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Shoe Of The Week: La Sportiva Akasha

A long-haul shoe suitable for ultra distances.

With the Akasha, La Sportiva stepped away from its short-distance racing roots to develop its first long-haul shoe suitable for ultra-distance running. It has a copious amount of soft cushioning in the heel that is enhanced by the slight rocker shape of the underside of the shoe. It has a fairly agile and smooth demeanor like a road running shoe, but it also has the smart mountain protection—a rock plate and reinforced upper and toe bumper—featured in the rest of La Sportiva’s trail line. Our wear-testers loved this shoe for long runs on semi-technical routes to very rocky trails in the mountains. The outsole is made from a sticky rubber compound and has directional lugs for superior acceleration and braking. It’s definitely made for multi-hour runs on rough mountain trails, but it’s viable for more moderate terrain too. (However, it starts to border on “too much shoe” on basic, flat dirt paths.) It’s not as light as some other trail runners, but it doesn’t feel burdensomely heavily when you’re rambling over rugged, rocky terrain. “It’s a very agile shoe with a good balance of cushion and rigidity,” says wear-tester Amy Allison. “I appreciated the supportive midsole and the protection.” (Editor’s note: Each of our wear-testers felt this shoe fit snug for its size, so consider buying it a half-size larger.)

Price: $140
Weights: 11.3 oz. (men’s), 9.8 oz. (women’s)
Heel-to-Toe Offset: 6mm; 26mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)
Info: Sportiva.com

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