Monday, April 30, 2012

Tecnica Diablo Max M's Shoe Review

Comfort on the long run. Check.
Visually pleasing. Check.
A trail shoe that takes a beating and keeps on rolling (literally!). Check.
These are just a few of the many features that I have found on the new Tecnica Diablo Max M's during my training and racing adventures. 
With over a 1,500 miles on three different pair of Diablos, it's safe to say that these shoes are going to be on my feet for the long haul. Whether it be a 100 mile attempt, a bushwhack up a remote peak or a quick jaunt around the state park, the Tecnica Diablo Max Ms have a little something in them for everyone. For a shoe that is on the opposite end of the "minimalist" spectrum as say the New Balance MT1010, a comparison can be directly made to that of the Hoka One One Mafate.  They are wide, padded, comfortable shoes that can take the pounding day in and day out on the trails. The Diablo's retail for a hefty $130.00 and come in the orange (as shown above) and anthracite. While expensive when considering trail shoes, they make up for it in the longevity of the shoe. Check out Tecnia's full trail running shoe lineup here.

Upper - the upper consists of a synthetic PU/mesh that breathes adequately and drains well when wet. I've taken the Diablo's out in the nastiest of weather here in New England and they've stood up to the test. The orange, grey and black overlays form a wrapping effect on the top of the foot and provide a comfortable, locked-in sensation. The Diablo's also have a toe bumper that in previous models has seemed to peel away after about 100-200 miles. With close to 200 miles on this years' model, no peeling away of the bumper has occurred.
Midsole - the midsole is made of a Phylon EVA that is firm and also responsive. Tecnica's TRS (Tecnica Rolling System) claims to address stability, absorption and propulsion with an over sized platform in which I totally agree. After running on the gnarliest trails in the Whites of New Hampshire to the smooth rail trails of Central Massachusetts, the rolling rocker system does really seem to propel one forward. On the downhills, after getting used to the width of the shoe, one can bomb down them at break-neck speed and still live to tell about the summit views. Also to note, a medial posting has been added for more support and to decrease pronation, which was found to be an issue in the previous model. I actually felt some hot spots that turned into nasty blisters in the arch region on the first test run with the new Diablo's, so be prepared for the changes. After broken in however, the hot spots have not reappeared.

Outsole - the outsole is made of the TRS Max TecniGrip material. The lug pattern is much improved over the last version of the Diablo M starting with the actual shape of the lugs. In previous models, they were more of a "knobby" looking structure which would wear away with constant road pounding and with rough trail usage. Now, a more symmetrically shaped structure appears, as seen below. These rectangular and triangular shaped features have shown little to no wear after 200 road and trail miles.

Overall Impressions - the Tecnica Diablo Max M is a trail shoe that grows with you. It may feel a bit stiff out of the box, and may have an unorthodox feel on the trails. The feeling of being slightly higher off the ground and having a wider footprint to navigate the trails is normal. This feeling will go away as you tick off the miles. I've run a 100 miler in the older version of the Diablo (right out of the box) and never had to take them off or even tighten/loosen the laces during the race. So, if you are looking for a trainer or racer that can handle high mileage, step into the Tecnia Diablo Max M. It's worth the investment.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with everything - my favorite trail shoe! Any thoughts on where to get them anymore?