La Sportiva C-Lite

If you’re anything like any runner I’ve ever met you have a pile of running shoes. That pile is composed of various pairs you’ve picked up to try, which accounts for about 50% of its total mass. The other 50% is comprised of a single type of shoe you’ve bought over and over again because it works. My pile is made up of a bunch of other shoes and collection of La Sportiva C-Lites I’ve run the hell out of.

A pile of shoes

I bought my first pair in 2009 a year after they came out and I didn’t start running in them right away. At the time I was convinced that when I wore shoes I would wear something with more padding in order to give my feet a break. I ended up putting them on long before “race day” because I forgot the old set of trail shoes I was using and they just happened to be in the back of my truck. I actually remember that first run pretty well because I headed up an incredibly scree covered incline just west of the PCT along the Crest while it was raining hard. My initial impression was something like “Wow I didn’t slip even once”, but now, after many miles in them what I should also note is that they don’t slip because they fit so well. With this shoe La Sportiva doesn’t seem interested in putting a lot of material between you and the trail. This makes them, at least in my mind, an exceptional shoe for running technical trails. Its more like wearing a glove than wearing a shoe.

They are not a zero drop shoe, but the drop is, relative to many others shoes, very minimal. I take out the insoles in mine as well which reduces drop to nearly zero and it means that I have a very nice mid-foot landing instead of heal strike.

The toe box is spacious while the heal is nice and snug. This allows you to use your toes to dig in and make use of the perfect lug pattern of the sole while protecting your heal from constant blistering.

I generally wear this shoe out first, by punching through the sides of the toe box.

Notice the holes on the outside of each toe box.

My wear pattern on the sole, lugs and tread has never really been tested to failure I always end up sticking a toe out the side before I get to the point of needing to replace the shoe for other common reasons.

Left heal has a little wear, but not much.

This is a great shoe, which usually lasts me a couple of months of constant trail running. I highly recommend you try this shoe if you haven’t already. And I hope that La Sportiva continues to make them long into the future (just like they did in 2008).

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