Monday, February 28, 2022

Diadora Mythos Blueshield Vigore Review

Article by Jeff  Beck and Sam Winebaum

Diadora Mythos Blueshield Vigore ($170)


Jeff: The Diadora Blushield Vigore, which has a name that could be for just about any consumer product, is the Italian company’s moderate stability/neutral big mileage daily trainer. And they didn’t pull out the stops, making each component of the shoe feel akin to a luxury brand output, with a truly unique asymmetrical design. 

We’ve seen a number of other shoe designers create “stability” shoes that see their stability aspects disappear when they aren’t needed by the runner - would Diadora succeed?

Sam: Complex for sure with multiple midsole and upper elements in the mix including a prominent lateral carve out, a plastic Blueshield unit under foot, a main midsole of Diadora’s DD Anima foam I liked so much for its lively response in the Equipe Atomo (RTR Review), a heavily supportive yet at the same time plush upper with a thick cage of straps under the thin pliable outer mesh, a super plush tongue and even thick flat and plush laces there is alot going on here including weight at 10.88 oz /308g in my US8 which as they run long is the equivalent of my usual US8.5. 

Skeptical but curious as the Equipe Atomo was so fine and one of my 2021 favorite shoes. I usually don’t run in stability type shoes and particularly those with posts, plastic pieces and rails and the Vigore sure was leaning that way. But as I discovered I was pleasantly surprised by this giant which while making no pretensions of being a fast or light ride is quite special when you need to go smooth, slow and mellow.   


-Incredibly engineered (perhaps overengineered) upper-Jeff/Sam

-Stability elements caused no issues for supinating runner-Jeff/Sam

-Outsole provides lots of grip and durability while not overly firm and rigid -Jeff/Sam

-Upper has such incredible hold on foot could be an effective trail upper -Jeff/Sam

-Plenty of ground protection -Jeff/Sam

-Pleasant, if unremarkable ride -Jeff

-Deep, lively cushion with a touch of bounce-Sam

-Ideal stable, easy, long slow run ride where a shoe’s weight not a big consideration - Sam


-Ride is very unremarkable as many daily trainers are getting more exciting to run in -Jeff

- Heavy at over 11 oz in a US9, Inconsistent shoe weights as well -Sam

-Plastic outsole elements are a little awkward, possible condensation issues --Jeff

-Sized long in the first TTS pair. Second half size down perfect.-Sam


Sample Weights: men’s  11 oz  /  312g (US10), 10.88 oz / 308g (US8)

Stack Height: 

men’s 37mm heel / 27mm forefoot, 10mm drop 

Available  2/28/22. $170

Tester Profiles

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

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 on a good day 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.

First Impressions and Fit

Jeff: I was quite taken with the looks right out of the box. The cut away in the lateral side was immediately a point of contention and wonder. As a supinating midfoot striker I frequently land right about where there is nothing. Also, big thanks to Diadora for sending the Arizona Cardinals (okay, I’m being optimistic it’s probably more Atlanta Falcons) colors model, especially compared to the Seattle Seahawks-esque blue/green we’ve seen in the press release. 

Beyond looks, the initial step in feel is nearly unparalleled. Kind of like JD Power for cars, this shoe would win awards for Initial Quality, with top notch materials everywhere. As for the fit, someone at Diadora was looking out for me, sending me a half-size down 10 that fits perfectly. If they’d sent my normal 10.5, I think I’d be swimming in the shoe. I have a medium to wide foot.

Sam: The look is massive, almost cartoonish with a retro vibe to those 1990’s exaggerated support shoes but here we with totally updated materials and ride. 

Jeff is right, “nearly unparalleled” step in feel. Plush everywhere yet marvelously secure everywhere in large part due to a thick inner cage of support straps tying into every other lace, plus a gusset tongue, plus a plush but not over stuffed tongue and finally almost cartoon like wide squashed tube laces which are among the very few ever I only do a single knot with with zero issues.

The heel hold is irreproachable combining an ASICS like clutch with lots of soft but not overstuffed collar padding. All in all superb and deluxe and for sure part of the reason for the weight here.

My first pair at my usual US8.5 but also marked EU42 was clearly too long to be practical so Diadora sent me a US8 EU41 which fits perfectly.  

By combining  a very solid heel counter with the big multi layer midfoot cage and lacing system, the Vigore locks the rear of the foot to the platform allowing Diadora to have a totally unstructured very soft, extremely pliable and quite thin engineered mesh toe box with no toe bumper stiffening beyond a bit denser front mesh and none is required. 

The fit upfront is moderately wide if a bit pointy with plenty of give for wider feet. 


Jeff: The Blushield Vigore upper is a very well thought out mesh upper with several levels and layers. The shoe is somewhat breathable, even with the multiple layers throughout, and the forefoot has decent stretch. 

Toe Box width is better than adequate, though Altra-loving Hobbit-footed runners may have issues after an hour or two. 

The tongue is borderline indulgent. 

Not only is it gusseted so it doesn’t move at all laterally, it has two layers of the upper outside of it. The tongue is incredibly well padded, but doesn’t feel like the interior of a Lincoln Town Car; it is plus, just not *that* plush. 

It’s hard to see in the picture with the different layers of the upper all being black, but looking down at the shoe you can see that each set of eyelets is on a different layer of the upper from the previous set, those are the two layers. 

There is an oddity on the tongue that you may notice in pictures. Diadora opted for two different tongue/lace retaining loops, and they went with different styles for each one. There’s a simple black loop that the laces are fed through, as well as a much larger bright orange one, that appears to do the exact same thing. It’s not a bad thing per se, but definitely odd - and if anyone has any insight, please leave a comment below.

The heel counter is firm and also flexible, one of those aspects that you don’t really think about - the mark of a well-designed upper.

Sam: Jeff has described the upper well. An incredibly comfortable, secure and supportive upper that leaves nothing to chance and looks and feels great. The negative for sure is this is a heavy upper in weight but not in feel.


Jeff: The midsole is one of the most technologically advanced on the market with multiple Diadora branded enhancements. It appears to use several different layers of cushioning, with DD Anima, which is an EVA base (blended with an unnamed “proprietary compound”) top layer, over a polyurethane layer, which is over Blushield. 

My understanding is that Blushield is Diadora’s primary cushioning system, which incorporates the blue pods you can see through the outsole. The CCB initials on the plastic pod indicate that the shoe uses Diadora’s CCB medial stabilizer that controls torsional stability, and lastly there’s the TRX System. That is the shoe’s medial post that gives the shoe extra stability without making the shoe firmer.

So while there are a lot of different buzzwords and technologies put into the shoe, I was surprised how smooth it actually runs. The geometry looks odd, especially if you supinate, but it runs very traditionally. It transitions through the gait cycle very well, and is comfortable and supportive if you are a heel striker or land midfoot.

Sam: Jeff describes the midsole well or was well as one can as this is one of the most complex constructions I have ever seen. Yet it works and quite brilliantly! 

There is no sense in the Vigore of any of the stability elements: the vertical medial side walls, the plastic Blueshield unit or even the very unusual green lateral plastic support element in the lateral gap as shown above. 

The visible medial “post” is of the same DD Anima as the rest of the midsole so there is no firm medial feel as in many traditional stability shoes but there is plenty of “geometric” stability with of course the stout upper support also playing a key role 

The main midsole foam is DD Anima and much like in the much lighter Equipe Atomo it provides a deeply cushioned, quite soft yet highly energetic feel. 

The Vigore has an unusually smooth all of piece feel and flow from its geometry and construction and especially so for a stability shoe with no rear over firmness or sense of over control.


Jeff: The dual density rubber is broken up into six different pods in the forefoot and two in the heel, with some exposed outsole in non-critical areas. The forefoot rubber is noticeably softer blown rubber, and the heel rubber is firmer Duratech 5000 compound. Both types of rubber are segmented to provide as much flexibility as this thick midsole will allow. 

The rubber isn’t Puma Grip levels of secure, but it’s got pretty good grip and on runs where I encountered snow, ice, and slush, I was mostly confident with each step.

My one concern for the outsole is the clear plastic casing showing off the textured blue pods in the middle of the midsole. I don’t believe I ever hit the plastic casing on anything mid run (though you definitely will if you land on rocks) but I’ve noticed a build up of condensation on the inside of the shoe. It looks like a small tropical storm inside. I’m not sure how that’s going to affect the shoe and how it rides, but can’t imagine it’s a good thing for longevity.

Sam: The outsole plays extremely well with the ride. It is well segmented and quite soft upfront for some front rebound from the flexible forefoot.


Jeff: If all of the bouncy new-era trainers are bumming you out, then have I got a shoe for you. Because the Vigore doesn’t really know what bounce is. There’s plenty of protection, and it does quite a good job silencing ground feel, but its ride is very reminiscent of how most shoes ran a few years ago. And don’t take that to be a bad thing. Personally I’ve found many of the very bouncy trainers aggravate my Achilles tendonitis after just a few miles - so my Vigore runs have been 100% Achilles pain free, but if you think the cool-looking design is going to translate into fun and bouncy ride, you will be mistaken.

Sam: Got to disagree a bit with Jeff here. There is plenty of bounce of a measured and stable variety here and there is a smooth flowing ride for such a massive and quite heavy shoe. The ride is friendly, highly protective and entertaining but do not be mistaken the Vigore is not a speed shoe. It is for me a ride that has proven ideal for those slow and easy runs: long or recovery where pace is not a consideration and ambling along comfortably, stable, and with enough of a smooth flow and feel that things don’t get ponderous which, despite the weight,  they never have here. A deluxe mellow cruiser. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff: As many shoes blur the lines between trainer and racer as they push performance to new heights, other shoes are going the route where they don’t break new ground as much as create great versions of what’s been around for a little while. That’s where the Vigore lives comfortably, and please do not read that as an insult. 

Well cushioned daily trainers with subtle stability will always have a place in many runners’ rotation for many reasons. While Diadora has packed lots of innovation into the midsole, the most important aspect - how it runs - is still very traditional. The upper, midsole, and outsole combine to make a very luxurious shoe and that said, you definitely pay for that luxury. The $170 does hurt a bit, but the shoe’s construction and materials are all near the top of the spectrum, and it seems like it will be plenty durable - so if you can stomach the price tag, they will be a part of your rotation for a good long while.

Jeff’s Score 8.5/10

Ride: 8 (50%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value: 7 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)

Sam: The Vigore is for sure a super premium and plush trainer with an unusual and unusually effective design. The upper is incredibly comfortable and effective (front to back) in totally supporting the foot while not getting in the way of running or as some plush soft uppers do by not supporting the foot adequately.

Diadora knew what they were doing here as based on the far lighter yet similar in many ways Atomo they could have created a lighter shoe but chose not to so as to provide this plush stable and luxurious and smooth experience.


I wish for sure it was lighter as at over 11 oz in a US9 as the weight keeps it out of daily training class for me and thus affects value and at $170 we are up there. I think the internal support strap system could be lightened and the heel counter maybe made a bit less massive as it extends far forward.

If the shoe’s mission for you is mellow, smooth cruises all super stable but not overwhelmingly obtrusive to get there,  the Vigore is a fine choice. It is a good option for recovery or long slow runs where pace is not a consideration. I would also see it as a good choice for new runners who are on the heavier side and between full on support shoes and neutral. And finally what a great walking shoe. 

Sam’s Score: 8.99 /10

Ride: 8.8 (50%) Fit: 9.5 (30%) Value: 8.6 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)

I really like the ride alot especially for a stability shoe but have to deduct for the Vigore’s weight


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Diadora Equipe Atomo (RTR Review

The Equipe Atomo is a  light 8.7 oz / 246g US9  daily miles to uptempo trainer with a  maximal class full stack of 36mm heel / 31mm forefoot so 1mm less at the heel and 4mm more upfront yet it is more than 3 oz lighter than Vigore.  It gets there with about the same ground width platform, a single density DD Anima midsole with no "add ons" and a far more streamlined upper yet totally secure if narrower more performance fitting upper. It is more than adequately stable and is fast light and about as equally cushioned. At $195 it is made in Italy. If you are going Diadora for the first time and want a shoe to move along fast in Atomo. If you want a stable mellow cruiser Vigore. 

adidas Adistar (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large. I suggest going down a half size, Adistar fits true-to-size. Similarly constructed shoes with lots of EVA and a little bit of stability (Adistar uses an ultra firm midsole material in the heel to give stability), the extra stack of the Adistar gives it a little more comfort. When walking or running the Vigore is much smoother, with the ultra firm midsole in the heel making for an awkward transition in the Adistar for heel strikers.

Altra Paradigm 6  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large. I suggest going down a half size, Paradigm fits true-to-size. Altra’s biggest road shoe has always had subtle stability in the way of Guide Rails, and the 6 is no different. It is however, the first Altra I tried with their new Ego MAX midsole, which is soft and bouncy while keeping things in control. It’s an Altra, so you know the toebox is going to be spectacular and the drop zero, and while the upper is good, it doesn’t have nearly the secure hold the Vigore does.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large, I suggest going down a half size, Nimbus fits true-to-size. The ASICS has a more subtle stability element in the midfoot, but it also has a much softer feel and more of a bounce on each step. The upper doesn’t hold the foot as well, but it is softer and more pliable, and  it boasts one of the best tongues in running shoes. The ASICS toebox is similarly shaped, but it’s extra stretchy upper gives it more space.

Brooks Glycerin 19  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large,I suggest going down a half size, Glycerin fits true-to-size. Brooks’ daily trainer with a little extra is the last of its line to use EVA in the midsole, and the 19 was easily the best of its namesake to date. They do offer a stability version (Glycerin GTS) with expanded Guide Rails, but my version was the purely neutral one. The Glycerin has a wider toebox, as well as a wider overall footprint, and feels a little more cushioned in the heel, while the Vigore clearly has a higher stack in the forefoot. They both run similarly, with a softer landing in the Glycerin.

Saucony Triumph 19  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large, I suggest going down a half size, Triumph fits true-to-size. The Triumph has a much softer midsole, and the upper is thinner and higher volume. Toe boxes are similar width, with the Triumph’s upper stretch allowing it a little more space. The Triumph lacks any discrete stability elements, so runners who long for a stability enhanced shoe should either stick with the Vigore, or give the Saucony Hurricane or Guide a shot.

Topo UltraFly 3  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Vigore runs large. I suggest going down a half size, Ultrafly fits true-to-size. Topo’s stability road shoe uses a subtle medial post, but as a longtime neutral runner I’ve really never noticed it. Similar to Altra, the toe box is best in class, and the midsole, while it isn’t as well cushioned, has a more pronounced spring at toeoff

The Mythos Blueshield Vigore is available at Diadora and at our partners Holabird Sports and Fleet Feet below

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others were personal purchases. 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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