Diadora: the shoes you’re most definitely sleeping on

If you were fashion conscious in the 70s, 80s and 90s and had an interest in football, Diadora would have most likely been your Italian love, meeting you in the afternoon on Channel 4 for ‘Football Italia’ adorning the feet of your favourite goalscorers.

As one of Europe’s oldest sportswear brands, Diadora is reminiscent of an era when Italian brands ruled sportswear along with the likes of Kappa, Fila and Lotto. 

But reminisce no more! As Diadora have well and truly made a resurgence over the last few years, and we claim (not lightly) the brand’s ‘heritage’ collection has some of the best trainers in fashion. Yes! It’s true, the combination of design and quality is unrivalled, think Nike dunks x Loro Piana, design meets quality made in Italy.

Just take a look for yourself and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

Established in 1948 by Marcello Danieli, the shoe started life as a mountain boot used by hikers and mountain police. Gradually becoming the finest mountaineering footwear around in the late 40s and 50s, Danieli looked to expand and achieved further breakthrough through his winter collection of ski boots and the first ever apres-ski boot.

Following success in the ski market Diadora expanded into tennis and athletic shoes in the 70s, a time when sportswear was merging with casual everyday wear, capitalising on the excitement of the greater access people had to a wider array of sports.

Collaborations with Bjorn Borg, Roberto Baggio, Francesco Totti, George Weah, Christian Vieri and Roy Keane launched Diadora into international renown and In the UK, they produced kits for Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and the Scotland national team.

Since their glory days in the 90s, Diadora has fallen behind industry giants Nike and Adidas, however, Diadora never intended to compete with these firms. “Our values are sport, our authenticity—with our 67 years of history—and our Italian craftsmanship,” said CEO Enrico Polegato. They still manufacture many of their shoes in Italy, “working with the original machines—the machinery dating back to the ’80s or the ’90s.” Their sacrifices for build quality and character mean they cannot compete on output or profit margins. Unsurprisingly, their iconic designs have been recognised by the streetwear community, with a set of European heavyweight collabs between themselves and ‘Patta’ of Amsterdam having dropped over the last 5 years. Diadora now stands as a great option for those who have grown uninterested in the sports mega brands and in pursuit of a brand with personality and authenticity. They host a wide spectrum of finely designed shoes and tracksuits that are perfect for taking advantage of fashion’s thriving love for retro sportswear.