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La Sportiva Wildcat Review

   

Trail Running Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 4.3/5
Overall avg rating 4.3 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: August 16, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $80 - $115 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Stable, supportive, protective.
Cons:  Heavier and less flexible than others.
Best Uses:  Trail running, mixed run/hikes, rocky, technical terrain.
User Rating:     
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 (4.7 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
Review by: Mark Eller and Lisa Jhung ⋅ February 26, 2013  
Overview
The Wildcat is ready for epic mountain adventures, its protection, stability and cushioning keeping feet comfortable no matter how rocky and technical the trail. A solid heel counter keeps feet aligned for support, and bomber protection underfoot blocks jabs from trail debris. Cushioning adds to the all-day comfort of this shoe, but it’s on the firm side instead of being soft like a road running shoe—we liked the firm feel for making this shoe more responsive on the trail. The upper breathes well while still keeping out pebbles and such. The downside to the Wildcat is that it’s a bit heavy and inflexible, but it’s a great choice if your runs are mostly on rocky, mountainous terrain where support and protection trump a quick turnover.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Traction
This outsole is made of FriXion X-Axis rubber, which La Sportiva's uses on its climbing shoes. The outcome is that it's extremely grippy on dry, and even slick rock.

Cushioning
A "LaSpEva" midsole makes the Wildcat La Sportiva's most cushioned trail runner. We thought the cushioning was nicely responsive, and a touch firm rather than too soft.

Protection
A beefy toe cap combines with the sticky rubber outsole to offer solid protection in this shoe. We felt like we were ready for anything—even traipsing off-trail—in the Wildcat.

Stability
This is a neutral trail running shoe, but stability comes from the external heel counter and overall structure of the Wildcat for a stable ride.

Weight
The Wildcat offers a lot of protection and stability, and sticky rubber isn't all that light. Regardless, the Wildcat isn't horribly heavy; it's just not super light, either.

Flexibility
This is one of the more stiff shoes in the review, something that some runners will love, and others might not. The stiffness keeps feet from fatiguing on a long climb, but sacrifices a quick turnover that comes from a more flexible shoe.

Other Versions
La Sportiva Wildcat - Women's, $110.
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0, Men's, $115. The 3.0 is the new version of the Wild Cat, designed for longer off-road adventures, with a plush cushion and comfortable fit.
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0 - Women's, $115.

Mark Eller and Lisa Jhung

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 16, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   May 14, 2013 - 10:06pm
CDBahl · Hiker · Seattle
I've had my pair of wildcats for almost 2 years now, and I absolutely love them. If you're looking for a shoe that can do both hiking and trail running, these work great. They're light enough for long days on the trail, but also rugged and supportive enough to keep your feet protected and happy. I didn't believe the hype about the sticky rubber before I got them, but I was really amazed by how much traction I had on wet granite.

My only real criticism is that the tongue rolls to the side of the shoe as you wear them, which can be a little annoying. La Sportiva recently came out with an updated model that is suppose to fix this issue.

Regardless, I wear these shoes on pretty much any hike that doesn't require mountaineering boots. They can get a little uncomfortable if you wear snowshoes or microspikes with them for more than 3 or 4 miles, but they aren't really designed for that (and the fact that they hold up as well as they do is impressive).

Bottom line, if you're trying to figure out which trail runner to get, and you also want to be able hike technical terrain, look no further. I will definitely be buying another pair when mine wear out.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 16, 2014 - 05:41am
el Reido · Snowboarder · Crystal Mountain, WA
In the PNW a goretex running shoe is required!
Just to touch on a few highlights for me.
Fit is perfect right out of the box!
The traction and breaking systems work great on a wide variety of terrain.
They excel in the loose rocky conditions found on less popular trails.
I will say these are better off used for their intended purpose, Mountain running! Pavement and packed gravel will wear the soft, sticky rubber very quickly.
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Soggy run from Cannon Beach to Seaside OR.
Credit: el Reido

I've used them for snowshoeing with out any problems aside from having to use a gaiter.

Only downfall I felt was they will hold even a slight amount of water on the footbed if you do get water in them. Which will make for a soggy sore feet.
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Few wet creek crossings on the way to Heliotrope Ridge on Mount Baker.
Credit: el Reido


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 25, 2014 - 12:37am
Gordon · Hiker
I decided to try these shoes for hiking rather than running; my previous hiking experience was only with boots (Zamberlan and Vasque). (This was part of an overall plan to lighten all of my backpacking gear.) As such, I might be just as happy hiking with another trail running shoe, but, after my experience with the Wildcats, I have no desire to bother trying to find that out.

To the review's comment "stable, supportive, protective", I would add "supremely comfortable". Indeed, I find myself looking for any excuse to wear them. Based upon my use, the "cons" of the review don't really apply.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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La Sportiva Wildcat
Credit: La Sportiva
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