Founded in a small Italian town in the middle of last century, Diadora has had a long, admirable history of crafting athletic shoes for soccer, running, cycling, and more. The brand's Vortex Racer II Shoes remain steadfast, mid-range members of its road cycling lineup, with trickle-down technology from pro-level siblings in a design that won't make you feel like you're sacrificing for price. Diadora uses a very similar upper construction throughout its cycling shoes, making small alterations but retaining a balance of mesh and synthetic microfiber to provide a contoured shape and maintain breathability across the top of the foot. For the Vortex Racer II, Diadora uses its lightweight Suprell-Mesh upper, built around its form-fitting race last. Inside the shoe, a perforated EVA insole adds some support along the bottom of the foot, while a shaped heel cup -- the same used in Diadora's pro-level models -- adds security around the heel. To allow for more approachable pricing while retaining stiffness, Diadora adds its Performance Road CR sole to the Vortex Racer. This composite-reinforced platform incorporates the company's NET Breathing System, which is a network of synthetic fibers molded around a breathable and waterproof membrane. This patented, ventilated design anticipates rider perspiration while preventing moisture, mud, and other external elements from getting into the shoes. The design of the sole also keeps stack height and weight to a minimum while maintaining impressive rigidity -- a 6. 0 on the stiffness index -- to deliver valuable watts straight from your feet to the pedals. Finally, Diadora pairs one Boa dial with a hook-and-loop strap to allow for a secure fit without the risk of painful pressure points or numbness across the sensitive areas on the top of your foot. The Vortex Racer II also includes a sturdy Duratech rubber heel pad, which provides excellent surface grip and high abrasion resistance and can be replaced to extend the life of the shoe.