WORDS BY LIKE THE WIND – PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIADORA
If you want to conquer unpredictable and varied mountain trails, where better to draw inspiration than from nature itself? Meet Diadora’s latest offering, based on a sure-footed mountain resident.
Why do runners love the mountains? It could be the unpredictability of the environment: the way the weather can change in a heartbeat, and the range of surfaces underfoot. Mountains combine beauty and excitement as well as physical and mental challenges. As an antidote to man-made environments, there is nothing quite like being in the planet’s high places to feel really connected with the raw power of nature.
When it comes to being the best athlete you can be on the trails, there are a few considerations. Obviously being physically well prepared is important. Getting into the right mindset also helps. And having the right equipment – especially shoes – is crucial. The Equipe Sestriere-XT shoe marks a new approach in trail equipment for Diadora.
It combines decades of footwear expertise with inspiration taken from a particular mountain resident who always stays on its feet.
Sestriere, a ski resort in Italy’s western Alps, has a special place in Diadora’s history. It was here that Diadora athlete Gelindo Bordin – the first Italian to win a gold medal in the Olympic Marathon – trained for his historic 1988 victory. In summer, Sestriere is a trail running paradise. The wide open valleys and towering mountains mean that there is something for every trail runner, no matter their level of experience or fitness. The views are stunning. And of course, being in Italy, the food is fabulous.
But mountains are not innocuous environments. There are always dangers among the alpine wildernesses. Over many thousands of years, a few hardy animals have learned to thrive in the Alps. One is the ibex, whose very clever evolutionary adaptation inspired the designers and technicians at Diadora.
Grip and protection for the foot are really important in the mountains. And the faster you want to move, the more important they become. The ibex is a master of movement in the Alps. Over thousands of years, this animal’s hoof has adapted to give it a distinct advantage… one that Diadora now brings to the Equipe Sestriere-XT trail shoe.
The Equipe Sestriere-XT has been created to perform on all the different Alpine terrains a runner might encounter: grass, mud, gravel and rock. Diadora’s innovation, called XT technology, means that the shoe’s outsole resembles the hoof of an ibex.
So how is an ibex so sure-footed in the mountains? Its hoof has a hard outer edge, which allows it to cling to sheer rock surfaces, and a soft central section that ensures phenomenal grip on wet terrain. The sole of the Equipe Sestriere-XT mimics this pattern. The shoe utilises hard rubber on its edges to deliver stability and grip on loose trails, grass and mud, while the central part of the outsole is made of high-grip soft rubber to secure the runner’s foot on wet rocks.
To create the ultimate shoe for the trails, Diadora has combined the innovative outsole with even more exceptional technology and design. The upper is made of air mesh nylon with microfibre details and reinforced TPU in the front to protect the runner’s feet. And in between the outsole and the upper, the Equipe Sestriere-XT incorporates the DD-anima compound, which provides excellent lightweight cushioning and responsive rebound.
Find out more at www.diadora.com