La Sportiva coined the phrase “Mountain Running” to describe their trail running program. While they could have just gone with the ubiquitous “trail running” to describe their lineup of runners, they instead chose to pave new trail and carve out a niche for themselves in the process. With the success of the Wildcat, La Sportiva took the Wildcat to another level with the introduction of the Raptor for Spring 2010.

La Sportiva Raptor Features

  • Tempo 2 last
  • Sticky FriXion rubber outsole (stickiest to date)
  • Uppers are breathable AirMesh, synthetic leather with TPU lacing harness
  • Features the Transkinetic Heel Stabilizer system
  • Wraparound toe bumper
  • Weight: 12.28 oz
  • MSRP: $110

La Sportiva Raptor Trail Running Shoes Review

I’ve been very impressed with every La Sportiva trail running shoe I’ve tried. I loved how breathable and stable the Wildcat was, absolutely loved the Crosslite for its efficient performance and tenacious grip and as I’ve gotten to know the Raptors, I’ve been equally-impressed.

The Raptor looks very similar to the Wildcat and, in fact, does utilize many of the same design features as the Wildcat but with a slightly-modified midsole and outsole.

Going purely on looks, the Raptors are eye-catching. I dig the black/yellow color scheme and have found them to be equally at home on the trail as around town. As a dedicated trail runner, the Raptors have performed very well.

What I like the most about the Raptors is the foot-hugging fit. The TPU lacing cage really provides a secure fit in these shoes — locking your heel in place and keeping your foot loaded for some serious mileage. Overall traction has been superb on everything but wet rocks where I did experience some slippage.

With the locked-and-loaded fit, the Raptors really feel natural on twisty trails both uphill and down. I confidently planted my feet in all kinds of variable conditions and have been consistently met with excellent traction and stability.

The woven shell uppers provide excellent wind protection for cold runs while remaining very breathable. These shoes are a little disappointing in that the exterior doesn’t shed rain and snow like they should. One dip in the drink and the toebox was quickly soaked through. It appears there is no DWR finish to these, so on rainy and wet trails, you will get only a little extra protection over the mesh Wildcat design.

Also, as temperatures rise, these black shoes do tend to get a little bit warm.

Good Raptor

  • Super-comfortable design
  • Excellent traction in all conditions except soft and squishy
  • Runs very smoothly on the road too
  • Love the looks and style of these shoes
  • Very supportive
  • Blocks cold winds very well
  • Locks the foot in place
  • Just the right amount of trail protection
  • Toe protection comes in handy (believe me)

Bad Raptor

  • Softshell fabric isn’t all that water-resistant
  • Can get a bit toasty on warm, sunny days

Bottom Line: La Sportiva Raptor Trail Running Shoes

The Raptor’s are a great option for shoulder-season running in dry, but chilly weather. I love how comfortable these shoes are and how amazingly-well they cradle your feet. These are serious mountain runners that are also capable of tackling mixed trails.

Buy Now: Search for the La Sportiva at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


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  2. I just bought these shoes (first pair of Sportivas) without any real knowledge about trail runners. All I know is I needed something with arches and that could support my weight. I weight 255lbs (overweight) and on top of that I have flat arches. So far these shoes are amazing! No pain in my legs or back when I jog the gravel trails. I am very impressed!

  3. how structured are these? move like the hardrocks or closer to the new vasque transistor? i think we need a general rating for a shoes’s structure. maybe a 1, 2, or 3 w/ 3 being heavier and more structured and 1 being more minimal. anywhoo…

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