Wednesday, July 6, 2016

La Sportiva Ultra Runners - Product Review

thoreau falls, hiking, mountain runners
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Mountain Runners

It's time to give up the boots! I returned a pair of Vasque Talus Ultra Dry Hiking Boots because 2.5 miles into a (low elevation) hike, I developed pain over the top of my feet, near my toes. These boots were just too stiff! I was at REI trying on a pair of Soloman's high boots when the Raptors caught my eye. A woman sitting next to me was trying them on. I asked her how she liked the shoes and she went on to tell me that she had read good reviews on the shoe. What caught my attention was that it’s a good shoe for rock climbing approaches. That pretty much sold me! I ditched the 2 pairs of Soloman boots I was trying and had the sales rep bring me a couple of Raptors to try on. I normally wear a size 38 in the La Sportiva Nepal EVO ice climbing boot and a size 7 in street shoes. But the size 38/7 Raptors were just a tad bit snug. The 38.5/7.5 fit perfectly with a little bit of space at the toes for thicker socks. 

Comfortable & Light: Right out of the box I wore these on a small hike to Thoreau Falls. It was comfortable and didn't feel like I was lugging weight on my feet. No pain, no blisters. No worries! 

Mesh: I did get these wet on the many water crossings of my Mt. Isolation hike. But the shoes held up and dried out like a champ! And since my toes always run hot, these runners kept my toes cool. As long as my toes were comfy and cool, I’ll hike.

Toe guards and sides: I bump into stumps and rocks while hiking and scrambling and these guards help prevent injuries.

Sticky sole: A pro rock climber uses them as an approach shoe so I figured I could use them too. Sure enough, the shoes are fantastic for approaches. But I've also used these runners to climb the first 4 pitches of the Standard Route on Whitehorse Ledge Good traction and indeed they stuck!

Wide toe box, narrow heel:  My toes can “play the piano” but my heel isn’t slipping up and down as I step.

Overall, these shoes rock. I use them on all my 3-season hikes and climbing approaches! I purchased these pair of shoes with my own funds.