Diadora DD Eleven Review

Bryan Byrne August 21, 2011 29

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

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!

For testing, Diadora recently sent over the vibrant Fluo Yellow/Black release in a size 9US, these boots retail for $140.

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

Breaking In
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.

Diadora NET Breathing System

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.

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

Performance
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 DD Eleven GX 14

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

Design
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!

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

Negatives
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.

Diadora DD Eleven GX 14

Summary
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)

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Bryan Byrne

Expert Boot Reviewer

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since.

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29 Comments »

  1. Danny L August 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    wow i cant believe the net breathing system worked o.o

  2. uriel August 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    these are 79.99 at eastbay.com
    http://www.eastbay.com/catalog/advancedSearch.cfm

    • uriel August 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm - Reply

      wait i think they are different never mind. sorry.

    • Leone April 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      98.99$ on soccer.com as of April 1st 2012.

  3. Paul August 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the review! i've been very curious about these boots; they seem good!

  4. Moji August 22, 2011 at 12:16 am - Reply

    Do they fit true to size 9us,or half size down ?

    • Matt August 23, 2011 at 5:01 am - Reply

      I have a pair of Puma v 1.10's and had them in 9 US. I have these Diadora's in an 8 US and they fit me perfectly, although I have narrow feet. If your feet are average, I'd probably go with a half size down.

    • Leone April 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      They fit 1/2 size to a full size larger ( depending on hwo close you want your toes to the tip fo the boot).. im a 10 in adidas and needed to order a 9 in these,, ( and my toes aren't touching the tip.. )

  5. Sam August 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    how do these compare to the solano?

    • Leone April 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      Same sole plate, but the solano's are synthetic ( not at all the same touch or comfort level)

  6. Lawrence August 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    What makes striking in them feel so good? Is it the comfort and weight combined/bulkyness?

    • Matt August 23, 2011 at 5:00 am - Reply

      I have a pair and I think that it is the combination of the stability (which could be construed as bulkiness) and the honeycomb pattern with touch control.

  7. Randon November 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I bought these! So far I love them. I am a US 9.5 and bought a US 9.5 I will say I might have been better getting a size 9 though. They are a tiny bit large in the toe and the kangaroo leather will stretch. I have to say the touch control on these boots feel great. I noticed better accuracy in my shots in the first game. I currently have been playing indoor soccer which they changed to turf and now allow cleats, with this being said I noticed a lot more traction (which is to be expected switching from indoor shoes to cleats). I did notice my feet heat up but they seemed to cool back down fairly quickly so I would assume the net breathing helped there. Over all these are great boots and worth getting… also you can pick them up at epicsports.com for like 134.99 or something like that.

  8. Bob H. November 10, 2011 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Great review, i noticed the exact same squeaking in the heel when i tried them at the store, they are very well made shoe, but given the price, im not sure if they are worth 200 when you can get a pair of adipower sl for 160 now

  9. Kosuke December 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    I've used them for several months and I found squeaking noise issue is soon solved after some training sessions. But the problem is that kangaroo leather stretches too much and feel VERY loose when making quick turn.

    • Leone April 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      hence why I say to get not just half a size smaller, but a full size smaller given that 1) they run large and 2) the leather will stretch

      • abdul June 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

        Excuse me sir, i want to ask you, my size is a U.S. 8.5 … Shall i get a U.K. 7 or 7.5 … Like -0.5 or -1 ??

        im sorta confused on this point .. Would be nice if you can email me back asap!

        Thank u !

        • Ricky June 22, 2012 at 6:13 am - Reply

          Get a UK 7 which is US 7.5. Why? Because they run about a full size large and the K-Leather will stretch, The UK 7 will give you the perfect fit after break-in for many years.

  10. Leone April 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Purchased… nice boot but please know that they run almost a full size larger compared to the maracana. It uses the same sole plate as the new Evoluzione and when i contacted Diadora USA directly, they have informed me that this boot does in fact run longer than their previous boots.. so if you wear a 10, move onto a 9 if you like your boots fitting snug (about 1cm from toe to tip of boot) or a 9.5 if u want a little more wiggle room for your toes (closer to an inch)

    • Abdul June 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Excuse me sir, i want to ask you, my size is a U.S. 8.5 … Shall i get a U.K. 7 or 7.5 … Like -0.5 or -1 ??

      im sorta confused on this point .. Would be nice if you can email me back asap!

      Thank u !

      • Leone August 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm - Reply

        I say get a full size smaller if you want a good snug fit. Remember these are kangaroo and will stretch.

  11. Jay May 23, 2012 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Totally agree. I found they fit exactly like a Copa. Normally I'd wear a US 12, but in a Copa I wear a US11 (snug). These were the same for me, US 11 was nice and snug. Go down a full size to your normal fit or 1/2 a size if your prefer plenty if wiggle room. While designed for strikers, these boots probably offer the best protection on the market right now and certainly best protection out of all the full Kangaroo leather cleats. An excellent choice for any centerback defender. Great comfort and super stable sole-plate.

    • Leone August 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      I actually play offensive midfield, and i find them perfect for that position. They really do feel just great when you kick, and although not as light as a nike vapour for example, they still aren't considered "heavy" in my books. Great grip on the ball and traction.. I'd day these are made for a "power" minded player, delivering long balls, taking long range free kicks, corners into the box, or striking in general. They are however VERY FLASHY. Much flashier than the pictures can show to be honest. I dont think I have ever seen such a neon yellow on any other shoe…

  12. Paul November 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I just got these today in the Black color-way and they look amazing. I have a pretty wide foot and have worn everything from mega expensive Tiempo Legend IV Elites, to adiPower Preds, Mizuno Wave Ignitus 2, Puma PowerCat 1.12, adiPure IV SL, Copa Mundial etc etc. I have never ever worn a soccer boot more comfortable and exact fitting for my wide feet than the DD Eleven K. It just blew me away how plush and comfortable these soccer boots are.

    Because they have a full kangaroo leather upper and run about 1/2 to 1 size larger I got them 1 size smaller than I normally would get in say a Nike Tiempo Legend IV. I like my boots extremely tight with very little room from the tip of my toe to the end of the toe box. But in no way are they uncomfortable. It's hard to explain, it is like a comfortable tightness. If you prefer a little more room go 1/2 size down to your normal size.

    Just as an example I wear a US11 in a Copa, and in these I went to a US10.5 for the perfect tight fit like I would get in the Copa. Normally in most other brands in soccer boots I wear a US11.5 and US12 in running shoes.

    I have not played in them yet but just from looking at the stud configuration and standing in them they feel super stable. I only play on natural grass (kind of firmish). These cleats look long enough to provide great grip in wet conditions but also short enough to offer supiror traction on a dry pitch. They're not too short like say a Copa's moulded studs and not to long either. Kind of just right.

    The Kngaroo leather is super plush. I can't stress about how great the quality and feel of these soccer boots are on your feet. They are built like a tank. Protection wise I think they offer even better protection from studdings than even a Copa and that's a massive claim. The nice thing though is they are slightly lighter than a Copa. But just forget about weight because you won't even notice that.

    I would recommend these for anyone out there with a wide foot who has always had trouble finding a great top end soccer boot that fit properly. It feels like the DD Eleven K was designed with the wide footed player in mind. They are adjustable though so they would suit medium/normal width players too. In my option Comfort is the most important thing in a soccer boot. If they don't feel right or fit right you will never ever play well in them. After that they should offer great touch, traction and protection.

    In terms of position and yes it does matter just from the point of view of protection, striking and touch. I would highly recommend these for central defenders, strikers and midfielder's. I prominently play central midfield and the first choice set piece kicker in my team.

    I have finally found a soccer boot that can retire my trusted Copa Mundial that offers a more modern but comfortable feel and superior traction. That is the Diadora DD Eleven K.

    My Legend IV Elites came real close to retiring my Copa's but they just fell a little short, not quite there but a fantastic soccer boot nevertheless.

    If you're thinking about buying these, don't think any longer. Just buy them! As long as you get your correct size you will never regret it. They look amazing in the black color-way also. I think if more reviewers got their hands on the black color-way Diadora would of sold a lot more of these soccer boots. The white ones and these yellow ones are just way too bright for me and wouldn't be popular with most grass roots players, but the black are oh so right!

  13. Lupo January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Hi all,

    I wanted to share my experience with this cleat, based on a full season's usage. Bryan i love your reviews, but the problem with initial reviews is that they don't tell the whole story of the life of the boot during a full season.
    Let me start off by saying that I have been a loyal Diadora fan since the early 90's. Back then the Diadora Brasil's were MADE IN ITALY, and had some of the softest kangaroo leather i had ever seen on any soccer boot. With companies cutting costs to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas, Diadora then started producing its Maximus Line (for Totti) in Bulgaria, which they too were a very solid cleat, although not as great as the original Brasil's.

  14. Lupo January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Since then, the company has just been cutting too many corners and Diadora is not the brand it was 20 years ago. I had tried the Maracana's.. decent, but only half made of leather, the rest out of some mad made mesh that lets anything from dirt to water in. (good luck when it rains)and they died after half a season.. also tried the maximus ii's.. a complete joke… not well built and just plain heavy. I gave Diadora another try with the KOBRA line.. the "touch control" and entire sole started peeling away after the 1st practice! one last try with these DD ELEVEN was what it took to break the camel's back, and for me to look at another brand..

  15. Lupo January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Out of the box, i knew something was wrong as soon as i felt them.. although they claim they are kangaroo, these feel quite rough to me, and wouldn't be surprised if they a combination or K leather +calfskin or another man-made material.. anyone w/copa mundials or original lotto stadio elite's knows the feel of true kangaroo.. anyways, although very impressive looking (why i rate them 0.5 star/10), thats where it ends. First, the NET BREATHING SYSTEM just plain doesn't work for me. i got soaked in them and my feet did not feel any dryer when in dry conditions either. 2nd, the sizing is off by an entire size in length, and they are much wider than all my old pairs in the toe box ( what last are you guys at Geox using in Vietnam???)

  16. Lupo January 8, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

    And most importantly, after only 3 training sessions, ON NATURAL GRASS.. the front part of the toe box is ripping away from the sole plate, and the diadora symbol on the right boot has unstitched itself! for the 219.99$ retail price ( even at the 119.99$ sale price) these are simply a waste of money, and an insult to any true Diadora supporter.

    Bryan you can always send me an email directly and I would be more than happy to discuss this with you.. I have been a Lotto Stadio Elite and diadora Brasil fan for many years, and the copa mundial's and puma kings just dont seem to fit my foot right ( somewhat wide footed). can you recommend any kangaroo leather, quality boot at this time (other than Pantofola D'oro.. they weigh a ton and cost over 250$ with shipping from the UK) into Canada.

    Many thanks and wishing you all a very happy New Year!

    • Mike July 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      try maracana or evoluzione – they are wide and fit true to size for wide footed

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