Monday, March 25, 2024

Diadora Frequenza Multi Tester Review: Light, Exciting, Italian Flair! 5 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusmark and Jeremy Marie

Diadiora Frequenza ($180)


The Frequenza from Diadora is a light and flexible daily training to uptempo trainer with a supercritical EVA foam midsole. At 8.15 oz  / 231 g (US9) with a reasonable stack height of 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot in a time where max cushion is all the rage, it promises fast fun!


Light weight: Renee, Jeremy

Great midsole for both easy and uptempo runs: Renee, Jeremy

Flexible despite the stack height. Jeremy


Price: Renee

Overbuilt heel: Renee

Lace color bleeds, beware your socks: Jeremy

Heel may lack a bit of stability for some due to soft foam: Jeremy

Most comparable shoes

Hylo Impact

Nike Invincible Run 1 and 2 and not 3

New Balance Rebel v4

ASICS Novablast 4

Puma Liberate Nitro


Approx. Weight: men's 8.15 oz  / 231 g (US9)  /  women's 7.20 oz / 204g  (US8)

  Samples: men’s  7.94 oz / 225g  US8.5 ,  oz / g US , 8.99 oz / 255g (US10.5)

                  women’s 7.20 oz / 204g US8

Stack Height: men’s 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 80 mm heel / 70 mm midfoot / 105 mm forefoot

$180 Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Renee: I had zero expectations for the Frequenza. My only other Diadora shoe is the Equipe Sestriere XT, which although pretty, is heavy and clunky. I was overwhelmingly happy with the Frequenza and if it had a Nike swoosh on the side, I think people would be flocking to wear it. I had no issues getting more than 50 miles in the shoes for review, running between 6 and 10 milers. Every run was enjoyable. The shoe is lightweight at only 7.20oz in a women’s size 8. The upper is light and breathable, with a good amount of padding across the heel that is on par with other daily trainers used for the occasional tempo run. I thought the heel was a bit overbuilt for my preference, but that’s coupled with an 8mm that feels more than 10mm to me. The tongue is not gusseted. Perhaps this was a quality control issue, but in my pair the tongue material is rather thick where it’s sewn into the upper, which caused some irritation. That’s my only negative about the shoe. For sizing, true-to-size. If between half sizes, I suggest the half size up to account for the somewhat angled toebox (plenty of room in the toebox for me).

Jeremy: Diadora still resonates as a lifestyle brand for me, despite their recent incursion into the running shoe territory. While reading the specs sheet of the Frequenza my interest skyrocketed: Supercritical EVA foam, lightweight, generous stack, and a style that I found quite to my taste.

The shoe is comfy, and that’s an understatement. Generous padding around the heel, a nice shape that holds my feet very well with adequate room for the toes, and a good midfoot lockdown even increased my “on paper” expectations for this model. The fit is TTS, and I suggest sticking to Diadora’s size guide.

At first contact the foam feels very soft and bouncy. It reminded me a lot of Puma’s Nitro foam which I enjoyed a lot in their super lightweight Liberate model… and the Frequenza has the same kind of vibe for me, albeit in a way more built-up and cushioned package, which will please a greater variety of runners.

At 255g for my US10.5 (which translates in EU44) it’s clearly on the lighter side for an everyday/tempo trainer, and it’s quite a feat considering that the upper does not skimp on materials to ensure comfort and foot hold.

The heel is reminiscent of recent Hoka offerings, with a taper shape and a high “ending” going up the Achilles. It’s reinforced by a rigid insert that goes further on the sides to add some welcome support and works perfectly well, at least for me.

The thin tongue is not gusseted but stays in place, I think thanks to the suede-like material that makes it contour.

I can sense the same thickness of  the sewing  between the tongue and the upper, at the base of the laces, but it did not bother me as it did Renee. So clearly not a QC issue, but maybe not the best manufacturing choice. 

Speaking of QC, and despite not being made in Italy, the Frequenza is of very good quality: suede-like overlays are well-sewn and glued to the thin and breathable upper, there are no glue spots nor hard spots. Given its price, that is expected.

The upper is nicely breathable, and looks durable. Its diamond-pattern between very thin mesh and thicker one gives a very airy look to the shoe, which proves to be true.

My only gripe is that the blue suede-like parts had ran on my socks during my first rainy run.

Midsole & Platform

Renee: The midsole is great. I rank the midsole right next to other popular trainers, including the New Balance Rebel v4, and even ZoomX from the Pegasus Turbo 2 or my beloved Skechers Hyberburst in the Razor 3. 

The shoe itself is light, and the midsole is very responsive. While I didn’t run more than 10 miles in these, there’s plenty of cushion for longer runs. I’d call it a daily trainer capable of tempo paces with no issues. 

The drop feels more like 10mm to me than 8mm, probably because the heel has a high collar. That said, unlike some high drop shoes (Nike Pegasus, I’m looking at you), the Frequenza is very flexible at the midfoot, making the ride nimble and light. I prefer a lower drop shoe for short intervals, but the shoe worked fine there too. For runners who like non-plated shoes for training, this is a great shoe. 

Jeremy: The midsole feels squishy and bouncy, like an even bouncier version of Nitro Foam from PUMA. Due to an Achilles injury I’ve been unable to push it to my tempo paces, but recovery runs and endurance ones, around 7 min/mile for 10 mile runs  felt really great - the longest distance I’ve ran in them so far.

Despite the generous cushioning and stack, the midsole stays very flexible, something that puts the Frequenza apart from let say the Nike Invincible Run 2. This allows the foot to move almost freely and still “work” despite the amount of foam underfoot. The substantial longitudinal cutout in the midsole clearly helps the flexion and transition all along the shoe’s platform.

The 8mm drop feels like…an 8mm drop I’d say. With a midfoot strike and the midsole flex, I must admit that I felt running quite “naturally” in the Frequenza, not being forced to a certain footstrike or cadence in order to benefit from the shoe’s platform.

My only criticism would be that the softness of the foam may impair heel stability a bit for heavy heel strikers. The noticeable bevel will help transitioning quickly to the midfoot and might minimize this anyway.


Renee: The outsole has a decent amount of “soft rubber” coverage with the rest being exposed midsole. I ran on gravel, dirt, and through some light trails. I have no wear on the outsole. 

Jeremy: The outsole looks rather minimal, with many cutouts and an almost rubber free mid-part, but there’s rubber where it needs to be. Like Renee I’ve gone a bit off road with the Frequenza and wasn’t worried at all be it for traction, or wear.

My first run was under a pouring rain on asphalt and I had no slipping issue at all. That’s the sign of  a good outsole rubber which delivers  the goods.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Road Scoring Rubric

Renee: The Frequenza was a great surprise. At $180, it’s a bit pricey for a trainer as compared to other comparable shoes, but it does have many positives. The shoe is light with a midsole capable of short to 20 milers (or more). The midsole is very responsive, not too firm and not mushy. 

For those who like lightweight shoes with a non-plated fast ride, the Frequenza ranks up with the best options, especially for runners who prefer an 8-10 mm drop, although I personally like a lower drop shoe on a consistent basis. At times, the Frequenza’s drop combined with the high heel collar made the ride less friendly. That said, check out the comparisons below to other high drop trainers because the Frequenza beats out most of them for me in terms of a fast ride. The Frequenza does not have a super wide platform, which I enjoy for a nimble landing. I ran with the shoe on rutted dirt roads, and because it’s so light and controllable, it was stable. 

Renee’s Score: 9.4/10 (-.20 price, .20 tongue issue, .-20 overbuilt heel)


Jeremy: The Frequenza is a great surprise for me too. It’s on the pricer end of the trainer category but falls in the same ballpark as Saucony Triumph, Nike Invincible and so on. Considering the quality craftsmanship, the cushioning to weight ratio, and the liveliness of the midsole, I think runners looking for a nice and durable do-it-all premium trainer capable of tempo runs should not rule it out.

I’ve really enjoyed the midsole and how it’s adequate for a variety of paces, from easy recovery runs to tempo ones. It never felt awkward and I found that maintaining a nice upper endurance pace, or low M-Pace was a clear sweet-spot for the Frequenza. The trend of lightweight trainers packed with super foams and no plate brings some really nice shoes lately, and this is all  for the best.

Jeremy’s Score: 9.4/10 (-.30 price, .10 tongue issue, .-20 unstable heel)


5 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 

New Balance Rebel v4 (RTR Review)

Renee: I complained some in my review  about the Rebel getting a wider base and less ground feel, but it’s still one of my favorite trainers. The Rebel is a light shoe (super light) with a lower drop. The Frequenza is not heavy, just heavier than the Rebel. For those who like the midsole feel of the Rebel, but need a higher drop and a narrower base, the Frequenza is an option. I still prefer the Rebel, and it’s less at $140. Sizing is comparable. 

ASICS Novablast 4 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Novablast feels like the same drop (both are an 8mm drop that feels like 10mm to me). The Novablast is a softer, more comforting shoe in large part as it has a much higher 40.5mm/32.5mm stack height so a full 10mm more cushion at the heel. The bounce is fun. For runners who like the ride of the Novablast, but want a lighter shoe for speed work, the Frequenza is a good option. For comfort and bounce, the Novablast is better and costs less). For a dynamic midsole ride, the Frequenza. Sizing is comparable. I find the Novablast to feel clunky for really slow runs or walking. I don’t have that issue with the Frequenza, and I think it’s because of the lighter weight. 

Nike Pegasus (RTR Review)

Renee: I enjoy the Pegasus Turbo 2 (not so much the Next Nature), but the regular versions of the Pegasus have always felt clunky and heavy. The midsole/ride feels inflexible under my midfoot. For runners who like a high drop and enjoy a flexible responsive ride, the Frequenza is the better option in my opinion. Sizing is comparable. 

Hylo Impact (RTR Review)

Jeremy: The Hylo Impact is a bit less money, and of course with its great environmental claims (proven!) it might attract you for other reasons than pure running performance. Hylo’s castor bean  based upper offers more hold but is a bit less comfy and clearly warmer. 

The midsole has the same vibe, leaning on the firmer side on the Hylo and softer/bouncier on the Frequenza. It’s  a hard call between the two.

Nike Invincible Flyknit Run 2 (RTR Review)

Jeremy: The IR2 is less flexible as it has a higher stack, and has a different kind of bounce, more dense I’d say. It’s even more protective than the Diadora, but at the end of the day, I clearly prefer the feel of the Italian shoe. More bounce, more lively, way better foot hold.

The Diadora Frequenza is available now including at our partners

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Tester Profiles

Renee is a former U.S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Jeremy MARIE, French, 44y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90 kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120 kms, Some shorter more mellow races (Saintelyon 45 kms, Ecotrail Paris 45 kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running, but not many road races. Also active cyclist and 70.3 Ironman. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km. He has an un-official marathon PR of 2h54 (solo) and 10K PR of 36’25. He does few timed road races.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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