La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Walking Boots Review
Written By: SportsShoes
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Mid II GTX is the mid-cut version of the Ultra Raptor Trail Running shoes, ideal for fast hiking and excursions with light loads. Waterproof and breathable thanks to the Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort membrane. The soft Comfort Collar protects the ankle from the entry of stones or mud and integrates the easy-fit spoiler for maximum ease of fit. The upper is in abrasion-resistant, breathable mesh fabric, perfect for use in all conditions. The rear stabilizing heel allows perfect control over the traverses. Perfect volume adjustment and foot hold thanks to the dedicated lacing elements: the eye-stay webbings are sewn on the inside of the upper and reinforced on the outside with a high frequency TPU skeleton, allowing the lace pull-force to be distributed equally over all areas of the upper. Ultra Raptor Mid II GTX is also available in a wide-fit comfort version to accommodate different foot-volumes. The result is a mid-cut hiking shoe that can be worn for many consecutive hours and suitable for off-road use on any type of terrain.
Raptorize yourself, again.
Length: Small fit
Width: Standard-Wide (2 options)
RATINGS (out of 5) - Comfort: 4.5 | Cushioning: 3 | Support: 4.5 | Grip: 4 | Protection: 5
After testing a range of La Sportiva trail shoes over the last couple of years, a clear pattern has definitely started to emerge. Each pair of La Sportiva shoes I’ve worn have all been extremely well-made, offered high-levels of protection and very much built to last. And so, it’s extremely pleasing to see that the same high levels of quality and performance have been extended into their hiking range.
Let me cut straight to the chase – the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is the best walking shoe I’ve tested so far and I’m honestly struggling to find a single point to improve. Usually, there are many features of a trail or hiking shoe that I like and dislike, but in the case of this review, I can only list and discuss the many things that I absolutely love about this boot.
With a choice of three designs on the SportsShoes.com site, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is available in either all black for men, blue and black for women and in a third option, again all black, but with an extra-wide fit. The latter is the first big positive, as this is a boot that will essentially suit the size and shape of almost every foot. Some may argue that all-black is a pretty safe and boring colour option, but in my opinion, I love the look and design of this boot. For a start, it’s a walking shoe that’s going to get seriously dirty and black will complement the colour choice of any outfit. In addition to the colour, I also really like the detail, pattern and design.
In terms of length, I usually wear a UK10, but I always opt for a UK10.5 in La Sportiva footwear as I find them to be a slightly smaller fit. Something to bear in mind when considering which size to order, especially as this is a walking shoe, so it’s likely you’ll also wear a thicker pair of socks.
In true La Sportiva fashion, the upper is built to thrive in the harshest of outdoor environments and the thick, surprisingly breathable, GORE-TEX material means that your feet will always stay dry in wet and boggy conditions. In addition to being waterproof, the protective qualities of this boot are second to none. Firstly, there is a tough reinforced toe bumper and thick protective rand that runs around the entire perimeter of the shoe to protect against loose rocks and debris. The wide shape of the tongue and the thick, cushioned material at the top of the shoe both provide a double layer of comfort and protection. One feature of the upper that I particularly like is the small piece of thin, stretchy material at the top rear of the boot which helps you to put on and take off your feet.
It’s worth noting that I have used other similar styles of walking boots for light and fast hiking, but I haven’t found anything that offers the same levels of comfort stability and protection as this particular model. Issues I’ve previously experienced are when brands strip back designs to create a product that allows you to move more quickly over technical terrain. Whilst the concept of creating an ultra-lightweight shoe is a fantastic idea, striking the balance between performance and weight is very difficult. Stripping back a product and going super-minimal could mean it lacks support and protection, or by using more heavy-duty materials, there is a risk of creating something that is too heavy and bulky. In my opinion, this is where La Sportiva has hit the balance just right with this particular shoe. It sits completely in the middle of the spectrum, the perfect combination of lightweight performance and quality design. This also extends to the outsole, with a lug depth and pattern that is capable of handling all kinds of conditions and off-road terrain. It allows me to completely trust the grip and gives me all the confidence I need for every type of adventure.
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time. In the past I’ve enjoyed tackling long-distance walking challenges such as the GR20 in Corsica and the Tour De Mont Blanc, on tough alpine trails. For such multi-day adventures, I’ve experimented with using a range of footwear. This has included using traditional leather walking boots for protection and durability and on the opposite end of the spectrum, lightweight trail shoes for comfort and breathability. In many ways, both options have proved to be advantageous, but never without limitation. Never before have I found a pair of walking shoes that perfectly fuses together the best of both designs. That was, however, until now. The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is exactly the kind of boot I would look to use for such an adventure. It is a shoe I can wear all day and every day, for extended periods of time, providing me with enough comfort, protection and grip to tackle any environment.
Above all else, versatility is the key feature of this walking shoe; it’s tough enough for extreme terrain, yet suitable to wear on light and easy trails. This makes it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a walking boot to use for both epic adventures and short daily walks. I can confidently say that the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a shoe I highly recommend - designed to perform in all conditions, on every type of terrain and all for a very reasonable price.
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