The Mutant Shoe is a true mutation bred from a smattering of breakthrough technologies deep within La Sportiva’s R&D lab. All of this tweaking and experimentation has led to the creation of a highly durable, long-distance, mountain running shoe. A shoe so versatile that you may think your feet have been surgically replaced with an unholy laboratory abomination of mountain goat hooves and gecko skin. This distillation of design and science is built upon La Sportiva’s incredibly tacky and confidence-inspiring Frixtion™ White sole that is not only insanely grippy but is durable enough to withstand the most scouring of terrain. An EVA midsole and integrated SpyralTongue™ provide freakish comfort during the scariest of runs. The scientists also nailed the main genetic sequencing of this aberration by injecting a secure lacing system that makes your foot feel precise and stable. Some may call the Mutant a monster, but when other runners see its irregular capabilities, you’ll be the last one laughing.
SkyRun Fit Tip - Pick your typical European size. Size up by one-half US size if you don't know your Euro shoe size.
- SpyralTongue™ is an integrated gaiter-like and quick-fitting tongue that helps keep you clean and protected when stirring up debris.
- FriXion® XF 2.0/ Impact Brake System™ V-Groove™ gives you incredible traction while surfing choss.
- FusionGate Lacing system allows for inner volume adjustments for a precise fit.
- Ample cushion for all-day comfort.
|Weight (pair)||672g [44.0]|
|Fit||Medium / High Volume|
|Usage||Technical terrain, medium to long distance|
|Notes||Tons of cushioning, durable upper and aggressive lugs|
|Bottom Line||One shoe to rule them all|
|Compare to other Mountain Running Shoes|
Questions & Reviews
Toe box is mid volume so I can handle technical terrain and steep sidehills if I need to but I still have room for it to stay comfortable all day.
Sole has super chunky tread that is amazing at finding traction on scree slopes but is made out of a super sticky rubber so friction climbing on slabs works a lot better than you'd expect. Not quite like the Bushido but really close.
The only negative thing I can say is that the shoelace sheath always breaks really soon into the shoe's life, often after only 100-200 miles. The core stays fine so it's not catastrophic, but it does make tying the shoe a pain until you replace the laces.
If I know a run will be exclusively in rocky technical terrain then I take my Bushido IIs. If I know a run will be long and only on smooth trail then I want my Speedgoats. But for everything in between (or for runs with a little bit of everything) it's always the Mutants.
They are precise without being too tight on my flippers (I have flat wide 12s). The last is the same as my other La Sportiva shoes and boots, and size 46 works great. I do use an aftermarket ortho, like a green or copper superfeet.
I found the asymmetrical lacing a bit odd at first, and it can cause one lace to get longer than the other, but that's easily addressed and the control it gives is very good. I have a pretty neutral strike, and don't like a big ramp in shoes or skimo setups, and these are fine.
I was running with a guy who claimed big ramp make for harder heel strikes which then hurt his knees. Sounded convincing enough, but I don't have any issues with the very heel soft Hoka for road running, so who knows. As a prior reviewer said, if in doubt you don't like them, and I have no doubt, I like these. I like them a lot.
[you can skip this paragraph] Believe it or not, at one time in my life, I got paid to test shoes. Not particularly because of my climbing or running ability, but because I am a perfect size nine (or 42, if you like). Not too wide, not too narrow. I am not bragging. I am perfectly average and I drive a very large truck to prove it. Before a shoe goes into production (or it was true), the Italian shoe manufacturer makes shoes only on one last, which is typically size nine. After testing a lot of shoes, I came up with the following guideline: if you are wondering if you like your new shoes, then you don’t like them. Trust me. If the answer is not, “yes!” Then it’s, “no.” If you’re wondering, Is this shoe OK? Do I like this shoe? What if I used a different insole? Are my feet kinda cold in these shoes? Send them back, ASAP. You’ll know right out of the box. Don’t listen to the semi-retired guy at the [redacted] store.
[you can skip this paragraph, too] Here’s another thing about the Mutants. I am grateful for Sportiva for continuing to make winning shoes. There were particular years when Nike or Asics or New Balance (even Fila!) made winning trail shoes but they ‘innovated’ themselves into irrelevance by making a new model every year. This is why road runners hoard shoes that are good. I’m guessing the ‘athleisure” or lifestyle market makes way more money. I’m not here to complain. Let’s just be grateful for Sportiva. The fact that this shoe has been the same for years is a good sign. Another thing that can happen, is that after many production runs, the [nationality redacted] manufacturer will start to cut corners — the size even begins to shrink! The shoe makers in Lombardi are the best.
I’m here to say the Mutants are great shoes. These shoes can go a lot of places: up, down, over, under, around, through, past. Shoe manufacturers brag about ‘stability.’ Unfortunately, for the mass market, stability means you are running on mattresses. That’s not stable. (I don’t know if that term is still used). The Mutants are stable because of their reasonably low center of gravity (not as great as a Bushido, mind you) and traction-y (but not clunky) and cushion-y (but not squishy). They last a long time, probably the last pair of shoes you’ll ever need for lawn mowing. I think these shoes would not be good if you have Hobbit feet, but then you wouldn’t need shoes. The only competition for these shoes is the Bushido. I own a bunch of them, too. But I don’t own the Bushido II, so I can’t compare them. But I will.
I’ve thought about this.
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