Ultra Raptor La Sportiva review 2013: Lasting long and going over heavy terrain

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I’m a first time user or runner so to say. And i must admit this is a shoe that last long and get you over heavy terrain. It is much more build for longer distances than the helios or the crosslite. Though the crosslite is already good protection for rocky terrain, the raptor saves you even more. For long endurance trails it is just the right choice.

It has a very breathable upper air-mesh and that’s very good for the shoe to be able to dry again, when it is wet. And that is not always the case for all trail shoes, but it should.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sole has a very good profile that give good and solid ground support.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sole construction is hi-tech. Take a look at the la sportiva homepage for this to get a picture. They give very good traction and give very good grip on the trail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe heel is enhanced also and gives good protection against scrub injuries or stone. Also the ankle is suited well into, with enough height to not get any little stone into.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAProtection for the heel, but also still flexible and soft and smooth and with durable material.


Conclusion: For longer trails, where you might need more support for you foot, this shoe would be the right choice. It has a very good firm sole and many features, that support your foot. I recommend this shoe over rocky and long trails, when your foot does need more support than on other occasion.

The shoes are slightly heavier (350gr) but that is the compromise to a more stable footbed and protection.


Tech specifications from the webpage:

Tech Info

WEIGHT: 12.28 oz/ 348 g

LAST: Tempo 2

FIT: Medium/Wide

UPPER: AirMesh/ Synthetic Leather/ TPU Lacing Harness/ TPU Transkinetic Heel Stabilizer

LINING: Mesh (back half and tongue only)

MIDSOLE: MeMlex/ Nylon Molded Flex Transfer shank

DROP(mm):  12mm

SOLE: FriXion®XF/ Impact Brake System™ X-Axis™

SIZES: 36 – 47.5 (half sizes)

COLORS: Red/Grey or Black/Yellow





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Salt Sticks

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As always i had some problems with my water balance, the results had been thick legs. I could not get the best or right amount of salt during races. I do sweat a lot. I have measured 1 to 1,5 liters of lost body weight during a one hour run in summer. So for two hours this could be about 3 liters of sweat. This is a substantial loss of minerals also. So i always did not know how to compensate this in an adequate manner. Most of the iso drinks have include natrium also. But i felt that this might not be enough.

Salt you can not store in your body. If you take to much or there is an imbalance, this can be dangerous.

If you are drinking to much of warter during the race and “lose” all your minerals through drinking (washing out) and sweating, then you are in great danger. The body needs natrium for the water balanance. If he is losing to much water, the symptoms can for example be headache and confusion. It is called Hyponatremia then.

Taking to much can also be a drawback. The body does save to much. Also afterwards, taking to much salt after a race, you might end up at michelin man.

I tested “Schweden” tablets (contains 250mg NaCl per tablet only) and took them during races. But this is only natrium.

I found salt sticks a good component for races to compensate the extreme loss of minerals. During a 15 hours race i take about 7 capsules. That is about every 2 hours one capsule. Cause i also consume natrium included with iso drinks during the race.

Salt capsules contains minerals and a vitamin: 215 mg sodium, 63 mg potassium, 22 mg calcium, 11 mg magnesium, 100 IU Vitamin D

Said the ingrediants are derived from real sweat. For me it helped a lot to keep the balance during a race, sweating a lot and loosening a lot of fluids and minerals.

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29.6.13, Swiss Jura Marathon, 100km and 4000mD+

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This is a “small” race. Only about 20 runners started for the two days. There are other distances of 25 and 50. Only about 250 participants are allowed. The reason for this was said to keep the balance between nature and trail running.


The markings sometimes where just missing and it would have been difficult to find the way without gps or map. Most of the times, about 80% of the trail, the normal yellow trekking sings have been the marking. Only where the trail takes another path, there had been extra markings. Interestingly this had worked altogether quite well.


The logment had been a bunker. But there was anything needed. A very good massage was there also available after the race.

I only managed to make the first day. I had a muscle strain after km 70 and then i was only able to walk. But i walked into the finish and made at least the 100 km for the first day. That was not really clever with a muscle strain. But i had that never before so i was not able to judge that right. I even tried to strech. That should never be done with a injury like this. In the end i was not that bad. I could still walk slowly. Had some problems walking downwards. And i took about a 1 1/2 weeks for me to recover from this.GOPR1042

From km 20 to 70 you would never cross a road with cars, you stay only on single trails or smaller paths. Hight went only up to 1200m. Typical for the Jura Mountains.

During the morning we had a lot of rain bit clouds cleared around 14 o’clock.


Altogether the race was really well organized.


Gerdas Spaghetti hat have been great.

One checkpoint i arrived had been a cowhouse. The cows have been listening to Bob Marley and “No woman no cry”. Enough grass was even already there. Only the palms where missing. Next time i will take a photo there. There have been also a lot of spectators watching at you during the race.GOPR1036


Most of the runners arrived the night before. Since the race started at 5 in the morning. It ends a 22 in the evening and this is not really much time if you are not a fast runner. But they have not enough personal to support the event also in the night. So we started when the lights went on and finished when the lights went off.

This track is not the full distance, as it was shortened during the race, because of bad weather conditions.

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Here is my grading. Any comments appreciated.

  • grading overall: 8 pts
  • difficulty: 5 pts
  • markings: 5 pts
  • organization: 9 pts
  • food: 8 pts
  • costs: 7 pts
  • fun: 8 pts
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