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Shoe ReviewsTrail

La Sportiva Kaptiva Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.3 oz. (292 g) for a US M9 / 8.8 oz. (249 g) for a US W8
  • One-piece tongue cradles your foot for a secure ride
  • Low profile design catches runners by surprise
  • A versatile trail runner at low-to-mid distances

ALEX: The La Sportiva Kaptiva is a lightweight, low-volume, low-profile trail shoe that strikes the balance between protection, stability, and traction. This trail runner manages to hit all the right notes while looking oh so pretty. 

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The Good

ALEX: Weighing in at just 9.2 oz (260 g) in my size, the clean, sleek design and no-fuss colorways of this shoe immediately caught my eye. I couldn’t help but wonder, however, if the Kaptiva’s slender elegance was going to be as easy on my feet as it was on my eyes. The Kaptiva’s volume is much lower than many of my current trail shoes in terms of both height and width. Combined with its sock-like compression, I was a little concerned that it would feel too tight through the mid and forefoot. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the TRUST-FIT shape cradles the foot and has a noticeably close fit, and the knit wraparound tongue stretches over the top of the foot and feels secure but not restrictive. I really appreciated the one-piece design of the tongue, as it’s seamlessly integrated into the upper and doesn’t slide around. The collar sits just below the ankle so as to not cause any rubbing or pressure. The design also prevents debris from getting in the shoe. 

The thermo-adhesive midfoot overlays are minimal, without adding bulk or weird flex points, and contribute to a secure feel. The toe is also well protected by a TPU toe cap. 

The FriXion® XF 2.0 outsole is equipped with an impact brake system and varying 3.5-4.5 mm lugs. The aggressive, sticky grip combined with the Kaptiva’s low profile gives me a lot of stability on technical, wet, muddy, and loose terrain. The 1.5 mm EVA rock-guard in the forefoot & heel provides ample underfoot protection on the rooty rocky stuff.

Finally, I noticed some pretty significant arch support built-in, which is good for me, but not for everyone.

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The Bad

ALEX: The low-volume nature of the Kaptiva will keep this shoe as an option for short to mid-distance runs, likely up to 15 miles. On the longer days out either training or racing, I’ll opt for a shoe with a roomier feel and a little more cushion. 

Shop Kaptiva – Men Shop Kaptiva – Women

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La Sportiva Kaptiva Conclusion

ALEX: The La Sportiva Kaptiva features the durable design and high-quality materials that the Italian footwear brand is known for. The upper has a clean look and feel and the outsole has all the traction I need to feel confident on any trail. My favorite part of this shoe is the minimal, stretchy, knit wraparound tongue, it’s so comfortable. I’ll definitely be adding these into the regular rotation for those mid-distance days on technical terrain. 

Don’t forget to size up a half size if you’re referencing US sizes, as La Sportiva uses European sizing.

You can pick up the La Sportiva Kaptiva at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Kaptiva – Men Shop Kaptiva – Women

Alex is an ultra runner who lives for the long, cold Minnesota winters. She works in public health and enjoys applying creative problem solving to emerging health and environmental issues faced by local communities.

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