LA SPORTIVA AKASHA

PRICE: £110
WEIGHT: 320g

I absolutely loved the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor we tested last issue, and had high expectations for the Akasha. Pitched as a high shock-absorption ultra shoe, the cushioning (especially around the heel) is beefy yet firm, and the shock absorption claims are well justified: it really excels on hardpacked trails such as the ones you’d commonly find in the Alps. With a 6mm drop, the Trail Rocker, which guides your toe-to-heel motion, is very effective and a welcome addition given the shoe’s stiffness.

The Akasha doesn’t claim to be designed for technical running, but due to these features it isn’t very manoeuvrable on broken ground; I don’t expect any shoe to magically improve my technical running ability but I did feel slightly hindered by the slightly large midsole. The fit is on the snug side (you may need to go up a half size) but having said that, it is designed to have a glove-like fit. The FriXion XT rubber is extremely sticky and the widely spaced chevrons bite into just about anything you’re likely to encounter on alpine trails this summer.

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VERDICT

Best for ALPINE RACES. Not up to anything too technical; perfect for straight-forward, long-distance alpine trails and ultra races.

Grip: 8/10
Cushioning: 8/10
Precision: 6/10