La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

9.0
9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = Runnerclick score (9.0)/10

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La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Review Facts

If you truly love the outdoors, or know someone that does, then this review is for you. It’s time to put away the heavy leather mountain boot and come into the 21st century and start enjoying nature by getting in there with it, not just watching it.The Ultra Raptor by La Sportiva is the ultimate trail running shoe; and it’s not only meant for running, but for grueling trekking as well.

In this review, we will dive into what makes the Ultra Raptor the shoe of choice for trail lovers that fight against slick rocks, steep slopes, and layers of ice before most people have breakfast. La Sportiva spared no expense with their Ultra Raptor, and trail enthusiasts everywhere are chomping at the bit to take them out on their next excursion. Let’s get into what makes trail runners claim “once you hike in the Ultra Raptors, you will never hike in anything else”.

Pros

Breathable Air Mesh upper.

EVA Rock Guard provides foot protection from rocks and other debris.

Testers were amazed with the durable nature of this running shoe

Stability from the mid-sole and upper unit keeps the foot balanced and in place.

This shoe has the Sticky FriXion XF rubber outsole for world-class grip and traction on any surface.

The Impact Brake System works to lessen impact and improve surface grip during any traversal change

Cons

Some runners found them to be slightly heavy

Slight lack of different color and style options

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Ultra Raptor uses the Frixion XF Green compound. Experiencing trail runners find that this signature green rubber is stickier and softer than anything that is out there right now. The compound sticks to everything while wearing down at a respectable pace. It is crucial to have a harder rubber compound when creating a hardcore trail shoe, which can last longer and make the ride a less bouncy and more responsive underfoot.

Trail runners that tested the Ultra Raptors on the Pacific Crest Trail reported that extra durability is important when you are miles away from civilization with limited supplies. They also found that the lug pattern on the Ultra Raptor’s full coverage outsole is impeccably designed, it sticks like glue to just about any surface. La Sportiva’s patented Frixion Green oval shaped lugs compress underfoot giving unmatched cushion and ground contact. The Ultra Raptor’s outsole is in a class by itself.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor has a 8mm drop with 30mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot. Trail runners found the cushioning for this shoe to be just about perfect. Shoes with a wide and flared heel tend to add much needed stability, and the Ultra Raptor has found the perfect measurement for most feet. La Sportiva implemented its MEMIex EVA throughout the entirety of their midsole. What’s different from most protected trail runners is how the compressed EVA stone guard acts as a flexible rock plate, instead of a rigid plate.

Runners found that this midsole can do it all while offering incredible protection over the toughest of wet, rocky trails they could find. Even after hiking for twenty miles on difficult terrain, the midsole’s kept their feet feeling comfortable. Additional protection and control is provided by La Sportiva’s Flex Transfer Shank in the arch of the mid foot; which is a part of the their new Impact Brake System. Runners and slow paced hikers alike found that this shoe offers a great deal of control and torsional rigidity when making their way downhill at a high rate of speed. Downhill hiking adds a significant amount of stress to the joints of your legs, but thanks to the precision that testers received, it’s no longer a problem.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Ultra Raptor utilizes plastic overlays to perfectly wrap the mid foot and to provide its well-known excellent lateral support. Runners enjoyed the smart lacing system and found it to be very secure and never caused their feet to have any hot spots. Additionally, the Ultra Raptor has a very comfortable upper that is mainly comprised of breathable mesh.

Runners enjoyed the mesh during long and hot days on the trail. You will find that the fit is comfortable through the heel and mid foot and a no-slip fit thanks to La Sportiva’s leather-like overlay on the inside of the heel. The outside of the heel uses a skeleton cage stabilizer for the heel counter. According to hikers, the Ultra Raptor was kept free from debris with a smart a one-piece overlay design stitched under the overlays; but over the tongue. This effectively keeps rocks and pebbles out of the shoe without adding any pressure points to the top of the foot.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Ultra Raptor weights 12 ounces (US Men’s 10). However, testers found that it was feather light when on the foot in deep wooded terrain, soaked in water. When it comes to this type of utility shoe, weight is not necessarily as huge of a factor as his protection and traction. The bottom line is that it is significantly lighter and less bulky than a traditional leather mountain boot and just as rugged. Hikers received more grip, more protection, and more breathability without having to wear outdated footwear. When compared to any other trail shoe in its category the Ultra Raptor comes in par for the course.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

La Sportiva took every single component of this shoe and its breathability into consideration. Testers took notice of how the nylon air mesh and synthetic leather uppers were highly breathable and extremely lightweight. The EVA rock guard is strong enough to protect you from sharp and jagged rocks while still being light and air formed, leading to dissipation of natural body heat. The most important thing to take into consideration in regards to the breathability of the Ultra Raptor is that it’s been tested in perhaps every single environment on Earth, and has proven itself time and time again for giving hikers and trail runners the ultimate in breathability.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

No longer does comfort have to be a luxury for hikers and trail runners. Whether you are backpacking through treacherous mountainous terrain or simply taking them out on a non-technical trail, you will have the most comfortable trail shoe known to man. The mesh upper keeps your feet dryer by allowing sweat to rapidly evaporate and maintaining a comfortable and dry shoe. The heel pocket in perfectly engineered to take a beating while dissipating the impact without punishing the hikers. La Sportiva’s new MEMlex midsole provided all testers with incredible cushioning and shock absorption while out on their treks. Another comfortable factor that runners enjoyed was the moderate 8mm heel-to-toe drop and how it helped their feet roll from the toe to the heel naturally, so every foot strike felt smooth on the trail.
Style
Style

Style

La Sportiva took a very stylish approach when designing this outdoor shoe. Runners enjoyed the small details such as matching lacing and highlighted accents across the sole of the shoe. The black and yellow color way is a crowd favorite, providing outdoor enthusiasts with a perfect blend of performance and style. The majority of black is accented with smooth yellow lines that make the pleasing shape of the shoe stand out. Lace holes are dual colored and depending on the color selected, will match perfectly with the interior and padding of the Ultra Raptor. The final touch of carbon fiber on the outer heel adds that touch of slickness that will make La Sportiva’s looks stand out among their peers.
Durability
Durability

Durability

All testers were more than happy with the durability of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. They report that the stiff nylon shank found in the sole and the heel are TPU reinforced and feel like they will withstand everything that can be thrown at them. On the most hardcore of use, expect a little over one hundred miles of use. Keep in mind that about 4% of the general public will put these shoes through that amount of use.

Typical wear lasted well into three hundred plus miles. Take a quick image search for the Ultra Raptors and you will find beat up shoes that have seen a ton of rugged outdoor wear without so much of a single popped seam or ripped mesh. That’s because La Sportiva tested the materials in the most grueling of conditions and with the harshest of wear in mind. The product is an extremely durable outdoor shoe that can take a beating.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

There are a plethora of factors in play to give you the best responsiveness out there. The TPU overlays hold your foot in place no matter what angle the landing. Testers found that when they were crossing creeks with very low visibility, the Ultra Raptors were able to adapt to the hidden surprises of uneven rocks that lay beneath the surface. Providing a responsive structure between the midsole and the outsole is the new Endurance Platform EVA insert that balances load and shock forces to create a feel that is unique to this pair of outdoor trekkers.
Support
Support

Support

While you are on your next outdoor adventure, you are going to rely on a strong support system from your footwear; especially at the most challenging of conditions. The Ultra Raptor has ability to make every foot strike much easier on the hiker with a smooth heel to tow drop and added heel stabilizing construction. The nylon shank gave runners incredible support to their feet and ankles, especially when they experienced unpredictable terrain. Not only does the Ultra Raptor give you support, but it gives you support when you really need it. That can make all the difference in the world when you might find yourself miles away from civilization.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Quite simply, you can take the Ultra Raptors anywhere in the world with extreme confidence. From standard outdoor hiking and backpacking in mountainous terrain to treacherous highly technical trails, there is nothing that La Sportiva’s shoe cannot handle.

The Ultra Raptors have been tested in all four seasons and in every single type of condition that you can think of, and it has become the must have shoe for serious outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Outdoor lovers have called it the “most grippy” outsole they have ever used. It will stick to it like glue to wood, leaves, dust covered slabs, wet rocks, slick stone, talus, scree, crushed gravel, anything and everything that you can encounter out there. There is no terrain that the Ultra Raptors will not be able to handle.
Price
Price

Price

There isn’t an outdoors lover, nature enthusiast, or hardcore hiker out there that isn’t will to pay more money for the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. In fact, most hikers consider this shoe to be an important utility just as much as a backpack full of supplies is. There is a reason that testers not only buy the shoe once, but a second and third time. That is because there simply isn’t anything else on the market that even comes close to the Ultra Raptor. The price is an incredible value for the dependable product La Sportiva delivers.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

•Thermoplastic urethane lacing harnesses supply a secure, snug and supportive fit; polyester mesh linings on the tongues and heels wick moisture to help keep your feet dry


•Nylon air mesh and synthetic leather uppers are highly breathable and lightweight; thermoplastic urethane reinforcements support your heels


•Compression-molded EVA midsoles absorb shock and offer ample cushioning


•Molded nylon shanks modulate toe spring and add stability


•Sticky rubber outsoles with the Impact Brake System and a special lug pattern reduce impact and improve traction
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

From the excellent traction on slick wet rocks to the excellent foot protection against rocks and roots, there is nothing better suited for tackling harsh outdoor environments. The truth is, you never know what you are going to come across when you set out for your next outdoor adventure. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you have a pair of outdoor footwear that have been put through pretty much everything and keep coming back for more? If you or a loved one have a passion for going outside and getting your feet wet (literally), then the Ultra Raptors are for you, no questions asked. Much like all other hikers that have used La Sportiva’s Ultra Rapotors, once you try them on your next outing, you will never use another pair of outdoor trail shoes again. Now get out there, and conquer the trail!