La Sportiva Akasha
Running Shoe Reviews
La Sportiva Akasha

Category

Trail Running Shoes

Summary

Average Weight: Men's 330g (UK 8) / Women's 278g (UK 6)
Heel-to-toe drop: 6 mm
Stack height: 26mm-20mm

Excellent trail running shoe with good cushioning for long days on trails and hills with a mix of road, trail and mud. Its construction keeps you safe when you encounter more difficult and uneven terrain.

Men's La Sportiva Akasha
Blue £125.00

Women's La Sportiva Akasha
Purple/Blue £125.00

Features

  • Outsole: Deep 6mm multi-directional lugs. Forefoot lugs point forward and rear foot lugs point backwards. Frixion XT sticky rubber compound for excellent traction on variety of surfaces.
  • Midsole: Dual injected EVA
  • Upper: Rubber toe box for great protection. Air mesh for breathability and Polyurethane strips give extra strength. Solid yet well-padded heel collar for stability and comfort.
  • Lacing: Traditional.

 

Men's La Sportiva Akasha
Men's La Sportiva Akasha

Pros

  • The Frixion XT sticky rubber compound provides excellent traction on a wide variety of surfaces wet and dry. 
  • Combined with the rear and forward facing 6mm lugs there is plenty of grip for a variety of surfaces too.
  • The well shaped and spaced out lugs allow any collected mud to be released fairly quickly.   
  • Lovely soft padded yet supportive heel collar feels stable but not bulky.
  • Snug but not constricting mid foot, holds the foot in place on the most uneven surfaces and cambers.
  • Roomy but not voluminous forefoot makes the toes feel happy on short steep down hill’s and longer flatter trails. 
  • Well constructed and designed upper with durability very much a consideration.
  • The combination of supportive heel collar and strong mid foot overlays make it a surprisingly stable trail option, in a category where stability needs for over pronators is often overlooked. Having said all that it definitely doesn’t have “solid as a brick” feel that some stable road shoes by necessity sometimes have.
  • Quality Ortholite breathable insole that, unlike many trail shoe insoles, doesn’t seem to mangle, mis-shapen or slide around when sodden with inevitable water.

Cons

  • Some would say a tad heavy at 330g (men) 275 (women) but I also feel it enables the long running conundrum of trading lightness versus durability to be balanced out nicely.

In Testing

I have worn the Akasha on local multi-terrain routes around Edinburgh that involve a few road miles before reaching the trails. Also in the Pentland Hills just south of the city where you can find almost every terrain in a few short miles: tarmac, farm tracks, trails, stream crossings, open moorland with bog and heather bashing, and steep and muddy ups and downs with a bit of loose rock thrown in. I wore them in the Pentlands 7 reservoirs virtual bash in the autumn – a virtually distanced race where you actually got to run the usual race route and included most of the above terrain.

They were also my go-to shoe when straight out the box for a week's running and hiking in the Highlands around Glencoe and the Mamores in late summer, when everything was still relatively dry. They were really comfortable on long days in the mountains.

Verdict

La Sportiva’s long and respected heritage in the hiking, trekking and climbing footwear world is apparent in their growing trail running range. Attention to detail and not afraid to avoid compromising durability and performance by saving a few grams, are evident in the Akasha.

Cushioned enough for long days on the trails and hills or local shorter regular 5-15k mix of road, trail and mud. The well constructed, and snug-fitting upper holds the midfoot well on technical and rolling terrain, and the extra padding on the tongue and the heel collar just enhance the fit. The toe box is wide and protected enough to make the toes feel happy.

My own experience, backed up by their growing band of aficionados, is that you will get your money’s worth with La Sportiva. At first feel they certainly are a few grams heavier than most comparable competitors, but they are not weighty and you soon get used to that. For a “go to” mileage shoe or long distance trail competition option they certainly go the distance. 

The Frixion XT rubber compound has worn well on a lot of hard packed trails. It has also kept me upright, over wet and boggy terrain and the occasional slab of wet rock. 

As always it is never easy finding the perfect shoe for every terrain but the Akasha is as good as any we have come across recently. All in all, good value for the price.

Men's La Sportiva Akasha
Black/Yellow £125.00

Men's La Sportiva Akasha
Blue £125.00

Women's La Sportiva Akasha
Blue/Aqua £125.00

Women's La Sportiva Akasha
Purple/Blue £125.00

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