Editor’s Choice: La Sportiva Mutant Trail-Running Shoe (Spring 2015)

Paul Cuno-Booth April 15th, 2015

11.3 oz | 10mm drop | $130

alt

 

The Dirt: Another monstrous mountain runner from La Sportiva, the Mutant features an aggressive, sticky-rubber tread that lends confidence on mud, slick surfaces and technical mountain trails, and an abrasion-resistant upper that protects the foot from all sides. A prominent rocker, described by one tester as a “little launching pad,” keeps feet flying through every stride. The shoe’s most innovative “mutation,” though, is an overlapping, wraparound tongue that, along with reinforced overlays in the midfoot and a high cuff, locks the fit in for an extremely stable ride over rough terrain.

Because of its stiffness and a cuff that can chafe a bit, some runners may find the shoe uncomfortable for longer runs, but beastly trails call for a beastly shoe, and there the Mutant lives up to its name.

Best For: Runs up to half-marathon distance that involve primarily technical trails, bushwacking, wet conditions and/or mountain running.

Fit: Runs a bit small, but less so than other Sportivas. Somewhat roomy in the toebox, but narrow in the midfoot; runners with wider feet may find the fit uncomfortable.

Check out our forthcoming June issue for our full spring 2015 trail-shoe guide, with reviews of 13 new models.

 

Tester Raves

“The Mutants are mean looking, and have the features to back it up. They are relatively light for a mountain runner with as much support and stability as they have, are incredibly agile and have incredible grip. There was never a moment when I felt like the terrain had the upper hand.”

—Zachary Leighton, Folsom, CA

“The Mutant is a go-to shoe for the gnarliest trails, with a firm midsole, burly, deep, sticky lugs and a relatively high, heel-hugging cuff.”

—Mike Benge, Carbondale, CO

“The lace pocket is simple yet genius, providing a pocket to stash the laces for safety.”

—Mark Feinsiger, Carbondale, CO

 

Testers on Fit

“When running in snow and wet, slippery conditions, La Sportiva’s sole compound provided excellent traction in forward and lateral motion. The cushioning is good for rocky terrain, yet not so much to detract from feeling varied terrain.”

—Mark Feinsiger, Carbondale, CO

“They wrap around the foot like a sock, but still offer plenty of room in the toebox for my toes to move and breath.”
—Zachary Leighton, Folsom, CA

“The wrapping upper combined with the lacing system provided a comfortable fit, and hugged my entire foot comfortably.”

—Mark Feinsiger, Carbondale, CO

 

Testers on Tread

“The tread gave me more confidence than any other shoes I’ve tested, even on the most technical trails.”

—Zachary Leighton, Folsom, CA

“The tread felt confident rock hopping across streams and crossing wet bridges, and the shoe was sturdy enough to crunch through uphill sections of snow.”

—Joanna Pomilio, Raleigh, NC

 

Testers on Downsides

“Because the tread is so aggressive, you can feel the individual lugs when walking on harder surfaces.”

—Zachary Leighton, Folsom, CA

“The color scheme of the [women’s shoe, not pictured] was reminiscent of 1980s Miami, with its blue-and-coral blend, a little loud for the trails.”

—Joanna Pomilio, Raleigh, NC

“The high cuff can chafe the outer ankle bone.”

—Mike Benge, Carbondale, CO


alt

Leave A Comment

1 Comment on "Editor’s Choice: La Sportiva Mutant Trail-Running Shoe (Spring 2015)"

avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
JJB
Guest
Got em today and when I tried em on I thought I’d made a big mistake. Boy were they uncomfortable, tight like a second skin not like a sock. Thought I’d bought em to small but the toe had plenty of room, the toe box accommodated toe splay although it was low volume. I have two other La Sportiva’s that fit spot on and I checked their size which was the same as these mutants I had purchased. I even liked the burrito tongue and offset lacing system. But the shoes were uncomfortable and just felt weird. Something I couldn’t… Read more »
wpDiscuz