Staff Pick | La Sportiva Mutant

Our Staff Picks are a collection of items that our staff regularly uses and puts through the test right here in the Pacific Northwest! This Staff Pick features the La Sportiva Mutant trail running shoes.

Quick and Dirty:

  • La Sportiva Mutant trail running shoes
  • A great stable trail running shoe with amazing grippy traction and a wider toe box!
  • Highlights: Impact Brake System, super sticky outsole, tongue/lacing system that doesn’t shift during runs and built in gear loops.
  • Prics: $165
  • Mountain shop stocks the Women's shoe in storm blue/cherry tomato, and the Men's shoe in carbon/hawaiian sun.
  • Pros:  Amazing grip on varied trail conditions!  Comfortable over long distance (20-25 miles), wide toe box. 
  • Cons: If one has a narrow foot like me, the wide toe box is actually a con!


I took the La Sportiva Mutants straight out of the box on a nearly 23 mile trail run around Diamond Peak.  Their performance exceeded my expectations!  The super sticky traction was great on the varied terrain, which ranged from soft forest floor, to dusty dirt with loose rocks and a little talus. The Impact Brake System definitely stopped several potential trips over loose rock, roots and other debris, catching me before I face-planted on the trail. The cushion was adequate for the distance of my first run, although my feet got a little tired by the end. The comfort factor will likely increase as the shoes get broken in.  The toe box is roomier than a lot of running shoes that I am used to, and this is a bonus for someone with slightly wider feet than me. I am excited to take these shoes out on another long (25-30) mile run, as well as find out how they perform in slightly muddy conditions this Fall! 

Who it’s for:

Someone who wants a great, durable trail running shoe with great traction in a variety of terrain.

Similar Products

I would compare the La Sportiva Mutants to the La Sportiva Bushido II and the Hoka Speedgoat 5, both of which are very different shoes.  The La Sportiva Bushido II, although it has great traction in a variety of conditions, doesn’t have as much padding as the Mutant, and also has a very narrow toe box in comparison.  The Hoka Speedgoat 5 has a high degree of cushion, but through 2 pairs and 1000 miles, I was always afraid of tripping myself because of the shoe height.  Not once was I worried about tripping because of the design of the Mutant, and the Impact Brake System kept me from doing so on several occasions!

Product to pair with it
Sidas Trail Protect Socks
Salomon Cross 3 Shorts
Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie