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Diadora Maracana L - Boot Review - Soccer Cleats 101
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Monday , June 17 2024

Diadora Maracana L – Boot Review

Diadora Maracana L

The Diadora Maracana RTX 12 has earned its reputation over the past years as the go-to boot for players wanting consistent high quality.  Diadora decided that it was time for an upgrade and they brought out the all new Diadora Maracana L, with L standing for Leather in this case.  With a fresh Black/White colorway, the Maracana still sits  under that all important $100 price point.

You can find this latest version of the Maracana at

Initial Reaction

Although I usually support new releases and “reinventions” of heritage boots, this was one release that I was skeptical about.  I anticipated this boot to be a disappointing release from Diadora, after all, some of the changes are definitely moving the boot deeper into the hybrid category than before.  I am a fan of the white and black colorway, and the Italian colors on the heel show Diadora’s roots.  My only question is how will that white leather upper look after a session in mud?

Maracana Lacing System

Maracana L Upper

Whats new?

Or should I say whats missing?  Diadora dropped the lace cover tongue, something I thought wasn’t that necessary.  They also left out kangaroo leather, opting for calf leather instead.  Conical studs seem to be everywhere now, even on the new Maracana!  The soleplate now consists of 14 conical studs instead of the old bladed soleplate.  There are also a few other tiny details such as the different external heel counter and a less hidden lacing system.

[Also: Diadora Maracana RTX 12 Review]

Comfort and Fit

Straight out of the box I had slight issues with sizing, these were a bit big length wise (not enough to be a full half size), but if you want the tight fit I would recommend ordering these a half size down if you factor in the leather stretching.  Generally, you want leather boots to be tight at first so they can conform to your foot.  Just like the past Maracana, the stitching (touch control) on this boot is unique because there are tiny synthetic sections in the front area mixed in with the leather.  This allows the boot to stretch length wise and width wise for a better fit.  It also helps with touch (see performance for more).  Doubling up on socks, I normally use one sock per foot, gave me a better fit length and width wise.  After a few training sessions and some hard sprints, they were game ready.  The leather took a few sessions to soften up and they one of the more comfortable boots on the market.

One thing that hasn’t changed from the last Maracana was the lace length, for those who keep the laces that come with the boots, you can easily wrap it around the midfoot of your foot and then tie them normally.  I never have had good experience with long laces so I couldn’t resist replacing them after a few wears.  After finally replacing the original laces, I found that I could tighten them easier and it helped lock down my foot.

Regarding Diadora’s decision to use calf leather on these, I can’t complain.  They used very high quality calf leather (full grain leather to be exact), and it is quite water resistant.

Technology Included

The Maracana is built pretty simple with its main focus on quality leather.  It has an external heel counter and axeler technology in the sole plate.  Axeler technology is meant to help with stiffness, stability, and flexibility.  They also have a water resistant upper that is pretty effective.  When playing in slightly wet conditions these didn’t absorb any water and they performed well on the ball.  Touch control is also included in the front of the boot.

Diadora Maracana 14 Conical Stud Traction

Maracana Soleplate

Maracana Heel Counter

In Game Performance

There is really not that much to report about performance, the design is simple yet effective.  The touch control isn’t that in your face but it still gives a better control of the ball.  It has a slightly sticky feeling and most of it is in the strike zone.  It doubles as a striking element because it adds a bit of substance to your shots.  One thing I didn’t like about these was the Diadora logo on the instep.  Its unnecessary and its kind of out of place.  It creates an uneven surface that is annoying when passing.  It also started to tear on one of the boots (see the picture) and I found that there is leather underneath it.  I was tempted to just remove the whole logo on the instep just to get to the leather- in my opinion it should have been left off entirely.  They are also listed as 8 ounces for a Size 9 US Mens which is light considering the build of the boots.

Diadora now has a basic conical stud pattern that is great for firm ground use.  On turf, the studs did drag and I would avoid using them on artificial surfaces.

How is Durability?

The Maracana is one of the more durable boots on the market.  There was a tiny bit of sole separation in one area and the logo tore but those are just minor issues.  The anti-stretch will also help prolong the life of the boot by helping them to keep their shape for a longer period of time.  Some maintenance is required because they are leather boots.  As long as long as you keep the leather clean and use leather balsam these should last a few seasons.  Also, in the time I spent with these, the white upper stayed relatively white despite wet conditions.

photo 3 (3)

photo 2 (4)

Would I buy these?

I really enjoyed testing these and they are a real competitor with similar boots such as the Copa Mundial and Nike Premier.  For me, I would have to chose between those three boots and I honestly can’t say which I would choose, they are all such good boots.  Even though these are quality boots, there is still a tiny bit of room for improvement.  My suggestion would be to remove the logo on the instep and possibly making them tighter length wise.

Normally I don’t recommend boots for a certain position but these are a defensive minded players dream.  They offer second to none protection all around and I would almost feel confident kicking a brick with these.  The thick leather, external heel counter, and synthetic touch control all protect you from hard challenges.

You can find this latest version of the Maracana at

Do you like the changes Diadora made to the new Maracana?  Let us know in the comments below!

About Ethan Edwards

Ethan is our guy who is going to take things to the next level as a SoccerCleats101 pro player. He is set to play on one of the best high school soccer teams this Spring (Blacksburg HS, VA) and will be providing us with news and reviews from a competitive standpoint. Find him on Twitter if you want to talk High School soccer!

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  1. How do these fit width wise? I had some old version maracana indoors, and they were super wide, almost to the point of unwearable because my foot slid around inside them.

    • Hey Chris,

      If you order a size down then they should fit about right. I would say that they are pretty average if you get the right size. They do stretch to meet a wider foot if its needed but that didn't happen to me.

  2. Great review, and since you seem to be the one that replies the most, do you know if anybody is going to do a review on the Diadora DD-NA LPU?

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