A fast-expanding company, Diadora is well-established in China and now has a foothold (no pun intended) in the US. It was interesting going into a shoe we knew nothing about, but don’t worry. We did the research, so you don’t have to.
Diadora, like 361° (another Chinese brand), takes many cues from Asics. In this case, they share the concept of gel-based cushioning (and more we’ll get into shortly). As opposed to Asics, which uses thicker gel inserts at the heel and forefoot, Diadoras have a thinner gel layer that runs the length of the footbed. This “innersole” features piston-like geometry to increase responsiveness and cushion, without weight. This actually ends up feeling similar to the Adidas Boost foam, which is to say springy and cushy. There’s also an external midfoot shank, in the middle of which you can see a window of the gel.
One peculiarity was the differences in feeling between my feet. My left, which has a higher arch than my right, felt like it was almost rolling off the outside of the shoe (supination). This isn’t a stability model either, so I’m unclear if this was poor manufacturing or because of my own anatomy.
The upper is the other aspect similar to Asics. It seems lifted almost directly from the Nimbus 18. It has a good fit, with lots of ability to stretch for wider feet. The toe is rather pointed though, so be wary of that issue.
My biggest concern would be durability. With thin gel and possible production errors, it’s not certain how long these would last (full disclosure: we were unable to test these for an extended period of time). They feel great and utilize some neat ideas, but color me skeptical.