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La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail-Running Shoes - Women's Specs
Nylon air mesh/synthetic leather/thermoplastic urethane reinforcements
FriXion AT rubber
1 lb. 5 oz.
Running shoe type
Average footwear weight (pair)
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail-Running Shoes - Women's
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La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail-Running Shoes - Women'sis rated4.0out of5by2.
Rated3out of5byheidilynnfromso awesome, but falls apartok, so first let's start with the good stuff: I love these shoes for every little detail and how they fit my narrow, high arched foot, but unfortunately durability was too big an issue. The REI in my town didn't have these in stock so I tried the helios on and ordered the same size. They fit really well and I have no heel slip. The heel is also a kinda of leathery material so, with socks, even if they did slip a little, I don't think I'd get blisters...it's like the duct tape trick but on the shoe! I felt the grip was just out of this world, there are soft little nubbins that you impact before the rest of the sole, so it's sticky and cushy, but we'll get to the downside of these in just a sec. Other great things about these shoes are the laces staying put, the rubber toe protector (which I appreciated several times on my hike), and the tongue is covered by an outer "glove" of material, so not as much debris and little rocks get inside the shoe itself. Basically, after searching high and low for a trail running shoe I could "adventure" in off trails and maybe use on light backpacking trips, I settled for this one, and was really happy on my first hike.
BUT...upon returning home from these shoes' first trip into the wild, I looked them over. I already have a hole in the mesh on the top. However, the worst part, which was the deal breaker for me, was the soles. Those little nubbins that provide such stickiness literally ripped off! I wasn't even climbing or running around off trail in them. This was an itty bitty 7 mi RT overnighter, and the shoes are already destroyed. Unfortunately, when the nubbins rip off, they leave a little hole in the rubber or I would've considered just using them anyways. So, as sad as I am to take these back, Im afraid that have to, as the sole of the shoe has fallen apart. I'm usually not picky, I have shoes with undone threads, bad laces, torn uppers, etc and I don't complain, but the sole is the essence of a shoe! I was planning on using these for some peakbagging the rest of the summer, but looks like I'm back to the drawing board to find a Durable and supportive trail runner that is really narrow.
Date published: 2013-07-10
Rated5out of5bySierra LilyfromExcellent grip and stabilityI am a lightweight backpacker who likes long-distance days in the Central & Southern Sierras in California. Lots of hard rough granite along with smooth steep slabs. Lots of cross-country (no trail). My past favorites (Montrail AT Plus) is no longer being made, so I have been searching for my next new shoe. I have custom orthotics because of an extra sesamoid at the base of each big toe (congenital). Pinches the nerve if the toes don't have enough space. The Montrails were great from overall toe space, snug heel that held me in place and a very stiff underfoot feel for rugged terrain. Only two gripes: lack of stick and the toe cut in ever so slightly that end of big toes on outside edge developed callouses, especially noticeable when feet/shoes were wet.
I found the La Sportiva Helios in a local REI earlier this year, and loved the fit of the shoe, bought it and now use it for day hiking. But the underfoot feel is too soft for me for backpacking. I read the last of the Ultra Raptor was the same as the Helios, so I ordered the Ultra Raptor from REI.
The Ultra Raptor is the first pair I've found with good heel stability, and a wide enough forefoot so my toes don't get pinched, with a stiff underfoot so jagged rocks don't bruise/bend my foot, with amazing stick! On my first day hike, I noticed that the seam on the outside of the shoe, just below my pinky toe joint was pressing a bit. I was worried the pressure might cause problems on a long trip. About 6 miles in, we crossed a river and, as is my habit, I just walked through without removing my shoes. The shoes felt better wet and after walking another 2 miles in warm weather to camp, the pressure point was almost gone. By the end of the second hiking day, there was no pressure point. The usual callouses that develop when my feet were wet didn't happen.
The material at the heel is fabulous! I never had any heel rub, which is often a problem for me. The shoe hugged my foot, but didn't bite it.
Day 3 had almost 4000 feet of gain, Day 4 was 18.5 miles with several thousand feet of up and down, including several hundred feet of downhill on normally slippery Yosemite rip-rap, and the shoes were wet from mile 4 onwards and felt GREAT!!!
The shoe was also not too hot in near 100-degree temps, breathed well, and kept the bulk of the dust out of the shoe. Oh, and the shoelaces never untied on my, unlike many other shoes!
The Helios and the Ultra Raptor are the first La Sportivas I've tried that are wide enough for my forefoot, and hold my heel without cutting into it or my Achilles. The Helios are delicious for many uses, and are quite sticky (FriXion AT) and sick light.
But the even-stickier FriXion XF of the Ultra Raptor - the stickiest they put on their trail runners (one of their climbing compounds) - is amazing.
I've recently compared the following and here is how I'd rank the shoes in terms of stick, from least to most sticky: Salomon SpeedCross/MissionXR, Brooks Cascadia 8, New Balance Leadville 1210 (was my overall favorite until the Ultra Raptor), Helios, Ultra Raptor.
If grip is important for what you do, and previous La Sportivas ran too tight/narrow for you, this is a shoe to try!
What's not great: If that bulky seam is too pesky at first, walk in heat and wet. I don't feel it anymore....YMMV. I'm not sure how long the sticky soles will last, but that is a compromise I can make. I'm using the Helios and Leadvilles ] now for easy/local training hikes, and will save the Ultra Raptors for the real trips.
Date published: 2013-06-09
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La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail-Running Shoes - Women's Customer Reviews