La Sportiva Karacal

Your rating
Price band
โ€Œ
Pro athlete users
โ€Œ
Amelia BooneClare GallagherJohn KellyAnton Krupicka

Buy La Sportiva Karacal at today's best price (men's/women's)

La Sportiva Karacal: Review

โ€œA trail shoe that combines comfort, protection, and a roomier fit for varied off-road runs.โ€

Overview


The La Sportiva Karacal is a trail running shoe designed for comfort and protection during medium to long-distance runs across varied terrain. This shoe stands out with its roomy fit and wider toe box, a departure from the typically narrower offerings of La Sportiva.

Key Features:

  • Cushioning: Dual-density EVA midsole provides plush support for long runs.
  • Protection: Features a rock plate and a robust toe bumper to shield feet from rough terrain.
  • Traction: Equipped with FriXion AT 2.0 rubber outsole and 4mm lugs for a secure grip on various surfaces.
  • Breathability: Mesh upper with large pores aids ventilation, complemented by a well-padded tongue.

The La Sportiva Karacal is an ideal choice for runners who prioritize cushioning and protection for off-road adventures. Its traction and durability offer confidence on challenging trails, making it suitable for those seeking a reliable trail companion.

Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently just above the median price of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the La Sportiva Karacal


The La Sportiva Karacal has garnered praise for its protective features and comfortable fit, making it a strong contender for runners tackling mixed terrain. Its dual-density EVA midsole and rock plate provide ample cushioning and underfoot protection, while the FriXion AT 2.0 rubber outsole with 4mm lugs ensures reliable traction. The shoe's wider toe box and high-volume fit address the needs of runners with broader feet, a notable shift from La Sportiva's typically narrow designs. However, the shoe's breathability is compromised by the heavily padded tongue, which may not dry as quickly as more minimalist options. Additionally, the Karacal's weight, while reasonable for its category, may not appeal to those seeking a lighter shoe. Overall, the Karacal is a solid choice for long-distance trail runs, offering a balance of comfort, protection, and stability. For runners in search of a durable and supportive trail shoe, the La Sportiva Karacal is a worthy investment, provided the fit aligns with their foot shape and size preferences.

Comparable Shoes


โ€Œ
โ€Œ

The La Sportiva Bushido II is a trail shoe that offers a more technical and snug fit compared to the Karacal. It is designed for runners who prefer a closer connection to the trail and a more precise fit. The Bushido II scores higher in sensitivity and is better suited for technical, rough terrain where foot precision is crucial.

โ€Œ
โ€Œ

The Brooks Cascadia 17 is another trail running shoe that is often compared to the Karacal. It provides excellent stability and is a good option for runners who need a broader landing platform. The Cascadia 17 is known for its balance of cushioning and support, making it a strong contender for those who may find the Karacal's fit too roomy.

6 La Sportiva Karacal Pros & Cons


3 Pros

Offers a roomier fit and wider toe box compared to other La Sportiva models.
Equipped with a protective rock plate and robust toe bumper for trail safety.
Features FriXion AT 2.0 rubber outsole with 4mm lugs for excellent traction.

3 Cons

Heavily padded tongue can compromise breathability and drying time.
May not be suitable for runners who prefer a minimalist or lightweight shoe.
La Sportiva's sizing runs small, so sizing up may be necessary for a proper fit.

In Depth


Upper

The La Sportiva Karacal's upper is constructed with a breathable mesh material, designed to keep feet cool during runs. The shoe's roomier fit and wider toe box are a departure from La Sportiva's typically narrow shoes, catering to a broader range of foot shapes. The seamless upper construction enhances comfort and reduces the risk of chafing, while microfiber reinforcements contribute to the shoe's overall stability. The high-quality materials used in the upper promise durability, capable of withstanding the rigors of trail running.

Midsole

The midsole of the La Sportiva Karacal features dual-density EVA foam, which provides a soft and responsive cushioning experience. This foam is highly regarded for its energy return and comfort, helping to reduce joint impact during runs. The midsole's design contributes to the shoe's protective qualities, with a rock plate integrated to guard against sharp objects on the trail. The Ortholiteยฎ Mountain Running insole further enhances comfort and adds to the shoe's stability.

Outsole

La Sportiva's expertise in creating high-traction footwear is evident in the Karacal's outsole. The FriXion AT 2.0 rubber compound, combined with 4mm lugs, offers a secure grip on a variety of surfaces, from smooth rock to loose gravel. This outsole design provides a balance between performance, grip, and durability, ensuring that runners can confidently navigate technical and challenging terrain.

Size/fit

The Karacal is known for its high-volume fit, which accommodates a wider range of foot shapes compared to other La Sportiva models. However, it's important to note that La Sportiva shoes generally run small, so runners may need to size up for the best fit. The roomy toe box allows for natural toe splay and accommodates foot swelling during long runs, contributing to the overall comfort of the shoe.

Comfort

Comfort is a standout feature of the La Sportiva Karacal, with its roomy fit and cushioned midsole. The shoe's upper is designed to wrap the foot snugly, creating a unified feel between the body and the shoe. The padded tongue and high collar cradle the Achilles and ankle comfortably, without causing pressure points. Despite its protective build, the Karacal maintains a level of comfort that supports runners throughout extended outings.

Cushioning

The Karacal's cushioning is provided by a dual-density EVA midsole, which delivers a plush and supportive ride. This cushioning system is designed to absorb shock and reduce the strain on joints, making it suitable for long-distance runs on rugged terrain. The inclusion of a rock plate adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring that runners can tackle technical trails without sacrificing comfort.

Breathability

Breathability is addressed in the Karacal with a mesh upper featuring large pores, which facilitate air circulation. While the shoe's breathability is generally good, the heavily padded tongue can retain moisture and may not dry as quickly as some runners would prefer. This factor should be considered by those who frequently run in wet conditions or require rapid drying times.

Stability

Stability in the Karacal is achieved through a combination of design elements. The shoe's 7mm heel-to-toe drop and overall stack height provide a stable platform, while the Ortholite insole and additional lace eyelet allow for a secure fit. These features work together to mitigate the potential instability that can come with a higher stack height, ensuring that runners feel confident and grounded on the trail.

Durability

Durability is a key strength of the La Sportiva Karacal, with its high-quality materials and robust construction. The shoe's upper is built to withstand the demands of trail running, while the outsole's rubber compound and lug design contribute to its long-lasting performance. Runners can expect the Karacal to endure through many miles of rugged terrain without significant wear and tear.

Grip

The grip of the Karacal is a highlight, thanks to La Sportiva's FriXion AT 2.0 rubber outsole and strategically designed lugs. This combination provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, from rocky scrambles to muddy trails. The shoe's grip instills confidence in runners, allowing them to focus on their performance rather than worrying about slipping or losing their footing.

Who should buy the La Sportiva Karacal?


The La Sportiva Karacal is best suited for trail runners seeking a shoe that offers a combination of protection, cushioning, and a roomier fit. It's an excellent choice for those who embark on long-distance runs and require a shoe that can handle diverse and challenging terrain. Runners with wider feet or those who appreciate a high-volume shoe will find the Karacal's accommodating fit to be a significant advantage. Additionally, those who prioritize durability and traction in their trail running footwear will be well-served by the Karacal's robust build and reliable outsole.

Who should not buy the La Sportiva Karacal?


Runners who prefer a minimalist or lightweight shoe may not find the La Sportiva Karacal to their liking due to its protective and cushioned design. Those who require a shoe with rapid drying times might also be dissuaded by the Karacal's heavily padded tongue. Runners with narrow feet or those who are accustomed to a snug fit may need to look elsewhere, as the Karacal's roomier fit may not provide the desired level of precision. For those seeking alternatives, models like the La Sportiva Bushido II or the Brooks Cascadia 17 might offer a different balance of features that could better align with their preferences.

La Sportiva Karacal: What's it good for?


The La Sportiva Karacal is well-suited for medium to long-distance trail runs, where comfort and protection are paramount. Its cushioning and rock plate make it ideal for off-road adventures, providing a stable and supportive experience. The shoe's grip and durability also make it a strong candidate for runs on muddy terrain or rocky paths. For runners who value a wide toe box and a high-volume fit, the Karacal is an excellent choice that can accommodate foot swelling and natural movement during extended outings.

4 La Sportiva Karacal FAQs


Is the La Sportiva Karacal suitable for runners with wide feet?

Yes, the La Sportiva Karacal is designed with a roomier fit and a wider toe box, making it suitable for runners with wide feet or those who prefer a more spacious shoe.

How does the cushioning in the Karacal compare to other trail running shoes?

The Karacal features a dual-density EVA midsole that provides plush cushioning, making it comparable to other trail running shoes designed for long-distance comfort and protection.

What type of terrain is the La Sportiva Karacal best suited for?

The La Sportiva Karacal is best suited for varied mountain terrain, including rocky paths, loose gravel, and muddy trails, thanks to its protective features and reliable traction.

Does the La Sportiva Karacal have good breathability?

The Karacal has a mesh upper with large pores for breathability, but the heavily padded tongue may affect its overall drying time and ventilation in wet conditions.

La Sportiva Karacal alternatives

โ€Œ
โ€Œ
La Sportiva Karacal
Now viewing
โ€Œ
La Sportiva Karacal
bestDealShow prices
priceBand
Price band
similarity
Similarity
Very similar
Very similar
Very similar
released
Released
Jun 2021
Aug 2022May 2022Mar 2018Feb 2023
expertReviewScore
Expert Review Score
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
โ€Œ
productAthletes
Pro athlete users
โ€Œ
+3
John KellyAnton Krupicka
โ€Œ
+5
Elov OlssonRyan Woods
Weight
Weight
249 g
11 g
326 g
289 g
M: 204 g
W: 170 g
M: 275 g
W: 244 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
22 mm
23 mm
23 mm
M: 18 mm
W: 16 mm
23 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
7 mm
8 mm
4 mm
3 mm
6 mm
Heel
Heel
29 mm
31 mm
27 mm
M: 21 mm
W: 19 mm
29 mm
Terrain
Terrain
MudTrail
MudSnow/iceTrailMudSnow/iceTrailMudSnow/iceTrailMudTrailMudSnow/iceTrail
Brand
Brand
La Sportiva
SalomonNew BalanceSauconyHokaBrooks
Support Type
Support Type
Neutral
NeutralNeutralNeutralStabilityNeutralNeutral
Pronation Type
Pronation Type
Neutral pronation
Neutral pronationNeutral pronationOverpronationSevere overpronationNeutral pronationNeutral pronationNeutral pronationOverpronationSevere overpronation
Strike Type
Strike Type
Fore/Midfoot strikeHeel strike
Fore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strike
Arch Type
Arch Type
High arch
High archHigh archLow archHigh archHigh archHigh archLow arch
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
Lightweight
LightweightMaximalistBarefootBreathableComfortableLightweightLow dropMaximalistMinimalistZero dropLow dropLightweightLow drop
Breathable
Breathable
Rock plate
Rock plate
Carbon fiber plate
Carbon fiber plate
Orthotic friendly
Orthotic friendly
Removable insole
Removable insole
Rocker
Rocker
Techs
Techs
Gore-Tex
Waterproofings
Waterproofings
Waterproof
Water repellentWaterproof
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
SustainableVegan โ“‹SustainableVegan โ“‹
0

La Sportiva Karacal: what the experts say (1 review)

La Sportiva Karacal: 1 Expert video review

La Sportiva Karacal characteristics and specifications

Characteristics
SportsRunning (+1961)
TerrainMud (+432)Trail (+519)
BrandLa Sportiva (+27)
Support TypeNeutral (+1540)
Pronation TypeNeutral pronation (+1553)
Strike TypeFore/Midfoot strike (+1151)Heel strike (+1234)
Arch TypeHigh arch (+1500)
Shoe TypeLightweight (+588)
FitWide toe box (+337)
FeaturesBreathable (+964)Rock plate (+447)
MaterialsMesh (+897)
ColorwaysBlack, Black / Goji, Blue, Cherry Tomato / Velvet, Green / Olive, Grey / Blue / Turquoise, Orange, Sangria / Hawaiian Sun, Turquoise
Specificationsvs Average
Released
Jun 2021
Measurements
Weight
249 g
Heel to toe drop
7 mm
Heel
29 mm
Forefoot
22 mm

5 pro athletes who've used La Sportiva Karacal

Related guides

AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. Heโ€™s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
new!
Sync your parkrun results to your Strava activities
Profile picture
Tom Green
May 21, 2024 at 9:55 AM
Gunnersbury parkrun #230 (my #3๏ธโƒฃ4๏ธโƒฃ)
๐Ÿ“Š Stats by geerly.com ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ ๐Ÿ•’ Official time: 00:22:45 | Course PB ๐Ÿšจ ๐Ÿ Overall position: 35/549 ๐Ÿšน Gender position: 21/299 ๐ŸŽฏ Age grade: 61%