Tarmac season is slowly coming to an end and more and more runners are taking to the trails. It’s no surprise that, when thinking of trail running shoes, the popular Italian brand La Sportiva is one of the first things to spring to mind.

Although the brand is most known for its hiking and climbing gear, the manufacturer also has an extensive range of trail running shoes on offer. I spent a few weeks testing and getting to know the La Sportiva Lycan GTX and La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX trail running shoes, Read on to find out what I think of these two models. La Sportiva-Lycan

Testing La Sportiva Lycan GTX


La Sportiva Lycan GTX is a comfortable all-rounder you can wear on runs of all distances. During the test, this shoe ticked all the boxes: comfortable fit, protection for trails and a waterproof upper.

Despite all the comfort, with the Lycan you still get a fun workout on trails and enjoy a good feel of the ground beneath your feet. La Sportiva-Lycan2 The spiked outsole provides outstanding grip on trails - during the test, I found it especially impressive while running downhill on sandy and muddy terrain. With a GORE-TEX® membrane built into the shoe upper, your feet are guaranteed to stay dry in bad weather without suffering from any restriction during transitions.  

Testing La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX


During the test runs, the focal point of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX seemed to be support. The Raptor trail running shoe wraps very snugly around the foot, while lateral support elements work together with a generously sized toe cap for reliable protection. This model also provides cushioning in all the right places to guarantee a comfortable fit. La Sportiva-Raptor The outsole promises superb grip on trails, especially mountain ones. There is a slight compromise when it comes to transitions, as the sole is relatively stiff, in accordance with the overall support theme of this trail running shoe.

The upper allows the foot to breathe, despite the fact that the inbuilt GORE-TEX® membrane stops any water from entering the shoe. La Sportiva-Raptor2  

Comparing La Sportiva trail running shoes: Lycan vs. Raptor


Having tested both shoes, I can say with confidence that with either model you’ll be well armed for trails: super grip, GORE-TEX® membrane and outstanding protection in both. La Sportiva Lycan GTX is better suited to those who want to run fast on trails but aren’t prepared to give up comfort.

With La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX, you get superb guidance, as this trail shoe provides outstanding safety and support on uneven paths - I’d say this is ideal for runners prone to twisted ankles. La Sportiva-Vergleich

Final thoughts on La Sportiva trail running shoes


Trail running shoes and La Sportiva are two concepts that go together seamlessly! I’ve tested two of the Italian brand’s trail running - both made for two different kinds of runners with slightly different interests but with the same end goal: to master every trail with a pair of sturdy, supportive shoes. Thanks to the GORE-TEX® membrane built into both models, you can concentrate fully on your run without having to worry about getting your fefet wet.

Credits: Jan Lau