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View Full Version : Diadora - A Once Great Tennis Shoe


WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 06:55 AM
Back in the early '90s I would use Diadora tennis shoes and their casual sports shoes for off the court. Diadora made the greatest shoes for walking and for tennis. Then after a couple of years of doing so they changed the pattern in which the shoe was cut out and sewn together. The toe area became too narrow and cramped and after a set I got blisters on my little toe on both feet. I know about cost accounting and managerial accounting and every dollar or even cents saved in production of a product can amount to millions of bucks a year saved by a company. So maybe that was their motive. Since then especially of recent times you don't see Diadora that much anymore. Seems like their casual sports shoe and tennis shoe lines over the years started to disappear from stores and online retailers. It's too bad but they had a great shoe at one time. Now they are just a soccer shoe with a few other non-soccer shoe models out there but as noted not too many people carry them.

Did any of you who are old enough to have used these shoes in the early '90s remember how great they were until the changed the pattern?

vsbabolat
07-22-2010, 09:23 AM
I wore Diadora in the 80's and 90's. I found it was in the 90's that they started to go down. They cahnged the fit of the shoes. The best Diadora shoes I had were:
Borg Signature
Super Star
Maverick
Kings Cup
Original Rebound Ace

The Borg Signature, Borg Elite, and the Super Star used kangaroo leather. The biggest problem with these shoes was they just got torn up on hard courts. I was going though a Super Star a week on hard courts with the dual density polyurethane soles. On clay they were fantastic!!! Never had a better shoe for clay to this day.

Diadora was sold last year to Goex. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/sole-searching-geox-billionaire-steps-into-diadora-1711250.html
The international site is down for a new that is being designed. While in the U.S. only soccer is being sold. You can still get Diadora tennis in Europe. Don't know if that is left over or not.

The new Speed Star looks very interesting.
http://www.tenniswarehouse-europe.com/descpageMSDIAH-DSSWBS.html

WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 09:50 AM
I'm glad someone agrees with me on that. I was hoping it was not my imagination that they changed the fit of the shoe. Basically they changed the pattern they use to cut the shoe sole and uppers with to make it more narrow in the toe box. When I did complain to Diadorra they claimed they didn't know what I was talking about but they were very good too because they sent me two Diadora t-shirts of my color choice and they actually gave me a check for the amount I paid for them. They wouldn't do that now if I bought some and complained because it was years ago they changed the pattern, not just yesterday.

WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 09:53 AM
I guess selling the company last year was a big change in what they sell too since they do soccer only in the US from what you say. I did find some Maverick on the net for cheap so I went ahead and ordered some. I am taking my chances though knowing that in the '90s they changed the pattern but they were cheap and I'm hoping the pattern was changed back to the wider toe box shape. I won't play tennis in them though, I think Mavericks are for casual walking and stuff. The Rebound Ace that you mention are for tennis of course. I agree the Original RA are great shoes. I did have some of their casual shoes way back when but I forget the name, maybe they were called Maverick or something else. The Mavericks that I just ordered should be here next week and I'll post how they are.

WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 09:54 AM
Didn't Diadora have a Boom Boom model? I mean a Boris Becker model too? Maybe they do in Europe still? He used to use these. I suppose most the players endorsing these were Europeans and the Americans had the more mainstream brands to endorse, maybe that's why in the US Diadora didn't hold a very good food (pun intended) on the court here.

WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the Speed Star link. They look nice. Wonder how the toe box is for size? Wonder why TW US doesn't carry them? Same company, different continent. I mean at least carry a few to sell to those of us who want Diadora. But like I say it's all depending on how that pattern is and if they cut the toe box bigger again.

BreakPoint
07-22-2010, 11:37 AM
Yes, I wore several pairs of Diadora tennis shoes in the 80's and early 90's. They had some great tennis shoes which were very comfortable as they used very soft leather. But then in the early 00's, I bought another pair of Diadora tennis shoes and it was total garbage. Had no support at all and the soles literally wore out after playing tennis in them only like 4 or 5 times. Amazing how fast the tread disappeared and developed holes. After that awful experience I never bought another pair of Diadora shoes.

WilsonPlayer101
07-22-2010, 12:00 PM
Break, yeah I guess you and vsbabolat confirm that Diadora was once great and has gone down hill. I think when they changed the fit of the shoe back about 1995 or so they were still a quality shoe, just a bad fit because they narrowed the toe box. I didn't buy any after that but you confirmed that the quality also went down in the early 2000s. Well all these years I was hoping to find some Diadora locally to try on to see if they fixed the pattern problem but could not find them for the life of me and was not going to buy anymore mail order since as far as I knew they were not a great shoe anymore. But because I saw them ultra cheap on close out online some where I decided to chance it and buy some. I guess with all the great shoe companies out there I don't need to hunt high and low for Diadora hoping they are great but because they are a great price I hope they fixed the issues of the past.

Snipergene
07-22-2010, 12:01 PM
I wore Diadora in the 80's and 90's. I found it was in the 90's that they started to go down. They changed the fit of the shoes. The best Diadora shoes I had were:
Borg Signature
Super Star
Maverick
Kings Cup
Original Rebound Ace

The Borg Signature, Borg Elite, and the Super Star used kangaroo leather. The biggest problem with these shoes was they just got torn up on hard courts.

I wore the Borg with the Kangaroo leather and it was the softest, most comfortable upper on a shoe I've ever worn. Wish I still had a pair of those.

saigonbond
07-22-2010, 02:40 PM
I had a pair of Kafelnikov yellow 3/4 tops back in the day:

http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/6104/kafelnikov.jpg

borg number one
07-23-2010, 07:51 AM
The Diadora Speed Pro IIIAG shoes look very nice, but perhaps they are not widely available anymore.

vsbabolat
07-24-2010, 04:43 PM
Diadora is still alive and kicking in tennis in Europe. Lukas Lacko is wearing Diadora in Atlanta this week.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Lacko_2010_Atlanta.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/Lacko_2010_Atlanta_2.jpg




The mavericks they sell today is a little different than the mavericks I wore back in the day.

esm
07-25-2010, 11:50 AM
loved Diadora - had a few pairs back in the 90's. they were solid.

they dont really make shoes like them anymore....

saigonbond
07-26-2010, 02:44 PM
Of course there was Guga who rocked some Diadora gear:

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/3074/gugakuertenfrenchopen08.jpg
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/3074/gugakuertenfrenchopen08.jpg

saigonbond
07-26-2010, 02:47 PM
Bjorn Borg:

http://www.designerclothing247.com/golden-age-of-diadora.htm

WilsonPlayer101
07-27-2010, 12:23 PM
vsbabolat, I just received my pair of Maverick by Diadora. I don't recall what I wore back in the early '90s when Diadora was a great shoe. I recall only the Rebound Ace on the tennis court but off court I had a Diadora casual sport shoe so I don't recall if it is the Maverick or what but this new Maverick compared to whatever I had way back when is nothing to write home about. The toe area is not as cramped as when they messed up thing in the mid '90s by changing the pattern which the shoe is cut from. I guess they made it a little larger again but it still does not have the comfort or feel that the old school Diadora had way back when. Where the tongue meets the foot it feels restrictive. But these were cheap and I could return them since I only tried them on and did not mess them up but I'll keep them and use them a couple of months and give them to the Salvation Army and then buy some other shoes. I would do better with New Balance or K-Swiss but these were half the price and I wanted to give Diadora a go again. But after this no more Diadora for me unless they release the Rebound Ace in the US again and I can try them before I buy. But for now these will do for nostalgia reasons.

jmverdugo
07-27-2010, 01:21 PM
Last time I was in Brasil I bought a couple of the same model Guga is wearing but black, very comfortable shoe but it is definitely not designed for HC use, they did not last more than 2 months.

vsbabolat
07-28-2010, 06:19 PM
vsbabolat, I just received my pair of Maverick by Diadora. I don't recall what I wore back in the early '90s when Diadora was a great shoe. I recall only the Rebound Ace on the tennis court but off court I had a Diadora casual sport shoe so I don't recall if it is the Maverick or what but this new Maverick compared to whatever I had way back when is nothing to write home about. The toe area is not as cramped as when they messed up thing in the mid '90s by changing the pattern which the shoe is cut from. I guess they made it a little larger again but it still does not have the comfort or feel that the old school Diadora had way back when. Where the tongue meets the foot it feels restrictive. But these were cheap and I could return them since I only tried them on and did not mess them up but I'll keep them and use them a couple of months and give them to the Salvation Army and then buy some other shoes. I would do better with New Balance or K-Swiss but these were half the price and I wanted to give Diadora a go again. But after this no more Diadora for me unless they release the Rebound Ace in the US again and I can try them before I buy. But for now these will do for nostalgia reasons.

They don't look like the same Mavericks I wore. Hopefully things will get sorted out with the new owners.

WilsonPlayer101
07-28-2010, 07:29 PM
Yeah I am leaving Diadora in the past now because the past over 15 years I have been wanting to get another Diadora shoe hoping they fixed the shortcomings of the shoe since it changed in the early '90s. So I get this one and it's mediocre at best in terms of comfort and design. So now at least I know and it didn't cost me too much to find out. So I'm gonna stick to New Balance or K-Swiss for my casual sports shoes for now because I have good experiences with them. On the court right now I just got some Wilson Vision. I have bronchitis now so I can't play tennis so maybe in a week or two I can try them out and see if the reviews of these shoes are right.

Figjam
07-28-2010, 10:09 PM
Personally I think the speedzone's were some of the best shoes I ever wore.

WilsonPlayer101
07-28-2010, 10:19 PM
Personally I think the speedzone's were some of the best shoes I ever wore.


Diadora saves the good Diadora's for Europe and not the US. I don't know why but it's like that but in the late '80s and early '90s good Diadora could be purchased here. The Maverick's I just got I can only consider a pseudo shoe. I can't believe what good reviews the new Maverick got at some websites. I'm only keeping it because it was inexpensive. After about a month it goes to the Salvation Army drop off center.

The_Question
07-29-2010, 05:34 AM
I had the Jim Courier Diadora Shoes back in the day. It was okay, the outsole cracked right underneath the front toe area after 3 months...

Subprime
07-29-2010, 11:17 AM
Gosh, yes, this is bringing back memories. I had a pair of the becker shoes in '91 (I think). It was mainly white, blue diadora "stripe" with bb's signature, blue liner in the forefoot, purple liner at the ankle, grey heel brace support thing, blue outsole with a red and a green circular plug (some sort of cushioning system). This was a great shoe - the upper (not sure if it was real leather or synthetic) was soft but durable. Outsole, however, was not durable at all. I tried the modern-day diadoras and they were too narrow (as someone else mentioned)

Figjam
07-29-2010, 11:23 AM
Hey maybe the guy who brought back donnay can breing back Diadiora???

I REALLY wanted those Guga shoes, but they only made them up to size 10.5 WTF????

WilsonPlayer101
07-29-2010, 11:25 AM
Gosh, yes, this is bringing back memories. I had a pair of the becker shoes in '91 (I think). It was mainly white, blue diadora "stripe" with bb's signature, blue liner in the forefoot, purple liner at the ankle, grey heel brace support thing, blue outsole with a red and a green circular plug (some sort of cushioning system). This was a great shoe - the upper (not sure if it was real leather or synthetic) was soft but durable. Outsole, however, was not durable at all. I tried the modern-day diadoras and they were too narrow (as someone else mentioned)

Yep that was me mentioning they are narrow around the toe. I think also another did mention that they changed the fit and feel as well. So that's at least three of us who feel that way. Maybe that's why Diadora lost footing in this country. They change the fit to a narrow one and people don't want them so they loose sales here and they don't get shelf space in shoe stores. Yeah these new Mavericks I had hope for but I know there is no hope. Back to K-Swiss or New Balance.

jedi clampett
07-29-2010, 07:29 PM
Funny, I disagree with most of what has been written in this thread. I think the best diadora shoe ever is the current speed pro III. I currently have 2 pair, 1 red, and 1 black/blue (which I had to order from TW europe). The toe box is not narrow. I have a fairly wide foot, and these shoes fit me like a glove. They aren't nearly as narrow as my CB 2.3's. I absolutely love the speed pro for comfort, support, and looks. The only improvement I would ask for is a more durable sole. They wear faster than barricades or CB's. Still the best shoe out there imo.

WilsonPlayer101
07-29-2010, 09:13 PM
Funny, I disagree with most of what has been written in this thread. I think the best diadora shoe ever is the current speed pro III. I currently have 2 pair, 1 red, and 1 black/blue (which I had to order from TW europe). The toe box is not narrow. I have a fairly wide foot, and these shoes fit me like a glove. They aren't nearly as narrow as my CB 2.3's. I absolutely love the speed pro for comfort, support, and looks. The only improvement I would ask for is a more durable sole. They wear faster than barricades or CB's. Still the best shoe out there imo.

Actually even though I complain about the modern day Diadora I think I agree with you. See the problem is that I can guess that Diadora sells the good Diadora models in Europe but the few they sell here are junk like the Maverick I have. The toe box is narrow but if the Speed is not narrow it's because it's one of the good ones that they seem not to sell in the US. I wish they would.