Diardora Solano GX 14 Review
TechPro microfiber for lightweight fit. Touch control treatment for ball grip. Removable anatomically-shaped EVA insole that is perforated and breathable thanks to NET technology. Nylon and polyurethane Ergo NP frame for top performance and increased comfort. Double Action inserts absorb shock. PU with 14 fixed studs. NET technology in the outsole is a breathable, waterproof membrane that keeps moisture, mud and debris out of the shoe. Axeler technology for propulsion and stability.
Coming from a brand like Diadora, I expected these boots to be very comfortable. Considering that Diadora have never really done a synthetic shoe before, I was a little bit worried that the Solano was not going to match the other kangaroo leather Diadora’s in the comfort department. Luckily, the shoe turned out to be very comfortable. The synthetic upper is very soft and gets even softer after about 30 minutes of use. The inside of the boot is lined with a soft swede-like material that makes for a comfortable fit from the first time you put them on your feet. As far as being comfortable and blister free, there is nothing to complain about. The fit of this boot is also somewhat unique. The NET soleplate that is used on this boot has a very wide mid foot area, making the overall fit of the boot very wide. I would compare the fit more to a running shoe, rather than a soccer shoe. The toe box of the boot also seems a touch on the narrow side, which will be fine for some, but may not work for others. So basically the boot has a very wide fit all the way through until you get to the toe box. There is also somewhat of an issue with the sizing on this boot. Where I would normally wear a size 9US, I needed a size 8.5US in the Solano for a snug fit. I would recommend going down a half size in this boot to ensure the best fit.
The NET breathing system is the main attraction for this particular boot, claiming to be a breathable sole plate that allows moisture to come out, but none to stay in. It is made of some kind of woven plastic material that is uncovered on the bottom of the shoe and also seems to be layered, allowing air to pass right through. Does it work? The answer is yes, but not to the extent that I expected. I can definitely say that I noticed that my feet stayed a little cooler than they would normally be in a pair of soccer shoes. It also doesn’t allow water in, which was my biggest concern. I feel like this effect could have been much more noticeable if Diadora had swapped in a different insole. The insole that comes in the boot does have some holes in it, but not enough so that air could more freely pass through the bottom of the boot to the foot. If you’ve always had complaints about overly sweaty feet when playing, than this might be something that you should take a look at.
This is one area where this boot just doesn’t make much sense to me. Whenever a thin synthetic upper is used on a boot, generally the main goal of the boot is to be light. The Solano weighs in at 9.4oz, which is by no means heavy, but it isn’t exactly competing with the lighter weight boots available on the market. These boots just don’t provide that feeling of being lightweight when they are on your feet. Instead they strive more to be comfortable and supportive, rather than lightweight.
The stud pattern that this boot uses looks very unique, but in reality it is just a simply conical stud configuration. It reminds me very much of the stud pattern used on Nike’s Legend series and performs very similarly as well. It provides very solid traction without ever locking you in to the ground when you plant your foot. I feel like the studs are a little on the long side, like the adizero stud pattern, but will work just fine on almost any surface. It’s a fairly traditional stud pattern that is very reliable, tried and trusted.
Being that this is Diadora’s first go at a synthetic boot, the upper is honestly not that bad. Like I stated earlier, it is very soft from right out of the box and is super comfortable with its swede-like liner. The upper is on thicker side, as far as synthetics go, which doesn’t necessarily make for a bad touch on the ball, but did make the boot feel a little on the bulky side. I also have to complain a little about the tacky finish on this boot. I found that at times, when dribbling, the ball seemed to stick to my feet, making for some unexpected stumbles. The touch of this boot is not bad, it just isn’t up to par with other leading synthetic uppers on the market.
Shooting with these boots was actually fairly good. The little extra padding was nice to have on a synthetic boot. The tongue of the boot is a little thinner than the rest of the upper, so striking the ball with the laces provides a close to the foot feel when striking the ball. Also, the sticky finish on the upper that I was not a fan of for dribbling, seems to add a little bit of grip on the ball when shooting, making for more controlled accurate shots.
Diadora always makes very high quality boots. The build quality, as well as the materials used, is always some of the best. Considering that this boot is also synthetic, it will not stretch out of shape and it requires little to no maintenance. I am very certain that this boot will withstand the elements and last for at least a full season of play.
Due to the synthetic being a little thicker than most synthetic uppers, the Solano does offer a little more protection than most in its category. There is a plastic internal heel counter that will protect from knocks coming from the back and the thicker upper will take away some of the sting of getting stepped on. That being said, these are not super protective boots, so if that is one of your main concerns in a boot, this may not be what you are looking for.
Although this is not the most appealing boot ever to come from Diadora, the Solano does offer some unique features that may appeal to certain group. The NET soleplate is the start of a technology that I feel needs a slight tweak to really be impressive. If you have very wide feet, these also may be the boots for you. It’s also important to consider the price of this boot, which can be found for as low as $60. If you’re on a low budget and looking for a boot that is still of good quality, the Solano may be for you.
Comfort/ fit 8 out of 10
Weight 6 out of 10
Traction 8 out of 10
Touch 7 out of 10
Shooting 7 out of 10
Durability 8 out of 10
Protection 7 out of 10
Final Score 51 out of 70 or 73%