La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX Review Facts
Known originally for climbing and mountaineering footwear, about one quarter of La Sportiva’s current selection of shoes are geared specifically for runners. However, they are certainly the experts when it comes to the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX waterproof mountain running shoe. The Crossover 2.0 is a little slice of heaven on earth for the avid mountain runner and/or winter runner, complete with Gore-Tex waterproofing and a built-in gaiter. This shoe has been out a few years and I only wish I had discovered it sooner.
The outsole utilizes FriXion AT rubber for superior traction on a huge variety of terrain types. The lugs are V-shaped and handle especially well in mud and snow, and also do well in dry scree/loose rocks. The rubber outsole is thick and very protective, designed for hard and frozen terrain. I would categorize the lug system as aggressive, with superior performance in mountain and winter terrain and surprisingly, comfortable performance
when crossing over to pavement. In my experience, the lugs did not wear down or break off with time, despite some intermittent pavement patches and one time wearing them while I was moving furniture between houses and forgot to throw my other shoes in the car!
The outsole has the option to drill in spikes for extra traction on ice and has specific marked spots to do so, which is a unique feature that I love! (La Sportiva is known for having this feature and special tools to assist in do-it-yourself spike additions.) The outsole is superior to any other trail shoe I’ve used and this is one of the Crossover 2.0’s biggest assets. Though the extra-hardy material makes the shoe heavier than average (more on this later), the outsole performance is unparalleled in benefits when compared to other mountain running shoes.
The midsole has been described by some as “chunky,” particularly in the heel area, with a fairly supportive arch and midfoot structure and a solid forefoot component. This shoe is more stabilizing than your more neutral or minimalistic midsole opponent, but part of that also seems to come from the external ankle support via the high ankle coverage and gaiter material (see below). The midsole is full-length made of an EVA material which is advantageous for winter terrain, but it does lack a rock plate. There’s also a TPU stabilizer in the midfoot for extra mediolateral stability over uneven surfaces. Also worth noting, the toe box seemed average and sufficiently spacious to me, but some users reported it was narrower than expected. However, many users did report no issues with the the width of the toe box.
The La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX boasts a very distinguished, recognizable upper with a clear advantage in the market for being one of the few winter trail running shoes with a built-in gaiter by a well-known company. A snug GTX lace-able booty design is enveloped by a mesh outer layer that reaches up a few inches above the medial malleolus of the ankle and offers warmth and protection. I found the gaiter stayed in place regardless of whether I was wearing long or short socks, long pants or capri running tights
The black mesh outer upper features an “anatomical” angled zipper design that contours to the shape of the foot and an adjustable bungee to ensure a snug fit around the lower leg. I only had a few instances where I had to stop to adjust the zipper, which has a tiny little encasing at the top of the gaiter. The gaiter itself is thin, stretchy, and not entirely waterproof when compared to the rest of the shoe. For deep post-holing conditions, you may find the gaiter gets too damp or heavy, but for lighter snow/ice running I had no issues with it getting too wet/cold. The upper is also clearly advantageous for “shoulder-season” running conditions where you may experience some miles of dirt trails or mud and additional miles of snow and ice.
This shoe is definitely on the heavier side, weighing in at 13.05 oz (370g) on average. This certainly took some adjusting to, particularly with running in climates where the extra protection wasn’t needed, like dry trails around the city. However, once out in the mountain air, I was grateful for the rugged features of the shoe and felt they were worth the extra weight. While not a racing shoe
by design, the Crossover 2.0 is a great training partner for the winter
months if you live in a cold climate.
The Crossover 2.0's design combo of mesh and Gore-Tex brings a nice balance of breathability and warmth/windproofing. Overheating was never an issue, but the shoes were only tested in winter and probably would be too warm for summer months, depending on where you live. The shoe was certainly superior to all my other trail shoes when it came to running in the 0-40 degree Fahrenheit range, which usually brings on a heavy dose of Raynaud’s circulatory issues, which I never experienced with these shoes. My toes were singing La Sportiva’s praises for that!
These shoes are adjustable in so many aspects that it would be hard to not find a comfortable “setting.” I had no issues with break-in or hot spots/rubbing. Some reviewers felt that the shoe, which goes by European sizing, was smaller than expected, and many people stated that they ordered a size up. I used my typical shoe size comfortably, but had I wanted to wear a thicker pair of socks, the next half size up would have been ideal. If you tend to run in heavier/thicker socks, you may find an up-sizing helps. The lacing system and tongue are especially comfortable, and the gaiter area seemed equally comfortable on short and longer runs.
I really like the simple, classy and functional style combination – this shoe will be turning heads no matter where you sport it! The black/red/yellow color scheme of the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX is very pleasing and sharp looking, and also blends in well if you wear black running tights. Even in shorts, the gaiter does not look out of place or odd. One reviewer described the upper as “a thing of beauty…starting at the top, the flexible GTX liner looks like a snakeskin…” You can always walk around with the gaiter partway unzipped if you want to sport a little extra unique flare!
The Crossover 2.0 is the definition of durability! Honestly, this shoe seemed unscathed and unfazed after being put to the test. The absence of a rock plate did not seem to affect the durability or wear-down. The inner and outer material did very well over time, and the shoe still looks brand new after 60+ miles!
The shoe is very protective due to the thick layer of rubber, the specially-crafted lugs, the outer materials and high ankle design. The outer mesh/Gore-Tex combo aids in excellent protection from the elements
, and is quick drying. Rock running felt like a normal trail, perhaps due to the thickness of the rubber and the degree of elevation off the ground. Though the gaiter doesn’t extend high up the leg, it manages to shield and deflect most debris encountered while running.
The shoe excelled in winter conditions
but certainly felt heavier on the dirt trails, as mentioned. I would recommend the Crossover 2.0 for low-moderate mileage and altitude training, but may not be as ideal for 20+ mile days where you’re climbing up tons of elevation. (Then again, most of us don’t regularly do 20+ miles of ascent running on ice and snow!) Likewise, it would not be my first choice for speedwork. However, I do think the shoe would be pretty responsive and ideal for non-snowy mountain descents where gaiters
are crucial, particular descending through shale and scree chutes, and I’m already dreaming of testing this theory on my favorite mountains in Alaska when the snow melts this summer!
Typically, I personally feel the need to add Superfeet inserts into my trail shoes for a little extra arch support and shock absorption, especially for running on ice or pounding out mountain mileage, but I never considered it with the Crossover 2.0 because for me, the midsole support was “just right” for aggressive trail terrain. As per the website, this shoe was designed to also be compatible for “après-ski wear,” navigating icy paths, hiking, mountaineering, trekking, backpacking and snowshoeing, where the supportive design would also prove advantageous. (However, by design it’s a running shoe).
Snow, ice, mud, slush, grass, water, packed dirt, rocks, scree, soft dirt, logs, sandy beaches, pavement, stairs – you name it! – this shoe can handle pretty much anything. I found a plethora of positive reviews on the ability of the Crossover 2.0 to tackle a variety of terrain. The only spots I found slippery were mossy areas (which are ALWAYS slippery in all my shoes).
The shoe runs on the expensive side, the MSRP value being around $190 for this version. When you consider the amount of material and technology in the shoe, plus the fact that it will likely last you several seasons of winter trail running, it could be easy to justify. If you live in a place that gets snow or frozen ground in the winter, you’ll probably want to pay a little more for extra warmth and protection in those winter months.
I noted above average traction everywhere, and no struggle in even the deepest mud or iciest patches. I ran with confidence in these shoes through winter conditions. Reviewers agree that the v-shaped lugs are an excellent traction feature unique to La Sportiva
’s mountain shoes.
Some felt the shoe was stiff upon first use. The material is certainly more firm that your average minimalistic model. I felt that the design was appropriate for the conditions it was intended for, and in a perfect world you could reserve these shoes for winter mountain conditions and use a lighter, softer shoe
for city running.
The Crossover 2.0 falls in La Sportiva’s “moderate” stability class. In my opinion, the nature of the dual-material shoe design with essentially a bootie within a shell makes these shoes feel more stable than average. I experienced none of my usual ankle rolls/sprains while training with these shoes over uneven terrain.
The shoes have a 10mm drop factor. I expected this to feel awkward since I’d been training in lower drop models before this product testing, but was surprised by how natural the 10mm felt. Again, this may be a function of the nature of the intended terrain and the overall weight and design of the shoe. The stack height is 28mm in the heel, which makes you feel like you’re cruising around a little higher, which is particularly advantageous on trails and in snowy environments.
Key Features of the Crossover 2.0 GTX
Key Features of the Crossover 2.0 GTX
• Rugged, durable and hardy design
• Great traction and v-shaped lugs
• Option to insert spikes for extra ice traction
• Attractive and comfortable design
• Extra warm and mostly waterproof
• Built-in gaiter for mountain and winter terrain
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a unique shoe for winter training, look no further! The La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX is one of the best gaiter-inclusive trail running options that performs supremely in ice, snow, and muddy conditions. The higher than average overall weight is made up for two-fold in functionality. This bad boy is stable, durable, excels in traction, has adjustable features and is an all-around solid package to motivate you to hit the trails, no matter what the season or the weather! Be sure to look into adding this one to your trail arsenal.