As much as I love living in Canada, sometimes the fact that we experience a phenomenon known as the changing of seasons can make boot reviewing a bit difficult. Case in point the Diadora DD NA 2, which arrived at my residence just in time for the start of the indoor season, although they did look resplendent in their Fluo/Green/Black colourway.
The DD NA 2 is a boot which enjoys a higher profile than most non Nike or Adidas boots in North America being worn by LA Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas and Canadian International Issey Nakajima-Farran, alongside the brands main ambassador and notorious scamp (curious? Read Andrea Pirlo’s biography) Antonio Cassano. When I’ve thought Diadora, I’ve always thought of well built leather boots, so I was interested to see their synthetic speed boot would have to offer; albeit under slightly revised conditions.
The DD NA is definitely a ‘flashy’ boot, but you’d expect a fluorescent coloured boot to be flashy. The good news for me is that I was spared the ignominy of having to wear Italian coloured boots, because Bryan took a liking to them; a classic case of Bryan’s liking is my gain!
The upper of the boot is SuprellPro3L synthetic, which is designed to mold to any foot shape, and has been treated with special touch control to aid dribbling. The boot also featured Diadora’s NET Breathing System to aid air flow. Having never experienced the NET Breathing System I was interested to see how it would play out, it seems people are a bit down on it because they have the expectation that it’s supposed to be like strapping an air conditioner to their boots.
When it comes to speed boots I tend to stay away for two reasons. First, they don’t suit my style of play; and second I find they take an absolute age to break in on account of the soleplates being so stiff on them. So despite it not being the most flexible of soleplate I was impressed with level of comfort provided. As such I was able to take them straight into game action, which is a shocker based on my experience with speed boots.
Fit-wise there was a tiny bit of an issue, the boots came in a size 9 US, and my left foot is ever so slightly larger than my right; which led to a bit of discomfort as my left big toe was right up against the forefoot of the boot. As I tend to roll anywhere between a 9 and a 9.5 US depending on boot, this is one where a 9.5 would have been a better fit for me.
Weighing in at 6.2oz you get an idea of the kind of player the DD NA 2 is geared towards, pacy, creative, attacking, wingy type players (aka. The Gaffer). Now I consider myself one of these things, two at a stretch, and, if you guessed pacy and wingy, you’d be wrong. So the DD NA 2 definitely wasn’t designed with me in mind, however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a decent performer.
In the interest of full disclosure I wore these exclusively indoor on AG in a small sided league.
The SuprellPro3L synthetic upper provided a quality touch on the ball when it came to dribbling the ball, receiving passes and making passes. I very much enjoyed what the touch compound offered when dribbling the ball. The touch compound is located on the Diadora hit on the forefoot and it offered just that added little bit of tackiness to keep the ball close to the foot, perfect for when you’re trying to dribble your way out of tight situations that arise in the small sided game.
When it came to striking the ball I was left feeling that the DD NA 2 could have used a slightly more flexible upper, having hit shots with the DD NA 2 and a couple of other speed boots, I got the feeling that a more flexible upper might have lessened the impact when striking the ball.
That complaint aside, I’ll turn my attention to the traction offered by the DD NA 2. The soleplate features 9 diamond shaped blades and four conical studs; and I must say they offered superb traction on an AG surface. I’m definitely a conical loyalist (on all surfaces) but the mix pattern provided by Diadora certainly does the trick. While most bladed studs have a tendency to get caught up on turf the shape of the Diadora blades don’t see that problem; and while I’m still not coming down off my all studs should be conical platform, I am impressed with what Diadora were able to pull off with their layout.
Finally, I’d like to spare a couple words for the NET Breathing System. Granted an AG surface on an indoor pitch isn’t where it was designed to shine, however, there seem to be some people who think that it is supposed to be like an air conditioner unit for their boots. It isn’t as such an idea would be ludicrous, but I did find that my socks were a bit less sweat filled in the DD NA 2 than in other boots I’ve worn in the past. So there is something to the idea, even if it isn’t nearly to the level that people expect when they look at it.
Would I Buy?
Personally I wouldn’t, but that’s because they aren’t designed to suit my style of play, and $149.99 is a big ask to spend on a pair of boots which aren’t geared towards the way you play. However, if you’re more of a nimble player with a love of lightweight boots, and haven’t met a situation you couldn’t dribble through, then the DD NA 2 could definitely be up your street. Diadora have historically made a quality boot and if you’re looking to step away from the Nike/Adidas/Puma dominated speed boot market, they definitely merit a look in.
If you are looking for a pair of DD NA 2’s you can find the entire selection over at soccer.com retailing for $149.99. If you have experience with the boot leave a comment down below with your opinions.