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La Sportiva Crosslite

in Footwear - Boots, Shoes, Gaiters

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (2 reviews)


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Dean F.
( acrosome )

Locale:
Back in the Front Range
La Sportiva Crosslite on 09/27/2009 18:02:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Personally, I rate this shoe a 5/5 because I'm ecstatic to find a shoe that FITS! (I have mutant monkey-feet.) But generally it is probably a 4.

Listen, ye, to my tale of woe...

I just moved back to the US from overseas and I'm waiting for my gear to catch up to me with my baggage. In the meanwhile I went for a brisk six-mile hike in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument yesterday, and the clunky old leather/GTX boots I was wearing tore up my heels.

So after brief research I proceeded to my local REI this morning and bought a pair of La Sportiva Crosslites. I had to go a full size up to get a good fit. Alas, my scale is with the rest of my baggage, but the La Sportiva website claims 12.35oz per shoe.

Today I day-hiked the seven-mile Waldo Canyon semiloop in a leisurely three hours. The new Crosslites did not aggravate my pre-existing blisters in the slightest. I am giddy.

You see, as I mentioned I have mutant monkey-feet. My wife, in fact, delights in ridiculing the one-inch gap between my great toe and index toe. Needless to say fitting a shoe is a challenge, so in my book the Crosslites get a 5, pending future evaluation of their long-term durability. The heel and ankle are well engaged, but there is adequate freedom around the forefoot and toes. The shoe in generally seems much more "stretchy" than most others I've tried, so even though it looked too slim to fit the monkey-feet it was actually quite comfortable.

Here is the lateral side view of the shoe:

side view

Note that the mesh on the sides is reinforced in high-wear areas by rubberization. This is even more extensive on the medial side. The accents have no sharp angles to fail at, and the anterolateral edge of the accents is double-stitched, which is more obvious in the next picture.

Here is a closeup of the toe box:

toe view

As you can see, the protective rubber toecap is generous, and backed up a bit on the sides by light rubberization on the mesh. The front lip of the sole seems to be well bonded to the toecap.

I'm not sure if it is clear, here, but this is the tongue:

tongue

As you may or may not see, the tongue is not attached laterally to the shoe wall- it is only attached at the front. Aha! You may exclaim- this will allow debris to enter the shoe!

But wait! Here is a view of the lacing apparatus:

lacing

The top of the shoe is a layer of elastic webbing that almost completely covers the lacing. Only two eyelet pairs are exposed at the top. This protects the laces and prohibits entry of debris. Unfortunately it also negates one of the advantages of trail runners over boots- that rapid adjustment of the lacings is possible, if for instance your feet swell during the day. IMHO this is not a major disadvantage, but it is a disadvantage.

Here is the tread:

tread

Rather aggressive knobbies, as you can see- probably the equivalent of an Inov8 Mudroc. I do my best to avoid wearing my trail runners on pavement, so hopefully they won't erode too quickly. You can also (barely) see the larger area of rubberization on the webbing of the medial wall of the shoe.

Anyway, I deducted a point for two reasons:

#1 the lacing adjustment issue

#2 it seems to be traditional on BPL not assign the highest rating to any but the very lightest contenders in a category :o)

For what it's worth, all of the reviews I checked on trail-running websites rated the Crosslite VERY high. Many were 10/10 or the equivalent.

I'll try to re-post when I have a better idea regarding durability, but they seem stoutly constructed.

EDIT--

Well, I just took the Crosslites on a three day pack in Great Sand Dunes National Monument. I have found another drawback to the elastic covering over the laces- one can't easily wear gaiters, since many have a hook that attaches to the forward lace. So, maybe it deserves to lose a point after all.

That said, here is the shoe after three hours on the sandy trails of Great Sand Dunes NP:

three hours

It looks like the elastic covering did yeoman's work keeping debris out of the shoe, eh? Just a little sand there.

However, I was later forced to use trails that had been churned into fine powder by groups of hunters on horseback. I'd sink up to my ankles every time. After five hours here is the shoe:

five hours

And there was more in my socks.

And here are the monkey feet:

monkey feet

In fairness, most of this sand came over the top of the shoe. Still... GAITERS would have mitigated this, eh?

I guess the 4/5 stands. (I'm still impressed with how well they fit. The elastic properties no doubt help there.)

Edited by acrosome on 10/12/2009 18:41:40 MDT.

marshall elliott
( BurntCloth )

Locale:
The West
Funny looking trail-eating machine. on 04/26/2011 09:05:45 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The first thing you notice about these shoes is the gnarly, trail-eating tread. Well, OK, that's the second thing. The first is the bizarre euro-styling. It's a lot to ask some nature lovers to strap such bright kicks on. While I was a bit hesitant on this account, I found that when I'm hiking, I don't look at my feet so much. And when I do, I think that I must be in some new competitive event that only recently has caught on in the states. And besides, any hiker passing me who might think I was a fashion misfit would change their minds when they saw that awesome tread.

The weight is light: achieved by painting a durable rubberized coating on wear spots of what's basically a mesh shoe. No water resistance: walking in wet grass, my feet instantly got squishy inside. Feel a little on the narrow side. My little toe could use a tad more room.

While I understand the problem people might have with not being able to replace the shoelaces, two things:
1. It may well be that laces protected in this way from abrasion actually don't break before the shoe's life is over.
2. In the unlikely chance they do break, it's a simple matter to cut the mesh lace cover off for access and leave it off or sew it back on, preferably with a piece of neon-pink yarn that will further add to the aesthetics.
3. Did I mention they have awesome tread?

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