La Sportiva Mutant

It’s time to hit the trails and tear up the turf with the La Sportiva Mutant! This off-road running shoe has been receiving rave reviews for its versatility and stability. Able to take on the trail and mountain range, the protection and grip the Sportiva Mutant offers can be used even on regular running surfaces and provides great performance no matter the terrain a runner traverses. Built to withstand the rockiest of trails, dirt, snow, and ice, this trail running shoe is going to wow you with its comfort, support, and durability.

From its ultra-sticky outsole that lets the runner grip even the most slippery terrain to its unique SpyralTonge technology in its tongue that features added protection to prevent mud and rocks from entering the foot chamber during a run, top to bottom the La Sportiva Mutant is a relatively lightweight trail running shoe that seeks to maximize the runner’s performance while keeping them protected when out on the trail. This durable trainer has a breathable upper made of abrasion-resistant mesh and anti-debris materials to keep the runner’s shoe free of rocks and dirt. Its midsole unit offers efficient cushioning and great heel stability, while the removable AT Grip Spike placed in its outsole’s forefoot provides additional traction while traversing soft and slick surfaces. A beast on the trails and a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster when it comes to being an assemblage of elements that make it a stronger, more durable trail runner than many other comparable options, it may be a ‘Mutant’ but it’s amazing grip and traction will work its magic on the trail and win over the trail running community at the end of the day.

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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Moosejaw Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Moosejaw Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Optimized for rocky terrains and mountains
  • Very supportive
  • Excellent traction
  • Very durable
  • Cons
    • Sizes may run small
    • Some runners may not appreciate higher collar of the shoe
    • Lacing system may take some adjustment time
    • The bold colors might not be for everyone.
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the La Sportiva Mutant is built with the same type of rubber used on climbing shoes, FriXion XF. Frixion XF provides the outsole with a highly sticky traction to help avoid slippage. It also has 6mm lugs on the bottom of the sole that are placed in directional opposition, known as V-Groove technology, which makes stopping quickly very easy, a feature La Sportiva has termed their "Impact Brake System". The outsole of this shoe is all about traction, and for this La Sportiva included AT Grip Spikes--removable spikes that can be screwed into the forefoot of the outsole--to enhance traction on wet or slippery surfaces. Durable, sticky, and sturdy, the outsole of the Mutant aims to grip the ground and provide maximum traction no matter the integrity of the surface being traversed.

      The midsole of the La Sportiva Mutant is injected with a Molded EVA that runs from heel to toe and provides good underfoot cushioning. The back of the midsole has a TPU Heel Stabilizer that runs from the arch of one side of the shoe to the other, forming a heel cup that keeps the heel comfortable and firmly in place while also absorbing impact shock.

      There is a slight, but not significant, arch in the midsole to accommodate the arch of the foot. The cushioning of the midsole has been singled out by reviewers for praise, as many were surprised the level of comfort and stability it provides, even after running for great distances on uneven, difficult terrain.
      The upper of the Mutant is made from Air Mesh, a stretchy material that provides a great amount of ventilation. Featuring a unique lacing system constructed to help support the upper part of the runner’s foot, this is the FusionGate lacing harness, which has a cord that is molded to each section of the shoe as lace fasteners. This helps prevent the laces from coming undone during a run and forcing the runner to interrupt their ride to tighten their r laces. The upper is also covered with a 4-way Stretch Gaiter that helps keep the shoe free from debris entering the foot chamber.
      The tongue is made from the proprietary SpyralTongue technology, which is secured after lace-up to prevent slippage and keep debris from entering the foot chamber. In addition, the upper of the Mutant has a solid toe cap to help prevent injury to your toes while you run. The collar of the shoe is a bit higher than most other running shoes, but this is constructed to provide the runner with a snug and secure fit. Finally, the Mutant has a pull loop in the back of the shoe that is larger than the standard size one would find on most running shoes to assist the runner in putting on this shoe.
      It’s often difficult to find a trail running shoe that keeps the overall weight pretty low. After all, a lot is put into a decent trail runner, especially one that’s trying to provide comfort and superior protection against the harsh elements of the outdoors. But with men’s coming in at 10.7 ounces/303 grams and women’s at 9 ounces/255 grams, the La Sportiva Mutant is a surprisingly lightweight trail running shoe. Chalk this up to the combination of the Mutant's foam and mesh materials that helps keep the weight off this shoe for it to be considered lightweight.
      Trail running shoes—particularly those that offer a fair amount of protection against the elements—are usually not as well-ventilated as runners would prefer, but the La Sportiva Mutant is a surprisingly breathable shoe. Its upper is made with AirMesh material, which allows for the runner’s feet to breathe more easily, keeps the foot cool and dry throughout a run, and helps to keep sweat accumulation down.
      The Mutant is a comfortable trail running shoe whose unique lacing system ensures that the runner’s foot will feel nice. Its outsoles traction and lugs absorb shock and allow the foot to hit the ground without taking the brunt from impact. Its midsole is injected with EVA foam, which is a responsive, lightweight material that acts as a soft cushion while providing solid energy return with each step. There is also no concern over sustaining toe injury, as the toe box is comfortable, roomy, and protected by a solid toe cap.

      Most runners agree that the hassle of having to retighten laces can distract from a good running experience, which is why the La Sportiva Mutant is outfitted with a unique lacing system that allows for uninterrupted long distance running without needing to constantly adjust the laces. Its intricate lacing system also provides for a secure, snug fit after lace-up, with the Mutant’s tongue providing both cushioning and protection against debris and the elements.
      The style of the La Sportiva Mutant will definitely grab the attention of onlookers and become a talking point when taking a rest during a run on the trail. It comes in a variety of bright color combinations, along with some neutral ones. The louder, more garish colors suggest an aggressive runner while the more muted color combos suit the runner who would rather keep their eye on the prize instead of on their shoes. But any way you cut it, the La Sportiva Mutant is flashy and features a unique lacing system that is sure to draw some attention. A runner wearing a pair will certainly stand out in a crowd—that is, until they’re back in motion and tearing up the trail.
      Reviewers of the Mutant are in agreement about one thing: this certainly is a durable shoe. The outsole of the Mutant is made from La Sportiva’s FriXion XF technology, which is a sticky rubber usually used in climbing shoes. Its wide lugs are similarly durable, so runners won’t have to worry about the tread quickly wearing even after many miles are put between first step-in. There are a few reports of the stitching of the upper mesh under the tongue coming undone, and the stitching of the pull loop at the heel of the shoe similarly disintegrating over time but depending on how the runner treats their pair of Mutants—and how hard they pull or tug at the materials—this issue may vary widely from one runner to the next.
      The upper of the shoe that is built with AirMesh, a durable material that allows the runner’s feet to breathe more easily. This is wrapped and held tightly by an intricate and unique lacing system, which adds to its overall durability over time and use.
      If you are a trail runner that seeks out more difficult terrains to traverse, protection against the perils of nature is a must. Runners want to avoid harming their feet from heel to toe so that you can concentrate solely on the ride. The La Sportiva Mutant is a shoe that absorbs shock upon impact. Although there is no rock plate, it doesn't seem to need one either to keep the foot safe from damage. The toe cap placed at the tip of the upper protects the runner’s toes from impacting any of the hard or sharp objects that can be found in nature. These shoes excel in keeping dirt and mud from entering the foot chamber, and although they are not water resistant, they do drain easily when wet.
      The La Sportiva Mutant is quite responsive and has a nice and snug fit that moves with the runner’s natural foot movement. In fact, most reviewers were rather impressed by the responsiveness of the Mutant, and it could quite possibly be one of the top responsive trail running shoes on the market today.
      The La Sportiva Mutant is a trail running shoe that provides an ample amount of support during a run. It has a high collar that rests near your ankle, providing runners with some additional support and security. Additionally, its unique lacing system supports the sides and top of the foot feet during a run. Its thick outsole supports the feet throughout a run and has an overall comfortable fit.
      The La Sportiva Mutant is a trail running shoe that performs well on mountains, rocks, and trails of various difficulty. While not waterproof, the Mutant can certainly traverse snow-covered and rain-slickened surfaces thanks to its tenacious, sticky traction lugs that help to prevent slippage. A good number of reviewers have also noted that this is a comfortable shoe to run in even on traditional running surfaces like pavement and asphalt. However, runners may feel find the lugs are more noticeable on these surfaces since this shoe is meant more for off-road running.
      The Mutant can be a bit pricey, but since it's a durable, comfortable, and supportive trail running shoe it’s well worth the price. Considering the potential hazards trail runners may face while taking a ride on the uneven topography of nature, investing in a trail running shoe that will keep their foot safe and provide security in clutch moments when runners depend on their footwear most.
      With the ample amount of traction the outsole of the Mutant provides for running on mountains, rocky and slick surfaces, and trails, runners can depend on its performance on these difficult terrains. It has wide lugs that are placed in opposing directions to allow the runner to grip the ground easily while pushing aside pebbles or other elements that may be in the way. Its outsole is made out of a sticky rubber compound that is meant for climbing shoes, and runners will find the traction the Mutant provides superior to many comparable trail running shoes available on the market. In addition, the outsole allows for AT Grip Spikes to be inserted for additional traction.

      Like most new shoes, runners will need to wear the Mutant in first before its true flexibility can be felt. Meant to provide a snug fit, it does allow for some flexibility. Runners will find the midsole stabilizer helps on a run over uneven topographies, and the runner’s foot will not feel cramped after lace-up.
      The La Sportiva Mutant is an extremely stable running shoe. Secure in all areas of the shoe from the outsole’s thick rubber traction, the midsole’s cushioning and stabilizer, and the upper’s unique lacing system that provides a snug, secure fit and high cuff that offers additional stability and support of the ankle, runners will feel stable and well-balanced while wearing a pair of Mutants.
      The La Sportiva Mutant has a 10 mm drop from heel to toe. It has a 26mm heel and 16mm forefoot for a net drop of 10 mm. This can feel like a higher drop to some runners, particularly trail runners used to zero drop trail running shoes, but this is a standard drop for most shoes.
      Key Features
      • Spyraltongue™ Technology for easy entry and keeping debris from entering foot chamber
      • Integrated Fusiongate™ Technology lacing harness
      • FriXion® XF provides incredible traction
      • Sticky-toothed outsole
      • Thick outsole and well-crafted upper that can withstand rocks, rain, and snow
      • Shock absorbent outsole and midsole
      • High cuff ankle support
      Bottom Line
      The La Sportiva Mutant certainly has the wow factor of being able to handle all types of terrain, from the trail to the mountain, and of various difficulty levels and conditions. A comfortable and durable shoe that will last a long time and a trail running shoe that’s surprisingly lightweight, if a runner doesn't mind spending a little bit of time perfecting the unique lacing system, this is a hardy trail running shoe that will stand up against the elements and help carry the runner farther than ever before. While it can be pricey, it is certainly worth the investment. After all, when encountering difficult terrain and attempting to conquer trails that may have never been tread before, you would want a Mutant on your side.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      Moosejaw Link
      See Deal
      By Brian Price
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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