Finding ways to improve and enhance player performance is always a goal for top companies. Diadora continue the trend with the release of the DD Eleven GX 14, by focusing on producing a more breathable boot. You might not have heard of the NET Breathing System yet, but you will know a lot more about it after checking out these boots. Diadora not only include a new technology, but they fully utilize their ability to produce a comfortable boot, although they had me sweating initially!
Unlike other Diadora boots, I was actually nervous after putting the DD Eleven on for the first time. The inside lining of the shoe is a synthetic material that offers minimal grip and when I wore them at home, they made the dreaded squeaking noise. When I finally got them out on the field for the first time, the same thing happened. But thankfully, Diadora laces are very long. This allowed me to double wrap around the sole and pull the boot nice and tight to my foot. After 2-3 sessions, I found that I didn’t have to do this anymore as the boots started to mold to my feet and the noise completely stopped. In hindsight, it seems like it is somthing you will only encounter while the boots are new. Once you start to break them in, they shape more efficiently to your feet and the heel sits a lot more snugly. Overall, this release falls right in line with the comfort expectations of a Diadora boot, although they don’t quiet match the quality of the Maracana! The upper is K-leather and mimics your foot shape pretty quickly and through the boot, there is also plenty of padding to keep your feet well protected.
NET Breathing System
Obviously, the NET Breathing System needs to get it’s own entire section, seeing as it is the latest technological advancement in the footwear industry. Its purpose is to keep your feet dry and cool by allowing maximum breathability through a waterproof soleplate. Once you think about it, the concept of allowing your feet to breath in a waterproof environment seems pretty unattainable. There are several layers involved in making it happen, including a synthetic fiber net and a breathable, waterproof membrane that improve breathability while keeping moisture out. Check out the below image for more in-depth details about how it is pieced together.
The big question is does it work? Well, having worn them in several games and on both natural and artificial surfaces, my answer would be Yes! I don’t have any scientific evidence to prove it and I didn’t try recording the temperature of my feet after playing. But, I can tell you that I didn’t notice my feet heating up as much during play. in other words, there were no moments in the game when I thought “dang, my feet are hot right now!” It is definitely something I have experienced while wearing other soccer cleats on hot days, so they do serve their intended purpose. For players who are trying to find a solution for the problem of playing on hot surfaces, I definitely recommend giving these a shot.
Knowing that the Net Breathing System works effectively, how does the rest of the boot shape up? Well, the first think I can tell is that these boots are probably the best I have ever worn for striking shots. And that is saying a lot – let me explain. Along the front of the boot, Diadora has placed a touch control on top of a series of honeycomb panels (as seen above.) The honeycomb panels are created by the form of anti-stretch stitching used, yet they serve as an ideal platform for striking. The region acts as additional padding and when you strike the ball, the touch control aids in creating anti-spin on the ball. Basically, the combination comes together nicely and makes it feel right!
Diadora are definitely not looking to be reserved with this release! The Fluo Yellow colorway is bright and I received many comments while wearing them, most of which were on the positive side. You of course get the signature Diadora logo on the side of the boot, and plenty of advertising for the NET Breathing System (located in 3 different spots!) In terms of the soleplate, it is pretty wild with pieces cut out of the outsole to allow for breathability. On top of the laces lies a very average looking lace cover, that is there more-so for aesthetics than anything else. Overall, they are a decent looking boot – but you need to be confident enough to wear the outlandish vibrant colorway!
The DD Eleven weighs in at 10oz, yet they feel like a bulkier boot for their weight. Diadora do advertise the boot as being lightweight, but I think they fall into the power category more than anything else. Another negative is the lace cover, which at times does not sit down in place. The velcro is not effective and it is just an unnecessary addition in my opinion. I ended up placing them under the laces when I tied them.
This is a pretty tidy new release from Diadora that, in my opinion, offers a step forward for the company. Working on introducing a new wave of technology can only increase their value, and I like how they focus on something that is different to other major brands. Barring the initial concerns over comfort there is not a whole lot to complain about on the DD Eleven. Designed to be more of a power boot, I can see strikers really benefiting from these, especially when it comes to taken shots. Again, they were the best boots I have worn for striking shots, which says a lot. Defenders will also enjoy what they have to offer. Price-wise, they are a little higher than I would expect from a Diadora release – but I guess that comes with the inclusion of new technology, right?
(*boots supplied for review by Diadora USA)