Diadora had a bit of a tennis "hey-day" back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when fan favorite Gustavo Kuerten captured three titles on the dirt at Roland Garros ('97, '00, and '01). Since then, the brand's tennis popularity has waned a little—at least here in the United States. The good news is that Diadora has released two brand new, cutting-edge tennis shoes.
I had a chance to take one of their new shoes—the Diadora Speed Pro WI5 IV AG—out for a test drive and I was thoroughly impressed. The Speed Pro is right up my alley. I really loved these shoes. They felt great with zero break-in period and they performed very well during play.
The heel collar and tongue are very well padded so there's no lace bite and no rubbing around the ankle. The tongue itself sports a pretty unique design: Instead of attaching the tongue only at the base like the tongue of most shoes, the folks at Diadora have opted for a fully-integrated tongue. This design creates a "sock-like" fit that really hugs the foot, especially when combined with the offset lacing system. The design really kept my foot locked in place and I didn't slide around inside the shoe. I personally had no issues getting my foot into the shoe, but the integrated tongue design might present some issues for someone with a wider foot.
The inclusion of mesh panels on the lateral side and the top of the toe box provided pretty good breathability, so my feet stayed comfortable. There are certainly shoes that offer more breathability and shoes that offer less, but the Speed Pro's ventilation was more than adequate for me.
I loved the feel of the Speed Pro underfoot and the midsole offered plenty of cushioning for extended play. For a shoe that feels this plush, the Speed Pro weighs in at a surprisingly reasonable 13.4 ounces (size 9) and maintained a fairly low-to-the-ground feel. That combined with the sleek, aggressive design made me feel agile and quick on the courts. There was plenty of support for lateral movement and the outsole gave me enough grip for quick sprints to the ball.
All in all, the Speed Pro WI5 IV AG is definitely a win for Diadora. They've crafted a great shoe that is loaded with performance features and plush cushioning. There's enough material underfoot to stand up to long practices or matches and the Speed Pro maintains a low-to-the-ground feel. The unique upper design may have been a risk, but in my opinion, it worked out great. Players with wide feet might have some trouble getting into the shoe, but I had no issues and my feet stayed locked in even during fast aggressive movements. The Diadora Speed Pro WI5 IV AG really performed well and—let's be honest—it looks pretty cool too.
Want to learn more? Read Tennis magazine's review of Diadora's Speed Pro shoes.
Shop Diadora Speed Pro WI5 IV AG tennis shoes