Change for the better!
Diadora is a brand that seems to not have an identity outside of being a classic Italian brand. Their tech has fallen flat over the past few years and while the relaunch of the Brasil several years back and the consistent offering of a Made in Italy model is something that makes me happy, they’re not longer the only brand out there that does that. They have to work hard and show they have a reason to make people want to buy their product and I think launching a boot with a synthetic rear and leather forefoot would be a good start. Maybe look back at older boots like the Carioca or the Totti’s for inspiration. Bring those to the modern day.
We also have Umbro, who seem to be on somewhat of a resurgence over the past few years. Finally free from the chains of being owned by Nike and the subsequent shock of having their licenses stripped from them, Umbro are coming into their own again. One issue is that Umbro needs to stop gatekeeping their first colourway release of a new product. Stopping people from having access to a new product when you’re a smaller brand does not create demand. Another general piece of advice for them is to fix their sizing, because it is somewhat all over the place. At least make people aware that a lot of their boots require you to go half a size down. Which means we can start with:
• Accuro: The newest model of these boots seems as if they are the best ones to date but the issues with sizing hampers them from being more successful. I’d also argue that heel could be made a little bit higher and remove the funky, but unique, heel tab. They seem to be nailing it on the colourways but don’t get over-indulgent.
• Velocita: Umbro’s speed boot has been around for a while now and given the feedback from people who have worn and reviewed them, they seem like a decent option. Given how tough it is to compete in the market with a speed boot silo, it’d be a good idea to figure out how to stand out a bit more. Maybe this is the silo that should have had a laceless option
• Medusae: All in all a decent leather boot that seems like a decent performer. Although the laceless option looks visually pleasing, it shouldn’t exist. I know part of the reason was to beat adidas to the market with a laceless leather boot but it doesn’t seemed to have worked out. What’s more, why would you choose this boot when the Speciali is a thing?
• Speciali: It’s now that I realise that umbro technically has 4 silos, which is far too many for a brand of Umbro’s size. It’s hard to be unique when you have some much product to keep up with. Kill the Medusae and make a bigger deal of the Specialis. Try and get some made in Italy again. Since Umbro is a smaller brand, stick to just two colourways for a leather boot is plenty. Or I would love to see the Accelerators be released outside of Japan.
Another brand that seems to be regaining its stride in the past few years is Lotto. By all accounts, the newer Lotto products are of decent quality for a good price. It is somewhat hampered by the fact that many of the recommendations for the Lotto boots come partly because they are marked down constantly. That isn’t a good look for when you release a new boot that isn’t marked down immediately because people will expect it to go on sale quickly. Just make the boots cheaper in the first place. And bring back the Zhero Gravity.
• Solista: It’s bold of Lotto to come out with a laceless boot that isn’t called the Zhero Gravity. The boot also needs to be more visually different from the Predator 19+ if they want to have an impact on the market. The laced version seems nice and has a much more unique look to it. 2 colours a year for the line is perfect.
• Maestro: The Maestro seems to be Lotto’s most successful line right now. They have a great synthetic boot that mimics people’s favourites of old while coming in at a great price. I would continue to lean in on the synthetic aspect of the boot and see what stuff can evolve from the current upper. Since there are not many proper synthetics on the market anymore, it’s a good way to stand out.
• Stadio: It was a surprise to see a Stadio release with a knitted/leather hybrid upper. While I am not a fan of the look myself, it seemed to get some attention. What was also shocking was to see a blackout classic Stadio release this past month. It makes seem like they are trying to do the same thing that adidas does with the Copa in which they have a classic version and modern version, but Lotto isn’t a big enough brand for that. Maybe try the knit/leather mix with another silo, like the Solista.
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