La Sportiva Crosslight 2009

The La Sportiva Crosslight is a sportily designed, light (576g) shoe that makes you look like a professional. The aggressive sole unit, with its deep, widely spaced lugs, provides good traction and mud shedding on steep, mud or rock-choked paths, while the breathable mesh upper means going fast doesn’t result in sweaty toes.

Design
The sleek styling and deep sole lugs makes this shoe look like it eats steep mountain paths for breakfast, then comes back for more at elevenses. You can see why it scored 5 stars in the last Trail test (May 08) because it has all the features you would want in a trail running shoe – enough cushioning to feel responsive but protect your sole on intricate rock tracks, a protective rubber rand, and blunt, arrow-shaped lugs that dig into steep mud and grass slopes for efficient braking but are wide enough that mud doesn’t hang on underneath. The only downside of this shoe for me was the mesh over the lower two-thirds of the laces. While this works well as a grit-guard, I would cut this section down as I couldn’t pull in the lower laces to bring the shoe in tight around my typically narrow female feet.

In action
I felt faster immediately wearing these. I couldn’t work out if it was the elite styling, easy comfort or aggressive sole unit of the shoes, but something about them propelled me forward and made me feel like I could sprint to the summits at the horizon. The Crosslight provides a good level of cushioning (similar to the Vasque Aether Tech) for all types of terrain, from hard-packed tracks to stomach-churningly steep hillside caked in mud, scree and grit. You could also walk in this shoe, but watch out – it makes you feel like running, so much that you might find yourself upping the pace!

 

Upper breathable mesh, synthetic overlays
Sole midsole: double density EVA; outsole: AT FriXion with Impact Brake System
Sizes 3-13
Weight 576g (pair, size 5.5)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK no info provided
Stockist details (015396) 25493; www.lasportiva.com

Verdict: Buy the La Sportiva Crosslight if you want to look like a pro and speed lightly over very muddy to hard-packed and grit-choked steep mountain tracks without slipping or getting weighed down with mud-clogged shoes. It won ‘Best in Test’.

 

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine May 2009