Lafuma has a great range of trail-running shoes, and this new design looks like one the best. The Sky Race has a mesh upper to help keep the feet cool, but you get enough reinforcement around the sides and toe to keep the worst of the weather out while keeping the feet well-protected from knocks. The tongue is made from stretch material with very open mesh, providing a great fit and loads of breathability. The heel cup is very supportive too. Underfoot there’s a good blend of cushioning, support and a studded grip. The effect is an exceptional all-rounder that could be used on mud, grass, rock and harder surfaces. A unique feature is the lacing system, which makes it very easy to apply different tension to the lower white laces compared to the upper green ones.
However, it’s not the lightest shoe you can buy, so those looking for pure speed may prefer others. The outsole isn’t quite as aggressive as some more studded designs, so on mud and wet, grassy slopes others have an edge on grip. Some runners may prefer a more waterproof design. The price is a slight drawback too.
Upper: textile and 3D mesh
Sole: Vibram XRUN rubber, Lafuma Phylon tri-density midsole
Sizes: 6-12 (men’s); 3 1/2-8 (women’s)
Weight: 852g (pair, size 11)
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in the UK: 20
Verdict: A superb shoe for general off-road running if you prefer support and cushioning for a variety of terrain, rather than speed and grip in the mud.
First published in Trail magazine, April 2008