6 Best La Sportiva Trail Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
6 Best La Sportiva Trail Running Shoes in 2022

If you love to run on technical terrains, La Sportiva trail running shoes deserve a strong recommendation for their high-precision design. Although this brand sacrifices a little on the “high cushion” department unlike other brands like Hoka One One or Altra, if you look for more precise and confident traction, this is a reliable shoe on the trails.

La Sportiva offers a relatively wider range of trail running shoes with more emphasis on durability and grippy traction. We compile 20+ trail running shoes from the brand on our list and put all of them to a test.

If you’re looking to buy the best La Sportiva trail running shoe for your next race, this fantastic list is made just for you. Read on to see our selection of the best pairs in five different categories.

How we test trail running shoes

We don’t decide which shoe makes the cut by random. We take things seriously and get down to the nitty-gritties of each model of trail running shoe before we pick the best among them. A shoe testing facility is set up just for our series of comprehensive reviews to examine each shoe to the minutest details.

We adhere to the following rigorous process to make sure our choices are free from any bias:

  • We buy each trail running shoe from the La Sportiva brand with our own money.
  • We have a team of runners putting each model to the test by logging at least 30-50 miles. We record their actual experience to see how each shoe performs and other important factors.  
  • To see the hidden parts of the shoes, we go to our lab and cut each of them into pieces. We proceed to measure their parts and every aspect of the shoe including cushioning, breathability, waterproof system, and many others.
  • We gather additional data from experts and reviews from regular trail runners.

Finally, to see how each model stacks up against other trail running shoes, we use the CoreScore system that reflects all the aggregated information above, ranging from 0 to 100 assigned to each shoe.

Best La Sportiva trail running shoes overall

La Sportiva Akasha II
La Sportiva Akasha II
Top pick

Corescore

87
Great!
5.0 / 5 from 5 users
91 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Grippy on wet, dry, and loose trails
  • Lighter than the Akasha I
  • No slips on uneven terrains
  • Lively ride
  • Mutes out impact
  • Excellent heel hold
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Roomy toe box
  • Protective toe bumper
  • Sustainable upper
  • Also for hiking

Cons

  • Not for fast runs 
  • Lacks breathability

Verdict

The Akasha II is a trail running shoe from La Sportiva that lives and breathes ultras. Taking protection up a notch, it can tackle just about any mountain terrain that is demanding and unpredictable. Even better, it's a much-improved ride from the first version, delivering a livelier, more responsive performance that's plenty enjoyable.
See our full review and facts
La Sportiva Lycan 2.0
La Sportiva Lycan 2.0
Also great

Corescore

84
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 123 users
89 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Protective
  • Stable
  • Responsive
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Grippy outsole
  • Supportive upper
  • Excellent traction
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Durable
  • Well-cushioned 
  • Heel comfort

Cons

  • Thick upper
  • Non-gusseted tongue
  • Tapered toe box

Verdict

True to La Sportiva's pitch, the Lycan 2.0 truly shines as a mid-distance mountain running shoe. But if you want to run long distances, it can too. With its tough construction, it's suited for the very technical trails, whether you're running or hiking. A little bit of precaution: The shoe has its limits when it comes to smooth granite and wet rock.
See our full review and facts

Best La Sportiva neutral trail running shoes

La Sportiva Jackal
La Sportiva Jackal
Top pick

Corescore

81
Good!
3.9 / 5 from 226 users
86 / 100 from 14 experts

Pros

  • Very plush
  • Solid comfort
  • Stable
  • Grippy
  • Durable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Feels fast
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Narrow fit
  • Not flashy or modern looking
  • Break-in period needed

Verdict

The overall reaction of people towards the Jackal has been overwhelmingly positive. This La Sportiva running shoe is appreciated because of the sure traction of its outsole, the breathability of its upper, and the non-irritating nature of its inner wrap. Inversely, several consumers have complained about the restrictive shoe-chamber and the somewhat stiff platform. Fans of running shoes that can handle the off-road paths can enjoy the La Sportiva Jackal.
See our full review and facts

Best La Sportiva trail neutral pronation running shoes

La Sportiva Karacal
La Sportiva Karacal
Top pick

Corescore

81
Good!
3.9 / 5 from 54 users
87 / 100 from 9 experts

Pros

  • Reliable traction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Cushioned and protective
  • Breathable
  • Stable
  • Spacious toe room

Cons

  • Stiff
  • Not for cold weather

Verdict

A training sibling to the race-oriented La Sportiva Jackal, the La Sportiva Karacal is crafted for long days in the trails and mountains. Its intended purpose is to stabilize and keep your feet comfortable in ultrarunning endeavors, and the Karacal does just that. However, if you're looking for a trail shoe that's a top choice for winter days, this is not it.
See our full review and facts

Best value La Sportiva trail running shoes

La Sportiva VK BOA
La Sportiva VK BOA
Top pick

Corescore

85
Great!
5.0 / 5 from 5 users
84 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fits like a glove
  • Grippy on steep uphills
  • Excellent adjustable fit
  • No heel slippage issues

Cons

  • Difficult to put on
  • Not for downhills

Verdict

As its name suggests, the VK BOA from La Sportiva is specifically designed for Vertical Kilometer (a mountain race), which requires a lot of uphill running. So, don't expect it to be an all-rounder. This model caters to a specific running group. Unlike other trail shoes, it's not super aggressive, so it can also work on non-technical paths.
See our full review and facts

What are the cheapest La Sportiva trail running shoes in 2022?

  1. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor - from $91
  2. La Sportiva Bushido II - from $92
  3. La Sportiva VK - from $94
  4. La Sportiva Kaptiva - from $98
  5. La Sportiva Lycan 2.0 - from $100
  6. La Sportiva Jackal - from $105
  7. La Sportiva Akyra - from $113
  8. La Sportiva Karacal - from $130
  9. La Sportiva Mutant - from $135
  10. La Sportiva Lycan GTX - from $140
  11. La Sportiva Akasha II - from $150
  12. La Sportiva Wildcat 2.0 GTX - from $155
  13. La Sportiva Cyklon - from $160

See all La Sportiva trail running shoes sorted by lowest price

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.