We spent 8.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The La Sportiva Lycan was a fast and agile shoe, according to some consumers.
  • The upper was simultaneously breathable and durable, as experienced by a user.
  • A reviewer mentioned that the tongue was surprisingly secure even though it was not gusseted.
  • Several wearers commented that the toe box was roomy and was able to accommodate even high foot volumes.
  • One user felt a supportive fit from the heel collar.
  • A runner admired the flexibility presented by the midsole.
  • Many buyers have found the shoe to be well-cushioned.
  • The low-profile lugs performed well on dirt roads, a runner observed. Various other users appreciated the outsole for its excellent grip.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some users have noticed that the shoe ran small.
  • The shoe was unable to prevent unnecessary movements during steep hills, according to a couple of runners. Others observed the same while running on muddy or snowy ground.
  • The shoelaces were too thin and rigid that made tying difficult, a reviewer stated. Another commenter said it was not as stretchy as they would have preferred.
  • A user thought that there was not enough underfoot protection when running on rocky terrain.

Bottom line

The new Lycan has surprised and pleased the majority of La Sportiva’s consumers, as reflected in the positive reviews the shoe has gathered. Users have confidently praised the shoe’s construction, particularly the toe box, midsole, and outsole lugs. There were a few criticisms about the fit and other structural details, but overall, runners have considered the shoe to be a total package.


Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 9.5oz | Women: 7.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 6mm | Women: 6mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Forefoot height: Men: 12mm | Women: 12mm
Release date: Feb 2018
Brand: La Sportiva
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $115
Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Multi, Purple
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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85 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 | Motiv Running | | Level 3 expert

    Trail runners who run long distances on technical trails will appreciate the mix of shock-absorbing cushion, long-haul comfort, technical trail acuity and reliable protection in the Lycan.

  • 84 / 100 | Mountainblog Europe | Level 2 expert

    Comfortable shoe with wider volumes and quick lacing system. Lycan is the ideal choice for those who prefer to run off-road, especially on rocky terrain, thanks to the long lasting Frixion Blue outsole.

  • 84 / 100 | The Long Run | Level 1 expert

    In a nutshell these are perfect for most folks that are looking for a high mileage shoe that will keep them firmly fixed to the ground on most terrain. Funnily enough, I think they make a good road shoe too!

  • First look | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

  • First look | La Sportiva North America |

  • First look | |

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  • For runners who frequent long trail runs, the La Sportiva Lycan is worth a try, as it features a layout that is unlike other running shoes from the brand. It is a lightweight runner that aims to deliver speed and unparalleled performance on light to moderate terrain.
  • The upper is designed to give an adaptive fit that caters to runners of any foot shape. It is made with a breathable mesh that has a minimal yet sturdy finish.
  • A molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) makes up the shock-absorbent midsole of the Lycan, while a 4-mm thick Ortholite Mountain footbed supports it by offering additional cushioning. Correspondingly, the outsole is aggressively-lugged, as what La Sportiva shoes are known for. A combination of sticky rubber and rough tread pattern result in a grippy outsole that works on both wet and dry surfaces.

The La Sportiva Lycan comes in a variety of sizes. Although it has a standard running shoe length, the width is more accommodating, as it is available in medium and wide for both the men’s and women’s versions. The toe box has a broad structure that promotes a natural toe splay, even for runners with a high foot volume. However, the snug midfoot and heel areas might prompt wearers to go a half-size up if they prefer a fit that is not as tight.

The outsole of the Lycan is made of FriXion® AT 2.0, the brand’s proprietary outsole material for trail running. The FriXion® is made of an environment-friendly compound and is engineered to withstand wear and tear with high resistance.

Another feature of the outsole is the Rock-Ground design, which significantly improves the traction on surfaces that are rocky and dry.

The Impact Brake System™ is another proprietary technology of the brand that is in the form of the lug pattern, displaying them in opposite slanted directions. With such a layout, the braking capability of the shoe is increased by 20%, while impact forces are decreased accordingly.

An injection-molded EVA foam acts as the midsole of the La Sportiva Lycan. This material is known for its shock-absorbing property, while also delivering ample cushioning and underfoot protection. In contrast, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 utilizes a compression-molded EVA, which works at maintaining a smooth and stable transition cycle.

The flex point of the midsole is at the forefoot, enabling a quick and effortless toe-off. The litheness of the midsole allows natural mobility, even on technical trails.

An Ortholite Mountain sock liner is installed for an enhanced cushioning. It also aids the EVA foam in dispersing impact and providing a smooth ride.

The airy mesh of the Lycan gives a fit that is flexible and sturdy at the same time. Unlike other running shoes, the upper of the Lycan is also abrasion-resistant, thanks to its microfiber reinforcements. These details encourage the runner to undertake even the most rugged trails.

A low-profile padded heel collar equips the foot with a secure hold, but not at the expense of comfort. A tongue that is also padded accompanies the collar for an overall pleasant wear.

There is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) toe cap that protects the toes from rocks and debris that could potentially cause injuries.