Shoe Made For 'Mountain Running'

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Over the past few years, the activity of trail running for me has grown from an offshoot fitness regimen to a bonafide passion. With it, I have burned through and tested dozens of shoes, from Nikes to esoteric brands like Icebug and Inov-8. A solid shoe, and one that stands out from the many I’ve worn, is La Sportiva’s Crosslite, a shoe made for gnarly terrain and mountain trails.

I laced up my Crosslites for their maiden run last summer at the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, a 15-mile trail race with more than 3,000 feet of elevation gain in Park City, Utah. It begins at about 7,000 feet and tops at its namesake summit at 10,000 feet on the bald tip of Jupiter Peak. Ouch.

la sportiva - crosslite.jpg

La Sportiva Crosslite

The Crosslites were perfect shoes for the day. The light upper and spaced sticky rubber lugs on the sole make for a fast and grippy shoe. They are light, at about 11 ounces per foot, considering the protection and the traction underfoot.

The shoes have a solid toe bumper, though it is in no way bulky or overbuilt. A unique “scree gaiter” of stretchy fabric covers the laces, keeping debris out.

More than anything, to me the Crosslites just fit right. And they feel fast with a low-profile design that lets me run with a clean gait (no heel striking).

jupiter peak steeplechase - final ridge copy.jpg

Penultimate ridge climb on Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

Exhausted and pushing to the max, I finished the Steeplechase event in 2 hours and 42 minutes, a respectable time. The shoes had helped in the effort.

The Crosslites cost $95, and they are durable. They are a couple ounces heavier than the minimal footwear I usually employ. But for serious terrain, the extra protection, and the added grip, have made the Crosslites more and more my shoe of choice.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com. A version of this post ran originally on Gear Junkie’s blog on VentureThere.com, a USA Today property.

Posted by Damien Tougas - 06/23/2011 09:49 AM

I recently reviewed a pair of these, and the biggest issue I had with them is that they are really narrow and the uppers don’t have much room for stretch to accommodate a wider foot. I even tried a size larger than my normal shoe size, and they were still very narrow. I used to think Inov-8s were narrow, but I find they fit my wider feet much better than these do.

Posted by Jorge Fernandez - 06/27/2011 01:32 PM

Nice review but a little late in the game. Crosslite 2.0 are out already!!

Posted by Jilligan - 06/27/2011 03:23 PM

Actually, the 1.0 fit my foot just right, this year’s version are too wide and I slid all over the place. Had to go with a different shoe, hate it when companies change the shoe fit.

Posted by Stuart Rae - 07/08/2011 04:20 PM

Crosslite 2 are not a replacement for the originals – the 2’s are more built up with pronation control – so the crosslite 1.0 are not being replaced they are the lowr profile brothrs of the 2 and are here to stay!

Posted by Claytons - 08/12/2011 07:32 PM

Great shoes. I use them for hiking and their only limitation there is the lack of exposed laces for attaching real gaiters. Not a limitation at all, however, for the intended use. They’re extremely comfortable. I wish the lugs were a wee more durable, but the ground given up in durability is paid off in sticky-good-traction; a small price to pay.

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