Arriving on the market several seasons ago, the Diadora Maracana RTX 12 has proven its worth by sticking around and earning a reputation for being one of the most solid performing mid-range boots on the market. This review was actually the second opportunity I had to test a pair, and the conclusion of both reviews is very similar. The only difference is this time I have a broader understanding of the market to give an even better comparison of how they test against similar boots. Diadora sent over a pair of size 9US in the new Black/Fluo Yellow colorway for review.
One of the best things about the Maracana series is their under-$100 price tag!
Knowing these are Diadora boots, I don’t think a play-by-play is necessary on how they break-in! Like every other Diadora boot out there, the Maracana is built around comfort. From the first time you take them out of the box, they just feel right. The K-leather upper feels soft and the soleplate offers plenty of flexibility – what more do you need? After the first training session, where I went straight into using them while cutting and turning, I came to the conclusion that they were game ready. A few days later, I wore them in-game with no problems. Also worth noting is that the leather upper features an anti-stretch lining, allowing the boot to keep its shape for an extended period of time.
What Technology is included?
If you rely on “technology”, then look away now as the Maracana is designed with a minimal interface. There is nothing fancy about these boots. Diadora has ensured you get a comfortable fit and a durable boot at an affordable price – including additional technology would leave these boots somewhat off balance. You do get touch control around the front of the boot, that almost has a slightly sticky feel. There is nothing overly dramatic about the region, with its inclusion covering a minimal region of the strike zone. Add to that an anti-stretch and water resistant K-leather upper, combined with a flexible soleplate and you get all around decent package.
For what these boots have to offer, performance is as good as you could expect, although the basic design does leave you wanting more! They are comfortable, offer decent support, traction is there, the touch control region is effective on the ball, durability is top class – but they just lack that little extra oomph that most players want. As a guide for what to expect, they almost have the performance of something like the Adidas Copa Mundial or the Mizuno Morelia – it is there, but not quiet the same as boots at the top of the market. In terms of how they feel on the ball, again everything is effective. I had no problems striking shots with them, they feel protected so your foot is not taking the full impact of the ball.
Design and Fit
Diadora keep things simple with the Maracana range, choosing pretty basic colorways. This Black/Fluo Yellow is probably one of the more out there, with the Fluo Yellow detailing really popping on the primary Black upper. I really like this version and feedback from readers has offered a similar outlook. Other options include a very bright Yellow Fluo/Silver and a unusual White/Lime Green/Black. Diadora also include a tongue that acts as a lace cover. It works really well as the elastic underfoot band sits in place without allowing the tongue to move.
In terms of fit, these boots are true to size in length – about as true to size as you can get. Around the forefoot, you get a very comfortable wide fit that offers some additional give once you factor in the leather upper. Word of warning, they are not exactly a great option for players looking for something narrow.
Not too many negatives to report. You simply have to know what you are going into before buying a pair. There is nothing unique about the Maracana, they are simply an effective boot that offer great value for their price range.
At 9.4oz, the Maracana falls into the hybrid range, just between lightweight and heritage. You get the added benefit of a solid heel counter, making them more of a heritage release in my opinion. I enjoyed everything about these boots, and they are without a doubt one of the more low-key, consistent boots you will find on the market. In terms of player position, pretty much every position could sport a pair without any problems. As a winger, I found they were effective, again nothing special about them, they simply do the job! Another very competitive release from Diadora.
(*boots supplied for review by Diadora USA)