La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Review Facts
This product review is a product that comes from the very popular hiking brand La Sportiva. La Sportiva is a company that was founded in the Italian mountains. They originally started their company for the purpose of providing a shoe for farmers (clogs). Later on, they moved into sports apparel, making their first ski boot. Today they are known for their hiking, climbing and skiing apparel. Their equipment has been used in competitive climbs including Kevin Jorgenson’s climb of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite and Tommy Caldwell who also climbed the Dawn Wall in Yosemite. La Sportiva has become a household name in climbing and hiking gear and offers a wide range of options for both beginners and experts.
This review is specifically on the Ultra Raptor. The Ultra Raptor is offered through numerous retailers. They have a little more meaty in design, giving them a more professional appearance. They are highly rated by reviewers due to their superior breathability, protection, and stability. They not only work for climbing and trails but also work as a runner for trail runs. They offer a rock guard in order to protect the runner’s foot from sharp rocks and fallen trees. They are durable and offer a sticky grip. We discuss below some features offered in this product. We went through the construction of the shoe between the upper, midsole and outsole. We also looked at the materials used in order to determine durability, longevity, and function. Finally, we went through consumer reviews to see what beginners and pros liked and disliked about this product. This is our comprehensive review of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor trail running shoe. We hope that this review helps you in your next trail runner purchase.
The upper of this product has AirMesh technology and synthetic leather. It allows proper ventilation throughout the shoe but allowing cool air in and pushing hot air out with each step. The benefit to proper ventilation is no overheating of the foot (causing discomfort), lower levels of moisture accumulation (due to sweat), fewer blisters and calluses (again, due to moisture build up) and less slippage (moisture buildup, again). A proper running shoe
, specifically one that is designed for trail running, needs to have good ventilation. Reviewers that purchased this product confirmed that they were able to run longer distances in this product due to its good breathability and comfort. This product offers superior breathability and that added to our overall rating of the shoe.
This product has numerous features that add to its overall comfort. It has AirMesh technology as mentioned above. This keeps the foot cool and dry during runs. It also offers a synthetic leather that helps not only add additional support to the shoe but also dries faster for less moisture buildup. It has a TPU lacing harness, again, to offer better stability with each step. The heel stabilizer in the shoe hugs the heel tighter in order to avoid slippage (causing some blister and callus issues) and also to offer a more natural step to each movement. It also has a medium to wider fit in order to offer those with wider feet a more comfortable fit (unlike competitors that tends to be a bit more narrow). The weight of this shoe is its primary disadvantage in that the shoe is on the heavier side (12 ounces/ 343 grams) so those wearing the runner found that the weight and the shoe bulkiness slowed them down a little bit. The weight most likely comes from the rock guard offered to protect the runner's foot. Overall, reviewers that wore this product found it comfortable and easy to wear albeit a little heavy.
This product has a mesh layer throughout the upper which does tend to break down the structural integrity of the shoe (in that mesh is not the most stable or durable material) however the synthetic mesh offers a layer of protection to the shoe that helps with its overall durability. The outsole of this product is made of a strong rubber material that is both durable and sticky. The midsole has a supportive and strong EVA insert that offers good support as well as durability (EVA being a fairly strong and durable material without sacrificing comfort). The toe cap of this product, described as 'aggressive' on the companies website, offers better protection against rocks. The prize winner in this category is the rock guard that is part of this shoe. The rock guards purpose is to offer protection
from sharp rocks and fallen trees. The rock guard on this product offers safety as well as durability to the shoe. It, unfortunately, does weight the shoe down a bit though. Overall, those who wore this product, found the product to be both safe and durable to wear. There didn't seem to be too many issues with the durability of this product.
The heel of this product offers a TPU transkinetic heel stabilizer which holds the heel in place with better stability. This would make each step feel more natural to the runner. It also offers an Impact Brake System that helps the runner stop and grip better in more intensive inclines. This type of system is ideal for individuals who are more active on mountains and hills due to its ability to control the step a little better and maneuver around obstacles with more stability and control
. The issue is that reviewers did find the braking system to be almost invaluable after experiencing, those who wore this shoe found that the traction wasn't as good in areas of higher humidity and moisture. This would take away from of the benefit for the braking system in these scenarios. Outside of some slippage in areas of moisture, those who wore this product said that they wouldn't be able to live without the braking and if in more dry areas the braking system worked really well.
The midsole of this product offers a couple features including MeMlex, Endurance Platform EVA and a nylon molded flex transfer shank according to their website. The MeMlex is La Sportiva's molded EVA. It is a hard rubber that is both durable and supportive without compromising comfort. It is also responsive which is ideal especially in areas where the runner has to be quick on their feet (loose rocks, etc.) The molded flex transfer shank is molded to the runner's foot in order to provide a better connection to the foot without losing the integrity of the shoe's support. It molds around the curves of the foot in order to offer a closer fit
and therefore, again, a more natural step. The EVA also acts as a guard against sharp rocks and debris that might cause some damage to the bottom of the product. Those who wore this shoe found the shoe to fit exceptionally well especially around the arch and ball. They found that their foot stayed in place during the run and found no pain in their arches. This is due to the support of the midsole and the heel of the product. This factored into our overall rating of the shoe.
The outsole of this product is made of an ultra-sticky compound that is supposed to stick to any outdoor surface with ease. The outsole is made of a highly durable EVA product that assists with the rock guard to protect the runner's foot from sharp rocks and debris. The benefit of a sticky grip is that this helps the runner move forward with ease and can help increase the pace of the run. It also adds a level of protection for the runner from loose rocks and hidden roots. Reviewers that bought the shoe said that though the traction is very sticky on all surfaces, the issue with the traction is that it doesn't do as well on wet surfaces. There seems to be some slippage when in areas of higher moisture which is an issue because most trail runs have at least some areas of moisture. Slipping on rocks and roots can be dangerous especially at fast paces. This, therefore, should be considered when running competitively. Outside of some slippage in wet areas those who wore the shoe found the outsoles to be sticky on dry surfaces, to offer great durability and resistant to sharp rocks, all of which are advantages.
The style of the product has some advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, this product is meaty in design. It offers a durable outsole and upper and is a little heavier in weight. The shoe looks serious and meant for pros. The product is wider which can be a disadvantage from an aesthetic point of view but is ideal for those with wider feet or those who are looking to wear heavier sock
s with this product. The issue with this product is that it is not a fashionable shoe. It is reviewed as being a little bulky and heavy in appearance which would isolate it from the more fashionable shoe choices.
This product would probably most likely be worn exclusively on trails and hikes
but less so as an everyday errand shoe. Unfortunately, at the price, this product is not as versatile either. This is discussed more below. Overall, not an overly attractive shoe but it isn't unattractive. It looks like a serious climbing shoe. If that is the sole purpose of the product then this should not be a concern for the buyer.
The traction of this product is discussed earlier in this article. For traction see the outsole section.
This product definitely sits on the higher end in price for competitive shoes in this category. This product offers very good breathability and ventilation which keep feet at a more comfortable temperature during trail runs. They also are comfortable in their cushioning and support systems (in both the arch support and overall support of the foot). It is very durable and offers a rock guard to protect the runner's foot from sharp rocks on the trails. On the other hand, this product does not stick well to wet surfaces which can impact the wearer's safety. Additionally, it is quite bulky and heavy in design. This would seriously impact competitive run times. It also is not overly attractive in design, making the product less versatile than more fashionable alternatives. This product is highly rated by reviewers and definitely has its advantages. For these reasons, though the price is high, the product is worth the cost.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is we are sold on these runners. They may not be attractive in design but they do their job. They are highly rated by reviewers because they are good quality products. They aren't fashionable but they look like a trail runner. It isn't common to see trail running shoes doubling as an everyday errand shoe. It is durable especially with the EVA outsole and rock guard so you know your foot will be safe during your runs. Additionally, it offers a really high level of stability which will protect the arch, ball, heel, and ankle of the foot. If they are being used in areas of high moisture or potentially at the competitive level there might be a need to reconsider but otherwise, this product is a good one. The company is well-known and offers a good customer service team. They are also worn by competitive people for the purpose of climbing really aggressive terrains. For these reasons, this shoe is worth a try.