We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Most users admired the superb grip of La Sportiva VK on varied terrains.
  • Some runners lauded this trail shoe because of its lightweight construction.
  • A few wearers said that the shoe is comfortable even if worn without socks.
  • According to some runners, the La Sportiva VK feels fast.
  • The running shoe offers great underfoot protection, based on some comments.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe is too narrow for some users.
  • Several buyers mentioned that the shoe lacks durability; they said the lugs and lacing system break off easily.
  • One trail running disliked the shoe's lacing system; he said it's inconvenient to wrap the laces around the heel and tie them on the side. 

Bottom line

The La Sportiva VK is a trail running shoe designed for competition and long-distance runs. The shoe gained mixed reviews from users. Some trail runners are happy with the shoe's grip and performance, but others are disappointed with its sizing, durability and unique lacing system. Overall, the shoe has satisfied a number of runners but there is still significant room for improvement.


Expert Reviews

  • First look | Mountain Blog |

Become an expert

  • The La Sportiva VK is a lightweight trail running shoe that’s meant for those who have neutral pronation. It was designed in collaboration with Urban Zemmer, the world record holder for the fastest person to finish the Vertical Kilometer event. He wanted the shoe to be lightweight, comfortable, and able to dole out reliable traction. With that info in hand, La Sportiva went to work.
  • A knitted fabric is used for the upper unit of this trail companion. A stretchy version of this material is integrated onto the midfoot section for flexible support. The lacing system uniquely wraps around the entire façade, giving an all-encompassing fit.
  • The underfoot platform makes use of a full-length foam to provide cushioning to the foot. A Rock Guard rests in the forefoot section, acting as a barrier against the hazards on the trails.

The La Sportiva VK was designed using the standard measurements. It adheres to the usual choices of consumers regarding size. The available width is D – Medium. It’s a unisex shoe, but it’s configured to follow men’s measurements. It has a close-fitting heel for security and a slightly broad forefoot for natural toe-splay.

The FriXion® XF 2.0 is a rubber compound that’s meant to stick to the ground. It’s also designed to be durable, so it’s able to handle hard and technical terrains.

V-shaped gripping lugs heighten traction over the surfaces. These not-so-prominent protrusions also make it easier to handle upward traversals in activities like the Vertical Kilometer.

A Compression Molded MEMIex EVA serves as the primary cushioning system of the La Sportiva VK. Its purpose is to attenuate the impact forces during the foot-strike and to facilitate an agreeable toe-off.

A Dual Density Rock Guard is placed in the forefoot section. It’s made using compressed EVA. It shields the underfoot from hazardous elements like rough topography and harsh debris.

The Sock-Like™ Technology involves a knitted fabric that offers a soft wrap. It has ventilation pores to accommodate airflow into the foot-chamber. A stretchy version of this fabric is placed on the middle part to give more room for the upper dimensions of the foot.

The Ghost-Stream™ lacing system is comprised of a single shoe-string that snakes around the upper, including the heel part. Its purpose is to provide a fit-adjustment method that encompasses all the sections of the La Sportiva VK. Also, it doesn’t require the runner to do any tying or looping. The Salomon Speedcross 5 features a similar lacing mechanism.

A thermoplastic polyurethane toe cap is placed in the forefoot section. Its purpose is to shield the toes from potentially harmful obstacles on the trail.

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.