La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0 Review Facts
La Sportiva, a name known widely for their trail shoes, has made some huge improvements with their latest edition, the Wildcat 3.0. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty trail shoe that doesn’t weigh your feet down, this is a great choice. A sticky sole and lugs give the shoe its superior traction. You’ll feel confident running in this shoe on any terrain, wet or dry. The shoe’s soft upper and supportive dual-density EVA foam midsole provide you with a high level of comfort, while the added protection and stability features keep your performance at a top-notch level. Additionally, check out the style of the Wildcat 3.0. We think La Sportiva did a pretty great job aesthetically. Continue reading to learn more about the Wildcat 3.0.
Since the Wildcat 3.0 is a trail shoe, its outsole is designed to provide you with the best traction possible
. The Wildcat uses sticky FriXion X-Axis rubber which gives the shoe its superior grip even on tricky, technical terrain. Additionally, lugs on the bottom of the shoe provide even more traction, making this shoe a great choice for nearly all terrains, including surfaces that are wet.
The Wildcat 3.0 has one of the highest quality midsoles on the market. It utilizes La Sportiva’s brand-exclusive dual-density EVA foam called MEMlex, providing you with a comfortable, responsive ride. In addition, SpeVa midsole technology is used to improve bounce-back characteristics. Additionally, SpeVa technology decreased midsole breakdown while running. A TPU midsole insert is added to the shoe to control overpronation.
This shoe’s upper is incredibly well-designed. Constructed of breathable mesh, the Wildcat is super breathable and feels lightweight on the foot. This mesh differs from the mesh that’s used on many other running shoes. The Wildcat’s mesh is engineered with larger than average sized holes to ensure superior breathability and ventilation. The interior of the shoe is made of a moisture-wicking fabric, adding an extra layer of protection to ensure that the foot stays dry as well as cool. Synthetic leather overlays do a great job of keeping the midfoot locked down. The Wildcat’s heel cup is designed to eliminate the risk of heel slippage. The toe box is a bit on the wide side, but not so much that the shoe feels loose or sloppy. The rock plate on the forefoot was re-designed by La Sportiva to be more flexible and resilient.
A men’s size 9 weighs 13.1 ounces. While some may find this to be a bit on the heavy side, take into consideration that this is a heavy-duty trail shoe, so it’s going to weigh more than your average road shoe. Many runners find that once the shoe is on, it feels much lighter than expected. The Wildcat is not by any means the heaviest shoe on the trail running market. La Sportiva added no unnecessary weight to this shoe, and most find that it doesn’t feel the slightest bit clunky.
Thanks to the Wildcat 3.0’s mesh construction, you won’t need to worry about your foot getting enough air. Standard mesh is breathable as it is, but the Wildcat uses mesh with slightly larger holes for even more ventilation. If you’re looking for a shoe that will comfortably carry you through a long run on a hot summer day, this is a great option. Just by looking at this shoe you can tell it scores well in the breathability category. The shoe's interior lining not only provides additional breathability, but its moisture wicking properties help to keep your foot dry.
The Wildcat 3.0 is slightly wider than that of most of La Sportiva’s trail shoes. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, rugged shoe that’s going to be snug-fitting yet roomier than most, this is a great choice. Many runners find that there’s a bit of breathing room in the forefoot, and a snug fit throughout the heel and midfoot. The Wildcat’s breathable upper does an excellent job of keeping the foot cool and comfortable
. The interior lining is extremely soft and doesn’t cause skin irritation or discomfort. The shoe’s TPU midsole insert is incredibly comfortable and also helps those with overpronation. You’ll be impressed with this shoe’s cushioning. La Sportiva did a great job on this one. The cushioning is a bit softer than it was in the shoe’s predecessor. It strikes a nice balance between comfort and responsiveness.
Most find the Wildcat 3.0 to be a very visually appealing shoe. While it is a trail shoe, it doesn’t have too much of that “heavy-duty” look to it, in part because of the porous mesh that covers that the entire upper. The Wildcat 3.0 is available on Amazon in black and yellow as well as turquoise and gray. By looking at the outsole, you can tell that the Wildcat 3.0 is a trail shoe, but it's not overly thick or bulky. The asymmetrical lacing system gives the shoe a modern, sleek appearance. Overall, La Sportiva did a great job designing the Wildcat 3.0.
Like most of La Sportiva’s shoes, the Wildcat is incredibly durable. Being a shoe that’s designed for long distance runs
on difficult terrain, it has to be durable. The upper is abrasion-resistant and the outsole is extremely heavy-duty, meaning you’re going to get a ton of wear out of this shoe. Runners find that even after running miles over rocky terrains, the shoe holds up and lasts for much longer than expected. Some runners have reported getting 400+ miles out of the Wildcat. It can be difficult to find a trail shoe that’s durable while simultaneously supportive and comfortable, but La Sportiva struck a perfect balance with the Wildcat 3.0.
The Wildcat’s upper is abrasion-resistant, meaning both the shoe and your foot are protected. The tongue of the shoe is padded, which prevents pebbles or other trail
debris from entering the shoe. A flexible rock plate on the forefoot does an excellent job of protecting the toes from potential hazards. Additionally, the Wildcat dries much faster than other heavy-duty trail shoes, so no need to worry about puddles or rain weighing the shoe down.
The cushioning of the Wildcat 3.0 is a bit softer than that of its predecessor. This makes for a softer ride that still maintains a high level of responsiveness on the trails. Additionally the asymmetrical lacing harness
adjusts the fit of the shoe in a very responsive manner.
The EVA foam midsole of the Wildcat 3.0 delivers excellent, consistent support to the foot
. Added underfoot protection supports the foot further, while the addition of new overlays is utilized for even more stabilization and support. This is an excellent feature to have not only on difficult uneven terrain, but on roads and well-groomed trails as well. The comfortable heel cup hugs the heel for a firm, reliable fit, ensuring that no accidental slip-offs occur while running.
Although considered a trail shoe, the Wildcat 3.0 does great on nearly all terrains. Most runners find that it performs best on rocky areas due to its underfoot protection and superior grip. The sticky outsole may be a factor that’s not so desirable on terrains such as tracks, but if you ever use the Wildcat 3.0 on technical terrain, you’ll fully appreciate its traction. The upper is slightly water resistant, and the shoe dries quickly, so if you’re running through an area with creeks or puddles, no need to worry.
Considering its high-quality construction, the Wildcat 3.0 is very reasonably priced. Compared to other trail shoes on the market, it’s priced somewhere on the low-to-mid side of the spectrum. While there are some more affordable options out there, most of them don’t even come close to competing with the Wildcat 3.0.
Being a trail shoe, the Wildcat scores incredibly well in the traction department. The rubber sole of the shoe is sticky, helping the foot “grab” onto surfaces, even those that are wet. The addition of lugs to the shoe’s outsole has made a tremendous difference in traction. La Sportiva calls the outsole pattern their “Impact Braking System,” which uses lugs to increase breaking ability as well as shock absorption. However, some runners feel that the lugs are too large and too few, and would prefer to see more numerous, smaller lugs instead. This is simply a matter of preference.
Overall, the Wildcat 3.0 is a relatively forgiving shoe with an average level of flexibility. La Sportiva improved the flexibility of the forefoot based on feedback from the Wildcat 3.0's predecessor, the Wildcat 2.0
. The increased flexibility of the forefoot makes for a roomier toe box in which the toes can naturally splay without feeling restricted. The shoe's upper, constructed of mesh, is extremely flexible and doesn't hinder the foot in any way while running. The sole, on the other hand, is not as flexible due to the heavy-duty, durable nature of this trail shoe.
Leather-like overlays on the shoe’s upper enhance midfoot lockdown. The foot remains snugly in place, yet doesn’t feel restricted or crammed. The heel cup is designed to prevent heel slippage, while the asymmetrical lacing harness helps to lock the foot down and keep it stable throughout your entire run. This shoe provides a ton of underfoot cushioning at the expense of a bit of stability. While still considered a relatively stable shoe, between the padding and high stack height, the Wildcat doesn’t deliver as much stability as some other trail shoes on the market.
The Wildcat 3.0 has a heel-to-toe drop of 12mm, which is definitely in the high drop range. Whether you perform better in a low or high drop shoe is simply a matter of personal opinion. Every runner is different; the drop is definitely not a one-size-fits-all factor. With a high drop shoe, you have the benefit of a ton of cushioning. On the downside, you lose a bit of the shoe’s stability.
-La Sportiva's brand-exclusive EVA foam MEMlex
-SpeVa midsole technology
-Sticky FriXion X-Axis rubber for traction
-Lugs for added traction
-Impact Break System for shock absorption and maximum grip
-Asymmetrical lacing harness
If you’re looking for a durable trail shoe that’s also comfortable and plush, the Wildcat 3.0 is a great choice. La Sportiva has made some incredible updates to this shoe, both in its construction and its aesthetic appeal. The shoe’s underfoot protection is excellent, the midsole is very supportive, and the upper is extremely breathable making for a cool, comfortable run. We definitely recommend this shoe to not only trail runners and hikers, but for anyone looking for a reliable shoe to use as a daily trainer.