Arch support
M: 198g | W: 198g
Heel to toe drop
M: 4mm | W: 4mm
Heel height
M: 18mm | W: 18mm
Forefoot height
M: 14mm | W: 14mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D | W: Normal - B
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Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


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.


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.


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.

World wide, Vertical K is in the bottom 10% most popular running shoes. The brand, La Sportiva, is the 18th most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 1010 shoes


4.4 / 5 based on 13 ratings

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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

  • 85
    James GarnerLevel 1 expert
    by Outdoor Gear TV
    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
    Eric BlakeLevel 1 expert
    by La Sportiva North America
    I picked the Vertical K because it's very light. It's also very flexible.
  • 65
    Ethan NewberryLevel 5 expert
    by TheGingerRunner
    It's a really, really fantastic, light trail runner. I think you'll like it, too.
  • 86
    Bryon PowellLevel 4 expert
    by iRunFar
    In a test run, it firmly held my foot in place. 
  • 78
    Thomas CaughlanLevel 4 expert
    by Running Shoes Guru
    The La Sportiva Vertical K is a very well cushioned minimalist trail racing shoe with little protection for technical trails.
  • 89
    Running WarehouseLevel 2 expert
    by Running Warehouse
    The heel of the shoe locks you in place and the midfoot is very secure.
  • 84
    Sage CanadayLevel 2 expert
    by Vo2max Productions
    So, all around, a great, lightweight, relatively minimal, shoe here from La Sportiva. And it really shines with its excellent traction on the rocks.
  • 80
    Ginger RunnerLevel 2 expert
    by Ginger Runner
    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
    Outdoor LiveLevel 1 expert
    by Outdoor Live
    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.
  • 84
    SebLevel 1 expert
    by Backcountry.com
    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.
  • 84
    NickLevel 1 expert
    by Minimalist Running Shoes
    Even though this may seem like a bulky shoe, it is very flexible and lightweight – not common for technical trail shoes. 
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These are visual presentations, not reviews

  • Kevin Fonger Competitor.com
    They can be used as a minimalist running shoe or it can be used as more of your racing shoe.
  • Randy Shop Zappos
    When you are you want an industry leader in outdoor technology and La Sportiva packs a punch with this awesome shoe.
  • Backcountry.com

Updates to 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Comparison to category means
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