I was picking something up at the La Sportiva Factory Retail Store (the new Karakal!) after climbing, and finally had the opportunity to try on the new TX Guide Leather. I’ve been really interested in the new TX Guide since seeing them at OR, but even just holding the display shoe in my hand, I knew right away it was going to be too narrow for my foot. So enter the TX Guide Leather, which has a redesigned upper.Continue reading…
La Sportiva recently released a new take on their reputable Ultra Raptor trail runner: the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. Building upon the battle-tested base of the current Ultra Raptor model, it adds a few new features and flourishes: mid top ankle cuff, Gore-Tex upper, a new black and grey colorway, and it comes in regular as well as wide sizes.
Rather than being a conventional low-top trail runner, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a mid-height trail runner/hiker – the line on which I’d categorize it myself is pretty blurred. It features a Gore-Tex upper and – sit down since this is almost a first for Sportiva: it comes in both regular and WIDE sizes! Rejoice!Continue reading…
Scrambling! Joyously moving on easy rock routes. In Boulder, we have a King’s ransom of big rocks to fumble about on and there’s a lifetime of routes to tick. The Flatirons are one of Boulder’s most iconic natural wonders. It’s somewhat impossible to roll into to town and not take a moment to look out west and imagine wandering in/out/around the various crags. Such a playground we have.
Below is a video I put together describing some of the shoes in my collection I use when running and scrambling:
Read on for even more trail running/approach shoe/scrambling talk:Continue reading…
Extremely excited to announce that I’ve joined the La Sportiva Mountain Running Passion Team for 2020! My first LaSpor kicks were a pair of rock boots I bought in high school (closing in on “before you were born” territory for some of you…) at Prime Climb in Connecticut – “Tom” (and others) who worked at my town’s Youth Services department introduced us to Connecticut’s trap rock outdoors, and one of the first climbing gyms in the country indoors – their selfless volunteer work changed my life.
In September, I started working with Andrew Skurka on his guided backpacking trips and was looking for a light hiker that would work well for this task. I was offered to try out the La Sportiva Spire GTX, so here’s my review.
Update: Check out my review of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX for a mid-height hiker, based on a popular trail running shoe.
My usual advice for anyone doing a long-distance backpacking trip would be to pick a trail runner that you really enjoy, and find that you can wear all-day. The days of extremely heavy, overbuilt, inflexible, high top boots for backpacking are over (save them for special purposes, like full-on Winter conditions).
My pick for both my all-time favorite trailrunner and what I would usually pick for backpacking is the the La Sportiva Mutant. Sized correctly, they hit the sweet spot for me as a more than viable trail runner (I would run an ultra in these, without hesitation), kicks for fastpacking – like my time in the Weminuche, and even for a scramble a low/moderate pitch of alpine rock when the great majority of the time is on the approach – like the Maroon Bells traverse. I personally stick with low to mid height shoes, because of my ankles – I want the mobility that a lower shoe gives, as I want to keep my ankles constantly challenged by terrain – it’s the only way they became, and remain: strong. And believe me, I’ve had some serious challenges with ankle injuries.
But, all shoes exist on a spectrum and no one shoe will work for everything. For a wishlist, I would certainly want:
A more bulletproof upper. Off-trail hiking can cause a number on the uppers of a pair of well-ventilated trail runners.
A tough outsole. I’ll be carrying a lot more additional weight than I usually do – even when I’m on my own fastpacks.
Generally, I want to make sure that whatever shoes I use will last me until the end, and I’m not hobbled – I’m workin’ here.
Enter the Spire.Continue reading…
My “Thank You!” list for the Tour of the Highest Hundred is competing with the list of mountains I have to summit for length, distance, and height – in other words, there’s a whole lot of people that are coming together to help me make this really amazing trip happen. I’m besides myself in appreciation for all the companies and individuals that are helping out in some way.
With that in mind, I’m happy to say that La Sportiva will be another company in my corner of the ring. Some history of the brand in my life: