“I can’t wait to get some mud on these!” was my initial thought when I opened the box to a bright yellow pair of La Sportiva Cyklon. As their name would suggest, they seem to have taken inspiration from the cycling world and utilise the BOA fit system. Excuse me for jumping straight into the jargon but this system controls a “dynamic cage” that “redirect the lace tension to specific areas of the mid-foot, ensuring the foot stays firm above the sole package in every condition”.
The main construction of the shoe is made up of panels and, as you will be able to see from the pictures, the shoes almost sweep around the foot incorporating a soft gaiter/sock-liner arrangement that wraps around your ankle, over the mid-foot and connects back to the BOA dial system. Three panels cross over the top of your foot and are connected by the TX4 laces to the dial. So, simply press the dial in to engage the laces and twist and it pulls the shoe comfortably around your foot. And it does it really well.
Predominantly bright yellow, with patches of black / red and the distinctive La Sportiva branding gives this shoe an unusual style and these won’t go unnoticed on the trail. It all sounds impressive, but how does it fare in practice?
- Dynamic Cage powered by the BOA Fit System
- Ortholite Insole
- 7mm Drop
- Price: £140
What’s Good About the La Sportiva Cyklon?
The La Sportiva Cyklon are unlike any running shoe I have tried before. The main difference being the lacing system that I was initially dubious about, but in practice is excellent – I’m not sure I’ve had any other shoe that fits around my foot so well. The disc system works every time, they kept my foot firmly in place whilst running and have never loosened or slipped. Even if they did feel slightly loose a quick twist of the dial and they are gripping firmly around your feet in seconds.
My initial attempts to get my slab-sized feet into the La Sportiva Cyklon were quite difficult due to the size of the sock-liner opening, but once they were on it’s a different story and they felt immediately comfortable around my feet and ankles. There is a tab at the top of the shoe to help with getting them on and I’d say they have loosened off in time so aren’t as difficult as those initial attempts. The sock-liner also works well at keeping any debris from entering the shoe.
The sole, dubbed the “ultra-grippy La Sportiva FriXion”, is noted as being ideal for soft and muddy ground. Living in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, I’m very accustomed to squelching through mud and bogs so had the perfect testing ground. They performed well, giving good traction in soft ground and gripped well in mud, even though I thought the lugs seemed relatively shallow compared to other brands. These aren’t just for mud-bashers though, the shoe gives a firm and confident grip on all of the terrain I’ve tried. The EVA double density mid-sole provides weight to the shoe and has stabilization inserts. Again, lots of jargon, but ultimately felt great to run in with enough cushioning for rocky ground but combined with the dynamic cage just make for a great confident run.
What’s Not So Good About the La Sportiva Cyklon?
We all have our own preference of style but the review pair are too bright and garish for me. The other option is predominantly black and more subdued which suits my personal tastes, but I’m sure many will like the bright yellow version.
Whilst not necessarily bad, I found the sizing didn’t work for me. I have an on-going issue with width of running shoes and generally have to size-up in order to obtain a suitable width rather than length. I found with the Cyklon the width was perfect however, unusually for me, my toes were just too close to the end, resulting in some uncomfortable downhills. I’d certainly have been more comfortable with the next half or full size up.
A minor point, but considering the height of the sock-liner you will have to consider what socks you wear so that there aren’t any rubbing points.
Performance-wise, I’ve found these to be fantastic on any type of ground I’ve ran on, rocks, mud, soft ground, forest paths and they keep your feet in a firm a secure position, providing confidence out on the trails. The lacing system is excellent and, whilst I’m sure many will be dubious about not having traditional laces, the system is efficient, easy to use and it just… works. The sizing was off for me but this will be different for everyone but I’d suggest sizing up from your normal shoe. That said, even though these felt a little on the short side, they held my foot so securely it didn’t cause any major issues.
The price seems relatively standard and comparable to other leading brands. If you’re happy with having a gaiter system built in to your shoe, and you can look beyond traditional laces, this tough all-rounder is a great option for long outings on varying terrain.