La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide
La Sportiva is known for their innovative climbing footwear world wide but I hadn’t had a chance to try them out for hiking. I had heard really good things and finally got a chance to test them myself. I was sent a pair of La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid/Wide cut and put them through their paces. Here is my review of the hikers.
As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I was sent this pair of La Sportiva Ultra Raptors so that I could write this review. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this pair of shoes. I am not compensated for the opinions on this review. Your experience with the shoes may be different. This site uses affiliate marketing links. If you click on a buy now button and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
From La Sportiva
Before I get into my opinions I wanted to share some of the specs on the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid WIde. La Sportiva describes the Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide as, “Designed from the inside out to withstand the harshest conditions on unpredictable terrain, the Ultra Raptor II Mid Leather WIDE GTX is the perfect option for hikers who need a shoe that can handle the daily grind.” Here is more of the specs directly from LaSportivaUSA.com.
Men: 6, 6.5, 6.5+, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 8.5+, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 10.5+, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 12.5+, 13
Women: 7, 7.5, 7.5+, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 9.5+, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 11.5+, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 13.5+, 14
- Wide and normal fit are available.
- Debossed Nubuck Leather upper offers unbeatable comfort and durability
- Gore-Tex® lining is waterproof and breathable to keep your feet dry no matter the weather
- FriXion® AT 2.0 outsole with Impact Brake System™ provides excellent traction and long lasting durability on steep descents, slick trails and uneven ground
- TPU Transkinetic EVO heel stabilizer and the high collar provides extra support and stability backpackers need for high mileage days
- Injection molded MeMlex midsole provides cushion and support and a noticeable bounce for every stride
- WIDE FIT.
Ivy/Tango Red is the only color available as of this writing in wide.
What I liked
I really liked a lot with the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide hiking shoe. It has the best waterproofing of all of the shoes that I have tried. They also have a really nice fit and offer a wide fit that really helps out some folks. The hiker also scored really high in the grip and traction categories. Here is a breakdown of what I liked about the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide.
I have tried out a lot of hiking shoes and boots over the few years and I can say that the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II is tops when it comes to waterproofing. I did my testing in one of the wettest winters that we have had recently in Colorado and there were very few days that I wasn’t walking on some form of snow, ice or melt. The Ultra Raptor kept my feet bone dry on every occasion.
One of the things that is important for the winter waterproofing is the tongue seal. When hiking through a couple of feet of snow it is easy to get some powder falling into your shoe but the mid level height and unique way the tongue fits and seals made it so no snow every made it down towards my foot. The Gore-Tex lining also kept all of the snow and water from penetrating into the boot but was still breathable enough to that my sock didn’t get damp with sweat.
Granted I didn’t stand in a puddle or a stream or anything but in Colorado we run into more snow and mud that puddles and these shoes were rock solid every time out when it came to waterproofing. They have become one of my favorite footwear for winter hiking.
Hallelujah! A wide fit hiker! As someone with a wider foot this is some of the best news I have heard. It is surprisingly difficult to find a wide in a hiking shoe or boot. I really liked the fit of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide. It starts with getting my foot in and out. A nice easy slide in and out with a stiff collar that holds form and then stays firm yet flexible to help support the ankle.
The collar gives way to a nice wide toe box. This is where I usually run into problems with my wide foot. Other hiking footwear can squeeze my toes down to fit in a narrow toe box but this wide fit from La Sportiva gives my feet the ability to be spread out. There is also a nice padding to the shoe that allows for a very comfortable hike.
The only thing I didn’t like about the fit was that I thought the heel was a little loose and it didn’t have great heel capture but I have more on that below.
I find the pad to be very important when it comes to a hiking shoe. Colorado has a lot of rocky trails and there is nothing worse than stepping on a rock and feeling it in the bottom of your foot. The midsole pad of the Ultra Raptor is thick and actually has a nice bounce to it. I never felt any rocks trying to penetrate through and each step was, dare I say, kinda soft!
This is a really comfortable hiker that allows me to walk at my pace and not worry about tip-toeing around trying to avoid obstacles. I will say that I did a lot of walking in snow for these tests which would give a little more padding. However, there wasn’t a big difference when I transitioned from snow to dirt or rock. I still felt like my foot was laying in comfy bed of support with every step.
The sample pair of the Ultra Raptor II was black on black with a bit of gray trim. There was some shiny plastic around the logo and on the toes. I don’t see that color scheme listed on the website as available as of this writing but I have to say that I think they look very sharp and sleek. One of my favorite parts of the look is the tread. It just looks like it is meant for business and ready to take on anything. Since I can’t really compare my sample version to the current look I will say the tread gives these shoes a jump into the positive side on this review.
Speaking of the treads, the grip is another thing that the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II does really well. As I mentioned before I hiked a lot in winter in these hikers and they handled snow and slush really well. I have always found that to be one of the best test for the grip of a hiking shoe. The Ultra Raptor have six channels that help redirect the snow so it doesn’t clump underfoot. There are also 27 rubber nodules that act sort of like cleats helping to keep the foot stable no matter where you step.
The Ultra Raptor’s didn’t only work well in snow though. They clung to dirt trails with each step. The modules help on uneven terrain as well because of their spacing around the bottom of the shoe. Even if you step on a bit of an angle there is a set of modules that are helping to grip the ground to keep you on track.
No shoe is going to do well on ice and I strongly recommend wearing traction devices when necessary. Here is a bigger breakdown of my thoughts on the Ultra Raptor II based on my slip scale.
On a slip scale from worst to best of: Oh-HOLY COW–NO NO NO, Woah, Not Bad, I Got This, No Worries!
- Flat Dry ground that is dirt or rock: No Worries
- Flat ground that is a little damp or muddy: No Worries
- Loose dirt: No Worries
- Walking across rock boulders: No Worries
- Declining down a flat rock: No Worries
- Scree: Not Attempted
- When bottom of shoes are wet: No Worries
I think the Ultra Raptor is definitely in the top two of hikers that I have tried when it has come to grip. It is also the second pair to get a perfect grip score in my totally unscientific Slip Scale.
Bouldering and Rock Walking
I didn’t do a ton of this because of the snow but when I did the shoe held well. I didn’t do any 45 degree tests but the uneven surface of boulders were handled well by the traction system and I had a lot of confidence while bouldering.
Snow, Slush, Ice
I hiked a lot in the snow with these shoes and was really impressed. In a couple inches of snow when I would be tempted to throw on spikes with other hikers, I felt confident walking in the Ultra Raptors. Slush was also no problem with the shoes when I delt with it in the parking lots at the start and end of hikes. Once I got onto solid ice I did throw on spikes. No shoe can handle ice well and I always strongly recommend traction devices in these situations.
Damp tread was no problem at all with the Ultra Raptor. This is typically tested from walking through puddles or snow and then hitting hard surfaces like roads or solid rock. I did this several time and had no problems at all. I think the same channels that I mentioned in the snow help to dispearse the water quickly and make for a solid grip.
Dry trail was no problem at all and there is really strong grip.
Mud is horrible and I hate mud. If it is too deep there really is nothing a shoe can do if four inches of soil starts sliding. That being said, in mild to moderate conditions the Ultra Raptor do well.
What I didn’t Like
I liked most things about the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II but they take my blogger card away if I don’t find something I didn’t like. For me there was one thing with the fit and one thing that may have been in my imagination.
I am not sure if this is because I got the wide or not but I did have some slipping in my heel with this boot. The wide fit my funky shaped foot really nicely around my toes and front of my foot but there was a little bit of extra room that let my heel roam a little too freely. I didn’t really notice it on the flatter ground but when I hit some hills and had elevation to deal with was when I noticed some slipping.
Again, I have a weird shaped foot that is wide in the front and narrow in the heel so this may have been part of the problem. The wide style may have extended down to the heel and my foot just wasn’t wide enough to fit but I have worn other wide cut boots without this problem so I thought I would mention it.
I tested the Ultra Raptor mostly in the winter and that meant that I had to put on spikes on several of my test hikes. I had a problem getting the spikes on a few times because of the shape of the toe section of the shoe. While some waterproof shoes and boots have a more boxy and squared off toe, the Ultra Raptor was more rounded and the microspikes didn’t always grab that the same way. The spikes would end up askew the first time I put them on and I would have to adjust the fit to square them up on the boot.
This is a very specific issue for people that wear spikes a lot and are super lazy like me and want to just throw them on without sitting down or leaning against a tree but, again, it happened more than once so I thought I would mention it.
Couple of little things, that may be me specific but still worth pointing out, that I didn’t love about these shoes.
Video Review of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide
Before my final thoughts here is a quick video review of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II. If you enjoy the review make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to see my new content.
Wrap Up of La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid Wide
I have to be honest, this is one of the better pair of hiking shoes I have worn on winter hikes. I tested them in the winter and they were warm, waterproof and comfortable. In fact they had some of the best waterproofing that I had ever tried. They also had really good traction that is important on the trails in winter. I was really impressed with these from start to finish.
I did have a little bit of trouble with the heel capture on the shoes and had a little bit of heel slipping but overall there was an excellent fit and a very comfortable shoe as well. Also, I liked that the collar of the mid level cut was firm but flexible and provided really nice support for my ankles.
Overall, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II was one of the best hikers that I have worn. I would highly suggest it for those looking for a boot in the winter. While I haven’t done much hiking in them above 70 degrees, I do feel that the breathability will also make them a very comfortable shoe for all seasons.
More from the Fatman
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