La Sportiva Mutant Review

The Mutant habitat

The La Sportiva Mutant is my favorite trail shoe, I announce about halfway up our morning climb.

Really? That’s a pretty big statement. Dan seems a bit surprised even after I’ve gushed about them on previous runs.

As we’re scouting a new running route in the Sierra and some early season ridge scrambles, I roll over 600 kilometers in them.


The Mutant has handled all sorts of terrain from California’s rugged central coast and rolling ranch lands to Sierra snow, talus traverses, even up to Mt Whitney. They have the stickiest sole I’ve ever run in, great for scampering over scree and scrambling to summits.

Besides the super-grippy approach shoe rubber, the sole has aggressive full-foot lugs. A built-in scree guard keeps most annoying debris from getting inside. The high lacing cradles your foot snugly in place with no pressure points while letting the toe box be wider for stability.

With these features, you might expect a bulky, heavy shoe. But the Mutant is surprisingly lightweight and agile for all it’s tank-like advantages.

My only complaint is that they have tie laces. I’m a fan of quick-lace systems, and have gotten lazy about tying my shoes. No major points taken away for that though. The lacing harness system works so well that even when the laces have come untied while running the shoe doesn’t come loose on your foot.

The best way to sum it up, is that it really is my most favorite trail shoe for every type of trail. Really.

By Kim Strom

The stats from Sportiva:

  • Spyraltongue™ Technology for easy entry and a snug, all-encompassing fit
  • Integrated FusionGate™ Technology Lacing Harness with High Frequency reinforcements for a fantastic fit
  • Incredible traction with FriXion® XF, our stickiest running shoe sole compound
  • Sublime cushioning tames the trails
  • 4-way stretch dynamic scree guard
  • 10.70 oz  (303g)
  • 10mm 
  • Sole:  FriXion® XF / V-Groove™ with Impact Brake System™
The Mutant’s super aggressive, sticky rubber sole provides grippy performance and luxurious cushion.
Kim using the Mutant for a winter trail running/mountaineering ascent of Mt. Whitney
The built in scree guard is more of a form fitting cuff that’ll help keep out summer snow and grit.

Gear Review Disclaimer: At ALPSinsight, product reviews are a result of either finding gear we love and wanting to support it, or working with brands we partner with and believing in the gear enough to want to heap praise in support of what works well. If we don’t like something, we just don’t review it. We do not publish sponsored posts but do get some product for free with the agreement that we truly must like it enough to review it.


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