Diotto are an Italian boot maker who are in the high end section of the market competing against the likes of Mendel and Harkila for a market share in the hunting, gamekeeping and stalking sector.
I bought a pair of Diotto Auchleek boots for deer hunting and put them through the test. I have used these boots for 9 months now, almost a full season deer stalking and loading in southern England.
The design of the Diotto Auchleek boot is not the normal flat leather upper with tongue but it has a mottled effect on the leather and the tongue is a one piece fold over affair that gives less chance of water entering the boot from the side of the laces. This fold over design makes the boot look a little odd when you first take it out of the box but you very quickly get used to it and start to really like it. The fold over tongue also means that when you start to tie the laces the boot will always go over your ankle and shine in a comfortable fashion.
The base of the boot has a Vibram sole as many of the top brands do these days with good grippy self cleaning cleats. However for me the sole is too narrow and I did turn my ankle a few times whilst wearing them on hard ground like I usually stalk in Southern England. When I used them on softer ground or in the uplands they performed much, much better. The sole was also a little hard and quite difficult to be quiet when you are on hard forestry tracks. The Diotto Auchleek boot has a Wind-Tex lining that keeps the boot dry inside which worked really well.
After getting used to the look of the boot and the narrow sole I must say that I really did like them. They are comfortable and dry which is a real must, the size was tight but that is OK, you just need a half bigger than normal to allow you to wear thick socks. The boots do need treating to keep them supple and I used Gold Label Dubbin as my choice of leather conditioner. The laces tie up nicely and the boot seemed well made and put together. None of the rubber came away nor did the stitching and the sole held up to the rigors of at least 30 hunting and loading trips.
However I had a major problem towards the end of the shooting / deer season the upper on the boot started to show signs of cracking even with the leather conditioner that I had been regularly using. The crack soon turned into a split and the boots leaked with a large hole on the top of the leather. This was unacceptable for what is marketed and priced as a premium product.
A call to the supplier bore no fruit at all, first they told me that I hadn’t been treating the boots correctly and needed to be using conditioner on them. When I pointed out that I had been and which one I had used I was told that it was not the right product so I was not due a replacement pair.
The Diotto Auchleek boot did not last for a whole season with some quite tough use I have to admit but for a price tag of £249.00 I do expect much better.