What You Need To Know
- Weighs 10.4 oz. (295 g) for a US M10 / 8.6 oz. (243 g) for a US W7.5
- Superior Italian design and construction with nylon air mesh upper
- Definitely go a half-size down
- When they go high, we Volo
ROBBE: Oh what, you’re surprised to see a Diadora shoe that isn’t your soccer cleat from middle school? Forget about your failed futbol career, because 1) nobody cares that coach didn’t put you in, and 2) ‘cause Diadora is bringing the heat to the run.
Though they’ve been quietly building their running segment over the last few years (see our January review of the Mythos Blushield Elite), it’s safe to say that they were throwing down some low face cards while holding an ace up their sleeve. Or a trump card (sorry, ‘biden card’ isn’t a thing).
Whatever the case, when we first laid eyes on the Diadora Mythos Volo, we knew straight away that it was a banger. Looks-wise, anyway. The Italian design was undeniable. Unobtrusive overlays with popping color schemes blended seamlessly with the made-in-Milan feel of the diamond-patterned air mesh upper. Slap on a big, bold, and reflective Diadora logo, and we’re talking maybe the best-looking shoe of 2020.
Now that we’ve made it clear this thing can handle itself in an Esquire fashion spread, one question remains: Does this shoe actually work on the run? More on that in a second.
Let’s run down what this shoe is all about. In a nutshell, it’s a comfortable daily trainer made to get out and go. For a men’s size 10, the shoe weighs 10 oz., which is on par with the Nike Pegasus 37 and most daily trainers. In terms of drop, it’s a bit aggressive at 11 mm for men (30 mm in the heel/19 mm in the forefoot). The midsole is comprised of two pieces: a Blushield layer surrounded by traditional EVA. Blushield is essentially a springy, comfortable layer with little pillars all over it to provide comfort and energy return on the run. There’s a little window on the outsole where you can see what the hell we’re talking about. Or, just look at this picture:
On the outsole, we have a Duratech 5000 compound in the heel for more durable traction, while the rubber in the forefoot is made of blown rubber, which always sounds like something I used to find beside my car before the neighborhood became gentrified. Like a Mario Kart banana peel from hooker hell.
No one knows what’s going on right now, so let’s get into the review of the best thing to come out of Italy since the bottle of Prosecco I drank last week.
ROBBE: I already beat this to death in the intro, but wowee is this a looker. You know how in Italy, just a normal person walking down the street could be a supermodel? And in America, a normal person walking down the street could be a supermarket model? Yeah, this shoe is the first one.
It looks like a supermodel walking down the street. Or the runway. And especially the run. The last time a reliable running shoe actually looked good in normal life was the Nike Epic React. And maybe the New Balance Hierro. Or the Alphafly, if your name is Pennywise. If you think any other shoe looks good outside of running, you’re a certified dad on your way to the Nike Air Monarch afterlife. But with the Mythos Volo, your style game is finally back. I wear this shoe everyday, run or not. Because it looks that good. My 10th-grade niece even confirmed this, without any prompting.
On the run? It works. It will not revolutionize running, but it performs quite all right as an everyday running shoe. The step-in comfort is top-notch, especially the upper. An Ortholite insole on top of the Blushield layer creates a soft touch, but not too soft. Outsole grip is really good, no issues there. I had no issues with the weight, as it falls in line with most daily trainers out there. It felt good on easy runs and you can pick it up if you need to.
Lockdown is pretty good on the upper. I had to adjust the laces a couple times to get it right, but there’s no weird movement or anything. Basically, it fits like a daily trainer should, not too wide and not too narrow.
Because the midsole is traditional EVA you’re not gonna get some crazy bounce if that’s what you’re looking for (i.e. what a fresh pair of Epic React has). This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a thing I should point out if your expectations are crazy high.
THOMAS: If you didn’t get enough on the styling of the shoe, just re-read Robbe’s take. If that is too much to read, I’ll condense it for you: This shoe is beautiful.
Luckily the beauty isn’t just skin deep. The Mythos Volo is a good ride. The Blushield tech gives the Volo a unique feel. The pods really serve up a nice step-in feel while providing support during the run. The rest of the midsole is EVA foam tuned on the firmer side, which keeps the shoe feeling snappy. With Duratech rubber on the heel and softer rubber upfront, the shoe gets durability where you need it and grippy traction on toe-off.
The air mesh nylon upper breathes well and I didn’t experience any puckering or hot spots. I experienced a nearly perfect fit once I went down a half size from my regular running shoe size. No heel lift at all. Can I get some love for the pull loop on the back of the heel?! I love it. Other nice details are the reflective elements on the heel counter and the Diadora logo. My size 10 weighs 10.4 oz/295 grams and has an 11 mm drop.
ROBBE: The tongue situation needs to be figured out. The actual plushness is fine, but it has too much extra material where it meets in the vamp. If you don’t get it right, it can fold back in on itself which is obviously annoying. It also had a tendency to slide a bit. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, but it was a minor annoyance.
Despite the stack height, the shoe runs fairly firm after you get some miles in it and the insole compresses. It’s not firm like say, an Altra Escalante or a Brooks Levitate 4, it’s just firmer than you’d imagine from a shoe that looks super cush. It’s not a bad thing, I just want to temper expectations. The best way I can put it is that it just feels like a traditional daily trainer.
Also, I know it’s Diadora’s intention to work directly with brick and mortar stores and establish relationships that way, but it makes it a bit difficult to actually get the shoe. You basically need to call your local running store and pray they have it, or find a Fleet Feet store owner who will ship you a pair (we happen to know some if you need help).
Also, these undoubtedly run big, so for sure go a half size down.
THOMAS: I was fine with the thickness of the tongue and didn’t experience the extra material at the base of the tongue that Robbe had, but my knock on the shoe does have to do with the tongue. My Volo’s tongue on only the left shoe likes to slide to the lateral side of the foot. Not a big deal, but it once again proves that a gusseted tongue is always a good choice.
I mention it in the good section, GO A HALF SIZE DOWN.
Diadora Mythos Volo Conclusion
ROBBE: Overall, I loved this shoe. I think this is really going to put Diadora on the map again in the running segment. The looks alone have drawn a ton of interest, and rightfully so. While the midsole isn’t going to start a revolution, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. We have a feeling that their future plans will show some great leaps in technological progression. At $135, the shoe comes in at the average range for running shoes these days, but it punches above its weight, no doubt. This would make a solid Christmas gift for that special someone in your life, especially if that someone is you.
THOMAS: Diadora serves up an ace with this daily trainer. Many runners will be able to get the majority of their miles in with the Volo. For those of you that like specialized weapons for their miles, you’ll want to keep the Volo for your easy days and recovery miles and add in a tempo shoe and race shoe to complete your arsenal. The price is nice too. I can confidently recommend the Mythos Volo to the newbie and the seasoned road runner. The best part is when you retire them, you’re gonna love them for casual wear. Ciao.
You can pick up the Diadora Mythos Volo for $135 at your local running store (especially if it’s a Fleet Feet), or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org they’ll get you all setup.
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards when he’s not MAF training. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.