When Diadora began its reemergence into the running scene a couple years ago, we were intrigued to say the least. After all, we have fond memories of Diadora from our youth, a part of 90s soccer culture alongside the likes of Umbro, Lotto, and Kappa. Suffice it to say, they’ve pivoted in a much different direction with their current approach to running.
Combining an old school passion for brick-and-mortar retailers with a design ethos that only the Italians can muster, Diadora is melding traditional sales with forward-thinking design. That “past meets future” approach may be no more evident than in the Diadora Equipe Corsa.
On its face, the Equipe Corsa looks wild. Like a Lambo for the runner’s road, its lines give off an aerodynamic vibe even while its rounded edges give stability runners the speed-day scaries. We certainly haven’t seen anything like it. And while we won’t give a full review of what we thought about the shoe just yet (we have more miles to go), we will give you a peek into the design of this belladonna.
It helps to know that this shoe, in Diadora’s words, is “designed to be the spike for the road.” The upper is made from an air nylon mesh with microfiber PU. Basically, it’s super light and breathable (we can confirm this). The lacing structure is somewhat unique in that it is attached to a saddle in the midfoot that secures tightly and provides some additional structure. We were big fans.
From there, the midsole is made of a “DD Anima Foam,” a Diadora proprietary foam. Essentially, this is an expanded EVA blended with ‘Super EVA.’ So, bouncier than your average EVA, which, really isn’t bouncy. The drop is 10 mm.
Now, the design is where things get crazy. The “baseball” heel looks questionable AF. It’s thin, it’s round, it looks downright dangerous, even if it does have Duratech 5000 rubber. Play with fire, you may get burned. But you may also get fast. The idea behind the rounded heel is that it allows for quicker transitions into mid-stance. True? Maybe, but we’re not sure we want to sacrifice stability for a little extra roll (and really, if we’re midfoot strikers, we’re not loving it). That said, if you are cruising along at a faster pace, hopefully, your contact time is minimal.
The Pebax plate transfer bridge provides stabilization and “added torque through the drive phase,” aka a bit of response. The entire midfoot explodes into a wide bouquet of DD Anima foam and blown rubber for the final push-off. The forefoot is substantially wider than any other part of the shoe.
According to Diadora, the entire thing comes together in this way: The rounded heel rolls in the DD Anima midsole which compresses so fast that it quickly brings the foot to mid-stance. At that point, the power bridge transitions quickly into push-off, while an extra 2 cm of foam in the forefoot extends the leverage of the toe-off for more power through your stride. Bonus points for preventing high vertical oscillation.
All that to say, this shoe is certainly different. Fast and efficient runners may want to snag it on looks alone (don’t we all want to look fast while racing?). It isn’t the lightest racer, by far. For a US M8.5, the shoe weighs 7.4 ounces, or 210 grams (for a US W5.5 it weighs 6.1 ounces, or 179 grams). This puts it more in that “tempo shoe” range, or at the heavier end of pure racers these days.
While we still have some more miles to put into this shoe before we give a full review, we can safely say it’s a design stunner, no doubt. In a world full of Ford Fiestas, this one’s a Lamborghini Countach.
You can pick up the Diadora Equipe Corsa for $149 by using the shop link below. NOTE: Sizing runs big, you may want to drop a half size down.Shop Equipe Corsa – Men Shop Equipe Corsa – Women