From the upper, to the lack of a fold over tongue, to the conical stud pattern, this rendition of the Maracana represents a drastic change from Diadora Maracana’s of the past. This version is listed as the Diadora Maracana L, and utilizes an ultra soft, water resistant, calf skin upper.
In addition to the ultra soft calf skin, Diadora have included an anti stretch lining on the inside of the boot to ensure shape retention. In my opinion this also causes the upper to be a bit thicker than needed, but it is always nice to have some added protection. The black and white upper on the Maracana L is a refreshing look, something I wish we saw more of in the boot world.
You can find this latest version of the Maracana at SoccerSavings.
*Editors Note: This is our second review of this boot, check out Ethan’s take here.
While the comparisons to Maracana’s of the past cannot be avoided, I feel this release has gone in a new direction for Diadora. The changes made take the Maracana out of the power boot category and into that of heritage and control. A less bulky, more streamlined look from Diadora sparked my interest, and the fit and comfort forced me out of the living room and onto the field for testing.
Break in and comfort
Comfortable from the second I put them on, these boots almost felt refreshing in comparison to the synthetic I have been wearing of late. While the upper was as soft as can be, the outsole felt a little stiff after the initial run, and needed several training sessions before it was fully flexible. The unique low cut of the Diadora boots created a few problems getting the boot tightened around the ankle, but once they were tight, the low cut proved helpful as there was no rubbing on the inside or outside of the ankle.
The conical stud pattern provided more than enough grip on the late-summer Icelandic fields. At a time when the temperature is dropping and the rain is falling, late summer is always an interesting time for the fields here. The touch control added to the upper on the Maracana L really stood out in the damp conditions. I felt confident in my touch, and my ability to strike the ball when it was wet , something I cannot say about every other boot I own. I got a chance to use the boot on outdoor turf, where the conical stud pattern worked well. Playing on turf while it is raining is always a challenge, but the added touch control, and comfortable stud pattern makes the Maracana L ideal for such conditions.
How do they fit?
The Maracana L run a little bit big, but I was able to stick with my normal size 9 with a little extra work tightening the boots. As I mentioned earlier, the low cut of the boot around the ankle prevented any rubbing on the ankle bone that I have had problems with from other boots in the past. My feet are wider than average, and the width in the Maracana L worked well with my foot.
Upper and Technology
In my eyes, the highlight of this release from Diadora is how the calfskin upper combines with what Diadora call the control touch application. The control touch application adds grip to the boot that is missing from many all leather boots on the market. Diadora easily could have gone overboard and coated the entire boot in the material, luckily they elected to go with a minimalist addition. The result is a consistent touch on the ball thanks to the correct combination of feeling connected to the ball without being stuck to it.
Would I pick this boot over any of the top of the line releases? No, I don’t know if anyone would. Would I pick this boot if I wanted to spend less than $100 on a reliable boot that performs on multiple surfaces? In a heart beat. The Maracana does a great job at what it was designed to do; be a reliable leather boot for less than $100, and I can’t ask for much more than that. If you have any further questions about the boots leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Again, for those interested, you can find this latest version of the Maracana at SoccerSavings.