Diadora X-Vortex Pro

Diadora X-Vortex Pro

As we opened our bike shop at the first of the year I was still searching for a line of cycling shoes to sell. Luckily a longtime industry pal of mine suggested I have a look at Diadora. I have owned many cycling shoes over the years and could even be thought of as a little OCD over the fit, weight, and stiffness of my footwear. Several years ago I even had custom shoes made in Germany and while they were super light and super comfortable they durability was abysmal. Somehow in nearly 25 years of wearing cycling shoes, I had zero first hand experience with Diadora so I contacted the “local” rep and arranged a meeting to see the shoe line while we were down in Oregon for a visit.

As I previewed the line I was stoked by the lightweight, flashy materials and stiff soles but when I slipped a road shoe on and it felt almost like my wool slippers on that raining winter afternoon I knew we were onto something! We figured out a stocking order and I jumped onboard with a couple pairs for myself. Immediately I found relief as I was able to ride sans custom footbeds with no discomfort. I could also wiggle my toes for the first time in years which was great considering I had just undergone a surgery to remove my ingrown toenails–likely a result of wearing too tight cycling shoes too long!

Not everything was initially rosy, though. The uppers were much stiffer than most and after some miles they started to wearing on my ankles a bit. The first remedy was realizing that I didn’t need to cinch the BOA closures down as hard as I expected. First because the cables and uppers have zero stretch and therefore will not loosen as the shoe heats up. Secondly while the upper is synthetic and very robust, it does break in after a month or so of riding. In fact, my shoes fit better today than ever! After the initial break-in and realization that the deep heal cup, stiff sole, and burly material and closure wouldn’t allow my foot to wallow around, it was game on!

Sure, my Diadora’s have some scars from a season of racing and riding here in the North Cascades but in general they have held up at least as well as any mountain bike shoe I’ve owned to date. If you consider they are also the lightest “production” shoe I’ve ever owned that makes their durability even more impressive. Couple that with the fact they now fit like a well worn glove yet hold my foot in the last properly with no slopping out to one side or the other despite only using the basic footbed that comes with the shoes I am super excited to get fitted with some Cyclesoles again and see how much BETTER these shoes can be!

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