La Sportiva is a company that has been around for over ninety years. Starting with boots and clogs the company has expanded its business acumen to adjust to the outdoor lifestyle that has taken hold over the last century. Their products which began being developed for Italy’s mountains have been used by military, outdoor enthusiasts, and professionals alike and for some of the hardest and most difficult climbs in the world. They’ve partnered with the best and their gear has proven its worth through its use on the dawn wall ascension of El Capitan, making history for the company and the sport of climbing alike. The comfortable and reliable footwear is hard to match and comes with a sense that the product you are buying has been put through the paces and designed with the expectation that you will ask the absolute most of it. The brand has grown and developed never sacrificing its reliability and continues this tradition of hiking and running through mountainous and difficult terrain with the Ultra Raptor shoe. There are few situations where this shoe will not be the go-to for the avid mountaineer and the brand knows that.
of this shoe is a well thought out and crafted design feature. The EVA maintains its flexibility and comfort, making for a soft but confident feeling when you’re on the trail. This comfortability does not pull away from the shoe or midsole’s stability, however. Runners and hikers alike will still find that their feet feel stable inside of this shoe without the super rigidness you might find from a more boot like construct. This means that even in rough terrains with a lot of pressure on your feet you won’t find them sliding along the midsole ruining your balance and putting you in danger. The midsole’s flexibility is also impressive when considering that this shoe has a rock plate
designed right into the EVA by compressing on a layer within another. This allows for solid protection on rocky and jagged trails without the sacrifice of comfort you can find when needing a harder surface lined within your midsole. The rock plate that’s been placed in this shoe is also flexible and moves easily with your body and feet refraining from breaking or snapping from contorted pressures that it may come under as you move along more rugged rocky trails.
The outsole of this shoe was designed rather soft but maintains great grip and traction when traversing rocky surfaces. The softer rubber does well at sticking to the rocky surfaces you might traverse along your route providing you with a sense of comfortable support and traction. You won’t often find yourself slipping due to the way the outsole interacts with the environment as you pass through. The lugs provide great traction and their softer style compliments the grip that’s been designed into this shoe’s outsole. By compressing when pressure is put on them their ground contact is significantly cushioned reducing some of the stress on your joints but also holds onto surfaces with ease. This means that the shoe can survive and thrive in wetter muddier condition, gripping into the soft sediment and moving forward, or hold onto sheer surfaces like flat rock faces and slick logs by gripping with the softer rubber outsole
. As great as this outsole is, it can wear down faster than may be experienced with other hiking or trail running shoes but the trade-off is often worth it for the amount of grip and traction you get from the material that is used.
This shoe’s terrain style can be described easily as off-road and rough trail running or hiking. The design features built into the midsole, outsole, and upper make it every mountaineer’s and trail runners dream when it comes to the hard to maneuver and rough terrains found around cliffsides and throughout rocky hills. The debris guard and waterproofing mean that this shoe can make it through more timid and forested mountainous areas with ease, keeping out any debris you might be kicking up or passing through along your trail
. The lugs and outsole’s rubber material make it great for gripping and sticking to rock faces you may be running over allowing you that extra bit of grip to keep your balance and push forward without the fear of slipping on rocks, logs, or anything else you may have to step over to keep moving on your way. The softer rubber that was used for the outsole however is also great for absorbing some of the contact shock when your foot hits the ground, as the lugs will compress under your feet instead of staying rigid allowing the show to adapt to the terrain rather than feeling like a football or soccer cleat. This means that you can wear the shoe comfortably a few more terrains than just the mountainside. While it still isn’t ideal for the track you won’t feel like you’re going to fall from extra elevation like you would in soccer boots.
The upper is design with a highly breathable mesh
to keep your feet cool on even some of the longest and hottest hikes. The mesh allows for considerable and solid airflow through the shoe during the duration of its use, keeping you from feeling overheated and your feet from sweating too much. Even in hot desert environments, you will notice that your feet remain relatively cool and comfortable during your time on the trail not forcing you to stop or turn back because you just can’t take the sensation of hot and sweaty feet anymore. The fit of the upper along with its heel design also prevents your foot from slipping while inside of the shoe. By keeping a flexible but not too stretchy design the upper holds the shoe and your feet against one another providing you with a firm and solid fit and none of the insecurities of a shoe that has not been properly fitted to the size it is listed as. The upper also features a debris guard over the top of the shoe. This guard operates as a stitched in the overlay that simply exists right above the tongue of the shoe. The tongue of the shoe is still accessible beneath it but is securely covered to keep out any debris you might kick up or come across while out on the trail.
This shoe’s upper is designed with a highly breathable mesh. This mesh is great at maintaining the cool and comfortable foot environment every runner looks for and strives after in their shoes. The mesh material allows for a good and consistent air flow that will keep feet relatively cooler even in the harsh heat of the desert climates found in the southwestern United States. On the trail, you’ll be able to feel the breeze flow past your feet and through your toes while still being able to keep moving without the thought of overheating or sweaty feet holding you back. This is great in all conditions but exceptional when you are out hiking or running in the hot and warm summer months just trying to enjoy the trails. This breathable mesh is also efficient at releasing water meaning that your feet won’t become waterlogged as you move through damp or wet terrain. As a result, you can count on comfortable and cooler feet throughout many environments and still enjoy yourself even if the weather is hot or you’ve just experienced a significant deluge on your favorite trails the day before.
The comfortable and design features of this shoe make it a premier choice for some of the rockiest and difficult environments you can find yourself hiking or running through. The well-designed outsole is going to be great for gripping rock faces and hard to maneuver trails with your feet without the fear of slipping or falling
. The softer rubber that was used o the underside of this shoe and for its lugs allow it to stick to the sheer surface you may be passing over without the concern that you will be face down in the soot if you don’t hit your angles or stride perfect every single step. The shoe’s water resistance and mesh upper a great for traversing through wet environments that other shoes would find challenging or laborious. The mesh design allows for passing through wet terrain, or even rivers and creeks, without holding on and retaining too much water. Because of the mesh design and easy flow water will simply drain away from your feet and the shoe allowing you to keep pushing forward on the trail, heading back when you chose too not your shoes. These design features make this shoe a great choice for the many different difficult terrains you can find throughout the world adjusting easily to rocky mountain and hillside and the damp or wet river valleys and ravines you might find nearby.
This shoe has a few features that can be considered key to what it does and what it is but the best three would be its great breathability, the great grip you get from it, and the EVA
rock plate built into the midsole. The breathability of this shoe is not something that should be passed up because of how efficient it just is. The airflow it allows means you can feel your feet staying cool as you move through the trail. Even in the hot desert sun, your feet will stay relatively cool and comfortable avoiding the constant sensation of overheating and profusely sweating. The mesh material used for the upper allows the breeze to pass right through your toes and over your feet as you move along the trail and even still days just the movement of your feet will help the airflow in the shoe keep your feet cool. The shoes great midsole and awesomely designed rock plate mean you also have the little bit of extra protection between your foot and the harsh surfaces of the ground. As you move about sharp and jagged rocks the compressed EVA that has been added into the midsole will keep you from feeling the full impact and edge as you continue running or hiking. This will help keep your feet from feeling sore and fatigued for longer and also reduces the overall pressures experienced when moving on these types of surfaces. The rubber used for the midsole is also great for traversing the jagged and rocky environments as its softer material will stick and grip to the sheer surfaces that rocks provide. This allows for runners and hikers to faster and safer through rocky fields and hillsides without the continuous fear of slipping and falling.
Bottom line this shoe is one of the best if not the best shoe you can buy for trail running
and hiking. Its wonderfully designed outsole means you don’t have to worry about grip or traction in sheer environments and the ability to move confidently and comfortably even when the terrain and obstacles are slick from damp or wet conditions is unmatched. The upper’s great design means you will stay cool and comfortable even in serious heat allowing you to push forward. Breathability will keep your foot cool so you don’t build up a sweat within the foot environment while the shoe’s tongue overlay will keep your feet safe. This overlay will keep out most if not all debris and allow you to continue running or hiking
off-road or on the trail without having to stop and adjust your shoes or take them out to get rid of stray rocks and pebbles. The shoe’s awesome midsole also doesn’t trade out flexibility and comfort in exchange for stability and protection. The compressed EVA rock plate guard will help absorb some of those harsher rock connections and sharp edge pressures to keep your feet from feeling fatigued and sore. The traditional EVA also maintains its soft cushiony comfort without the need to worry about slipping. The well-formed sole means that you can move comfortably and protected throughout your runs trails without having to guess where your foot is going to end up or slip within the shoe.