Diadora Launches Atomo: Made in Italy, Made to Perform
The new Equipe Atomo shoe from Diadora is poised to be a breakout star for the brand. The first performance running shoe made in Italy in over 30 years, the Equipe Atomo not only features a compelling performance and design story, it is also a passion project of sorts for Diadora.
Launching November 30 in two color ways — “azzurri” blue for men, white for women — the Equipe Atomo features a brand new midsole technology called DD ANIMA (Italian for SOUL) that is light, cushy and reactive. DD ANIMA is an expanded EVA blended with a proprietary material that is highly responsive. It is also extremely durable, according to the brand.
The shoe is a responsive and fluid technical running shoe made for runners looking to get the most out of every step of their run. Bryan Poerner, Country Manager USA at Diadora, describes the “feel” of the shoe as “smooth, reliable and bouncy.” He adds, “The idea was to build a workhorse that pounds out miles while being light, highly cushioned and bouncy.”
And the shoe’s “Made in Italy” story? It is more than just messaging. Developed, engineered, and produced in Italy, the Equipe Atomo combines the brand’s signature craftsmanship and attention to detail with advanced scientific research conducted in its in-house lab.
Made in a factory at Diadora’s HQ, the shoe’s “close to home” development process was driven by what Poerner describes as an “artisanal” approach. He recalls moments such as the design team taking the shoe out for a quick jog, coming back in, suggesting changes, and having cobblers on the spot who could adjust the shoe immediately. No sending the shoes to an overseas factory for revisions required.
“The finished shoe has a level of detail that is challenging to get when sending it back and forth to factories that are halfway around the world,” Poerner explains. “I have been in this industry for a long time. And being able to be this close to the development and production process? It doesn’t exist. So that right there is a gamechanger for us.”
Adds Poerner, “We wanted everything to be done under one roof when it came to the production of the shoe. This includes getting inspiration in meeting rooms, testing materials in the R&D lab, making and editing samples in the factory, and ultimately producing products in the factory. Being in full control of the process and being hyper-focused on attention to detail is what ‘Made in Italy’ means for the Equipe Atomo.”
Diadora, which has built its run specialty business in the U.S. to 275+ doors, believes the Atomo launch could represent a tipping point for the brand as it continues to grow its running business, which it intends to keep focused completely on specialty running stores.
“The reason we want to focus on that [specialty] distribution is that we put so much time, effort, care and passion into the product,” explains Poerner. “And we want to make sure the retailer who is selling our story is equally as passionate about the sport.”
Some additional technical details about the shoe: It has a 5 mm drop; men’s stack height is 29/24; women’s stack is 27.5/22.5. The shoe’s upper is made of Engineered Air Mesh Nylon. It features a removable Ortholite insole along with its DD ANIMA Compound midsole. The outsole features a Duratech 5000 Wear-Resistant Compound. Retail launch date: November 30. Available at running specialty stores. MSRP $195.
The whole Equipe Atomo project is indeed a love letter to Italy, from the “azzurri” blue of the men’s shoe’s engineered air mesh upper to the Italian flag colors delicately painted on the sole. The women’s version is white with a golden logo, allowing the flag on the sole to pop.
The arrival of Equipe Atomo will be celebrated by the brand with a campaign “Postcards from Italy” that aims to collect a series of snapshots of modern Italy. Highlighting the beauty of running through vignettes that speak of togetherness, self-reflection and adventure, the campaign features four chapters which will be dropped online, every two weeks, from November 30th on Diadora’s social channels.