Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$115
Weight
Men: 7oz
Women: 7oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Most runners were impressed by how lightweight and flexible the Vertical K is.
  • Most of the minimal trail runner liked the generous cushioning of the La Sportiva Vertical K.
  • This shoe features a seamless airmesh upper for breathability and the overlapping fabric that keeps rocks and debris out.
  • Comfort rocks in this shoe, according to quite a number of runners.
  • The responsive platform induces speed, based on most runners’ observation.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Size runs small.
  • As noted in some reviews, with the absence of the rock plate, the midsole of the Vertical K need more protection.
  • Some runners observed that the La Sportiva Vertical K sacrifices protection to save weight.

Bottom line

The La Sportiva Vertical K is a minimalist trail running shoe that is very lightweight and flexible. It is an ideal partner for competition but not best to use on rough surfaces because of the minimal protection.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 13 ratings

5 star
62%
4 star
31%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
8%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, 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.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

80 / 100 based on 11 expert reviews

  • 65 / 100 by TheGingerRunner • Ethan Newberry • Level 5 expert

    It's a really, really fantastic, light trail runner. I think you'll like it, too.

  • 84 / 100 by Vo2max Productions • Sage Canaday • Level 2 expert

    So, all around, a great, lightweight, relatively minimal, shoe here from La Sportiva. And it really shines with its excellent traction on the rocks.

  • 86 / 100 by iRunFar • Bryon Powell • Level 4 expert

    In a test run, it firmly held my foot in place. 

  • 78 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Thomas Caughlan • Level 4 expert

    The La Sportiva Vertical K is a very well cushioned minimalist trail racing shoe with little protection for technical trails.

  • 89 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Running Warehouse • Level 2 expert

    The heel of the shoe locks you in place and the midfoot is very secure.

  • 80 / 100 by Ginger Runner • Ginger Runner • Level 2 expert

    This shoe was made for racing. It’s cushioned while maintaining a low and fast profile. While it does have it’s short-comings, I overall like this shoe very much and have really racked the miles up on them. 

  • 89 / 100 by Outdoor Live • Outdoor Live • Level 1 expert

    The one piece upper is very elastic and flexible, but provides at the same time a tight touch that makes you feel confident and in control.

  • 85 / 100 by Outdoor Gear TV • James Garner • Level 1 expert

    Overall, it's just a great minimalist shoe. If you wanna race in it, it only weighs 6.9 oz, very light. Also, if you wanna train… I highly recommend the La Sportiva Vertical K trail running shoe if you're into minimalist running.

  • 85 / 100 by La Sportiva North America • Eric Blake • Level 1 expert

    I picked the Vertical K because it's very light. It's also very flexible.

  • 84 / 100 by Minimalist Running Shoes • Nick • Level 1 expert

    Even though this may seem like a bulky shoe, it is very flexible and lightweight – not common for technical trail shoes. 

  • 84 / 100 by Backcountry.com • Seb • Level 1 expert

    I've been running on a lot of sandy, loose rock trail out here, and I gotta say I feel like I'm stuck to the trail every step I take.

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Updates to La Sportiva Vertical K

  • The La Sportive Vertical K features the new MorphoDynamic EVA midsole the delivers soft and durable cushioning. It reduces impact during landing for a more stable and well-cushioned rider. It also lighter compared to other standard EVA midsole and promotes natural foot flex.
  • It also comes with a very sticky rubber compound in its outsole that delivers impressive traction and grip on technical and rocky terrains.
  • The Vertical K also has an improved upper. The single-piece air mesh upper provides a lightweight and breathable coverage while creating an amazing fit.

La Sportiva Vertical K size and fit

The Vertical K is available in standard running shoe size. The fit wraps the foot snugly in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. It gives amazing fit to those with regular and slightly wider foot measurements. It is available in standard running shoe width.


Outsole

The outsole unit uses the FriXion XF Rubber that delivers impressive traction and grip. The aggressive lugs provide plenty of power to tackle the toughest terrain. It is designed to keep runners upright while doing uphill climbs and downhill plunges.


Midsole

The Vertical K uses the innovative Morpho Dynamic EVA midsole that is made from soft and premium foam. It attenuates shock during impact for a smoother, more stable and responsive ride.


Upper

The La Sportiva Vertical K features the one-piece air mesh cover that gives maximum breathability. The 4-way stretch gaiter cover keeps trail debris from entering the shoe. The TPU toe cap gives added protection to the foot from rocks.