ARTICLE BY Ged McMahon

Diadora’s 2018 Highlight Reel

Diadora 2018

When you reach the ripe old age of 70, it pays to still have a few tricks up your sleeve. Diadora certainly managed that as they marked the end of their seventh decade in operation — regularly playing to their strengths, while also producing a couple of surprises for us. The Italian sportswear specialists have always prided themselves on providing some of the best sports tech available on the market, and this focus on form and function was on display throughout the year. Let’s take a closer look at what Diadora brought to the sneaker scene in 2018...

Diadora N9000 Made In Italy Red Bianco Sneaker Freaker 5A
Diadora N9000 ‘Rococo Red’
Diadora N9000 Made In Italy Red Bianco Sneaker Freaker 3A
Diadora N9000 ‘Rococo Red’
Diadora N9000 Made In Italy Red Bianco Sneaker Freaker 1A
Diadora N9000 ‘Bianco’
Diadora N9000 Made In Italy Red Bianco Sneaker Freaker 4A
Diadora N9000 ‘Bianco’
Diadora Solebox N9002
Diadora x Highsnobiety N9000
Diadora Hanon Aberdeen 1
Diadora x Hanon ‘Aberdeen’
Diadora Lc23 Space 41
Diadora x LC23 N9000 Sock ‘Earth’
Diadora Lc23 Space 91
Diadora x LC23 N9000 Sock ‘Saturn’
Diadora Lc23 Space 101
Diadora x LC23 Mi-Basket ‘Moon’

Location, Location, Location

While an obsession with location is more readily associated with the real estate industry, it also has a role to play in the sneakersphere, as brands and designers relish the opportunity to pay homage to spots on the globe that mean something extra special to them. At the very beginning of 2018, Diadora opened a season of location-referencing kicks by dropping two N9000 designs that were inspired by the brand’s homeland: Italy. The ‘Bianco’ rendition proudly displayed the flag of Genoa, while the ‘Rococo Red’ colourway featured the Lion of Saint Mark — the proud symbol of Venice. However, they didn’t take themselves too seriously, as the Lion of Saint Mark proudly brandished a sneaker instead of his usual accessory: a bible.

A little further north, and across a couple of borders, another notable location-themed Diadora colab was the pastel-hued N9002 inspired by Berlin’s Gedächtniskirche (aka the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church). Released in June, the drop was the work of German streetwear whisperers Highsnobiety and former Solebox head honcho Hikmet Sugoer.

Elsewhere in Europe, a select few Diadora devotees with Scottish roots had the opportunity to cop an ‘Aberdeen’ — a re-imagined 1970s court shoe that referenced Scotland’s ‘Granite City’ of the same name. Fitted with some seriously premium materials — including super soft calfskin nubuck, kangaroo leather, and ostrich leather — the colab between Hanon and Diadora was limited to just 200 pairs.

Travelling even further afield, one other Diadora colab for 2018 went all intergalactic on us by paying homage to the planet of Saturn. The colab with LC23 threw multiple colours across an N9000 Sock, with each said to reference the colours of the mega planet. This drop fell as part of a collection that included silhouettes for Earth, Mars, and our very own Moon.

Packer Diadora On Off N9000 2 Rebound Ace 6
Packer x Diadora ‘ON/OFF’ Collection
Packer Diadora On Off N9000 2 Rebound Ace 19
Packer x Diadora ‘ON/OFF’ Collection
Packer Diadora On Off N9000 2 Rebound Ace 17
Packer x Diadora ‘ON/OFF’ Collection
Diadora N9002 Rebound Ace 2
Diadora x GETABACO ‘Double Action’ pack
Diadora N9002 Rebound Ace 4
Diadora x GETABACO ‘Double Action’ pack
Diadora N9002 Rebound Ace 6
Diadora x GETABACO ‘Double Action’ pack
Diadora N9002 Rebound Ace 8
Diadora x GETABACO ‘Double Action’ pack

Game, Set and Match

Diadora’s long-standing tennis credentials were again leveraged throughout 2018, starting the year by serving up some classic colourways on the Rebound Ace and N9002. That particular drop was part of a neat colab with Japanese shoelace specialists GETABACO, and packed some serious retro vibes into four silhouettes that looked just as much at home on the street as they did on the tennis court. The Rebound Ace then returned a month later with an equally desirable 1990s aesthetic, complete with Diadora’s Blueshield technology — designed to increase cushioning, reactivity and balance.

In May, Diadora took to Instagram to announce their return to tennis performance, declaring #weareback and unveiling a new range of apparel and shoes just in time for the Italian Open in Rome.

Later in the year, Diadora paired up with Packer to deliver the ‘ON/OFF’ collection which again included new takes on the N9002 and Rebound Ace. The dynamic combination of dropping tennis vibes both on the court and off it ensured that Diadora more than held its own in the tennis arena over the course of 2018.

Diadora Rick And Morty Colab 1
Diadora N902 ‘Morty’
Rick And Morty X Diadora Post3A
Diadora N902 ‘Morty’
Diadora X Rick Morty B Elite Rick Sanchez E Morty Smith 1A
Diadora B.Elite ‘Rick’
Diadora X Rick Morty B Elite Rick Sanchez E Morty Smith 4A
Diadora B.Elite ‘Rick’

Wubba lubba dub dub!

Before the door could be permanently closed on 2018, Diadora teamed up with animated icons Rick and Morty for an apparel and kicks colab that set the Sneaker Freaker website on fire when the partnership was first announced in November. A Foot Locker exclusive, the collaboration included a Morty-inspired N902 and a Rick-inspired B.Elite — plus t-shirts and hoodies that delighted fans and had cash registers pinging.


By year’s end, Diadora had managed to pack plenty into their 70th year on the sneaker scene. From Commonwealth Games presence, to location-specific kicks, to longstanding tennis credentials, and animation colabs, the Italian sportswear legends made the most of their milestone year. We now look forward to what surprises they have in store for 2019.

Now ReadingDiadora’s 2018 Highlight Reel

Subscribe to our Newsletter