If you’ve been running in minimalist shoes for awhile you might long for the cushy-comfort of some padding for your soles. There’s a number of options on the market to choose from. You can choose from something with a little padding to something that I’ve heard described as “running on marshmallows”. Hit more towards the middle of that spectrum with the La Sportiva Akasha Trail Running shoes.

La Sportiva Akasha Features:

  • Airmesh and poly uppers
  • Dual-injection MEMlex EVA midsole
  • FriXion XT outsole with Trail Rocker and Impact Brake System
  • 6mm drop with 26mm heel and 20mm forefoot
  • Weight: 11.35 oz (stated)
  • Price: $140.00

A Sole Solution

Right out of the box, one of the most notable features of the La Sportiva Akasha Trail Running shoes is the sole. With 26mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot. The goal is to provide an extra cushion ride for long runs or challenging trails. I’ve been running in minimalist shoes for about five years and I found that I was becoming overly reliant on the cush and was landing harder than I was used to. I started to feel it after a few runs and made quick adjustments.

With that said the cushion is ultra nice when heading out for longer runs or when you know you’re going to get fatigued. The other notable feature of the sole is a little bit of rocker to help roll the transition from heel to toe.

With 6mm of drop they still land in the neutral category but it was a little more than I like. I prefer 0-4 drop.┬áThe sole tread is fairly aggressive providing good traction in loose or wet conditions, uphill, and the impact braking system for some extra traction on the downhill. I didn’t notice a lot of slip or give on any of my runs.

Aggressive sole provides good traction on the trail.

The sizing runs small so go up a half size. I typically wear an 11 and the 11.5 was just right. I also felt like the Akasha ran a little narrow, not much, just a bit, so keep that in mind.

Mesh uppers provide a lot of venting which is money on hot days. Lacing support wraps down into the sole so you can cinch tight if needed and you don’t have to worry about a lot of stretch and loosening while you are out.

I’ve put a few months into these shoes and so far they are holding up great. No issues with the mesh ripping or anything else.

The Good

  • Ample cushion helps with on-trail running comfort — just watch how heavy you’re landing
  • Excellent breathability

The Bad

  • Run small, be sure to size up a half size

The Bottom Line: La Sportiva Akasha

The Akasha delivers excellent cushioning with solid breathability. I’ve really appreciated the on-trail comfort — particularly on long runs. Put these on your radar as they are worth a look.

Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com

About Author

Eric is a UT native who has bounced around a bit and currently resides on the Front Range of CO. He always takes his passion of the outdoors with him. Skiing, trail running, bike commuting, backpacking and camping fuel his outdoor endeavors. As a husband and proud father of 4 daughters he looks forward to passing on his passion for the outdoors.

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