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8.8 oz. (250 g) for a US M9
31 mm in heel, 26 mm in forefoot (5 mm drop)
Daily training, walking, travel, and/or lifestyle
Made in Italy, softest version yet of DD Anima midsole, mesh upper with faux microsuede overlays
ROBBE: Like most kids who grew up in the ‘90s, Diadora holds a special place in my heart. And by that, I mean a hole that was never filled because my family was too poor to buy anything that could possibly provide any semblance of cool for a single day. I think they finally sprung for a Starter jacket in 1999 at the infamous Hills of Harrisburg closing sale in 1999. Hills had free popcorn for kids, so that was lunch for the day.
One time, a friend of mine (who didn’t live in a trailer or in one-story ranch house, which meant he was rich) left a pair of emerald-green Diadora shorts at my house after a sleepover. I wore them for a couple days before giving them back, just to imagine what life as a royal was like. The feeling of entitlement almost prompted me to steal my mom’s credit card and go hog-wild on the Eurosports catalog.
I never did get a pair of Diadora shorts, and by the time I made my own money in high school I had moved on to Kappa, because a naked woman on a logo was good enough during the early days of dial-up internet. But I’m good at playing the long game. Like, really long. Because here I am, a quarter century later, reviewing Diadora. But not just any Diadora– the made-in-Italy, Diadora Atomo V7000.
Now, this isn’t the first Diadora running shoe made in Italy in recent memory; in fact, last year’s Equipe Atomo was also made in Italy (it was also $60 cheaper). Meant to be a high-mileage trainer, the Atomo V7000 features an expanded-EVA DD Anima midsole “blended with a proprietary compound for shock absorption, increased durability, and added responsiveness.” According to Diadora, the midsole is the lightest and bounciest of any Diadora midsole to date.
It’s also surprisingly lightweight for the myriad of details on the shoe, coming in at 8.8 ounces for a US M9.5.
We’ve run in Diadora in the past and have enjoyed their resurgence in recent years. As a private company, they’re not beholden to investors and can march to the beat of their own drum. At times, that can be limiting (especially in the innovation department), but the flip side is the ability to flex creativity without borders and the permission to stay true to its values. That in itself is always refreshing.
As such, the kid in me is always rooting for them to go full Boris Becker and smash an ace over the net. Unsurprisingly, the adult in me wants the same. Does this one hit the foul line, or is it game/set/match? Let’s find out.
ROBBE: Right off the bat, I love this shoe because of its design. We had Diadora’s North American CEO Bryan Poerner on our podcast recently, and he noted that it took some inspiration from old school classics like the standard V7000 and N9000. In my opinion, Diadora’s story right now hinges on its ability to blend style with substance and draw it all from a deep legacy of sport. It’s a strength that puts them in a unique position among other performance brands.
There’s something about a running shoe that looks as great with a pair of jeans as it does while running. Few brands can do it, and Diadora is one of them. Embrace that shit, Diadora.
The faux microsuede overlays combined with the engineered mesh and thoughtful details make this a beautiful shoe. The little ‘Made in Italy’ rubber badge on the lace is a nice cherry on top. I was a big fan of the neon green launch colorway, but they’ve since released some real jaw-droppers that are quite honestly some of the most beautiful running shoes on the market. I mean, the women’s colorway is wild in the best ‘90s way possible.
The upper itself is very comfortable with a padded collar and tongue, and offers a snug fit around the midfoot. It’s exactly what you’d want in a comfort trainer.
Moving onto the DD Anima midsole, we’ve seen this in a couple other Diadora shoes, namely last year’s Equipe Atomo. Whatever they did to this version, it’s the best iteration yet. Soft, comfortable, with good bounce and responsiveness– it’s what you want in a mid-to-max cushion shoe. Diadora says the stack height is only 31 mm in the heel, but I’m not sure if that includes insole and outsole, because it feels more cushioned than that. It offers a feel that’s fairly comparable to the Hoka Clifton 9.
I will say this– the shoe is probably the most comfortable walking shoe I own. I thought the 2020 Diadora Mythos Volo was the most comfortable shoe at that time, and this one hurdles that model. I’ve probably worn it more than any other shoe over the last two months. I can’t explain it, I don’t know why it’s more comfortable than any other max cushion shoe I own, but it just is. So much so that it was one of only two shoes I took on a recent trip to New York City, and it doubled down as both my walking and running shoe. In short, it’s a perfect travel shoe.
On the run, it’s comfy as well, but seems to bottom out a little bit in the forefoot. Not terribly, just a bit. If you like a slight ground feel without feeling too firm, then you won’t have a problem with it. But it provides a nice ride and responsiveness that makes this a good daily trainer and capable of longer miles if necessary.
The light weight is also a bonus here. It’s hard to find a shoe with this much in it that registers under 9 ounces. Another reason this one aligns with the Clifton. So even though you’re getting a lot of shoe and a lot of comfort, you don’t have to sacrifice it through the stride.
The wide base of the shoe also provides a nice amount of stability and a good platform for landing. So even though you’re getting a lot of cushion, you’re not in danger of tipping over.
I wore this for about 40 miles of running and more than that walking and I still really enjoy the shoe. Also, I don’t know how to describe this, but it just feels like a good city shoe. Something about its DNA makes it a fun shoe to use in an urban setting.
Note that this one runs true to size whereas past models ran a half size small.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
ROBBE: Again, another similarity with Hoka– the toe box is a bit tight. Some may find it cramped. I guess it’s more narrow than anything. I didn’t really have an issue with it because I have a narrow foot, but some people may.
I didn’t think the breathability was that bad, the engineered mesh balances out the vegan overlays, but I also haven’t been able to take it out in warmer weather. All my runs have been below 55F degrees.
I usually don’t comment on price, because I think there’s always a justification for higher priced shoes made in smaller runs, with premium details, and especially if they’re made by well-paid laborers in Italy. All of those apply to the Diadora Atomo V7000, which is $240.
But here’s why I’ll comment on it: the Equipe Atomo was also made in Italy by the same workers, in the same factory, with the same midsole material, and similar upper. That shoe was $180. I’m not sure what happened in the span of 12 months to justify a 33% increase, because I’m not seeing it on paper. Either the Equipe Atomo was a loss leader to get people on to the “made in Italy” train, or they’re opening up wider margins on the Atomo V7000.
The outsole grip is okay, but not the best. I took the shoe through a misty run in Manhattan and the grip was a little uncertain, but not treacherous. Generally, you should be fine.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
ROBBE: Diadora wants to break out of the fashion mold and prove themselves as a true performance running brand. They’ve mades some huge strides in that regard with the Atomo V7000 and I would stack this up against some of the better daily/comfort trainers out there. While it’s not going to give you that “wow” sensation that you may find in shoes like the Asics Superblast or New Balance SC Trainer, it does blend style with performance ten times better than any of those models. It’s also a better overall shoe than other fashion-forward trainers in its lane (i.e. Tracksmith Eliot Runner, Brandblack Kaiju).
If you’re someone with a little extra cash who wants a made-in-Italy shoe that looks great, performs well, and triples down as the perfect travel and walking companion, then I’m not sure you can do much better than the Atomo V7000. And if you can’t convince your spouse you need another running shoe, just pick it up as a lifestyle shoe– you won’t regret it.
You can pick up the Diadora Atomo V7000 for $240 at Holabird Sports at the links below.
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe