developed into a veritable stronghold: 10 shoemakers in 1808, 36 in 1830 and 55 in 1873. 30 years later, the number 200 was reached!

From the hiking boots to the ski boots

The growth of the ski market in the 1950s has released an economic boom. In the 1960s, Italy developed innovations in the production of polyurethane ski boots. The production increased from 200,000 pairs in 1960 to 4 million pairs in 1979. In 1997, three quarters of the world's production of ski boots came from Italy.

Over the years, manufacturers and their subcontractors have acquired irreplaceable expertise and know-how. Subcontractors have mainly focused on partial production. For example, some only produce screws, others focus on seams or assembly.

From skiing to inline skating

La production de roller à Montebelluna dans les années 90Inline skating production began in 1986 with 350,000 pairs of skates. In 1995 it reached 5 million, which was 20% of the world market. The skates produced in Italy were more middle-class and high-end models, the other models were produced in Asia and partly in the eastern countries.
In 1997, Montebelluna hosts huge factories of the Benetton Group (textile and fashion companies), but also most of the major skate brands such as Rollerblade, Bauer, Tecnica, Roces, Roxa (in Asolo), Rexton (in Altivole), Ultrawheels, Risport, Trezeta. Later brands like Rossignol, Salomon, Nike, Bauer, Spin (in Casella d'Asolo) and Hypno also joined.

And France?

In the late 1990s, the Annecy region (Haute-Savoie, Rhône-Alpes) housed many major skate brands such as Tecnica, Oxygen, Rollerblade, Salomon, K2, RollerDerby, Labeda, Hypno, Hyper, Kryptonics or even Rossignol.
Nowadays, some brands such as Rollerblade still have their offices in this location.

The other production places of the world in 1998

  • K2: South Korea
  • Nike: South Korea
  • Rollerball: Taiwan
  • Mission: China and USA
  • Ultrawheels: USA and Taiwan
  • Farmer: Canada and the Czech Republic
  • CCM: Canada
  • Koho: Canada
  • Hudson: Taiwan
  • RollerDerby: USA and Taiwan
  • Intruder: Taiwan
  • Out: Thailand
  • B-Pro: Taiwan
  • Holy: Taiwan
  • Crazy Creek: Italy and Taiwan
  • Salomon: Italy and Eastern Europe
  • Rossignol: Italy
  • Razors: Germany and Hong Kong
  • Oxygen: Austria

Entrée de Tecnica


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Released  on 19 November 2017 - Read 1542 times

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Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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