Our verdict

86
Great!
La Sportiva totally changes the backpacking game with its uber-light Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX boot. The brand found a magic formula to pack the protection, grip, and support of a standard hiking boot in under 15 oz! You can now expect your long expeditions to take a very speedy turn. Not to mention the Raptor's many other benefits.

Pros

  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Doesn't let debris and falling rain/snow inside
  • Exceptionally robust and durable
  • Phenomenal grip on technical terrain
  • Not so stiff and firm in low temperature
  • Great impact protection
  • Highly supportive collar
  • Ample flexibility

Cons

  • Tight fit
  • Narrow platform

Who should buy

The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is one of La Sportiva's best-selling boots. We believe that it is a fantastic option for hikers in search of:

  • an incredibly lightweight and agile boot for hiking and light-packing
  • a boot that's grippy enough to go off-trail and deal with technical terrain
  • effective Gore-Tex waterproofing and protection from debris

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX review

Who should NOT buy

If you need a highly supportive boot for shuttling heavy loads multiple days in a row, we recommend investing in the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX or the Salomon Quest 4 GTX. Both are heavier though.

If you mostly cover moderate terrain, we believe that the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is a more comfortable and well-rounded design. As a bonus, it's just as lightweight and not as narrow.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX lab test

Breathability

Even though Gore-Tex is promoted as a breathable membrane, it is not the kind of breathability you want for 50+°F (10+°C) temperatures.

The video of our smoke-pumping test below gives a pretty clear picture of how airtight the Ultra Raptor II Mid is. There is not even a hint of smoke coming through the material! THus, we can confidently rate its breathability with the lowest possible rating: 1 out of 5.

So, if you need a boot for summer, it's better to consider non-waterproof options.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 1
Average 1.3
Compared to 12 hiking boots
1
Breathability
5
Number of shoes

Waterproofing

We are happy to report that not a single drop penetrated this La Sportiva boot during our hike test in wet conditions.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX gore tex

The boot's GTX membrane extends pretty high up the collar which allowed us to step into some pretty deep puddles and creeks (up to 5 inches/127 mm). Be warned, however, that anything deeper will cause the water to overflow and get inside the boot. And once that happens, you're stuck with damp feet till the end of the hike.

What made the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX really stand out from other boots is the elastic gaiter-like design at the top of the collar. We found it to be irreplaceable for preventing rain, snow, and debris from creeping inside the boot.

A very welcome add-on and we think should become a must-have in waterproof boots!

Durability

Toebox durability

With robust protective overlays all over it, it's hard to find a better-fortified boot than the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX toe bumper

On the toebox, in particular, there is a large and aggressive toe bumper. We turned to our Dremel to test its abrasion resistance for real.

Twelve seconds of drilling and a minor scuff proved that this is indeed one of the sturdiest toeboxes we've seen on a boot.

On a 1-5 scale, this La Sportiva boot earned the maximum 5 for toebox durability.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Toebox durability test

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 5
Average 4.1
Compared to 8 hiking boots
1
Toebox durability
5
Number of shoes

Heel padding durability

We also couldn't skip testing the boot's interior lining, especially since it employs Gore-Tex. That's because even a minor tear of this membrane results in losing its waterproofing capacity for good.

Turning to our Dremel once again, we drilled the heel collar lining/padding of the boot for 4 seconds. And the result was quite a relief! The damage was notably smaller compared to other boots, leading us to rate the durability of this part of the shoe as 4 out of 5.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Heel padding durability test
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 8 hiking boots
1
Heel padding durability
5
Number of shoes

Outsole hardness

But the real beast of this hiking boot is the outsole. Looking like it's made of dragon teeth, this combative platform appears very reassuring. But let's test that out.

Knowing about the correlation between rubber hardness and durability, we started by measuring it with a durometer. The tool showed an impressive 91.5 HC which indicates harder-than-average rubber on the Ultra Rubber.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Outsole hardness
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 91.5 HC
Average 88.2 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 12 hiking boots
84.0 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC
Number of shoes

Outsole durability

Step two was to turn up the speed on our Dremel to 10K RPM and bore the rubber for 22 seconds.

Sweet mother of all boots! The tool barely went in at all! Can you even see the dent in the photo below?

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Outsole durability

Using a tread gauge to measure the depth of it, we got a minuscule 0.4 mm! This is insanely little compared to the typical 1 mm of damage boots get from the same test.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 0.4 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 5 hiking boots
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm
Number of shoes

Outsole thickness

This Raptor boot doesn't cut corners on the thickness of rubber either. Measuring it with a caliper, we got 3.1 mm without lugs. This is a standard outsole width across hiking boots.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Outsole thickness
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 3.1 mm
Average 2.9 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
1.8 mm
Outsole thickness
4.3 mm
Number of shoes

Protection

We are truly astonished by the level of durability that the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX delivers for its lightweight build.

In addition to the parts mentioned above, the boot also features wide microfiber mudguards and thick TPU reinforcements on the sides.

Protriduting sticks, stones, and roots are all a joke to this tough La Sportiva boot. We experienced no pokes or scratches when testing it off the beaten trail.

Weight

When we first got our hands on the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX, we couldn't wrap our heads around how light it felt! Especially given how burly it looks.

Putting the boot on our scale, we got a mind-blowing 14.6 oz (415g)! It is one of the lightest hiking boots we've ever seen in our lab, especially among those intended for serious hiking.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Weight

Would you believe that these two hiking boots are only 0.3 oz (10 g) away from each other? And that La Sportiva is the lighter one?! 

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX side view

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX (14.7 oz/415g)

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX vs. Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 (15.0 oz/425g)

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 14.64 oz (415g)
Average 18.06 oz (512g)
Compared to 12 hiking boots
13.62 oz (386g)
Weight
26.00 oz (737g)
Number of shoes

Cushioning

Heel stack

We are not exactly sure how this La Sportiva boot manages to weigh so little. Because it is definitely not lighter at the cost of cushioning.

Measuring the boot's heel stack with a caliper, we got a pretty standard thickness of 36.9 mm. It is just a couple of millimeters lower than backpacking boots like the Hoka Kaha (39.3 mm) and the Salomon Quest (38.0 mm).

We felt like there was plenty of impact protection, even on the rockest stretches of the route.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Heel stack
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 36.9 mm
Average 35.8 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
26.2 mm
Heel stack
46.9 mm
Number of shoes

Forefoot stack

Checking the boot's forefoot stack, our caliper showed 20.3 mm which is slightly lower than average.

But in this case, we found it to be a benefit because it helped to give the boot it's flexible and nimble personality.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Forefoot stack
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 20.3 mm
Average 23.0 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
19.2 mm
Forefoot stack
30.7 mm
Number of shoes

Drop

This leaves us with a pretty drastic heel-to-toe drop of 16.6 mm! Wow, we definitely felt our heels elevated in this boot.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Drop

To be honest, we expected it to be lower given that the boot is intended as light and speedy. But this is just a matter of preference. Beginners and hikers with heavier packs will find the higher drop more suitable as it takes the strain off the ankles and prevents fatigue.

Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Drop

But if you want to go with a more standard hiking boot drop, the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX is a perfect alternative (10.6 mm).

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 16.6 mm
Average 12.8 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
6.2 mm
Drop
18.1 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measure means it's firm.

Another nice surprise was the boot's balanced cushioning. From the look of it, we expected a very firm underfoot experience but it turned out to be rather comfortable.

Based on our durometer measurements, the boot's foam comes in at 24.3 HA. This is a middle-ground cushioning softness that's neither plush nor harsh. Hiking for hours in this La Sportiva boot did not result in fatigue.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Midsole softness
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 24.3 HA
Average 25.1 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 12 hiking boots
15.9 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
53.3 HA
Number of shoes

Difference in midsole softness in cold

To call a boot winter-ready, we test a little more than just waterproofing and grip. We also check how much firmer the cushioning gets in low temperatures.

Having kept the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX in our freezer for 20 minutes, we repeated the durometer measurements. The foam did firm up to 31.0 HA but it did not get harder than other hiking boots did.

The difference from its room temperature softness turned out to be average, 27.8%.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 27.8%
Average 23.6%
Compared to 12 hiking boots
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%
Number of shoes

Insole thickness

Completing the boot's underfoot cushioning is a well-padded Ortholite insole. It is sufficiently thick at 5.5 mm in the heel.

We really liked its contoured shape that accommodated our aches very ergonomically.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Insole thickness
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 5.5 mm
Average 6.2 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
3.7 mm
Insole thickness
10.7 mm
Number of shoes

Stability

Lateral stability test

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX doesn't cease to amaze us with how much it hides beneath the lightweight construction.

As you can see from our quick stability test below, it seems like our ankle is held inside a cast! That's how much lateral support you get from the boot. We are glad to report having zero ankle rolling, even on bumpy terrain.

However, the boot's platform turned out to be significantly narrower than average which is a point of concern for wide footers and beginner hikers.

Torsional rigidity

The boot's primary source of stability is a very stiff TPU transfer shank embedded into the midsole.

It gives the Raptor Ultra its incredible torsional rigidity which we rated with a maximum score of 5 in our manual test. Twisting the boot with bare hands is nearly impossible. Much like twisting your ankle, even when you are carrying a heavy load.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 5
Average 4.2
Compared to 12 hiking boots
1
Torsional rigidity
5
Number of shoes

Heel counter stiffness

We also couldn't help but notice an actual death grip around our ankles inside this La Sportiva boot.

On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the stiffest, we assessed the boot's heel rigidity as 4. This is all thanks to the stiff stabilizer component at the base of the heel as well as the semi-rigid foam panels on the sides.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX stabilizer

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 12 hiking boots
1
Heel counter stiffness
5
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the forefoot

What can potentially make the boot a bit shaky is its narrower-than-average platform. Looks like we finally found where La Sportiva compromised to drop the Raptor's weight down.

Measuring the widest part of the midsole in the forefoot, we got only 106 mm. This is quite worrying as most backpacking boots extend as much as 115-117 mm in this area.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 106.0 mm
Average 112.9 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
96.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.6 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the heel

The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX also proved to be among the narrowest hiking boots in the heel.

We got a caliper reading of 80.8 mm in the widest part of the midsole here. Significantly narrower than average!

For that reason, we cannot recommend this hiking boot to beginners, especially if this is going to be their first backpacking boot! A better starting point would be the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX (112.5/93.1 mm) or the Hoka Trail Code GTX (112.5/91.7 mm).

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 80.8 mm
Average 89.3 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
71.7 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.1 mm
Number of shoes

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Ultra Raptor is exceptionally stiff torsionally but it's got plenty of forward flex to bend along with the foot.

To measure the boot's flexibility in our lab, we bend it to a 90-degree angle with a force gauge. The latter showed how much force it takes to do that - 32.4N. That is 24% less than it takes a hiking boot on average!

Hard to believe when you first see this tank of a boot.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 32.4N
Average 39.5N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 12 hiking boots
16.6N
Stiffness
84.7N
Number of shoes

Difference in stiffness in cold

Checking the boot's flexibility again after 20 minutes in the freezer we are happy to report that it hasn't gotten much stiffer!

Where most boots required 40% more force to bend, the Ultra Raptor II Mid only needed 24% more.

This La Sportiva boot gets our seal of approval for winter!

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Difference in stiffness in cold
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 24%
Average 39.9%
Compared to 12 hiking boots
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
100%
Number of shoes

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

With a fairly average lug depth (4.3 mm based on our caliper), the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX feels times more grippy than most boots.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Lug depth

Actually, we thought that this boot comes as close to approach shoes as a hiking boot can possibly get! And this is no surprise given the brand's strong game in that footwear category.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX outsole

We believe that the boot's secret lies in the size and shape of its lugs as well as their pattern. There is a mix of thin toothy treads as well as large broad ones that both come in to play when they are most needed.

In our hike test, the Ultra Raptor II made us feel very surefooted even on rocky and slippery terrains.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 4.3 mm
Average 4.2 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
3.0 mm
Lug depth
5.7 mm
Number of shoes

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Having medium-width feet, the Ultra Raptor II Mid felt slightly on the edge of tight for us. So, if you have wide feet or are prone to swelling, it is better to go with the wide option straight away.

Looking at the caliper measurements, we found the boot's toebox to be average - its widest part comes in at 99.8 mm. But the robust toe bumper, overlays, and mudguards all contribute to a notably more constringing fit.

This becomes especially apparent after a few hours of hiking in this La Sportiva boot.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 99.8 mm
Average 101.8 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
95.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.2 mm
Number of shoes

Toebox width at the big toe

Despite the fact that the toebox tip shows 79.7 mm (slightly wider than average), it failed to add more in-boot space for the toes.

We found that the Salomon Quest 4 GTX turned out to be much more accommodating in this regard: 116.5 mm and 85.7 mm respectively.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 79.7 mm
Average 77.3 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
86.5 mm
Number of shoes

Tongue: gusset type

The boot's tongue is fully gusseted, meaning that it is fully attached to the upper on both sides. This is essential for a waterproof boot to prevent the water, rain, and snow from seeping inside.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX fit

On the other hand, it also plays an important role in creating a secure wrap around the foot and ankle, locking them securely in place.

Compared to other hiking boots we've tested, the Ultra Raptor has a notably snugger, one-to-one fit. Which can be good or bad depending on your preference.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Keeping the interiors nice and cozy, the boot's tongue is very generously padded. Measuring its thickness with a caliper, we got a standard 10.2 mm for a hiking boot.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Tongue padding
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX 10.2 mm
Average 11.7 mm
Compared to 12 hiking boots
7.7 mm
Tongue padding
22.3 mm
Number of shoes

Removable insole

The insole is easy to remove in the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Removable insole
Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The reflective details are pretty minor on this La Sportiva boot and are limited to small stripes on the fabric eyelets. Still better than nothing for low-light conditions.

Test results
Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Yes