La Sportiva Men's Wildcat

Priced: $71.46 - $110.00 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 79 reviews.
La Sportiva Wildcat
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La Sportiva Wildcat -

The Wildcat Shoe by La Sportiva is a stable, neutral, extremely well cushioned trail running shoe: our most cushioned trail running shoe.

Built on the FriXion X-Axis rubber outsole the Wildcat digs into any surface for excellent traction and added cushion. The single density midsole provides excellent cushioning and is coupled with a plush LaSpEVA 2.4 mm lasting board. A great all around trail runner for people looking for great stability and cushion.

FEATURES of the La Sportiva Men's Wildcat Shoe.
SPECIFICATIONS of the La Sportiva Men's Wildcat Shoe.

Support and Cushioning:

  • A stable, neutral, and extremely well-cushioned trail running shoe.
  • 2.4mm LaSpEVA lasting board for sublime out-of-the-box cushioning
  • FriXion X-Axis rubber outsole digs into any surface for excellent traction and added cushion.


  • AirMesh upper with a Trail Cage frame and Transkinetic heel stabilizer for stability, as well as UreTech reinforcements in high wear areas.


  • La Sportiva's Impact Brake System proprietary technology in outsole design has the lugs of the soles oriented in opposing slanted directions, increasing braking power by an average of 20% and decreasing impact forces by an average of 20%.


  • MEMlex midsole and soft 2.4 mm EVA lasting board for shock absorption
  • Midsoles also have nylon molded shanks to modulate toe spring and offer additional stability
  • Dual-density MEMlex midsoles and 2.4mm thick LaSpEVA lasting boards provide ample cushioning


  • Medium Fit
  • Foot-wrap lacing harness provides a secure, stable fit for every type of foot


  • 1-piece nylon mesh uppers are highly breathable and lightweight; external thermoplastic urethane stabilizers provide support for heels
  • Dynamic tongue construction works with the lacing harnesses for a secure, snug fit; nylon mesh linings on tongue and back half of shoe wick moisture to help keep feet dry
  • Nylon-molded Flex Transfer shank gives you torsional stability and flexibility with each step.

Lining and Layers:

  • Honeycomb mesh lining (in the tongue and heel only).

Traction and Grip:

  • Impact Brake System™ helps reduce impact forces while improving traction via the multidirectional, offset lug pattern
  • Sticky FriXion® AT rubber outsoles deliver excellent traction and a smooth, resilient ride on and off the trail
  • Slanted lugs deform on impact and offer superior grip on very steep terrain


  • Flexible UreTech reinforcements on upper provides abrasion resistance


  • Reduces up to 20% of impact forces on feet, legs, and back on hard ground
  • PU insert/Transkinetic heel stabilizer and Flex Transfer shank for uneven terrain

The Wildcat is a stable, neutral, extremely well-cushioned trail running shoe with a 12mm heel-to-toe drop. Built on a FriXion® X-Axis rubber outsole, the Wildcat digs into any surface for excellent traction and added cushion. The single density midsole is coupled with a plush LaSpEVA 2.4 mm lasting board to provide sublime out-of-the box cushioning. If stability and cushioning are what you seek, the Wildcat is a great all-arounder. 

Note that La Sportiva shoes are produced in European half sizes, which are smaller increments that American half sizes and result in more sizes to choose from. See the size chart in the gray box above for the conversion. 

Feature list from La Sportiva.


Innovation with passion. That’s the mantra of La Sportiva, the Italian sport shoe company from Ziano di Fiemme whose iconic yellow boots and shoes can be found on mountainsides worldwide. The majority of La Sportiva footwear is still produced in their small, 150-person factory in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, where the spirit and heritage of master alpinists like Walter Bonatti and Reinhold Messner lives on. 

Rock/Creek Outfitters

The Wildcat Trail Running Shoe by La Sportiva is a neutral shoe designed for runners who want great stability and extra cushioning in every stride. Trail running is all about avoiding the obstacles, while moving forward and a good trail shoe helps you do that without getting hurt. With the FriXion X-Axis rubber outsole, you can dig into the deepest mud and still get excellent traction throughout the push-off.
The midsole has a single density cushioning and with the added plush factor of the LaSpEVA 2.4mm lasting board you get a shoe that takes on the impact instead of your knees. Supportive, solid and cushioned.
La Sportiva outfitted the Men’s Wildcat Trail Running Shoe with its ultra-sticky FriXion sole to ensure traction in any conditions. Whether you’re in steep, loose dirt or traversing a rock slab, these La Sportiva shoes keep you upright and going strong. An AirMesh upper ensures plenty of ventilation in hot summer heat as well, so you don’t have to stress over nasty, sweaty, blister-prone feet.
La Sportiva Built on the FriXion X-Axis rubber outsole the Wildcat digs into any surface for excellent traction and added cushion. The single density midsole provides excellent cushioning and is coupled with a plush LaSpEVA 2.4 mm lasting board. A great all around trail runner for people looking for great stability and cushion.
Ideal Terrain: Trail running in moderate to technical terrain with lots of cushion.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
La Sportiva's Wildcat trail running shoes deliver a stable, well-cushioned ride with a great fit—run wild! Ideal for neutral gaits with a medium to wide fit.

Country of Origin: Imported


For neutral runners wanting superb cushioning on their trail runs, look no further than the Wildcat from La Sportiva.


Mountain Gear
Unleash your wild side on the trail in the extra cushioning comfort of the Wildcat trail running shoes from La Sportiva.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Also available for: Women
Available Color(s):Red/Grey
Average footwear weight (pair):1 lb. 9 oz.
Avg. Weight (Pair):1 lb. 6.2 oz.
Comfortable performance fit:medium-wide
Country of Origin:China
Foot Volume:High
Footwear closure:Lace-up
Footwear height:Ankle
Forefoot Width:Wide
Forefoot Width Measurement:3.882 in.
Heel Width:Wide
Heel Width Measurement:2.853 in.
Lining:Honeycomb Mesh (tongue and heel only)
Material:AirMesh/ Trail Cage/ TPU Transkinetic Heel Stabilizer/ UreTech reinforcements
Material Family:Synthetic
Mid Sole:MEMlex / Nylon molded Flex transfer shank / LaSpEVA
Outsole:FriXion sticky rubber
Running shoe type:Trail
SOLE:FriXion® AT/ Impact Brake System™ X-Axis™
Shank:Molded nylon
Sizes:38 - 47.5 (half sizes)
Sizing Scale:EU
Support:Nylon shank
Upper:AirMesh/ Trail Cage/ TPU Transkinetic Heel Stabilizer/ UreTech reinforcements
Upper Material:Synthetic
Volume Measurement:760 ml
Weight:12.38 oz / 351 g
Weigth:12.37 oz / 328 g
Compare specifications to related products.

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La Sportiva

La Sportiva Wildcat Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Great shoe!!!

I recently lost a lot of weight (160 lbs.) and returned a couple of pairs of shoes to REI because they no longer fit my feet (they were way too big). I was looking at getting another pair of Solomon's, but tried the La Sportiva on just because I thought it looked neat. Once I put it on I was hooked! They feel great!!!!

They have great traction, good support, nice snug fit, and they are really comfortable. I'm trying to get into running, but at 250 lbs. it's still a task for me to run any great distance. However, these shoes feel great on my feet when I do get out and jog a bit. I mainly wear them in my Krav Maga class. We do a lot of running, jumping, kicking, and sparing. These shoes really help support my foot during the workouts. They fit snugly, not to be confused with too tight, but form fitting. I require a wide toe box usually, and these shoes fit the bill perfectly.

Since they are European they come in a 13.5 size which fits my big feet just right. I usually have to deal with shoes being a bit too big or a bit too small. But these 13.5's are just right for me.

I am planning on using them to do some light hiking/backpacking this spring and summer. In fact I'm already considering going to buy a second pair just so I don't wear out one pair too quickly.

The only draw back to these shoes is that they aren't water proof in any way. This isn't such a big deal in the spring and summer, but I have a few times where I've been out in the weather and came in with some very wet feet. However I really didn't want Gore Tex shoe for the trail in the summer due to the heat factor so I really see this as a minor inconvenience that was my choice anyway.

I think these are great shoes, and I would very much recommend them to anyone looking for a comfortable shoe to hit the trail in or in need of one for working out. Happy trails.
SunDevil98 at REI on 03/03/2011

Great shoe, some room for improvement

This is one of the best trail running shoes that I have used. On flatter trails that designed for running, it is light, rugged, stable, with excellent traction. On more technical terrain it slips occasionally on rock and wet rock when ascending. I would describe it as an over-built running shoe, not a "hiking boot on a diet."

I have worn it to run/speed hike some more rugged terrain and have noticed that two of the green nubs on the soles wore away quickly or become unglued and fell off, which began happening after a one-day run-hike of twelve miles on rocky and muddy trail. This green rubber is very soft and a higlight of the shoe since its orientation and stickiness makes the shoe feel safe on descents. I just wish it was more durable.

This shoe breathes well, but at the cost of not being waterproof; all it takes is a very shallow puddle or muddy patch and the water comes flowing in through the wide mesh.

I have worn it with REI brand synthetic socks and have not gotten any blisters during run/hikes of up to 20 miles, which is a huge plus.

I wish that the lacing extended further towards the toes. Another set of eyelets would be great since the toe-box is slightly on the wider side.

I would love for La Sportiva to develop some easy to use, optional gaiter system for their trail shoes.

These are an exellent first incarnation of this shoe model, with some room for improvement and perhaps a more water-proof or Gore-Tex model offered. It's the best neutral support trail shoe I have used (compared to five other models by La Sportiva and other brands). It feels more like a beefed-up neutral-support running shoe and less like a pared-down hiking boot.
RunBikeHike at REI on 08/08/2009

Best shoe I've ever owned

I have worn these shoes almost every day for over a year. I wear them for walking (I do a lot of walking), running, light hiking, to work, and just anywhere I am going. These are the most "purpose built" sneakers I have ever owned, I am not a hard core runner and usually just bought whatever brand at "generic shoe store" fit comfortably. These are also the most expensive sneakers I have ever bought but I had a sizable dividend and decided to splurge to find something of better quality. Previous attempts at trying to "get what I paid for" did not leave me any happier than the previous cookie cutter shoes.

I do not regret this purchase one bit. These are the first sneakers that have held up to a year of everyday wear without falling apart. Usually sneakers will wear out on the inside of the heal, the sole will separate and stitching will fray. After a year, these sneakers show almost no wear. They look nearly as good as the day I bought them. The only minor blemishes are my own fault (a little wear on the heal of the sole because I step on the back to take them off).

The only con is that the sole wears out quickly. After a year, they are a lot closer to smooth than previous sneakers. However, I don't hold this against them because all my other shoes fell apart before this length of time. As a casual wearer, I can get many more miles out of these shoes.

I am glad to see REI still carries them as I will be buying a new pair to carry me for another year. My current pair will become the poorer weather backups.
TronDD at REI on 09/09/2010

Great shoe for long distance backpacking

I am section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail so I am hiking long distances with weight on my back. I was searching for a comfortable shoe, fairly light and breathable. This shoe was one of my first picks. The first year on the PCT I backpacked about 80 miles with a 45 pound pack (way overweight). At the end of 80 miles my feet were swollen and I abandoned this shoe. However, the next pair I tried, different make, did not work well. I did like the overall comfort of the La Sportiva and I thought that maybe the excessive swelling I experienced with the Sportiva was due to the shoe's lack of firm support. It felt a little flimsy compared to other shoes. I bought a pair of Superfeet to add some stability in the sole and put them in the Sportiva. So I used the Sportiva this year on the PCT and backpacked 235 miles in two week with exactly zero foot problems. Not even a blister (after I switched to socks with individual toes). I was extremely happy with the performance and I was hiking over 20 miles on some days with a 35-40 pound backpack (still too heavy). I ran into a few other backpackers with this shoe and they felt exactly as I do, they love the shoe. One negative, the shoe started to fall apart after my 235 mile trip this year. I figure I had about 400 total hiking miles on the shoe at that point. Foot problems on long hikes are one of the most common complaints. I can say that the La Sportiva, in addition to individual toe socks, completely eliminated that problem for me, other than the normal foot fatigue from long distances.
Starbucks at REI on 05/05/2013

Great for trails, pavement, and lounging

After a long bout of cheap sneakers, I decided to upgrade to some decent running shoes. After trawling REI reviews, I came upon a favorably rated pair: La Sportiva Wildcat Trail-Running Shoes.

Upon receiving my shoes, I noticed how light they were, with an average weight of 25 ounces. My concern was that they would be too flimsy, but the sole held to substantial hand pressure, from ball of foot to heel.

The heel is reinforced with an external urethane stabilizer. It looks too thin to be of any effect, but again I was surprised by the stiffness of the heel.

On a test run, I was impressed by the comfort and cushioning, contrasted with the light weight of the shoes. I also liked the feeling of moving air passing through the nylon mesh uppers. This helped keep my feet dry. Though well ventilated, these shoes take on water faster than a sponge, but the flip side is that they dry more quickly.

The sole is dotted with lugs. These lugs take the brunt of force from a footfall, leaving a cushioned step. However, the aggressive tread can hold a decent amount of muck that wiping on a place mat doesn't quite clear. Also, the shoes don't hold as well on slick rock as my Merrell's or Keen's.

My ankles are pretty bad from repeated sprains, but these running shoes take off a lot of stress, so I can go the distance even on bad days. They work well on pavement, trails, and around the house. Although I would use them on a day hike on tough trails, I'm not sure they're the right footwear for loaded backpacking.

Overall, I recommend them highly.
chris bemis at REI on 04/04/2011

The best!

I've spent the last 6 months (literally) searching for a new trail shoe. I have a few trail marathons coming up this summer, and my poor luck in finding a shoe has made me nervous. I've tried dozens of different light hikers and trail runners from New Balance, Montrail, Salomon, Mizuno, and Vasque in my search. Having found something that works, I've bought another two pairs just in case La Sportiva suddenly decides to stop making these.

Like a lot of overpronators, I prefer to add an insole/orthotic to neutral shoe rather than use a shoe which has arch support built in. With the exception of Chaco sandals, I've not worn any shoe or boot with the right level of arch support in the right place. The Wildcat accomodates my Superfeet Blue pretty well, much better than most of the trail shoes I've tried.

The outsole is awesome. Yes, it wears quickly but it is amazingly sticky, Most recently, I'd been using Montrails with outsoles that tend to wear longer but be slippery on rock. There isn't any way around it- the better the traction and the more sticky the rubber, the more quickly it'll wear down. Don't use these for road running- it's a sad way for a trail shoe to spend its life.

The only thing I don't like about the Wildcat is the curvature. It makes sense for those with high arches who genuinely need a neutral shoe, but I'd prefer something a little straighter. The curve isn't severe enough for me to look elsewhere, but I'm not alone as an overpronator using the Wildcats with some orthotics.
RevAaron at REI on 04/04/2011

Best shoe I've ever owned

I am training for a mountain marathon, and already did a mountain half marathon, with these shoes. They are AMAZING. I love the way they feel - not super cushioned like many shoes but more free, but not quite 'minimalist.' I have high arches and these shoes are perfect for me. They have really great, aggressive traction.

I like the single-layer-under-mesh design because my feet are very ventilated, and if I step in a stream or something they dry fairly quickly, and even while wet I don't get blisters. In fact, I had a blister on my heal from hiking and the next day I ran 15 miles in these shoes and they didn't aggravate the blister at all.

I have also used these many times in a few inches of snow and only had wet feet when I stepped in a puddles, and even then my feet were only cold for a few minutes.

I would take these shoes, on trail, over my road shoes on... the road. That said, these shoes are for trail use ONLY. When on pavement they have this really odd feeling of sticking, sort of like you have gum all over your shoe. The balance is fine, but the sole feels quite uncomfortable - you can feel the lugs through the bottom.

If you need a shoe exclusively for intense trail running, this setup is awesome. If you're looking for waterproof, there is a GoreTex version - though I'm sure the GoreTex makes the shoe very hot in warm weather.
SkiDoo at REI on 06/06/2011

When I was looking for a good general use summer-time shoe, I had three basic requirements. First, they had to look cool. I know this is subjective, but these work really well for me. In fact, I think they look better in person than in the stock photos. Second, they had to breathe extremely well. There is nothing more annoying and uncomfortable than hot feet, especially when hiking or running. These are absolutely wonderful in that department. If there is a strong enough wind, you can feel the air blowing on your feet. I've used these for trail running and hiking and my feet stay nice and cool. Third, they had to have a strong but grippy sole. A nice big piece of rubber on the toe guards against kicking into anything unexpected. The soles are strong, yet provide plenty of shock absorption while running. Nice and cushy.
Trail running shoes should be a perfect combination of a hiking boot and a running shoe and these fit the bill. I generally wear a size 9 (8.5 in Salomons if that helps) and the sizing is true to size. I have used these for trail running and hiking and they work amazingly well. Exactly what I was looking for. I find myself wearing these for casual use quite often. This is my first experience with a La Sportiva product. Based on these shoes I would certainly consider their other offerings.

Matt R at on 08/03/2013

I was looking for a breathable 3-season hiking shoe that would be able to get wet and still be comfortable without that squishy feeling you get with most of the waterproof/Gore Tex hiking boots. I was worried these shoes would not offer enough protection on those rocky areas and would not be sticky enough on slick surfaces but I have put them through the ringer on some brutal terrain and these shoes get the job done with comfy feet at the end of the day. I've used them for about 200 miles now to include many wet, rocky trails, bushwhacking for miles through moss covered rocks and thick spruce and heading down brooks with cold water and wet, slippery rocks everywhere. These shoes have taken everything I can dish out (including a Mt. Whitney summit in CA and a Mt Washington summit in NH) and they are the most comfortable, breathable pair of hiking shoes I have ever owned. Even a full day of hiking in wet conditions did not produce those "prune" feet at the end of the day, these shoes let the air in. I will definitely buy them again.
The only thing you have to watch out for is they seem to run a little small, I'm usually an 11. The 11 1/2 were too tight, but the 12 fits great.

Brian at on 09/10/2013

When I wore out my crosslites and found my bouder x approach shoes gave me blisters after about 5 miles on the trail, I was on the hunt. I wanted something I could trail run in, but also walk 20+ miles with no issues and scramble over talus or up 3rd, maybe 4th class. The Wildcat is a great shoe. It has La Sportiva's characteristically narrow fit, a great heel box that really locks you in, relatively sticky rubber (compared to other trail runners) and a very breathable mesh upper. The toe bumper is a must on rocky trail and talus and while this one is small, it protected my feet from more than one stubbed toe. Going from the crosslite up to this you immediately notice the high heel to toe drop and beefy heel. This is no minimalist, crossover or barefoot running shoe. It's also heavy compared to the crosslite. My size 47 weighs 29oz for the pair. Compared to an approach shoe, the mesh upper clearly wont last as long as leather and you dont get a full rand around the shoe to protect it. Anyway, for now it's a good compromise. It's a shoe I can walk or run in for 20+ miles, classic sportiva fit, relatively stiff sole to protect from rocks on the trail.

jrc at on 07/19/2013

Negative Reviews:

I've used these for more than a year now and I'm thoroughly disappointed. These shoes are probably the least stable shoes I've ever used on uneven terrain. Every time I go out for a hike or run, it's a gamble on whether I'll role my ankle or not. My street shoes would be better equipped.
If you're running full-bore on somewhat even terrain, momentum will keep you somewhat stable, if you're just hiking or are on uneven trails, these shoes are outright dangerous.
They also have the worst grip of any shoes I've ever tried. I do a fair bit of scrambling to get to climbing starts, and these shoes are dangerous for those as well. I have to switch to my climbing shoes just to do scrambles everyone else does in their hiking shoes, because I'm afraid these will outright slip off some of the terrain I try, and leave me at the bottom with a broken neck.
Not recommended at all, unless you're only running flat fire trails.

Matt T at on 04/08/2012

Fastest Wearing Shoes Ever

My first pair of La Sportivas, these shoes new had great traction, comfortable feel, and wick sweat away fast. I also liked some little details, like the sealed seams, relatively light weight, and the little plastic gaurd on the back.

However, both the soles (especially the green traction nubs) and the fabric wore especially fast. Their own brand name rubbed off the top of the toe cap within the first week of owning them. Discolored, uneven wearing material everywhere else.

They are not supportive enough in my opinion for the trail. Not good around wet rock/concrete either as others noted. Shoe upper drys fast, but cheap, foam bottom doesn't. When the traction numbs wear off, you won't want to use them for anything except around town after.

Overall, just feels like a very cheap pair of shoes that...weren't.
HikingTeaCup at REI on 01/01/2013

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Make sure this shoe is not too tight around your ankles. My ankle size is normal and ended up with tarsal tunnel syndrome in both feet. These shoes fit great in every other way except around the ankles. Injuries from the shoes began healing as soon as I swapped them for other trail runners.
trail runner at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 11/11/2012

Neutral Reviews:

I have only run a couple of times in these shoes so far. I only run in the mountains on pretty ruff trail and these shoes offer durable protection. Their sole is a bit on the stiff side which offers good protection but hinders a natural stride some. The soles will likely soften with age. My main complaint about these shoes is the toe box. It is too narrow across the metatarsal heads and puts the squeeze on your fore foot. Also the toe box has a shape which is not anatomically friendly. It results in your big toe hitting the front of the shoe on sustained downhills and causing a fair amount of toe jam. Also, I have 42.5 in these, I typically wear a 42, and they still seem tight. Maybe I should have tried a 43 but it seems to be a width issue not length. I bought the Patagonia Tsali 2.0 a couple of months ago and have done a number of 15+ milers in those and the fit is much better but they haven't held up very well, mainly the toe catches on rocks and begins to slowly peel the sole. To be fair, I do run mostly fourteeners and high alpine rocky terrain and never less than 10 miles. I wish one of the companies combined the strengths of these two shoes.

tkrp515414 at on 07/19/2013

Great Comfort, but falls apart quickly

These were my second pair of Wild Cats, 1st was gore tex outer (which held up much better). These fit awesome right out of box on long rocky/rooty and wet Northern New England trails. Comfortable on long runs without any break in period and I never got blisters with these. BUT... they fell apart quickly, more quickly than any trail shoe I've had. The outer on the outside of both shoes, near the front of the shoe, just ripped apart and this lead to lack of forefoot stability. Also, I do not think the cushioning lasted long. I have to retire these after only 250 miles.
BillInVT at REI on 10/10/2012

Just OK!

I bought these during an REI sale based on reviews.
They are ok. I wouldn't race to buy them again.
The heel has worn very quickly and they feel small.
They are however comfortable and had I bought a 1/2 size larger, I might have loved them.
chris ma at REI on 11/11/2010

Decent shoe

On my second pair. Not worth [$], but i got a pair at REI garage sale for $10, so i think they are worth that much. good all around shoe, but i wouldnt pay more than $75 for them. good shoe, but wears out quite fast.
Mharon47 at REI on 09/09/2010