Verdict from 9.1 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • As mentioned in some reviews, the outsole of the La Sportiva Akasha delivers reliable traction on rough surfaces.
  • The shoe is durable, according to a few user reviews.
  • Many were satisfied with how flexible the Akasha is.
  • According to a few buyers, the shoe is very comfortable.
  • The upper is breathable enough to keep the foot cool and dry.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The men’s version is a bit heavy.
  • The Akasha is an expensive shoe.

Bottom line

The La Sportiva Akasha is a trail running shoe that is equipped with the necessary technologies that help runners tackle the toughest terrain effortlessly. It delivers enough amount of cushioning, protection and durability for long distance trail running. Despite being expensive, several users would still recommend the shoe to runners of all levels.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Our reviews

91
/100 by Devi Shetty, posted on .

La Sportiva Akasha is quite old in the market, very few still selling this product. I can bet this is still the best shoe available in comparison with new updated versions. 

 

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Design and color

The shoe has a peaceful, perfect design taking color combinations of the Sky (Akasha means Sky in Sanskrit). The colors chosen are very true to the given name.

There are around ten attractive colors available for you to choose from. I'm sure you will take more time to finalize on which one.

 

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I heard about this shoe a lot with my French friends. None of my Indian Friends spoke about it, though. So, I was a little worried when I bought the Akasha.

Will this shoe marry my feet well? Will this shoe endure the total distance of my race?

When I unboxed it, it was an eye-candy with its colors. It has the perfect design when I held it, and it was a perfect fit when worn. Also, any doubt about the shoe disappeared when I ran my first run. My feet, mind, and soul were in sync, saying, "This is it!"

 

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Size and the fit

Before buying the shoe, please see the size chart of Akasha/La Sportiva. I usually buy a US 10, but here I opted for a 10.5 for best comfort.

 

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Akasha is a thoughtful combination of many attributes. It has a perfect fit, adding a more plush, padded, and brilliant upper. The Akasha offers a precise fit in the heel, very supportive mid and very comfort toebox.

The midfoot wraps your feet so well, giving good support to the arch when running while relaxed and comfortable fit after long-duration run.

 

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The toe box of Akasha is pretty comfortable for normal to medium-wide feet. I didn't have any problem with chafing or blisters for 110km. 

Comfort

I bought this shoe for my ultra-distance runs. I run long distances. The design and technicality of the shoe are so well detailed and monitored for the perfect fit and comfort.

As I said before, the heel room, the wrap on the midsole, and the wide toe box give a perfect room for your feet. The sole is not as hard as it looks and grips whenever it is needed.

 

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On hard or slippery or muddy trails, Akasha gives the best comfort. Every step on the trail is taken care of. 

Upper

Akasha is a very attractive shoe. While unboxing the shoe, I realized that it is all set to hit the trail, just like how a warrior is all set to go to war. The visuals of the protection say so.

It starts in the rear where a TPU wrap flows from the heel and around the shoe to secure itself under the arch. This wrap is also what holds the midfoot in place.

 

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Having gotten some experience now with the Akasha, I am really starting to love the security and precision of this wrap. There are also strips of rubber on the forefoot that La Sportiva calls ProTechTion™ HF for added burliness in the toebox area.

 

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There is also a semi-rigid toe bumper, which has done a great job protecting my toes when required.

Sole

The sole is not as hard as it looks. I know many reviews give the maximum credit to the sole. Do not be surprised: I'm one of them too.

Bottom/outsole

The outsole of the Akasha is made of FriXion XT dual-density compound soles (XF + AT). This controls the wear and tear and gives better shock absorption. The lugs are large, perfect for dealing with any kind of the trail surfaces like muddy, rocky, slippery, dirt, normal, small round stones etc.

 

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The reverse lugs will manage steep downhill run and breaking. These will help you fall free run even in the difficult downhill.

Higher wear areas at the rear heel, and from mid feet to the toe have the more wear-resistant FriXion AT compound.

The trail rocker system (red raised additional part) on the heel and the toe provides a smooth transition of the shocks while running even in tough trails. This also extends the life of the shoe giving protection from the terrain and tough conditions.

 

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The midsole

The Akasha midsole is engineered on a 6mm drop platform with 31mm in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot.

 

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The midsole is composed of a "Dual-Injection Shock Absorbing MEMIex" that provides a full-length EVA midsole designed for the best cushioning. This shoe has an element which increases the stability that runs through the arch.

The cushioning provided, maximizes the shock absorption, hard rock protection, and comfort. Responsiveness could have been enhanced a little, which would help in effective long climbs.

While running, this shoe really neglects the rocks of any shape (uneven angled, round, pointy, etc.) when we step on it, giving a perfect landing feel.

 

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This shoe really surprises you when the strides are really long and difficult, giving a stable feel and comfort. The Akasha provides one of the best or excellent rock protection to your feet.

The rock prick point shock will be distributed/spread uniformly by retaining the flexibility, grip, comfort and trail ground feel.

 

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Durability

The outsole FriXion XT dual-density compound makes sure you'll have a wear-free sole that stays good as new. The injected EVA gives high protection with durability.

The insole is designed extra durable as it keeps the cushion on even after many hours or miles or kilometers run at a stretch. The complete structure of the shoe makes it durable, let it stay in shape, and perform better in each run.

 

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Breathability

Better comfort comes with a better vent. Being a runner, it is most annoying to feel your feet warm even just after a warmup and a few kilometers of run. This shoe is one among those, which helps you to have a cool run, which eventually reduces the blisters and sweaty feet.

 

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The mesh provided on the surface and inside is perfect enough to keep your feet dry and perform better. The insole absorbs the moisture and adds value to your shoe.

Performance

Considering my experience, Akasha is a super responsive shoe. The flexible injected EVA, materials, and mesh used in the shoe makes it super light for the performance.

The Trail-Rocker gives the best feel on any terrain, keeping you moving. Akasha is manufactured considering minute details for your performance on any kind of trail.

 

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There is no fault I see. The cushion, fit, innersole, lace, material, mesh, breathing, response, shock absorption, and others make Akasha one among the best long-distance Ultra trail shoe in the market.  

Safety and protection

I can say your feet are in safe hands. No matter what the terrain is, your feet are safe inside. You have overall protection against sharp rocks, cut wooden pricks, slippery running surface, steep downhill while running any trail ultra runs.

 

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The special rubber toe cap promotes lightweight approach towards protection. You will surely love your running journey.

Pros

  • Unusual TrailRocker system (makes Akasha a more durable performer)
  • Breathable mesh upper (keeps your feet dry and blister-free)
  • Protection all over the shoe (reinforcement makes you feel protected)
  • The comfort (amazing hug from the insole and the material give the best comfort) 
  • Lightweight and flexible protection (will not add any weight)
  • Rubber toe cap (Soft feel even when you bang on any sharp stone)
  • FriXion XT Outsole (makes the sole flexible and soft enough for better comfort)
  • Lug design/Reverse lugs (a perfect non-slip grip on any kind of trail especially downhill)
  • Injected EVA Midsole (you can feel the push while running)
  • Wide toe box (wide enough for normal and slightly wider than the normal) 
  • Ortholite insole (special feature, keeps your feet dry, absorbs moisture, and gives comfort)
  • The design (this shoe is an eye-candy)
  • The vibrant colors (I have never seen this kind of color combination in any of the available shoes in the market)
  • Worth the money

 

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Cons

  • The shoe is slightly heavier than expected.
  • Size is a little daisy. See the size manual carefully or if get chance, wear and check
  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • The lace is a little short when used in both the ankle holes. 

Verdict

La Sportiva Akasha is an Ultra distance trail running shoes. They perform the best on difficult terrains like slippery, difficult downhill, sharp rocky, small stones, rocky path. This shoe can be worn for daily training so you can understand and get connected with the shoe.

 

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The level of cushioning and rock protection continue to shine. I can say, considering all the technicalities mentioned above, Akasha is a perfect pair for any trail runs for a better, smooth, safe, and satisfying performance. 

My Experience

So far, I did one Ultra running of 110km at Malnad Ultra. Generally, I wrap my toe by 3M tape to protect from blisters. In every ultra runs, after 50K distance, I change my shoes and socks after 50km. But at this race, I just changed the socks.

 

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I loved the way it is supporting me at every step. I was very confident about my next step and never worried about the terrain. I'm in love with these shoes. Its a little heavy, but it doesn't matter. I can say, if you are doubting my words, please order one for yourself and experience the change and let me know. 

 

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Devi Shetty | Level 2 expert Verified
My name is Devi Shetty, an Ultra runner. I have more than five years of running experience in different countries like India, England, France, and Italy. So far, I have completed 8 Ultra marathons, 12 full marathons, and 6 half and 30 km run.

92
/100 by Hannah Copeland, posted on .

Akasha- a direct translation of the Sanscrit for ‘space’ or ‘upper sky,’ I thank these sturdy La Sportiva Akasha trail shoes for three consecutive trail race wins!

Weighing in at 430 grams, they’re not as light as I would usually go for but have proved worthy and after several trail races and training runs in all sorts of meteorological conditions and geographical test surprises and few wash-scrubbing mud-offs, they are still looking good.

 

 

The 6mm drop gives you a chance to feel in good contact with the ground while working well with the Trail Rocker.

Main features

  • Their Trail Rocker™ Outsole Technology allows an efficient rolling through heel-to-toe landing for smooth performance on the trail whilst also gripping well on dirt, mud and rock thanks to its outsole technology
  • The STB™ Technology provides excellent support and flexy underfoot
  • ProTechTion™ HF reinforcements provide lightweight, flexible protection

Size and fit

At last, a trail shoe I’m not swimming in! The Akasha is true to its size. As a narrow footed runner, they fit well given their low-volume midfoot, narrow heel and forefoot.

The shoe is offered in standard D width for men and B width for women. They also stayed firmly and comfortably on while running through sticky mud and kept my feet secure while hurtling down steep earthy banks.

The toe box is comfortable and protective, and I have not yet ( touch a few trees) bashed my toes on any rocks or sneaky tree roots.

Outsole

I have to admit that when my local running shop recommended trying the Akasha on I was hesitant as they looked rather cumbersome and heavier than what I am used to. But after a couple of laps around the car park, I felt sorry for having been rude about their look.

The Akasha features the Trail Rocker™ outsole technology that encourages the rolling heel-to-toe movement that running scholars love and which are great for trail running.

 

 

The grippy FriXion XT compound on the outsole provides a fantastic grip on muddy, rocky and dusty technical surfaces I’ve run on. The Impact Brake lugged system gives good traction intended both for scrambling uphill or galloping down steep or gentler descents.

I managed not to fall over today in the pouring rain - thanks to Akasha. As you can see in the picture, the black grippy material covers most of the sole, the purple lugs frame the more wear and tear impact areas at the top (inside) and bottom (outside).

Midsole

Having suffered a couple of stress fractures in the past, impact cushioning on hard surfaces matters to me. I like the Akasha’s underfoot protection and ample shock absorption of the shoe, which uses the dual-injection MEMlex EVA midsole.

Upper

At first glance, I wasn’t sure about the purple air mesh material upper of the La Sportiva Akasha. But it does deliver a lightweight and breathable foot coverage.

In hot weather, it keeps the foot cool and well ventilated, but in the wet and cold day, I got cold feet. However, the water drained well out of them compared to other shoes, and they’re nearly dry after only a few hours stuffed with newspaper.

 

 

The STB technology which stretches from the upper to midsole fits snuggly yet not constructively. The ProTechTion HF reinforcements in the Akasha make the shoe flexible and sturdy.

Although not so beautiful (but who cares about aesthetics when you just need to run up and down mountains?),  the rubber toe caps also protect the toes while running on the stony, unpredictable ground.

What’s not to like?

I found the heel/Achilles cup a little stiff at first, and they still feel heavier than I’d like, but have served me well, so the pros outweigh the cons.

To conclude

The Akasha is a great shoe for tough terrain, and long trail runs. They are well built, strong and though quite expensive, worth the investment for the secure ride and feeling of freedom with the safety you get galloping up and down stony paths!

Hannah Copeland | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi, I'm Hannah! I love the raw grit of cross-country and trail running and am a great advocate of hills. Now in London and sometimes France, I love racing all distances from 5 k to half marathons. I also enjoy cross training in order to minimize pavement pounding and am a keen amateur triathlete. I fully support parkrun and love encouraging others to discover the joys of running. I’m small, quite lightweight and love neutral, racing flats.

  • The La Sportiva Akasha features the brand’s Trail Rocker Technology. It promotes an efficient heel-to-toe movement. This outsole technology delivers smoother transition on the trail.
  • The STB technology is also utilized in this shoe. It gives flexibility and amazing support when needed. The excellent underfoot flex helps in achieving a high performance running experience. The Brooks Cascadia 13 is a comparable shoe to the La Sportiva Akasha in terms of functionality.

The Akasha is true to its size. The low-volume midfoot, narrow heel and forefoot comfortably accommodate those narrow-footed runners. La Sportiva is offering this shoe in standard D width for men and B width for women.


The Akasha features the Trail Rocker outsole technology that promotes a rolling heel-to-toe movement that delivers a smoother heel-to-toe transition while running on the trail.

The FriXion XT sticky compound that is extended in the entire outsole delivers impressive grip on technical and rocky surfaces. The Impact Brake lugged system is engineered to provide reliable traction on uphill climbs and downhill plunges.


The midsole of the shoe uses the dual-injection MEMlex EVA midsole that delivers enough amount of cushioning for shock absorption. The cushioning system of the shoe delivers effective impact absorption during landing with plenty of underfoot protection.


The upper of the La Sportiva Akasha uses the air mesh material that delivers a lightweight and breathable coverage. It keeps the foot cool and well ventilated. The STB technology that is extended from the upper to midsole provides an improved stability and more secure fit.

The shoe also features the ProTechTion HF reinforcements that deliver flexibility and added protection. The rubber toe cap also gives toe protection while running on rocky and rough surfaces.

Size and fit

Too small based on 72 user votes
Small (39%)
True to size (60%)
Large (1%)
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How Akasha compares

This shoe: 90
All shoes average: 85
58 99
This shoe: $140
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 11.6oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
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.

jens@runrepeat.com