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