Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Stable, supportive, protective.
Cons: Heavier and less flexible than others.
Best Uses: Trail running, mixed run/hikes, rocky, technical terrain.
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
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.
The newest version of this shoe is the La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0, which is designed for longer off-road adventures, with a plush cushion and comfortable fit.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Credit: Lisa Jhung
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.
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.
Credit: La Sportiva
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.
Credit: La Sportiva
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.
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.
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.
The Wildcat - Women's, $110, is the women's version of this shoe, while the
Wildcat 2.0 GTX and Wildcat 2.0 GTX - Women's, $155, are waterproof gore-tex versions of the shoe being reviewed.
— Mark Eller and Lisa Jhung
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 22, 2014
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