As seen in the recent officiating blunders of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, soccer refereeing can often times be quite the difficult task. With many things to look out for, such as field players picking the ball up during live play, goalies coming off their lines during penalty kicks, and the ever so popular faked injury, the last thing referees should have to worry about is the comfort of their feet. And thank goodness Diadora has quelled that worry with the Diadora Referee Turf Shoe.
The Diadora Referee shoe is limited in its style by the recommendations of most referee federations to wear an all-black shoe. However, the all-black turf soccer shoe does look very sleek in its design. It contains a rubber sole with what appears to be a white dotted ventilated fabric covering both sides and tongue. It also comes with a Velcro flap to tuck away any loose shoe strings you may have. I know I know, you keep asking yourself how can anyone wear an all-black shoe?!? Well have no fear; Diadora has included the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) crest on the heel of the boot! The crest adds a little color to the shoe without taking away from its purpose of providing referees with a useful, functional boot.
Once the shoe was on my foot, it felt very comfortable as I walked around. The rubber studs are placed well to provide you with even traction throughout your step. However, the problem I encountered was actually getting the shoes on my wide feet. These shoes are not made for wider feet and took a little wrestling with to actually get on my feet. Now don’t get me wrong, the shoe is extremely comfortable, and I could definitely see more focus put into avoiding the refereeing gaffs we have witnessed as of late if the referees didn’t have to worry about their shoes, however it may be a little difficult to get them on your feet if you have notoriously wide feet…and you know who you are.
The one critique being bandied about is that these shoes are designed for referees and not soccer players. Ok, not so much a critique, but definitely a warning. Do not try to play soccer in these shoes. The toe is designed as a regular tennis shoe or cross-trainer, meaning that they will rip if dragged across the ground. If you’re looking for a good turf shoe to referee in, these are great, but to play in, you should look elsewhere.
Overall, these are an exceptional shoe for a referee. They meet the desired look outlined by referee federations and are extremely comfortable to boot (poor pun intended). However, this is there limitation. I would not wear these to play in, as they will quickly fall apart, and I would not wear them around town as they are simply black. But for $50, this is a great shoe for the serious referee who needs to be on their feet for 90 minutes or more.
Written by: Wil, referee ruminant, soccerprose.com
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