Wildcats offer trail comfort, confidence
La Sportiva Wildcat trail running shoes
- Pros: Aggressive tread; Breathe extremely well; Great cushion
- Cons: Mesh upper limits their use to warm, dry days; Shoe runs wide; Portions of the tread are peeling away (though I haven’t noticed a degradation of performance)
- Bottom Line: The La Sportiva Wildcat trail running shoes are a great lightweight shoe that’s well cushioned and great for nearly any trail you can find.
- MSRP: $100
As one of La Sportiva’s lightest-weight trail running shoes, the Wildcat is touted as the company’s most cushioned as well.
The Wildcat, an 11.96-ounce neutral shoe, grips nearly any surface. From hard-packed dirt and gravel to loose rock and pine needle trails, I never had a problem. No matter what terrain I tested them on, I was confident they’d provide traction.
- La Sportiva men’s Wildcat
The shoes also feature La Sportiva’s Impact Brake System that’s said to increase uphill traction and downhill braking, as well as decrease heel shock. I’m sold on the claim as the shoes gripped better than many other shoes I’ve used.
- La Sportiva Wildcat sole
The Wildcats, which have a heel-to-toe drop of 12 millimeters, lace down to the toe box, and have a durable rubber toe guard to protect both your toes and the front of the shoes – a great feature for trail running shoes.
Out of the box, the shoes fit well, were comfortable, and I felt like there was little to no break-in period.
Unlike some other La Sportiva trail runners I’ve tested, such as the Imogene, the Wildcats have ample cushion in the midsole. The midsole provided enough cushion to eliminate fast foot fatigue but little enough to know what I’m stepping on, which helps your body feel more stable.
With the AirMesh uppers, the shoes breathe very well and dry incredibly fast when wet.
- La Sportiva women’s Wildcat
But that mesh limits them to summer-only trail runners unless you’re in an area that’s dry. The littlest amount of water (including rain) will soak through to your foot.
The La Sportiva Wildcats are designed for medium to wide feet, yet I found they were slightly too roomy for my semi-wide feet. They’re offered in black/yellow and black/green for men and white/plum and white/mint for women.