La Sportiva builds on the hiking reputation of its Ultra Raptor mountain run shoes by adding the protection of a hiking boot.
The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX boots are a hybrid hiker follow-up to the brand’s popular running shoe. The Ultra Raptor gained popularity for its stability and function as a lightweight hiker. That DNA carries over into the Raptor II boots, which add a higher mesh upper and waterproofing, among other features.
Additionally, the Raptor II Mid boots come in wide sizes to fit a broader range of hikers.
When covering distance is a major part of the sightseeing goal, such as a thru-hike, trail stompers reach for shoes that can do both. In dry climates with groomed trails, running shoes are a common choice.
However, when the weather and trail conditions vary, the Ultra Raptor II Mid boots are a midheight, all-weather alternative to hiking in the original Raptors.
For years, La Sportiva’s Ultra Raptor trail shoes served as a favorite for section-hikers and backpackers during the summer months. In fact, Andrew Skurka praised them for his fast mountain exploits 5 years ago.
To keep that functionality beyond dry conditions, the Raptor II Mid boots are built with rain, mud, and routine trail hazards in mind.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
The Raptor’s chassis and sole have the same build as its predecessor. The boots obviously differ in protection from the mountain running shoes.
The lace-up mids cover the ankle with a collar for comfort. The upper is made from a flexible GORE-Flex nylon mesh that’s designed to enhance the breathability of the underlying GORE-TEX Extended Comfort.
The lightweight FriXion XF 2.0 rubber outsole offers grip on rocks and trails. In the heel, La Sportiva takes measures to reduce the impact of descents. It offers more traction through its Impact Brake System design and a Trail Bite heel.
Other hiking-minded touches include a rubber toe cap and mudguard. Also of note, the boots are made of vegan-friendly materials.
A Sequel, Not a Reboot
These boots are a new option for trail runners who prefer lightweight footwear for hikes in the mountains. They’re also a great choice for backpackers who swap boots for trail running shoes when the conditions allow.
If you’re a fan of the original Ultra Raptors and want your ankles covered and kept dry in wet conditions, here’s the hiking boot you’ve been waiting for. Likewise, hikers who have thought about ditching traditional leather boots for lighter running shoes are met halfway here.
From the specs La Sportiva advertises, you can expect the Raptor II boots to add 9 ounces to the original shoes — that comes from the mesh upper and lining, not a bulkier sole or rock plate.
- Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz. (women’s) / 2 lb. 1 oz. (men’s)
- Upper: High-weave Air Mesh with TPU overlays
- Lining: GORE-TEX Extended Comfort
- Sole: FriXion XF 2.0 rubber outsole
- Drop: 12 mm (27 mm/15 mm) with 4.5mm lugs
- Last: Tempo 2 (regular and wide)
- Price: $175
Take note: REI advises adding a half-size to your street shoe size. This should create space for a finger behind your heel when you are standing up with the boot unlaced and your toes touching the front.
The idea is to leave room for your toes in the front when walking downhill. However, too much space allows for heel rub.