La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
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 La Sportiva Ultra Raptor 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 La Sportiva 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.”
- Breathable mesh upper
- EVA Rock Guard protects against rocks and debris
- Great durability
- Stability from the midsole and upper helps prevent rolling in neutral runners
- Some runners found them to be slightly heavy
- Slight lack of different color and style options
- Some testers experienced slippage on wet or technical surfaces
Trail runners found that the pattern of the lugs on the Ultra Raptor’s full coverage outsole provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. La Sportiva’s patented Frixion Green oval-shaped lugs provide good ground contact and cushioning. The Ultra Raptor’s outsole is in a class of its own.
What’s different from most protected trail runners is how the stone guard made of compressed EVA is flexible and acts as rock plate, instead of a rigid plate. The drop is 8mm.
Runners found that this midsole offers great protection on the most technical trails they could find. Even after hiking for twenty miles on difficult terrain, the midsole kept their foot feeling comfortable.
Additional protection and control are provided in the arch by La Sportiva's Flex Transfer Shank, which is part of their new Impact Brake System. Runners and slow-paced hikers alike found that this shoe gives a lot of control and torsional rigidity when making their way downhill at a high rate of speed.
Runners appreciated the upper, especially during hot, humid trail runs. La Sportiva’s overlay on the inside of the heel, as well as the stabilizer on the heel counter on the outside of the shoe, give the shoe a comfortable fit. According to hikers, no debris got into the shoe because of the a smart a single overlay design stitched under the overlays but over the tongue.
When it comes to this type of utility shoe, weight is not necessarily as huge of a factor as 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 La Sportiva Ultra Raptor comes in par for the course.
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.
The mesh upper keeps your feet dryer by allowing sweat to rapidly evaporate and maintaining a comfortable and dry shoe. The heel pocket is 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 drop and how it helped their feet transition naturally so that every foot strike felt smooth.
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 its peers.
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.
The upper protects against heat, cold and wind, as well as blisters and hot spots.
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.
The nylon shank gave runners incredible support to their feet and ankles, especially when they experienced unpredictable terrain. Not only does the La Sportiva 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.
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.
Reviewers were amazed at how it gripped the terrain, no matter what kind of surface it was on. There is no terrain that the Ultra Raptors will not be able to handle.
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.
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Although some testers did experience slippage while going on wet or technical surfaces, the shoe does not have the necessary spikes to give proper traction on snow, ice, or slippery surfaces; runners who are planning to go on those types of trails will need to use a different shoe for those purposes.
The midsole conforms to the foot's shape in order to cushion landings and give some responsiveness. The upper fits to the shape of the foot and moves with the foot as it goes on trails.
The outsole's aggressive impact lugs were designed to lessen the impact of landings and help keep the foot stable. In the midsole. the Flex Transfer Shank in the arch provides a neutral level of arch support to help prevent the foot from rolling inward. The upper adds additional stability by giving a snug fit and that allows the foot to move while keeping it stable in order to prevent injury from sliding or rolling while going on trails.
It distributes the cushioning more evenly, which allows for more natural transitions while still having a little extra cushioning in the heel and promoting forward momentum. A lower drop also allows for more of a midfoot strike, while the standard drop favors heel strikers.
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 La Sportiva Ultra Raptor is for you, no questions asked.
Much like all other hikers that have used La Sportiva’s Ultra Raptors, 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!