La Sportiva Levante Review

La Sportiva Levante Review

My initial impressions of this shoe were that I *really* wanted to love them and I really wanted to give them a real test round the MIUT, however for reasons to follow I didn’t. I still think there is room to fall in love with them…. here’s my thoughts. 

Look wise, they’re a great looking shoe, a somehow more compact look to them yet not scrimping on functionality. The built in gaiter really appealed to me to keep debris out and was made of a softer, less clumpy material than the typical heel cup. The colour might not be everyone’s cup of tea and whilst I understand it’s “designed for women”, not all women want to wear lilac. 

A pair of blue La Sportiva Levante shoes on a wooden table surface

That said, I like the colour! The lugs are small so I wasn’t sure how they would cope with the constant rain in North Wales we’d been having over the last few months. The toe box upper seems to be more hard wearing than my other models of La Sportiva I wear – which I find my toes pop through after only a 100km or so,  so far after about 200km there’s no sign of wear and tear yet, which is a huge deal!

I take a 7.5 UK in La Sportiva and whilst comfy to slide into, once on the move I found the fit quite small – I have quite wide feet and bunions so I found a lot of compression in my toes and not much room at the ends to wiggle. My first wear was a hill session up in the slate quarries above Llanberis, I found after 15 mins my feet were getting pins and needles from the compression in the toe area, which became quite uncomfortable throughout the session. The lugs coped well with the dry slate – they are lightweight and responsive with good grip but I found it difficult to properly assess them with the restriction in my toes. 

A single blue La Sportiva Levante shoe placed on a rock with the lace loosely tied

If you read my last review – my lace tying skills mean I am often retying my laces, so another benefit I found of the gaiter, because the lace isn’t working its way loose from the foot moving around so much, the laces stay done up – which is a big tick from me! 

Being so close to MIUT I decided against wearing them for the race and avoided using them for longer runs as I found that the next issue was some minor blisters, which isn’t unheard of for me with new shoes – a couple of strips of Kinesio tape usually resolves that whilst they wear in – although I had thought the soft fabric of the gaiter would prevent this happening. 

As expected, the grip on wet mud wasn’t great, especially in steep terrain – on wet rock, however they fared better than I expected – so they are in my mind much more suitable for dry days out in the mountains or trails where you are unlikely to meet any sloppy mud sections. 

A single blue La Sportiva Levante shoe placed on a rock with the lace loosely tied

I continued to use them a few times on shorter runs and gym sessions to get a bit more wear into them until I returned from Madeira. Since then I’ve worn them a bit more, and am confident with the next size up they would be a really good shoe on the drier terrain – they cope well on dry surfaces and technical rock and have a really solid grip whilst still feeling fast and light. Steep, loose terrain seems to be more problematic for them – I found myself on my backside coming down a dry steep hill which is renowned for having people on their bums, and not one I have issues with in more grippy models of trail shoe. 

Now I’m past the blister stage, I’m happy wearing them on shorter dry trail runs but I would feel a bigger size would enable a more thorough review over ultra distance For the price tag, I’d need to be confident that they would be a good fit to swap my old faithfuls, but not 3 weeks before Mont Blanc 90k which I think is where they’d really excel! 

A better grip and honest sizing would have resulted in a solid 8 ranking; perhaps even a 9 given the upper endurance.

About the author: Anna is an ultra runner in North Wales. She has competed in races such as the Tor Des Geants and the Dragons Back Race. Winning The Winter Spine Race and Grand 2 Grand are some highlights and her favourite event is The OMM, where she can usually be found every October.

She is also a Mountain Leader who instructs Navigation, hill walking and mountain running for groups in the outdoors.

Have you tried the La Sportiva Levante? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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A pair of brand new La Sportiva Levante shoes in the box
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La Sportiva Jackal II BOA Shoe Review
OUR RATING:
3/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"The toe box upper seems to be more hard wearing than my other models of La Sportiva I wear - which I find my toes pop through after only a 100km or so,  so far after about 200km there's no sign of wear and tear yet, which is a huge deal!"

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