10 Best La Sportiva Trail Running Shoes Reviewed
Searching for La Sportiva Trail Running Shoes? Take a look at the top shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!
As a company operated at the base of the Dolomites mountains in a small Italian town, La Sportiva certainly knows how to make a fantastic trail running shoe. The multi-generational family-run business has successfully created products for 89 years that help outdoor adventurists reach their dreams of climbing new heights. (Pun not intended, but highly appreciated.) With La Sportiva’s plethora of products, we could spend days discussing which items are our favorites. For the sake of time, let’s narrow it down to trail running shoes.
The brand began releasing running models not so long ago, and has since exploded onto the scene with shoes that work on various types of terrain, from rugged to mild trails.
In this article, we’ve chosen our top ten favorite La Sportiva trail running shoes. All choices are well-made, high quality, worth their price tag, and available all over the world!
- La Sportiva Mutant
- Grippy FriXion XF Outsole
- La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 GTX
- Durable Reinforced Toe Box
- La Sportiva Akasha
- High Cushion Trail Rocker sole
10 Best La Sportiva Trail Running Shoe
1. La Sportiva Mutant
They will provide you with amazing comfort considering the environments in which you will run in them. They are perfect for harsher environments that other less durable shoes just can't handle. They will also provide you with amazing stability which is one of the best that you could find in any trail running shoe.
They are very durable running shoes that will last you for a long, long time before they break down. Materials used are high-quality. You won`t find anything that feels cheap.
They are in the perfect price range, and maybe even too cheap considering how good they are. The sheer build quality is worth their price tag, but they even give you much more with great comfort, great protection and amazing traction. They are one of best trail running shoes that you can buy.
- Modern design
- They are very breathable
- They are very durable
- The protection that they offer you is amazing
- Unique outsole that provides you with great traction and stability
- Protective toe cap
- For some users they look ugly
- For some users they offer too much protection which makes them heavier
2. La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 GTX
They will provide you with great comfort for two reasons: 1) because of the materials that are used and 2) because of the lacing system which grips your feet just right. They will offer you amazing stability with their unique outsole.
These are surprisingly durable considering the materials used. They will last you a long time. All materials used are high-quality.
The lacing system is great and functional & the aggressive outsole provides you with great traction. As stated previously, they are built from high-quality materials. While they may be pricey the quality you get is worth the cost.
- High-quality materials
- Very durable
- Unique outsole that provides great stability
- Modern design
- They are very expensive
- The outsole is too agressive for some users
3. La Sportiva Akasha
These offer you great comfort and stability from the STB technology. Their outsole has an interesting design that will provide you with great traction and even greater stability.
These shoes are very durable and will last you for hundreds of miles. Also, the quality of the materials is great. The leather is best known as a durable and long lasting material.
There aren't usually complaints about the cost of these shoes even considering their relatively steep price. The reason may be because of their beautiful design, or the STB technology that provides you with great comfort, or just the overall quality that they provide
- Modern and beautiful design
- Quality materials
- Provide you with great stability
- They offer you amazing comfort
- They offer great support for your feet
- For some users the men's shoe is too heavy
- The price is pretty steep
4. La Sportiva Bushido
The Bushido's provide runners with great stability from their wide outsole. This also provides you with great traction. They are surprisingly comfortable considering their robust build.
They are one of the most durable trail running shoes on the market. The quality of materials used is top notch. They won`t fall apart any time soon.
They are worth the price tag because of their robust build and protection. They are not the cheapest running shoes, but do have a moderate price tag.
- High quality structure
- Robust and durable design
- Impact break system
- Some users don`t like toe cap
- Some users reported slippage inside the shoe
5. La Sportiva Vertical K
The Vertical K's are very comfortable due to the unique lacing system and soft, gentle materials. They provide amazing stability from their unique outsole that features long and wide lugs for better traction.
They are also very durable and will last you longer than you may think. The quality of materials that are used is great. It's hard to find such high quality running shoes that are made of fabric and other synthetic materials.
The Vertical K's may cost a little over $100 but they will last you for miles on end. The materials used are top notch, the outsole is unique, aggressive and provides you with great traction while running. Great shoes all in all.
- Modern and sleek design
- Durable materials
- Unique outsole that will provide you with great traction
- Great choice of colors
- Some runners felt they lacked protection from rough trail elements
6. La Sportiva Helios
These are very comfortable running shoes & you won`t develop any hotspots that could create much discomfort. The stability that they provide is great. The reason is because of the unique design of the outsole that features deep and wide lugs.
These are very durable running shoes even if at first look they don`t look like because of their upper mesh look. Believe it, you may be surprised how long they will last you. The quality of materials that are used is top notch.
The comfort, cushioning that they provide, the breathability and the quality of materials makes them a valuable trail running shoe.
- Modern design
- High-quality materials
- Unique outsole that provides you with amazing stability and traction
- They are very durable
- Choice of colors
- For some users they are too heavy
- For some users they don`t offer enogh protection
7. La Sportiva Wildcat
These provide you with amazing comfort because of light materials that are used. They will take the form of your feet. Also, they provide you with great stability because of their unique outsole which also provides you with great traction.
These are quite durable due to the classic quality of the Italian shoe line. Runners continually return to La Sportiva due to the high quality of the brand.
Considering the quality that they offer, comfort, and how lightweight they are, La Sportiva Wildcat trail running shoes are definitely worth their price tag.
- Modern design
- Light materials that are used
- Outsole that provides you with great stability and traction
- Great breathability
- A few runners claim the shoes are not thick enough to protect from the elements
8. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
These provide you with great comfort because of the ankle supports. Also because of softer materials that are not rough on your feet while running. The stability that they offer is also very amazing. Vibram sole is a great choice and it would be great if more running shoes featured that kind of traction and stability.
They are durable running shoes that will last you for hundreds and hundreds of miles. The quality is also great, nothing feels cheap.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor mountain running shoes are definitely worth your money, they are not expensive at all. The modern look, support for your ankle and the great traction are the best features of this running shoes. You should definitely keep your eye on them.
- Modern and colorful design
- Vibram sole that provides you with great traction
- Great breathability
- High-quality materials that are used
- They offer you great support
- They are too heavy for some users
- For some users they are too bulky
9. La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX
These offer you amazing comfort because of their sturdy design which grasps your feet just right. They also offer great stability because of its outsole full of lugs that offer you a great grip, and the surface of the outsole is just right enough, which gives you great stability in the end.
They are very durable running shoes. The reason is because of their robust, sturdy design, and the quality materials that are used.
They are not cheap running shoes. There are cheaper La Sportiva trail running shoe models But believe it, they are worth getting if you want quality. The sheer durability and protection that they provide is top notch. The traction is also worhty of noting. This comes together to make a worthy purchase.
- Robust and durable design
- Modern, futuristic look
- Outsole that provides you with great traction
- They offer great stability
- They are easy to put on
- The price of the shoes
- They can create discomfort on the longer runs
- Some runners find the high ankle supports bothersome
10. La Sportiva Helios SR
They will provide you with great stability. We all know that great stability is important if you run on trails and rugged terrain. They are very comfortable so you won`t feel much discomfort while running up or down hill. The fit of the shoes is great. There is no chance that your foot would slide up or down inside the shoe.
These are very durable running shoes, as they should be. The quality of the La Sportiva Helios SR is also up-to-par. materials used are high quality and nothing feels cheap on the shoes.
These are definitely worth the price tag on them because of the high-quality materials that are used, and great breathability that they provide you with. Sure, there are better La Sportiva trail running shoes, but La Sportiva Helios SR are definitely one of the best, even if at the #10 spot.
- Good lacing system
- Modern design
- Mesh system that is great in delivering great breathability
- Offers great cushioning for your feet
- Outsole can wear out quickly by some reports
- For some users they don`t offer enough breathability
And this is it. The best La Sportiva trail running shoes. I hope that you will find this buyers guide helpful and that you it will help you to find the right running shoes for yourself.
The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best Sportiva Trail Running Shoes:
From The Mountains Of Italy, With Love
Not a lot of people are aware that La Sportiva operates from a small, 250-person factory in a mountain village in Italy. Right in the heart of the Italian Dolomites is where you can find their dedicated team of craftsmen and designers that are constantly striving for the absolute best in outdoor footwear. With a focus on quality over quantity, there is no production quota, sales figures, or marketing team. Just the tradition and heritage that lead to being one of the most respected names in trail running shoes. Let’s take a look at some of their latest and toughest trail runners and what they can do for your next outdoor adventure.
The Toes Can Make All The Difference
While going through countless feedback from real world users, we found that La Sportiva has the highest customer satisfaction when it comes to comfortable toe boxes. From their mountain climbing shoes, to their standard trail runners, all testers reported the perfect combination of freedom and fit when it came to their toes. This is because there is a culture of research and development within the company that tests their new prototypes right in their own backyard, the world-renowned Italian mountain ranges.
Moisture Wicking Properties
Our readers have let us know time and time again, when they are out on the trail they are looking for footwear that will keep their feet dry and comfortable. This is why we made sure that all the La Sportiva models that made our list came with the companies’ latest in moisture wicking technology. Beyond reading the labels, we made sure that user feedback matched the promises made by the material and design. What you are left with is a solid list of the best moisture wicking trail runners on the market today.
The last thing that you want to worry about when your out on a trail run is the integrity of your footwear. No need to worry. Users of this brand have counted on their outdoor footwear for generations. Their trail runners are built to last and have been tested in the harshest of conditions. This ensures that when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, you will have trail runners that you can count on to last as long as you do.
Safety always comes first to us here at Runnerclick; and we know that Mother Nature is full of surprises. From sharp, jagged rocks, to loose gravel and wet surfaces, there are no shortages of hazards when you go out on the trail. This is why their products offer rock guards, toes caps, and aggressive traction like no one else in the business. Our buying guide is full of the best rated trail runners that will keep you nice and safe, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your La Sportiva Trail Running Shoes
We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing between different models and we are confident that no matter which model you choose, you are sure to get performance features and critical protection. However, before you go, take a look at the information we went through when making our list of the best La Sportiva trail shoes. Taking into consideration these factors will help narrow down your search in order the choose the best La Sportiva shoe for you!
How Rugged Will Your Trails Be?
Keep in mind what kind of hazards you might encounter when you hit the great outdoors. It’s important to strike a balance of protection and weight when considering your trail runners. If you are going on more manicured, or non technical trails, then you may not need the highest in protection models. This will give you a lighter runner that will keep your endurance and comfort levels high for longer amounts of time. If you will be going at a slower pace through sharp rocks and stones, then you want all the protection you can get. Make sure you choose a model with a toe guard and rock plate for added protection.
Match Your Waterproofing Needs.
How much water do you plan to come across while you’re out on the trails? Beyond the occasional rain and puddle splash, if you will be encountering a considerable amount of water and mud while out on the trail, look for the GTX moniker on the models and choose one from this selection. That stands for Gore-Tex and the material will become your new best friend while you are battling the elements. It stays very breathable and keeps ventilation levels high while still blocking water from getting in. Stay dry out there!
Match Your Standard Runner.
If you require additional stability, for example, make sure that you make a selection that is most similar to your road running shoe. According to user feedback, one of the first mistakes they made was choosing a trail runner without taking this into consideration. We’ve done our due diligence to mark the models that have additional cushioning, stability, and flexibility so that you can have all the information required to make a selection that is best for you.
Make Sure To Replace As Needed.
One of the best things about this brand is their lasting durability. You can wear them for the most extreme in outdoor activities and months down the line they will look practically brand new. While this is great, make sure that you are replacing them at the proper intervals. While standard running shoes last about three hundred miles, trail shoes are much more different in terms of longevity and a ton of factors are involved when making that determination. Most seasoned trail runners keep a log on time and miles that they put on their footwear. Look for too much wear on the outsoles as one of the most tell tale signs. Additionally, if they don’t “feel” right, chances are they need to be replaced. Remember that cushioning, padding, and shock absorption all go downhill after two hundred miles of wear.
Precaution For Wet Surfaces.
Just like sharp rocks and jagged stones, wet surfaces and loose gravel can be extremely dangerous when you are hitting the trails. Please keep wet surfaces in mind when making your selection and when you are enjoying the great outdoors. If you know that there will be a significant amount of wet surfaces on your outings, look for models with Vibram soles for extra traction and grip. Tester feedback was very high when it came to combating wet, slippery surfaces. Enjoy the advantages that La Sportiva can offer you in this department.
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions many runners ask in regards to trail running shoes. The following information may help you choose the best shoe for you and get the best life out of your shoe.
Q: How should I care for my trail runners?
A: Make sure that you always check for small rocks and stones that can become lodged in the sole and promptly remove them. Wipe off all mud and debris before drying, especially on Gore-Tex as this can hamper its ability to provide ventilation for your feet. Finally, check those laces. They can snap if they have been sniped by a random stone of twig.
Q: I have some pretty high quality road running shoes. Why can’t I use them for trail running?
A: No one would recommend that to you. Quite simply, trail rated running shoes are meant for handling things that standard running shoes are not designed to. From loose gravel, dusty surfaces, sharp rocks, and mud, there are elements out on the trail that will destroy your standard running shoe and may even injure you. If you are going to a non-technical trail, you may get away with using a standard runner, but for the intense stuff, you don’t want to risk it.
Q: How long can I expect my La Sportiva trail running shoes to last?
A: Running shoes, regardless of brand, should be replaced every 300-500 miles. Trail runners are a different story. They will last through your toughest of treks and outings, but you need to replace them based on your individual usage. Seasoned trail runners expect to get about two hundred miles from their La Sportiva and replace them while they are still in great condition. They last long, but you want to keep a fresh pair for safety reasons.
Q: I’ve heard that wearing socks while trail running is a no-no; what’s the verdict?
A: This is completely a personal preference, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The best thing to do is try it out for yourself. If you experience some skin irritation, but still enjoy running without socks, try some runner’s tape on the problem areas before you head out again. There are experienced trail runners on both sides, you should do what feels best for you.
When looking for a trail shoe, look no further than La Sportiva. This guide was intended to provide you the best information when making your decision on which shoe is right for you. Running shoes are an investment not only in your health but your running goals. Consider the above factors before heading to the store so you can make sure the shoe you choose will help you reach your running and fitness goals!
Where we found some of our information
La Sportiva offered some great information on the history of the La Sportiva brand and how they got their start. Awesome pictures as well. Want free stickers? Mail a self addressed stamped envelope to:
La Sportiva N.A. Inc.
3850 Frontier Avenue, Suite 100
Boulder, Colorado 80301
The sources listed below were utilized when researching and collecting the information in this guide. We aim to provide accurate and detailed information to our readers as well as make sure to stay up to date with the latest styles and research out there.