Shoe ReviewsTrail

La Sportiva Mutant Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.9 oz. (309 g) for a US M 10 / 9.6 oz. (272 g) for a US W 7
  • AirMesh upper is super breathable
  • FriXion XF outsole provides scary-good traction over any terrain
  • This shoe is an absolute FREAK on the trails

MATT: Before the Mutant, I had no experience with La Sportiva shoes. I’d seen some of their trail models online or in print and always thought they had some really wild and stylish looks, but it seemed as though the brand didn’t have a huge presence in the East Coast trail running scene.

The Mutant really stuck out to me. Its combination of sleek design and aggressive outsole felt like a unique match for sloppy winter singletrack. The name really fits the shoe, as it’s sort of a cross between Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Beast.


The Good

MATT: The Mutant’s upper is a combination of AirMesh and TPU material that provides a very snug, locked-in fit. The Air Mesh dances the line of super breathable while not too airy for cold temps.

The Fusiongate lacing system integrates perfectly with the structure of the upper and delivers a locked-in feel without having to yank down on the laces. It does a great job of protecting laces from dirt and grime as well. Added bonus points for the thin & rounded laces. 

The Mutant’s midsole is Injection Molded EVA that features a curved stabilizer insert on both sides of the shoe beneath the arch of the foot. This structure provides a firm ride but with just enough cushion to keep the legs from getting pounded. It’s not exactly a cushy ride, but there’s enough foam to run for hours at a time.

The Mutant is marketed as a lightweight option for tackling technical, slick conditions. Weighing just under 11 oz for my size 10s, this shoe is certainly light considering the aggressive outsole and lugs.

The sole and lugs on the Mutant are really special. The FriXion XF material is some of the tackiest rubber I’ve ever run in. You can feel the stickiness to the touch. Combined with the 6 mm “spike” lugs, this is a shoe that’s just asking to be thrown into the gnarliest of conditions.

Shop Mutant – Men Shop Mutant – Women

The Bad

MATT: This may just my being new to the La Sportiva scene, but the sizing feels off. I’d suggest going up half a size, and maybe even a full size if you’ve got a wide foot.

Speaking of wide feet, the Mutant may not be friendly to those of you who empathize with Jarrett. I have pretty narrow feet and getting in and out of this shoe made me sweat a little.

Shop Mutant – Men Shop Mutant – Women


La Sportiva Mutant Conclusion

MATT: Priced at $135, the La Sportiva Mutant is a beastly option for navigating the most ghastly and technical conditions. It’s a lightweight trail runner with a locked-in ride that will tire only when you do.

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

Shop Mutant – Men Shop Mutant – Women

Matt is an avid triathlete, runner, and cycling enthusiast. He is a coach with AJ Baucco Coaching and can be found running the streets and trails of Baltimore with the Faster Bastards. His favorite style of beers are sours, and thinks a cold can of Coke is the perfect post-race hydration.


  1. These guys make excellent shoes. I’ve used the Akasha in trail ultras for a few years now, absolutely love it. You’re spot-on about the fit though! They’re not renowned for width at all, and can run short.

  2. I love the mutant for a long time. Its my go to option when things get extremely muddy and technical. It just gets a bit unstable if its to rocky, but well you can’t have it all. The most incredible thing is how many years this shoe already has and it has been untouched until now. This is something La Sportiva does really well. If it works, they just keep the production and don’t touch the shoe.

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