Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Diadora Speed Blushield 4

TW Staff

Administrator
Attention Talk Tennis Members:

We have a very limited number of Diadora Speed Blushield 4 shoes for a playtest.

This playtest is for USA Talk Tennis members only.

Application period is now closed. Selected playtesters will be notified via email by Wednesday, October 14th.

If you are selected, you must reply to our confirmation email and confirm that you are able to perform this playtest.

We select playtesters based on a number of factors, including past performance on playtests, user history and postings in topics similar to playtest category.

*** Your review is due by November 20, 2020 at 5pm PST***

If you do not post a review or if your review is clearly lacking effort, you will be excluded from future playtests.

Please use the following to write your review:
Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
Current shoe:
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
Normal Size:
Playtesting Size:
Comments on shoe performance:
-comfort:
-arch support:
-stability/support:
-ventilation:
-sole durability:
-toe durability:
-traction:
-weight:
General reaction/comments on overall performance:

We encourage a lively discussion on Diadora shoes. We will remove extraneous posts, e.g., “email sent”.

Thanks,
TW Staff
 
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chinny562

New User
Gosh. I would love to play test these shoes but after watching the review from Chris, it might be a "roomy fit" and I also have a narrow feet as him and I surely do not want to double up on socks.. Looking forward to hearing reviews from other play testers!
 

McLovin

Legend
Gosh. I would love to play test these shoes but after watching the review from Chris, it might be a "roomy fit" and I also have a narrow feet as him and I surely do not want to double up on socks..
Exactly the reason I applied. Wearing ankle braces on both feet, I like the more roomy shoes. And ever since they changed the Cage line, I've been in search of the perfect shoe.
 

corvax

New User
Gosh. I would love to play test these shoes but after watching the review from Chris, it might be a "roomy fit" and I also have a narrow feet as him and I surely do not want to double up on socks.. Looking forward to hearing reviews from other play testers!
Actually surpringly I didn't find these shoes too wide at all and I'd say I've got narrow to medium foot. Thick socks and my regular diadora shoe size worked great for me.

Very comfy shoes overall and good stability but they do initially feel a little on the heavy side. Same weight as the SCB but those definitely feel a bit lighter. Once I started playing though it didn't really cross my mind again.
 
Currently playing with the SCB after trying NB FF lav, ASIC GR7, GR8 wide, Ubersonic 3 and SFX3. I have medium to wide feet. Diadora has been on my list for medium-wide shoes, hopefully I can test them out.
 

agab

New User
Just saw this post and applied for it. Eagerly waiting to see if I will get picked. Have heard great things about Diadora from friends but never purchased one since I am kinda addicted to Asics. If I get picked may be it will change my mind
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
Played Diadora shoes from way back in the day. Some fit better than others. Some were more durable than others. But you can always consistently count on a high quality, comfortable, soft ride from Diadora shoes.
 

joah310

Professional
never tried diadora. I have heard some good things, but can someone compare to other shoes for some perspective?
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I participated in the KSwiss Ultrashot playtests (also a wide-ish shoe) and I love them (still my daily shoe, 7 pairs now) and would like to compare the Diadora's which I used long, long ago. Bummer Yonex has gone so narrow lately...
 

agab

New User
One of the things I heard about Diadora shoes is that the outsole is very durable compared to other brands.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Ho, boy. I'm in!! I am so excited!!!

I have wanted for a long time to find something better than what I am wearing now, and my feet are a mess.

I had pf so bad at one point that I ruptured the pf in my left foot. Meanwhile, my right foot has had a series of pf episodes PLUS bone spurs in back PLUS insertional achilles tendonitis for all of 2020. Today was the first day I could run a block without pain, which is a huge win.

If these shoes can help make things better on a tennis court even a little bit, I will be a customer for life.

Cindy -- hoping this won't be considered an "extraneous post"
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I heard the same. Would be nice to have that verified .
I'm pretty tough on shoes. My current shoes, Wilson Rush Pro 2.5's, were put into service on July 28th and were worn through in several spots as of today when I submitted a durability claim. I've recently gone through about a half dozen Prince T22's, all purchased from Tennis Warehouse and all worn through in the first half of the warranty period. With my massive, crushing weight, I can pretty much wear through anything despite my advanced age so it will be a good test.
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
Any selected play testers also participate in the previous Diadora play test from a couple years ago?
 

Hotpockets

Rookie
I'll be keeping an eye out for reviews here. Didadora shoes make me curious as I don't have much experience with them.
 

taydbear7

Semi-Pro
I've never had any experience with Diadora but a guy I play against I asked him to compare them to the Zoom Zero and he prefers the Zoom Zero so I actually passed on buying a pair of Diadora.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I got my shoes today. Here are some pictures.





As I was handling the shoes, it felt like one was heavier than the other, and sure enough the weights are different: 16.5 ounces for the left shoe and 16.9 ounces for the right shoe.





I'm pretty hard on shoes. I weight, like, a **lot**. So even though I'm an old guy, I wear through them quickly. Here's a picture of some Wilson Rush Pro 2.5's that wore out in 13 weeks. I have always taken advantage of any manufacturer's six month warranty, including those from Asics, Adidas, Prince, and Wilson.



Initial impressions - the shoes are a bit longer than a standard size 11. It feels like I could fit a 10.5 in this model. The toe box is also more roomy than typical. It feels like it needs a little bit of break-in before being ready to head out on court. I'm getting a little bit of heel lift when I walk around and so need the shoe to soften up so it bends with my foot a little more.

Cushioning feels more than adequate. There's quite a bit of give with my 200 pounds of body weight, and I wonder if the cushioning is actually a bit too soft for when I have to move aggressively. Arch height is medium low.

I'll probably head out on court with these on Thursday.

Thanks again to Diadora and Tennis Warehouse for selecting me for this playtest.
 

agab

New User
I got my shoes today. Here are some pictures.





As I was handling the shoes, it felt like one was heavier than the other, and sure enough the weights are different: 16.5 ounces for the left shoe and 16.9 ounces for the right shoe.





I'm pretty hard on shoes. I weight, like, a **lot**. So even though I'm an old guy, I wear through them quickly. Here's a picture of some Wilson Rush Pro 2.5's that wore out in 13 weeks. I have always taken advantage of any manufacturer's six month warranty, including those from Asics, Adidas, Prince, and Wilson.



Initial impressions - the shoes are a bit longer than a standard size 11. It feels like I could fit a 10.5 in this model. The toe box is also more roomy than typical. It feels like it needs a little bit of break-in before being ready to head out on court. I'm getting a little bit of heel lift when I walk around and so need the shoe to soften up so it bends with my foot a little more.

Cushioning feels more than adequate. There's quite a bit of give with my 200 pounds of body weight, and I wonder if the cushioning is actually a bit too soft for when I have to move aggressively. Arch height is medium low.

I'll probably head out on court with these on Thursday.

Thanks again to Diadora and Tennis Warehouse for selecting me for this playtest.
They look nice! Have fun
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Cushioning feels more than adequate. There's quite a bit of give with my 200 pounds of body weight, and I wonder if the cushioning is actually a bit too soft for when I have to move aggressively. Arch height is medium low.
How does the forefoot cushioning feel? I find so many tennis shoes nowadays have adequate heel cushioning and then it tapers away into nothing in the forefoot. It drives me up the wall and kills my knees, so I'm always on the lookout for shoes with better forefoot cushioning.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
The Diadora feels like almost gel-like in the non-removeable footbed area. It's the most cushioned footbed I've experienced in any of my recent shoes, and I think because of that the removeable insole is moderately thin and made of a very compressible, open cell foam material.

Here's the removeable insole:



It's right at 5 mm thick:



But with just a little pressure, it squeezes paper thin:



I wore the shoes to do some footwork drills and the insole is not to my liking. It's so easily compressible it might as well not be there, and the shoe almost relies almost entirely on the non-removeable footbed for cushioning. Because these shoes seem to run larger than true size, lacing the shoe up feels okay but as the insole compresses so easily, any athletic movement makes it feel like my foot is sliding around inside the shoe because the shoe gains volume as the insole compresses. This is even with using the uppermost shoelace holes which snug it up around the ankle.

@TW Staff Is it acceptable to substitute our own preferred insoles in place of the factory ones, or should we do some testing with the shoe with the supplied insole before making any changes?
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
After my previous post, I was looking at the Diadora insoles a bit more and they looked awfully familiar. I pulled out the insoles from the Wilson Rush Pro shoes and they are identical - they are both "Ortholite" insoles and made of the exact same, highly compressible, open cell foam material, in the same thickness. They even have the same two notches in the forefoot area.





After looking at the Wilson insoles, I pulled them out without even trying them. The set of shoes prior to this was the Prince T22, which had a really thick, sorbothane-like insole that I thought was great. However, the shoe itself wasn't so great. I think I went through six of them in the period of a little more than a year, three purchases and three warranty replacements, all handled super efficiently through Tennis Warehouse.
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
@TW Staff Is it acceptable to substitute our own preferred insoles in place of the factory ones, or should we do some testing with the shoe with the supplied insole before making any changes?
I would think it should be as some (like me) usually replace the insoles right away. I rotate through superfeet black, superfeet blue, copper fit, sofsol, and a couple others. One works better in certain shoes versus others.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I played my first session this morning with the Blushield 4's. I started with the supplied insole which wasn't supportive enough for me. As I said previously, it fills up the shoe so when lacing it up, everything feels tight. But it compresses down with pressure so the shoe feels like it loosens with athletic movements.

I brought some other insoles, and also brought my home-built arch supports. I had terrible plantar fasciitis years ago and found it came from aging and having my arches collapsing a bit. What I do are to take a couple of inserts that are used to cushion the ball of the foot in ladies shoes, stack them on top of each other, and then I orient them so they provide support for my entire arch.

I need to do a bit more fiddling to get the right insole. Some shoes seem to work better with one brand than another, and what actually worked best were some extra-thick ones made of a very dense rubber material. I also need to readjust the lacing pattern. What I noticed after playing a bit was that the laces and shoes stretched as they broke in and now the mesh material is bulging in the front part of the inner arch area. You can see it on both sides here:



The shoes were a little bit heavier than my current, lightly worn Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 shoes, which weigh 15.5 ounces or 439 grams with a replacement insole. With a slightly thicker insole, the left Blushield 4's weight is 18.2 ounces or 516 grams. The extra weight came with added stability and cushioning, and wasn't noticeable after a couple of minutes.

The thicker insole caused a bit of tightness just behind my pinkie toes on both sides, which I think will go away with break-in. I had to snug up the laces a couple of times as everything broke in. It was a cold day so no problems with the ventilation of the shoe. Overall, a good first experience that has every indication it will get better as the shoes break in.

Just one other note. Our courts are dark blue with a green surround. I did about a ten minute volley drill with heavy emphasis on footwork, and it was striking how much of the sole material had transferred to the medium roughness surface. I think it's because the rubber is primarily white, which shows on the dark surface. My rush pros are a medium blue with a smaller grey section, and don't leave any noticeable marks on the court.



I'm playing singles tomorrow afternoon against a former college player.
 
I received the shoes yesterday and tried them on this morning. I have medium - wide feet and currently play with the Adidas Solecourt Boost. They felt comfortable right out of the box. I wore them in the house for about 30 minutes and felt like I didn't really need to break them in before taking them to the court. I played for 2 hours in them today and the shoes felt great. I didn't have any discomfort and forgot that I was trying new shoes after warming up which is definitely a good thing. They provided adequate support, lot better than the SFX3 but may be a little less than the SCB. I did not hesitate to run / cut hard and go for balls out wide when I was playing a set.

I will write a detailed review when after putting more time in these. Anybody with medium-wide feet should definitely give these a shot.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
@Injured Again.... do you have a wide foot? Many reviews say if you have a more narrow foot then Diadora is prob not a good choice.
I did have fairly wide feet when I was younger. As I've gotten older, my feet have stretched out a bit - I now wear 11's while I used to wear 10.5's and sometimes 10's when I was in my 30's. Now, my feet are probably still a bit on the wider side but I fit a normal "D" width just fine.

The Blushield's are definitely a roomy shoe and also seem a bit longer than other size 11's. With the supplied, thin Ortholite insole, the sides pulled within about 3/4 of an inch together to make a snug fit, and that created a crease down the middle of the tongue. With the thicker insole I'm now using, it's roughly now shaped like it should be. I have lots of room in front of my toes - I could have easily worn a 10.5 in this shoe but every one of my previous pairs of shoes, from Asics, Wilson, Prince, Adidas, and K-Swiss, have been size 11's.
 
Here’s a quick comparison with my Adidas Sole Court Boost. Both size 11.5


this is what the shoes look like after a decent singles 2 hour session. The session wasn’t very intense but I think these shoes should be able to handle anything thrown at them.

 
@Injured Again.... do you have a wide foot? Many reviews say if you have a more narrow foot then Diadora is prob not a good choice.
The upper of the shoes seems very flexible comparable to the Babolat SFX3. (Its firmer and more supportive than the SFX3). So I think if you cinch down the laces, it will work for narrow-medium feet but medium wide feet will be super happy in these shoes.
 
I did have fairly wide feet when I was younger. As I've gotten older, my feet have stretched out a bit - I now wear 11's while I used to wear 10.5's and sometimes 10's when I was in my 30's. Now, my feet are probably still a bit on the wider side but I fit a normal "D" width just fine.

The Blushield's are definitely a roomy shoe and also seem a bit longer than other size 11's. With the supplied, thin Ortholite insole, the sides pulled within about 3/4 of an inch together to make a snug fit, and that created a crease down the middle of the tongue. With the thicker insole I'm now using, it's roughly now shaped like it should be. I have lots of room in front of my toes - I could have easily worn a 10.5 in this shoe but every one of my previous pairs of shoes, from Asics, Wilson, Prince, Adidas, and K-Swiss, have been size 11's.
Thanks for the detailed response... if I end up ordering a pair, I think I’ll try going a .5 size down.
 

appdach96

Rookie
Received mine today. They are the ladies white with black trim. I thought at first they felt heavy...played 2 hours in them today and there’s zero break-in. They were comfortable right out of the box and I experienced zero foot/arch pain. I have low arches and sometimes it takes a bit to get used to a shoe. Looking forward to playing in them again soon!
 
Just got mine in last night:




Since I will be comparing these to my current GR8 clays I provided a couple of pics of them side by side.

First impression without playing yet, they are very comfortable out of the box and just walking around the house. The fit is almost perfect, I would think going down a half a size would actually be too small, but as you can see the toe on these are rather pointy, similar to the GR8s so to me they fit the same. I wear the Solinco heaven socks which are medium thickness and I don't notice the shoes being too roomy. I also don't have any heal slippage just walking around, but typically I never do regardless of the shoe. I mainly play on clay so I'm anxious to see how the traction is on the soft stuff with these shoes.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
OK, Here's my review:

Tennis experience/background: I've been playing for about 15 years, having started as a complete beginner (2.5). I peaked at 4.0 and am currently a 3.5. I play only doubles nowadays, usually playing with friends or USTA league.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): My volleys are better than my groundstrokes. I'm getting on in years (59), so I don't play singles and retrieve at the baseline. I often hit slice returns and follow them in. I will serve and volley if my opponents start following their returns to net because I have no passing shot and I would rather ace them to the net.
Current shoe: I currently have two pairs of shoes. I have worn Asics Gel Resolution for maybe 8 years following a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis due to my Barricades. I think the Resolution is stiff and heavy, so I bought some Asics FFs recently. I dislike them -- my heel does not stay down, and the laces are weird and I do not feel secure in them.
How many hours did you play with the shoe? A one-hour private lesson on hard courts; four hours of doubles on hard courts. [EDIT: Added maybe another 10 hours in the shoe, all on hardcourts so far.]
Normal Size: 9
Playtesting Size: 9
Comments on shoe performance: I am very happy with this shoe. It feels lighter and more flexible than my Resolutions. The toe box is wide enough. The whole shoe feels a bit on the wide side, but I am able to lace it down. Also, I wear a custom orthotic, and it fits without cramming my feet. I was completely unaware of the shoe while playing. I would 100% buy this shoe have probably bought my last pair of Asics. [EDIT: It just gets better and better. It is such a relief to have a shoe that I don't think about at all when I play in it.]
-comfort: My heel stayed down, which is often a problem. My feet are on the narrow side, so security can be an issue. Also, I have had insertional achilles tendonitis in the past, and I have a flare-up now. This can cause the back of one heel to rub inside the shoe. I did not have that problem with this shoe -- maybe the padding is just right? [EDIT: Tendonitis is actually improving, thank goodness. Don't know if I can give this shoe all the credit, but it certainly hasn't hurt.]
-arch support: I have a high arch on one foot, but I ruptured the fascia on the other foot years ago, which means my arch is lower on that foot. I was able to wear my custom orthotics well in these shoes, and my arches feel fine.
-stability/support: No issues there. I felt like I moved well and the shoe was not noticeable.
-ventilation: Hard to say. Again, I didn't notice a problem, but our weather just got cooler so I won't be able to opine on this until things warm up.
-sole durability: I need to play more to judge this, but . . . who are we kidding? Is a 59 year old doubles player going to do anything to the sole of a tennis shoe during a playtest? I'm just not that much of a mover.
-toe durability: I'm not a toe-dragger either. I used to be, but I learned to stop this.
-traction: Fine on hard courts. I will see if clay is any different. [Edit: I had a one-hour private lesson on clay, working on groundstrokes. I didn't see any issues with traction and, per usual, was unaware of the shoe while playing.]
-weight: I really could tell a difference in the weight of this shoe compared to the Resolution. I think this is about the weight of the Prince 22, which I used for a while, but it made my toenails fall off. The extra room in the toe box of this shoe is welcome.
General reaction/comments on overall performance: Can I just say . . . this shoe is really boring looking. I really like cool or fun colors in shoes. I like black shoes or any vibrant color (and I do not care for pastels shoes). If you make this shoe in a striking color I will be a huge fan.

Thanks for the opportunity to review. (And I am putting my Gel Resolutions into the donation box because the Diadoras will be my go-to shoes.)
 
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Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I have probably 15-20 hours on the Blushields and wear on the sole has been fairly minimal. The amount of wear can be seen in person but can't really be captured in a photo. The shoe is fully broken in and is comfy with my insoles, very stable, but also noticeably a bit heavy. A few times when I've had to move my feet really fast, it seems to have caught me a little bit off and gotten me a bit unbalanced but that's a rare occurrence and it could have just been me.

What has happened is that the blue rubber stripe has separated from the mesh material on the inside of my right shoe. It lifts away when my foot flexes and bends the shoe. It hasn't seemed to affect stability or tightness of the shoe.



The left shoe doesn't have this problem. The separation goes down almost to where that rubber piece meets the upper part of the insole. I believe that probably 99% of the stress would be on the outside of the shoe and not the inside where this separation has occurred so I don't think it will affect the performance in any way in the long term.
 
Diadora Speed Blushield 4 Review
Tennis experience/background:
I have been playing tennis for about 25 years and I currently play in 4.0, 4.5, and 8.5 combo USTA leagues. I mainly play doubles but also play singles on occasion when needed.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
I am an aggressive baseliner who relies on big top spin forehands to dictate points. I use a one handed backhand and mix in quite a bit of slice when defending. Also, about 99% of the time I play on clay courts so my playtest will be based on those conditions.
Current shoe:
Asics Gel Resolution 8
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
18
Normal Size:
11.5 US
Playtesting Size:
11.5 US
Comfort: Right out of the box, these shoes are very comfortable. Although the padding in the shoe seems a little thin, they literally felt like clouds on my feet when I wore them around the house to break them in. On the court, they continued to be rather comfortable, didn’t seem to have any hot spots or areas in the shoe where I experienced any rubbing or discomfort. The midfoot area was a little tight to begin with, but after one session of sweating and movement it opened right up. To me the comfort of these shoes is by far the best characteristic that I experienced.
Arch support: To me the arch support was a little lacking here. Because the cushioning of the shoe is rather thin, it seemed like my arch was sinking in too much to the shoe which I could feel after playing where my inner foot was a little sore. Where my GR8s excel with arch support, these shoes have much to be desired in this area. I think if they made the arch side of the shoe a little stiffer it would help quite a bit with support here.
Stability/support: Similar to the arch support, the stability of this shoe is lacking as well. Compared to the GR8s, the construction of the shoe seems rather thin and flimsy. Also, regardless of how tight I laced my shoes it never seemed like they were tight enough which makes them feel too roomy. While my heel stayed in place, the rest of my foot never seemed to be locked in the shoe, so I found myself off balance quite often when running for a wide shot and recovering.
Ventilation: Even though it is fall down here in FL, it is still extremely hot and humid. That being said I had no issues whatsoever with the ventilation of these shoes. When I took my shoes off after playing, they were never extremely sweaty nor burning hot. To me it seemed like these shoes are well ventilated and really perform well in this area.
Sole durability: Being that I play 99% of my tennis on clay/har-tru, sole durability is usually not an issue for me and with this shoe I found no visible wear on the sole after playing for 18 hours. I am typically a heel striker, but I didn’t notice any premature wear on the heel because of this. I can’t say how they would hold up on a hard court, but you shouldn’t have any issues with sole wear with these shoes on the clay.
Toe durability: Other than a few clay marks on the toe after the hours I put in I saw no wear whatsoever on the toe area. The shoe seems to have multiple layers of rubber over the toe area so the durability of the toe to me would be the last thing to worry about. The thick toe guard on the front of that shoe should also increase the durability of the toe as well.
Traction: The traction seems to be in the normal range on the clay for me. I was able to slide with ease as well as step and pivot with no issues. Even though they are not clay specific shoes, they seem to function very well on the soft stuff.
Weight: What’s weird about these shoes is that they weigh more than my GR8s, by almost 20 g’s, but they feel lighter to me for some reason. Possibly because the GR8’s have more dense padding? Regardless, they feel a little boxy on the court but they seem to actually play lighter than normal for a non-“light” shoe.
General reaction/comments on overall performance: As much as I enjoyed the overall comfort of the shoe, in my opinion the shoe is far to thin and lacking adequate support to be able to wear these shoes long term. I have had many different foot issues over the past few years so to me the support the shoe provides is vital. I never felt like the arch of the shoe was stable enough to provide the needed support for my foot. I am prone to PF, but haven’t had any issues since I have been wearing my GR8s. After a few sessions with these shoes I was starting to feel those little tugs on the bottom of my feet. I would say if you are not prone to PF then these shoes may be perfect for you, but the ones out there that need the stable support like I do you would need to look elsewhere.
Thank you Tennis Warehouse and Diadora for allowing me to playtest these shoes and looking forward to providing even more honest feedback in the future!
 
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jmnk

Hall of Fame
Diadora Speed Blushield 4 Review
Tennis experience/background:
I have been playing tennis for about 30 years starting in my 20's. Never played as a junior. I play singles almost exclusively - as in I would rather practice serves than play doubles. I used to play 4.5 USTA league years ago. Judging from the results against currently ranked players I'm still at 4.5 level.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
I am a baseliner with my game being 'I can hit from both sides very reliably, I will run down most balls, I go to the net only to collect balls :) (trying to change that), if you can outlast me over 2+ hours or hit winners - you are a better player'. I play on hard courts as well as har-tru, indoors and outdoors.
Current shoe:
Asics Solution 2 for har-tru, Prince T22 for hard courts. But I'm not married to anything - I've played in Yonex, Adidas, Nike, K-Swiss. For reference - for me the best shoe ever was Yonex SHT 305 - a perfect blend of weight, cushioning, fit, stability, although not the most durable.
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
4 hours on har-tru, 4 hours on hard court
Normal Size:
9.5 US (or 10 US depending on brand)
Playtesting Size:
9.5 US
Comfort:
I found the shoes comfortable immediately, no break-in needed. I thought padding was pretty normal, did not notice any difference compared to my current shoes. I do wear sof-sole inserts to prevent plantar fasciitis (along with a native shoe inserts) so arguably the additional inserts mask the original ones anyway. The shoes are on a heavier side (~425g) but I was pleasantly surprised that they did not feel as heavy. The fit was pretty good. The heel area is very, very sturdy, it's made out of hard plastic-like material, it does not bend at all - but I have not experienced any rubbing or discomfort. I would say heel fit/design is the best feature of these Speed Blushield 4 shoes.

They are _roomy_. Sometimes I need to get size 10 in order to fit soft-sole inserts - but with these Diadora shoes even 9.5 size, with original inserts and with extra soft-sole it still felt on the biggish side. Especially the front and top of the foot - it feels there's extra room there. When I cinch the laces to lock the foot in the material sort of bulges a bit on top. Maybe I have narrow feet?


But I have not notice any in-the-shoes slippage while playing. The sole seems rather thick (and it must be given the weight) providing very good cushioning but there was no problem with flexing or break-in.
Arch support:
As mentioned I always play with additional inserts to prevent plantar fasciitis so no matter what my arch is well supported. To sacrifice my health in the name of the science I did walk a bit without extra inserts and then I thought other shoes did have better arch support. The original inserts are made out of foam-like material, there's no more rigid/sturdy material shaped to support the arch in the mid-foot area you would find on some shoes.
Stability/support:
I had no issues with stability and support. After tight lacing and the feet warming up due to play it all felt in place rather nicely - but I did have to cinch laces fairly tight leading to that material bulging on top. But at least my toes were not hitting the front of the shoe when stopping on running forward - which has been the problem for me in the past. Probably the best area was the heel - it stayed in place without any movement/rubbing up/down or sideways. For comparison - I could never get my heel to lock in place when playing with Yonex Eclipsion 2. I found over the years that on hard courts I do need shoes with better than decent cushioning so I can walk the next day :) - thus I play with Prince T22 even though they are heavy. These Diadora seem as good as Prince in that regard.
Ventilation:
This is a bit hard to judge as the temperatures here in the Mid-West are, well, mild these days. I have not noticed any issues and judging from construction it should not be a problem. The entire front part is very well ventilated.
Sole durability:
Clearly too early to judge. The shoes come with 6 months warranty. And being on the heavy side the weight must be somewhere - and it looks like it is in the sole (and perhaps the heel cup section) so I would expect a rather lasting shoe.
Toe durability:
Clearly too early to judge. I'm not a toe dragger in general anyway.
Traction:
The traction seemed very good, actually even on har-tru courts better than my current Asics. I never have any issues with traction on hard courts no matter what the shoes are.
Weight:
at ~425g they are not light. But they do not play as heavy. The extra plastic-like material at the heel area likely adds to the weight - but I feel that extra heel protection is well worth the extra weight.
General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I did enjoy the shoe. I got the black colorway - which I actually find better looking than the blue/red version. My daughter used the word 'very chic' - but it could be to make me feel good since I was waiting for them every day for 2 weeks (the package, according to UPS, did a round trip around US due to bad sorting). My wife was not as thrilled - sort of 'it's a shoe' :). Honestly the design is no-frills, I would not mind a slightly better looking one. I liked the heel-loop thingy helping to get your foot into the shoe. The slight complain is that fit in the front/top portion - a bit too roomy for my liking. It is a bit weird since they look slimmer/more pointy compared to let's say Prince T22 or KSwiss Hypercourt Express - but they are not narrow at all. I would definitely suggest considering a 1/2 size smaller than one's usual size, especially if intended to wear with no extra insoles.

I'll update the review this week after few additional hours of play.
Update after additional ~6hrs of play:
I've played few more hours with these shoes, hard courts only. The good part. The shoes are very stable, no slippage, no toe stubbing, no rubbing anywhere. Excellent ventilation. No noticeable wear at all.

The bad part. They are heavy. And the left shoe is ~9g heavier than the right one (I thought that maybe there's something wrong with my scale but I see another reviewer also noticed that there's a difference between left and right). And I had to replace original insoles with ones that provide more arch support and cushioning in general - and that on top of still using sof-sole insoles. I started to feel my plantar fascitis about to flare up again.

I got an interesting comment - that I look noticeably taller in them. But they do not feel high off the ground at all.

Another Update after ~6 more hours
I have to wear third party insoles plus sof-sole ones for arch support. These Diadora shoes are plain flat and they need something to improve that arch support. That being said, once I found the right combination they are very comfortable. Not sure if I would use them for a competitive match due to weight - but they would be ok for hours of practice. They seem very durable.

Thank you Tennis Warehouse and Diadora for selecting me as a play-tester!
 
Last edited:

agab

New User
Diadora Speed Blushield 4 Review
Tennis experience/background:
I have been playing tennis for about 30 years starting in my 20's. Never played as a junior. I play singles almost exclusively - as in I would rather practice serves than play doubles. I used to play 4.5 USTA league years ago. Judging from the results against currently ranked players I'm still at 4.5 level.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley):
I am a baseliner with my game being 'I can hit from both sides very reliably, I will run down most balls, I go to the net only to collect balls :) (trying to change that), if you can outlast me over 2+ hours or hit winners - you are a better player'. I play on hard courts as well as har-tru, indoors and outdoors.
Current shoe:
Asics Solution 2 for har-tru, Prince T22 for hard courts. But I'm not married to anything - I've played in Yonex, Adidas, Nike, K-Swiss. For reference - for me the best shoe ever was Yonex SHT 305 - a perfect blend of weight, cushioning, fit, stability, although not the most durable.
How many hours did you play with the shoe?
4 hours on har-tru, 4 hours on hard court
Normal Size:
9.5 US (or 10 US depending on brand)
Playtesting Size:
9.5 US
Comfort:
I found the shoes comfortable immediately, no break-in needed. I thought padding was pretty normal, did not notice any difference compared to my current shoes. I do wear sof-sole inserts to prevent plantar fasciitis (along with a native shoe inserts) so arguably the additional inserts mask the original ones anyway. The shoes are on a heavier side (~425g) but I was pleasantly surprised that they did not feel as heavy. The fit was pretty good. The heel area is very, very sturdy, it's made out of hard plastic-like material, it does not bend at all - but I have not experienced any rubbing or discomfort. I would say heel fit/design is the best feature of these Speed Blushield 4 shoes.

They are _roomy_. Sometimes I need to get size 10 in order to fit soft-sole inserts - but with these Diadora shoes even 9.5 size, with original inserts and with extra soft-sole it still felt on the biggish side. Especially the front and top of the foot - it feels there's extra room there. When I cinch the laces to lock the foot in the material sort of bulges a bit on top. Maybe I have narrow feet?


But I have not notice any in-the-shoes slippage while playing. The sole seems rather thick (and it must be given the weight) providing very good cushioning but there was no problem with flexing or break-in.
Arch support:
As mentioned I always play with additional inserts to prevent plantar fasciitis so no matter what my arch is well supported. To sacrifice my health in the name of the science I did walk a bit without extra inserts and then I thought other shoes did have better arch support. The original inserts are made out of foam-like material, there's no more rigid/sturdy material shaped to support the arch in the mid-foot area you would find on some shoes.
Stability/support:
I had no issues with stability and support. After tight lacing and the feet warming up due to play it all felt in place rather nicely - but I did have to cinch laces fairly tight leading to that material bulging on top. But at least my toes were not hitting the front of the shoe when stopping on running forward - which has been the problem for me in the past. Probably the best area was the heel - it stayed in place without any movement/rubbing up/down or sideways. For comparison - I could never get my heel to lock in place when playing with Yonex Eclipsion 2. I found over the years that on hard courts I do need shoes with better than decent cushioning so I can walk the next day :) - thus I play with Prince T22 even though they are heavy. These Diadora seem as good as Prince in that regard.
Ventilation:
This is a bit hard to judge as the temperatures here in the Mid-West are, well, mild these days. I have not noticed any issues and judging from construction it should not be a problem. The entire front part is very well ventilated.
Sole durability:
Clearly too early to judge. The shoes come with 6 months warranty. And being on the heavy side the weight must be somewhere - and it looks like it is in the sole (and perhaps the heel cup section) so I would expect a rather lasting shoe.
Toe durability:
Clearly too early to judge. I'm not a toe dragger in general anyway.
Traction:
The traction seemed very good, actually even on har-tru courts better than my current Asics. I never have any issues with traction on hard courts no matter what the shoes are.
Weight:
at ~425g they are not light. But they do not play as heavy. The extra plastic-like material at the heel area likely adds to the weight - but I feel that extra heel protection is well worth the extra weight.
General reaction/comments on overall performance:
I did enjoy the shoe. I got the black colorway - which I actually find better looking than the blue/red version. My daughter used the word 'very chic' - but it could be to make me feel good since I was waiting for them every day for 2 weeks (the package, according to UPS, did a round trip around US due to bad sorting). My wife was not as thrilled - sort of 'it's a shoe' :). Honestly the design is no-frills, I would not mind a slightly better looking one. I liked the heel-loop thingy helping to get your foot into the shoe. The slight complain is that fit in the front/top portion - a bit too roomy for my liking. It is a bit weird since they look slimmer/more pointy compared to let's say Prince T22 or KSwiss Hypercourt Express - but they are not narrow at all. I would definitely suggest considering a 1/2 size smaller than one's usual size, especially if intended to wear with no extra insoles.

I'll update the review this week after few additional hours of play.

Thank you Tennis Warehouse and Diadora for selecting me as a play-tester!
I do like the look of those shoes. I am big fan or K-swiss shoes but I think I might try these ones soon.
 
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