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Diadora Cambio PU – Important Update

Diadora Cambio PU

Over the past 2 weeks, I have been trying extremely hard to test and review the all-new Diadora Cambio PU. It has not been a successful process! In fact, I’ve got to the stage where trying to piece together a review would be pretty useless as I’d simply bash the heck out of the boots performance. I’m not one to overly criticize a boot, but the Cambio PU has proven to be a menace and its design is flawed to the point where I don’t understand how they could even have been released to market.

With that being said, I am only one player. Even though I’ve suffered problems with them, I’m sure opinions will vary and there will be some players who find the new technology useful. Because of this, I offered them to a teammate who wears the same size as I do, to give them a run out. His experience was pretty much identical to mine and reaffirmed some of the my thoughts listed below. These boots will now be going to another member of the SC101 team for their evaluation, and if there is any other feedback to offer, we will offer it in the form of an updated post!

If you need a refresher on the Cambio PU, check out: Diadora Cambio Arrive + Unboxed.

Cambio Insole

Diadora Cambio Stud Configuration

Straight Up, What is Wrong With Them?

The primary issue lies with the support provided – or the lack of support. Everything is good and well with the world as you slip your feet into the interchangeable insoles. You slide them into the boot and there are still no problems. But then you start to run and that is where the real problems start. Because there is no solid sole in place and the interchangeable insole features no grip (it is simply a piece of foam), your foot is left to move and shift inside the shell. Without natural support underneath your foot, you feel the full extent of stud pressure exerted on your feet. If you look at the soleplate in the images, you will also notice that there is a split/divide between the front and back of the sole. Again, there is extremely limited support provided through the midfoot and even with the wide array of conical studs, the weight distribution is non-existent. This, in turn, causes a lot of foot cramping and is just plain painful on your sole. The more you run, the worse it gets.

How Does the Shell Feel?

The shell feels exactly like a rubber compound, so it offers excellent protection around your foot, but it doesn’t provide a natural shape. That is also a major factor in the boots negative performance. It tends to simply sit in the same uniform shape through wear. As players, we expect boots to soften and mold to our natural shape over time, but this won’t happen with the Cambio. The shape you get from wear #1 is going to be pretty much what you get right through wear. When it comes to controlling the ball, you do get a material with natural rebound and ping, so it feels good striking shots. But, again you don’t get that natural feel as you look to control or dribble the ball.

Diadora Cambio PU Upper

Diadora Cambio Interchangeable Insole

Diadora Cambio Sizing

What About Size?

I wore a 9US, and although they were slightly longer in length, a size down would not have worked. The interchangeable insole provides the real size of the boot, as that is what provides the shape your foot takes in the boot. The shell acts as a housing unit, and every players foot shape will take up a different region of space. If you are interested in them, true-to-size is the way to go.

Thinking Outside the Box

This is the type of technology that takes balls to create and then release. Diadora has definitely challenged the norm and the buzz surrounding the boot when they were initially slated for release was pretty impressive. But, we obviously didn’t have them in hand and fans were simply baffled by the idea of an interchangeable insole. My real question on this release is how much time was spent researching the comfort provided for competitive players and did they test them on field over 90 minutes? Your gut reaction is “of course they did, what company would release a boot without testing them in game“, but I’m not so sure on this one. If they did test them, I have a feeling the feedback from testers was pretty inaccurate. I’ve honestly never encountered so many comfort problems with one pair of boots.

In saying that, there is potential for this type of technology to work! And I could see it being popular. A more defined insole is needed and the upper material needs to be tightened around the forefoot for it to work (in the same shape or mold as something like the Nike Vapor VIII).

Your Thoughts and Insights

Since they are decently affordable, I’m sure some of you will fork out on a pair and if you do, please share your experiences with the boot in the comment section below. We are eager to hear how other players find the technology and if you encounter any of the same issues we did.

You can currently find the Diadora Cambio PU in two colorways at soccer.com.

About Bryan Byrne

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. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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14 comments

  1. When I first saw those, my very first thought was: "I wonder how they'll keep the inner bootie from sliding around?". Now I know. And to think…I'm just some random guy on the internet, so I have to wonder what exactly Diadora's "designers" are doing these days.

  2. All I have to say is that I am glad Diadora have released so many other solid options recently! They really do have great boots out on the market but I never did see this one succeeding. I will probably buy them just to have as a collector's item.

  3. This was a copyrighted design from China soccer boots company. Exactly the same design and colour. Diadora just paid for the copyright and bring them to market

  4. check this out http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=13447767821

    The idea was from a China brand named SEMS. They re selling these few years ago, but seems like a fail product.

  5. Poor form from Diadora here sadly! The gents talking about SEMS appear to be right, the SEMS logo is featured prominently on the Diadora's by the bottom of the soleplate between the back two studs. A quick check at the link provided by Veltron also shows that SEMS seems to have models which don't utilize the interchangeable liner (so would possibly be more stable?). Shame that Diadora went this route with the Cambio, but every boot company is allowed one cock up, considering how good their product usually is.

  6. I was really fascinated by these boots and thought I would give them a try. I got these few weeks ago and tested them few times during some training sessions and casual play. I'm not an expert or a pro so take this review with a grain of salt.
    The idea behind this is great and that is the reason I got these. The execution is very poor.
    What I hated the most about these is the soleplate and the pain you feel. The first few minutes were fine but afterwards you feel the studs pressure and foot pain.
    They are light and nice on the feet.
    The fit is not bad but you end up with a lot of space in the toe area. The PU material is not bad at all but it needs to be refined a bit. As Bryan said, you end up with space and your foot not locked in. I don't mind the shell itself. I felt good striking the ball and even got few awesome strikes where the ball just danced and swerved.
    I had to take them off after 30 minutes each time because I could not stand the pain.
    Overall, they are ok. This could have been a great boot if they spent extra time developing and testing it. I really doubt that we will see the next generation of this boot but here is my advice. Start with the same shell, provide a better soleplate support.
    Leave the shell transparent and let the sock color provide that extra color. Or instead of the flimsy insoles they provided, have something a bit more refined. Maybe something you can wear like a crew sock with better padding for the insoles.
    I did try this with a nike drifit double thick sock and they were not bad but the shell was still not forming to my feet.

    Again I did not expect much from a product that was rushed and released without much thought. It is like when you get a C on your project that you just started working on the night before. You know that you could have done much better but you just did not feel like it.

  7. I really like them I think they are great and they where perfectly fine for me

  8. I just bought a pair at the local soccer store for $15! As I wore them around to get a feel I too realized how quickly my feet would hurt wearing them on firm ground. That said, I think I’ve found a solution. I put my pair of Superfeet insoles I use for work and hiking in the boot and then put the diadora slip-on over the insoles. I went and ran around and hit balls fora half hour. I had no discomfort or slipping and the rubber outsoles are going to let me really work the ball on set pieces. They certainly won’t be my go to boots but for $15 and a little creative thinking I’m definitely going to have some fun with them!!

  9. Hey, I’ve had mine for a few months and have had very similar issues as everyone else, pain after 30 min of use. I kept feeling my foot slide back and forth. I love the shoe but hate it at the same time. They way a solved some of the problems and I did this with my own pair, but that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. I went out and bought a pair of gel inserts and glued them to the bottom of the insert for added support. A lot of cutting and flying went on so again this is just what i attempted. Afterwards I found a 2 part rubber cement and glued the insert into the shoe and evenly and cleanly as possible. I do understand this took away a huge part of the shoe as far as the removable inserts but it made a world of difference. I still left one blue and one yellow to give it a unique look. But the pain i had before is for the most part gone.

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