The Diadora B.Icon packs a lot of cushioning and support into a lightweight and streamlined design. It’s got all of the top-tier characteristics to help you forget about wearing a shoe as you rush for the next shot. On the downside, some avid tennis players feel like the B-Icon is lacking some points to justify its asking price.
- Feels light and fast
- Little-to-no break-in
- Secure lockdown
- Soft and responsive cushioning
- Excellent lateral stability
- Great arch support
- A good amount of flex
- Top-notch traction
- Questionable durability
- Not for sliders and draggers
- Lacks breathability
- Squeaky outsole
Who should buy the Diadora B.Icon AG
A very promising tennis shoe release from Diadora, the B.Icon might impress athletes looking for:
- a lightweight tennis shoe built for speed
- a shoe with softer cushioning
- a stable shoe that doesn't feel stiff or heavy
Who should not buy the shoe
The Diadora B.Icon is not the most wear-resistant shoe when it comes to sliding and toe dragging. This is officially claimed by the brand itself and is also backed up by the playtesters. So, if that’s your primary playing technique, we recommend checking out the Adidas Ubersonic 4 or ASICS Gel Resolution 8.
Out-of-the-box comfort (for most)
The majority of B.Icon testers report feeling comfortable in the shoe right from the start. They agree that the upper was “plush and supple” and the cushioning felt nice and soft as well. On the other hand, a couple of players reported that the shoe felt best after 20-30 minutes of play.
Opinions split on the fit and sizing
Some buyers claim that the Diadora B.Icon runs true to size and is “spot-on” with the fit. Others felt like the shoe ran a little bit on the long side. They needed to go down half-size to achieve a perfect fit.
There is also a number of people who found the toebox too narrow for their liking as the shoe has a “snug, glove-like fit.”
To minimize confusion, we recommend checking your size with Diadora’s official size chart before ordering.
Intricate lacing that keeps the foot in place
This Diadora tennis shoe must have a record number of eyelets. There are 16 eyelets in total and they are placed in two rows. The reviewers say that this setup allowed them to really fine-tune the fit.
But the caveat is that the whole process of loosening and tightening the laces is “a bit cumbersome.” As one expert describes, you have to go through every single eyelet “because pulling on the top laces doesn’t cinch up the entire system.”
But in the end, this lacing approach is touted as super efficient in locking down the foot.
Diadora B.Icon is a speed-focused shoe
All of the reviewers agree that the B.Icon feels light, quick, and nimble on the foot. “It cuts through the air so well,” shares a tennis shoe expert. He also adds: “I’m not sure it gets much better than this at this point.”
Other tennis players also find the shoe unique as it offers the level of comfort and cushioning of a much heavier shoe:
- “undeniably fast shoe during those crucial changes in direction”
- “I felt much quicker around the court than I do with my Nike GP Turbos, but I found similar comfort”
- "felt like I could move without giving their weight a second thought"
Plush cushioning takes care of your feet
Originally used in its running shoes, Diadora introduces a new DD-Anima superfoam in the B.Icon. This made the shoe’s cushioning a highlight for many tennis players:
- “a pleasure to wear day in and day out”
- “super comfortable no matter how long the hitting session was”
- “never experienced heaviness or foot fatigue”
The foam was most often described as “plush” and “soft” by plenty of wearers. And yet they also mentioned that it still had a nice bounce and response to it which really helped with direction changes and explosive take-offs. It is soft “without being spongy,” notes a reviewer.
Another curious fact mentioned by an expert is that despite having a higher stack than most tennis shoes, the Diadora B.Icon still gives a low-to-the-ground feel.
Unobtrusive approach to stability
Even though the Diadora B.icon is not built as a dedicated stability tennis shoe, like the Adidas Barricade, it manages to provide pretty solid lateral support and stability.
One playtester reports that “moving in and out of shots was super trustworthy,” while another one adds that he “never had any issues feeling like [he] was going to roll my ankles over.”
This lightweight stability is mostly attributed to the external TPU stabilizers, which at first were thought of as gimmicks. In the words of a reviewer, they are placed “exactly where you want it to be” and don’t make the shoe clunky. So, make sure you put the laces through these outer loops as well for a locked-in fit and feel.
A player with flat feet and plantar fasciitis also highly recommends the Diadora B.Icon to his fellow players. He claims that the shoe “has the most arch and lateral support of any of the shoes in that category.” This is mainly attributed to the broad underfoot shank. The reviewer also liked that “the arch support is plentiful, but it did not bother [his] flat feet.”
Flexible where you need it
The reviewers really liked the breakpoint in the forefoot for being well thought through. It is narrower under the ball of the foot but gets wider on the outside. The playtesters explain that it gives a good amount of flex where you need it when pushing off laterally. But at the same time, it keeps the inner side less bendy and more stable for pivoting. All wearers agree that this is a really smart design.
In addition, some mentioned that the “supple upper flexes without pinching,” which is also helpful.
The durability of B.Icon is a miss
Even though some reviewers had positive feedback on the shoe’s durability, the prevailing opinion was more on the negative side.
Those who commented on the shoe after 12-15 hours of play reported that it “showed plenty of life left” and “no wear on the outsole of the toe bumper.”
However, those who played longer or more aggressively in the Diadora B.Icon were not so optimistic about its longevity. Here are the main issues:
- upper material developed holes in the toebox
- the exposed foam was too easy to burn through (even by those who do not toe drag)
As one expert puts it, the shoe “fell short of the top tier.” After 20 hours of playtesting, “[his] B.Icons were showing signs of abuse.” In addition, he thought that a durability guarantee would be expected for a shoe at this price point.
Another playtester, whose pair got a separation between the mesh and the seam, said that the issue was mostly “cosmetic and didn’t affect performance” but he still found it unacceptable for this price.
Traction saves the shoe though!
The outsole grip received a ton of praise from the reviewers. It is described by users as more on the sticky side which also makes the shoe less appealing to sliders. But for those seeking that extra grip, the B.Icon was a nice surprise:
- “never felt as if I was going to slip on the court”
- “felt very confident when moving aggressively”
- “even after 20-plus hours of use, the level of traction is still great”
An experienced shoe reviewer even claimed to reach a new speed record on his “suicide test” (shuttle runs on the court). He mentioned feeling a lot of “confidence when pivoting and really planting hard” in the shoe.
It would have been 100% perfect but the outsole squeak ruined the experience for some. The shoe “squeaks much more than other shoes I've worn in the past,” reports a playtester. Another one added: “these shoes chirped their way through every hitting session.”
Although one tester reports that he “didn’t have an issue with ventilation in the colder time of the year,” most reviewers wished for better breathability in the B.Icon.
As the shoe has two or even three layers in some parts of the upper, “there is not a ton of breathability,” reports a wearer. Others agreed by saying that it “led to warm feet” and that “socks were a little bit soaked at the end.”