Article by Sam Winebaum
Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo 2 ($140)
Sam: The Volo 2 will be my third Diadora in recent months after the sleek, fast and polished “Ferrari” like and 100% Made in Italy Equipe Atomo and uptempo trainer and more recently the massive yet smooth running and friendly Vigore light stability shoe. Both were pleasant surprises, beautifully crafted, long lasting, and well engineered shoes.
The Volo can be thought of sitting between the Vigore and Atomo as a neutral daily trainer with a touch of stability from its broad on the ground geometry and plastic midfoot “window” to the Blushield tech above that also serves as a mini stabilizing shank from what I can tell.
Blushield is a Diadora tech consisting of an anatomically shaped midsole below the foot with a layer of EVA elastomer shaped into downward facing cones for impact absorption and rebound. The combination is designed to smooth out asymmetries during foot strike. It’s not a gimmick and doesn’t add weight as the Volo 2 with its 29 mm heel / 19mm forefoot stack and super copious thick rubber and blown rubber outsole checks in at about 9.85 oz / 279g in a US9, under my magic 10 oz daily trainer limit. Noting the US 9 weight is for a US8.5 sample as most even wide feet will clearly need to size down half a size.
The upper is an engineered mesh with a stout heel counter, no gusset tongue and a copiously wide but well held toe box with a few cleverly placed strategic suede and reflective overlays
Stable soft heel landing with noted quick sharp spring forward and up to midfoot.
Solid weight to substance ratio: plenty of cushion with copious thick durable rubber yet still sub 10 oz
Roomy upper that works equally well for wider and narrower feet. Clever front overlay lockdown.
Sizing is off (big) by ½ US size, size down
Just front of heel spring effect could be a touch softer, more bouncy and less flat feeling
Very easy, too easy and a bit thin feeling far front flex, could start a little further back
Estimated Weight: men’s 9.85 oz / 279g (US9 equivalent of actual US8.5) / women’s oz / g (US8)
Samples: men’s 9.6 oz / 272g US8/EU41 equivalent to at least US8.5
Full Stack Height: men’s 32mm heel (measured) / 22 mm forefoot (spec 10mm drop)
Available now. $140
First Impressions, Upper and Fit
Sam: My white and black with burnt orange and gray overlays with a splash of red for the dual arrow shaped lace overlays has not only an elegant simplicity but distinctive visual highlights and cues. The black heel counter speaks to a solid hold and rear security,
The red arrow lace holders point to speed and motion forward while the large red medial overlay calls out an element of support there. The single gray suede overlay over the toe box and series of thicker reflective lines over the big toe to not only safety but durability and also motion forward.
Flipping them over we see a wide platform, linear pads and a broad yet shallow decoupling groove with the hard plastic window covering the Blushield elastomer layer doing double duty to show the tech but also act as a shank. All of this says and delivers a stable landing. Up front, the outsole is a combination of arrow shape and broad pads speaking to toe off flex with stability.
The upper mesh is a simple single pattern engineered mesh. It is quite dense if thin and pliable with some light but no holes showing through.
The heel counter is rigid and solid but mercifully does not extend too far forward.
The red suede Diadora overlay on the medial side is substantial and provides support
The collars are amply padded and around the ankles in combination with overlays below and a quite stiff lace last top lace holes black eyestay provide enough structure so the rest of the lace up area itself does not need additional heavy overlays and no gusset is included or required.
Further forward the toe box is amply broad, soft and mostly unstructured. Wide feet should be happy here. The single gray suede over the toes overlay and reflective bands are the entire front structure. There is no toe bumper. While not a locked down performance fit this is a comfort oriented daily trainer fit that just works.
The main midsole is a lightweight EVA with a layer of downward facing elastomer cone shapes that deflect independently for impact and to return energy.
The layer follows the anatomical shaping of the midsole below which Diadora calls Morpho base to make up their Blushield technology. The idea is to remove asymmetries in foot strike during the gait cycle.
It works and is sensed as very consistent feeling rear of the shoe. The far rear heel landing has a soft touch followed by a very smooth flowing (if a bit flat feeling) travel through the midfoot. There is some long and noticed vertical spring back from just ahead of the heel through midfoot.
Quite unique. Not exactly soft in feel but in no way harsh with a touch of consistent stability that is more central and in the direction of travel than usual. I do wish the feel through midfoot from the Blushield was a touch softer and bouncier.
Upfront the midsole (and outsole) remains quite rigid with at toe off a very easy short final flex point from the deep front flex groove. I wish the flex was a touch longer which might help make the midfoot feel a touch less flat.
Sam: Lots and lots of rubber here. At the heel I measure 4mm thick Duratech 5000 rubber with upfront a slightly softer blown rubber that is thinner.
As with every Diadora we have tested, I expect excellent durability with any wear to the exposed midsole areas likely to be cosmetic.
I do wish as noted in midsole that the outsole was a touch more segmented in front of the mid foot for a longer flex.
Sam: The Volo has a distinctive ride characterized by its spring just ahead of the soft broad rear heel which then extends through the midfoot on its broad and stable neutral platform. The rear platform and it feels like that on the run is followed by a flexible very front toe off. I think these ride characteristics make it a good choice for heel strikers and more moderate daily training paces. I do think the ride is a bit too flat in feel through midfoot to the start of toe off.
There is ample cushion, some rebound and light enough weight for daily training but it is not as agile feeling or smooth rolling as some in its class such as the Ride 15 from Saucony. On the opposite end of the spectrum it is far more easy going and comfortable than say a Pegasus.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Sam: Another fine well polished entry from Diadora, a brand not often top of mind in running but which should be. The key strengths of the Volo are its roomy, largely unstructured yet at the same time secure all over upper and its distinctive Blueshield platform which for me has a neat rear to mid foot spring effect that is also stable. As such, it is a solid choice for higher volume feet and heel strikers who need a touch of stability while it also fits my narrower feet equally as well.
While a 10mm drop and with the noted rebound spring at the rear they are a bit flat in feel and could use more roll forward through less vertical sidewalls, a touch longer flex or a more abrupt drop towards the front.
Styling is beautiful with the details calling out the features in just the right colors in a marvelous way. The upper reads like a book of features as the eye is drawn to each element.
Value at $140 for what I expect will be a durable and quite versatile shoe is solid.
Sam’s Score: 9.06 /10
Ride 8.8 Fit 9.3 Value 9.3 Style 9.5
Index to all RTR reviews: HERE
Diadora Equipe Atomo (RTR Review)
Sam: The Atomo was one of my favorite shoes of 2021 in the more uptempo to daily training category. It is about 1 oz lighter, higher stacked and lower drop at 36/31 with a DD Anima midsole somewhat firmer and more responsive than Volo. A rocker based shoe to our final flex here it for sure leans more race and uptempo. It’s fit is considerably snugger and more performance oriented if true to size. It is entirely made in Italy and prices accordingly at $195. A Ferrari of running shoes.
Diadora Mythos Vigore (RTR Review)
Sam: Well over an ounce heavier, the Vigore is super pleasant and secure as a light stability shoe but overbuilt and especially its upper which is beyond comfortable and supportive without being constricting. The rides are quite similar with Blushield in both and with the Vigore having the great DD Anima foam of the Atomo but a lot of it along with the Blushield elements and a polyurethane layer. The Vigore tops out at $170, a big 37/27 stack height and 11 oz / 312g all of which I think too high. The shoe could accomplish the same with less but man what a plush step in and ride that is in no way mushy soft or overly prescriptive in its stability elements.
Saucony Ride 15 (RTR Review)
Sam: At about 0.8 oz / 23g lighter with a 35mm heel / 27mm forefoot stack heigh,t so more cushion than the Volo of a softer and more energetic flavor of PWRRUN and a great smooth flowing geometry the Ride clearly..out rides the Volo for me. While not quite as roomy (with wides available) its upper is not as plush but more secure and up for any run pace whereas the Volo’s is more easy going especially up front. Of the shoes (except Atomo) in these comparisons the Ride clearly dominates over the Volo in overall execution and versatility.
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 24 (RTR Review)
Sam: At about the same weight with 4mm more cushion at the heel and 6mm more at the forefoot Volo (despite appearances), the Cumulus 24 gets an all soft and bouncy Flytefoam Blast midsole and of course has GEL and soft front rubber. The result, compared to Volo, is a flatter softer rear ride that lacks the spring and pop of the Blushield at the heel but has a smoother toe off. While one can’t say the Volo upper is particularly structured its mesh and clever overlays provide a slightly more secure mid foot hold while the Cumulus softer more knit like mesh is more front foot conforming but stretchy to the Volo’s roomier fit and clever front overlays. Very slight Volo preference as I like its rear firmer pop and stability over the softer and flater feel of the Cumulus which could benefit I think from a return of a small plastic shank as Volo has with its plastic Blushield “cover”.
New Balance 880 v12 (RTR Review)
Sam: At 32mm heel / 22mm forefoot so identical stack to Volo and about 0.6 oz heavier, the underfoot ride of the 880 is softer with, as with the Glide Max below, not quite the midfoot spring and pop of the Volo but with a smoother more energetic toe off. It’s upper lags the Diadora’s secure yet roomy fit, with an overly unstructured, softer, and weaker mid foot and forefoot hold.
Salomon Glide Max (RTR Review)
Sam: The Max weighs almost the same as Volo 9.7 oz / 275g with a considerably higher 37.4mm / 27.4mm stack with the same 10mm drop. It is softer with an energetic all foam of a single density rebound that could use some of the rear firmer spring of the Volo. It’s upper is yet more voluminous and while very comfortable not quite as well held for my narrower feet. It’s ride leans more long slow run and recovery to the Volo’s more daily training focus.
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.
Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo 2 is available now including at our partners below.
Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’
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