La Sportiva Raptor Running Shoe Review
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Long known for it’s hiking and mountaineering equipment, La Sportiva has been a staple of outdoor adventures for years. It’s no surprise that it’s “Mountain Running” series is as solid, durable, and feature packed as everything else they make. Introduced as the newest addition to it’s racing series, the Raptor definitely lives up to it’s reputation. We immediately noticed the upper construction – the Raptor has a “gator” that stretches across the forefoot in order to protect you from collecting all those annoying twigs and sticks that lodge themselves in your socks on long trail runs; it worked like a charm, and didn’t seem to affect bulk or flexibility. The lacing system is unique as well, foregoing traditional laces and eyelets in favor of stitched loops. The heel cup was definitely inspired by the Sportiva boot line, being somewhat firmer than traditional trail shoes, and the EVA midsole was firm without causing discomfort. This was all placed on top of Sportiva’s “Frixion” outsole with IBS (impact brake system); this technology is designed to be ultra sticky and provide traction on all surfaces. We tested this shoe in snowy and ice packed conditions – No shoe is going to track on ice, but the Sportiva Raptor got about as close as you can without toe picks. Overall, we were pleased with the supportive yet responsive way the Raptor felt on all trail runs. Kudos to La Sportiva for rethinking the overall design of what a trail shoe needs to be. The bottom line – most trail shoes feel like beefed up road shoes; the Raptors felt like a pair of day hikers with wings. For more information on the Raptor and other La Sportiva footwear, please visit www.lasportiva.com or www.amazon.com/lasportiva.
I gave these one star only because I absolutely LOVE the other LaSportiva trail running shoes. To me these appeared to be a gnarlier version of Wildcat, a shoe I have put many miles on. But (at least the pair I have) the tongues in these shoes keeps slipping WAY down to the outside, to the point that they’re not even in front of my foot. And even if i PULL the tongue way to the other side, then cinch them down tight, in 5 minutes they slip back to the other side. Even when I am not in them, they appear to do this. Hard to believe a company with such a history of design and quality products could make something so defective. I can only hope I got among the first Raptors made and they have since fixed this problem.
Paul, I understand you’re disappointed with the tongue going to the side. Unfortunately, I have found that to be somewhat common in a lot of trail shoes, but that doesn’t make it ok. Hopefully you’ll be able to get the miles out of the shoe and then move on to a shoe that fits your foot better.