La Sportiva Jackal II Trail Runners
Trail Runner shoes have become a very popular option for hikers and backpackers who are trying to keep their weight down while also having supportive and technical footwear. The La Sportiva Jackal II Trail Runners are a versatile trail runner for both runners and hikers. They come in both a men‘s and women‘s style and combine lightweight with traction and durability. Here are my thoughts on the Jackal II from a hiker’s point of view.
As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I was given the La Sportiva Jackal II Trail Runners so that I could write this review. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this jacket. I am not compensated for the opinions on this review. Your experience with the shoes may be different.
From La Sportiva about the Jackal II Trail Runners
Before I get into my review of the Jackal II, I wanted to take a look at what La Sportiva has to say about their shoe. From the website about the men’s Jackal II, “Designed for runners looking for plush cushion, a wider fit and higher volume, the Jackal II trail-running shoes keep your feet steady and stoked for long runs through rough and technical terrain.”
Here are some more of the stats and details about the La Sportiva Jackal Trail Runners directly from their website.
Mens 6, 6.5, 6.5+(39), 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 8.5+(41.5), 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 10.5+(44), 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 12.5+(46.5), 13, 13.5, 14, 14.5
Womens 5.5, 5.5+(36.5), 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 7.5+(39), 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 9.5+(41.5), 10, 10.5, 11
Mens Electric Blue/Lime Punch, Neon/Goji, Black/Clay (pictured)
Womens Storm Blue/Lagoon, Carbon/Lagoon
Mens 9.7 ounces
Womens 8.6 ounces
- Updates from the first Jackal version include: use of recycled mesh (forefoot, tongue and lining), new tongue construction for reduced weight, redesigned heel with new construction and materials, and a new lacing design for a higher level of forefoot volume adaptability
- • Innovative midsole combination of EVA and Infinitoo™ PU Inserts (10mm heel and 5mm forefoot) for the perfect balance of long-distance cushion and trail stability
- • Frixion® XT 2.0 Rubber Compound for a balance of traction and durability
- • Medial/lateral Mono-Burr Mesh increases breathability for maximum ventilation and climate comfort
- • User Profile: Ideal for Mountain Runners looking for a mid- to long-distance shoe for runs and races on more technical terrain
UPPER: Recycled sandwich mesh / Recycled laces / Breathable Mono-burr Nylon inserts / No-Sew Thermo-adhesive TPU reinforcements / TPU toe cap
LINING: Recycled abrasion-resistant mesh
MIDSOLE: Compression molded EVA with Infinitoo™ PU inserts / 1.5mm Dual-density compressed EVA rock-guard
SOLE: FriXion® XT 2.0 with Impact Brake System™ / FLEX inserts / 3.5mm lugs
DROP: Drop 7mm • Stack: Heel: 29mm / Toe: 22mm
CUSHIONING: EVA: 35A & 32A (heel/forefoot) / Infinitoo™ PU inserts: 30A (heel/forefoot)
*All information from LaSportivausa.com. Check the website for full details and options.
What I liked about the La Sportiva Jackal II Trail Runners
There is a lot to like about the La Sportiva Jackal Trail Runners. The wider fit is really comfortable for me. Grip and support is top notch and the shoes are really breathable. Here is a bit more on some of the things I liked about the Jackal II.
Size and Fit
One of the things that is really hard for me to find is a wider fitting trail runner. I have a wide foot and a high instep and that makes it really difficult to find shoes that fit and area also functional. I was really pleased with how well the La Sportiva Jackal II fit on my odd foot.
The shoe is wide enough that my toes don’t feel cramped and even have some room to move around a bit. Even with the wider toe box, there isn’t too much room in the heel and there is still a real nice heel capture that keeps my foot from sliding around in the back end.
Overall, the wider cut makes for a really comfortable fit for me as a hiker and using the shoes around town as my everyday shoes. I am not a runner so I can’t tell you how this fit will effect runners on the trail. Also, the shoe is not a special wide version, just designed with a wider fit, so those with narrow feet might want to try them on to make sure that fit is right for them.
I do a lot of hiking in mid cut hikers to help protect my ankles, which are a little crunchy. Sometimes I get concerned with lower cut shoes and how the support will hold up. I was really impressed with the support that I got from the Jackal II Trail Runners and feel totally confident hiking in them.
I hike mostly in Colorado and have had some really rocky trails lately and the Jackal hold up really well to all of the twists and turns of stepping on uneven boulders and roots. The other nice thing is how strong the pad is on such a lightweight shoe. The trails I hike on also have lots of smaller rocks and roots sticking out of the dirt and I have never had an issue with those causing pain.
Since I have used these shoes as my everyday shoe and walked to work and around downtown, plus taken them out on about a dozen hikes, I probably have close to 75-100 miles on them and I haven’t seen any degradation on the support or foot protection which is really impressive. Sometimes after using the shoes for a few months they loosen up a bit or get a little soft but I haven’t seen that at all with the Jackal which is really nice.
Grip and Traction
One of the most important part of a trail shoe is the traction. The shoe has to be able to keep you upright on easy terrain but also needs to keep you going on rocks, dirt, mud and all other obstacles. The Jackals do an excellent job of staying on the trail and I was really impressed.
Since the Jackal II is a trail runner it puts a lot of focus on the traction in the front of the shoe. This helps runners push off but also really helps hikers as they are going downhill. Downhill on loose or rocky terrain puts most of the hikers weight up in the toes. So the Jackal having extra grip in the front allows for more stability making it a nice hiking shoe.
La Sportiva didn’t forget about the heel either. The back of the shoe is also ringed with treads and there are treads on either side as well that provides stability no matter where your foot lands on uneven terrain. I had a lot of confidence hiking with these shoes in all sorts of terrain.
Breathability is very important in a trail runner. Whether you are running or hiking your feet can overheat in the summer sun. The Jackal II has a series of mesh panels that provide a very breathable surface that keeps the foot nice and cool.
The mesh is really strong and durable as well. The woods I hike in have lots of twigs and branches that will grab and scratch any chance they get, but they haven’t been able to damage any of the mesh. It is tough enough to keep out big debris as well. There is a bit of a downside to the mesh and weatherproofing that I talk about below.
Overall, I like the mesh and it really helps to keep me comfortable on the trail and in the city. My feet never overheat. My socks don’t end up super sweaty. It is just a really comfortable experience every time that I adventure out in the Jackal II.
What I didn’t Like
While I liked most aspects of the Jackal II, they will take my blogger card away if I don’t find something that I didn’t like. For me the only downside was actually a good thing as well. The mesh that helps with the breathability also caused the Jackal to be susceptible to adverse trail conditions. If there was rain or puddles or the trail got really sandy then that water or sand could end up making its way through the mesh and into the shoe.
It is one of those give or take moments where the breathability is really nice and the mesh helps to keep the weight down but you have to be prepared and know the terrain you are on.
Video Review of the La Sportiva Jackal Trail Runners
I have put together a quick video review of the La Sportiva Jackal Trail Runners for those of you who like to videos. If you enjoy the video make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. It is free and you will get updated for all of my outdoor content.
Wrap Up of the La Sportiva Jackal II Trail Runners
.Overall, I really enjoyed the Jackal II. As a non runner I know this isn’t a complete review but so many people are using trail runners to hike that I think it will be helpful. The Jackal II do a really good on everything the trails can throw at them.
They have really good grip and handle all of the obsticles that I find in the Rocky Mountains. They also have a wider fit that allows me more comfort through the toe box. Finally, the have really good support for my ankles and protect the bottom of my feet on each hike.
For those of you looking for a trail runner to hike in the Jackal II could be a great option. They are not water proof so that will have to be a consideration depend on where you hike, but on a typical hike they should do just fine. I like them so much they became my everyday shoe to walk around the city! Plus, they still chew up trails every weekend!
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