The La Sportiva Vertical K is a performance trail running shoe designed for a neutral foot motion, ideal for lightweight training and racing on technical terrain.


Important Shipping Note: U.S. sales only.


The La Sportiva Vertical K is the lightest trail shoe yet to use the innovative Morpho-dynamic midsole. This midsole foam molds around rocks and debris, dispersing impact and keeping a steady, stable platform for your feet. With great flexibility and sticky rubber for excellent traction, the Vertical K can be your daily trainer or speedy racer out on the trail.

Model Number:

*See the La Sportiva Shoe Size Conversion Chart

Weight:  7.0 oz (size 42.0)

Stack Height: Heel (21mm), Forefoot (16mm);

Available Widths: D=Medium

How It Fits (based on width D)

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length (based on European scale)
  • Heel: Medium
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium to narrow
  • Toe-Box Height: Medium to low
  • Arch Structure: Medium
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Curved
  • Morpho Dynamic EVA is a soft, highly compressive foam that deforms upon impact to dissipate impact forces, creating a smooth, stable and cushioned ride.
  • FriXion XF is a full length versatile sticky compound designed for technical and rocky terrain.
  • Air Mesh covers the upper to keep feet cool and ventilated. 
  • 4 Way Stretch Gaiter covers the upper and keeps shoes free from trail debris.
  • Toe Cap made from PU leather keeps toes protected from rocks.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: I am loving this shoe. I'd estimate I have about 75-100 miles currently on them. I did have to send the first pair back to go up a half-size, even after following the La Sportiva sizing chart. Aside from that, this shoe is great. The upper perfectly wraps around your foot, and at first I was worried about the narrow toe-box, but once I'm moving I don't notice it at all. The outsole is fantastic. Light, great grip, and flexible enough. I think I'm sold on La Sportiva being my go-to trail shoe company, because of the Vertical K. I'll be running a 25k in them next weekend.
From: Mike, Akron, OH, USA. March 23rd 2016

Comments: The VK is one of my favorite shoes for mild conditions. The wide toebox and sock-like upper are a wonderful job. The midsole is light and flexible enough to not feel clunky, but substantial enough to mask the ground for longer distances (upwards of 50 miles) when the extra leg work required to make minimal shoes work is too painful. Should I ever start racing again, this is my 100 mile shoe of choice The downside of the lack of a real outsole is these shoes are horrible on slippery and steep terrain. The shoes wash out on mud, do not traverse snow, and beat steps in steep snow exceptionally poorly for even running shoes. These aren't nearly as bad as Hokas, but not as good as the older Inov-8 models.
From: Anonymous. June 13th 2015

Comments: I have run two trail 50ks in the La Sportivas and they are my favorite shoe to date. Everyone hits their distance limit with this shoe differently, mine is ideally 25 miles or so, so 31 miles is pushing it a bit. However, other shoes tend to cause me blisters or other discomfort such that I am always reaching for the Vertical Ks. I am trying to use the Helios, and perhaps it is sizing (I tried the same size as the Vertical Ks) and I developed a blister on just a short run. We will see if anything can do better, maybe the Salomon Sense Lab Ultra?
From: Jeff, Bay Area, CA

Comments: This shoe is right up my alley as an all-purpose hybrid shoe.  Have only run a few times in it, a short single-track run, a 4-mile road run on wet asphalt, and a 50k race on non-technical dirt trail+some asphalt greenway.  Very impressed with the
versatility and traction.  Lightweight, but feet and legs felt great after a hard sub-4 50k. Use shoefitter!  I'm a 9.5 in most shoes and a 42 in Vibrams, but I went with the suggested 44.0 in these and the fit was spot on.  Looking forward to more long runs and
races in these.
From: Chas, Cornelius, NC

Comments: I bought this shoe because I'm not going out for multi-hour runs too much right now. The other shoe I've been wearing for the longer runs is the Hoka Stinson Evo. This lightweight Vertical K is FAST. Amazingly, it doesn't weigh much, yet has some decent cushioning. My toes are wide and the toe box of this shoe accommodates this, while keeping the midfoot and heel secure. The shoe is sock-like and has essentially no support. I really enjoy the heel-cup area of this shoe because there is no "cup". I don't know why so many manufacturers install these super cushioned, deep heel pockets. When I go uphill in these shoes, there is no rubbing on my heels. This shoe allows for complete foot flexibility without any struggling. Awesome uphill shoe - maybe the best of all the shoes I've worn. On flats this shoe is fine too - feels a little 4X4ish  on pavement with the different sole shape making itself known - not perceptible on dirt. On downhills this shoe obviously lacks the cushioning of the Hoka Evo. I can't fly on downhills with these shoes. Also, rocks: I've been running these shoes on relatively domesticated county park trails. From  time to time rocks makes their way into the "valley" portion of the sole shape. For me, this equals pain. A full sole version of this shoe would be nice - fill in the valleys. My longest run with these speedsters has been 90 minutes. I definitely love the climbing more with these shoes (compared to Stinson EVOs), but I can't really cruise as quickly on the downhills. If I had a 50 mile route to do, I would reach for the Evos. For 30-45min post work runs on familiar terrain, I'll reach for these 6 out of 10 times. I also have the MT1010s and the the Vert Ks have more cushioning. I weigh 155lbs, run 5 days a week, and I like cushioned trail shes.
From: Gus, Central Coast, California

Comments: I won a choice of La Sprortiva shoes at a trail race and decided I would try a pair of trail shoes that I would never buy. La Sportiva advertised them as "short" race shoes. What distance that means is anybody's guess. I've used them for 10 and 15-mile races and decided that was at the edge of their limits. I've been running in traditional- drop shoes pretty much all my life and find the 6 mm drop isn't enough for me. It makes my stride feel really rigid because of the mid-foot landing it promotes. Don't be surprised if your sock is the heaviest thing on your foot when you're wearing these shoes, they're that light. The toe-box is a little tight, but the mid-foot and heal fits my foot quite well. Despite the thick sole, on rocky trails your foot takes a pretty big beating because the sole is so flexible. Having said that, don't expect to get any support from these shoes, and you need to be a very efficient runner with pretty accurate foot placement to run technical trails with these shoes. Traction is excellent on loose and leaf covered trails and the shoes really feels best for me on climbs. For my tastes, I like this shoe on short races with moderately technical terrain, climbs, fast 5k's and anything where you would naturally stay on your mid-foot and toes. However, runners used to running in low-drop shoes should find them a bit more multi-dimensional. I have narrow feet, flat to normal arches and run 60 - 70 miles of trails per week (not in these shoes, though).
From: James, Atlanta, GA

Comments: Currently these are my favorite trail shoes.  They have a different last than all the other La Sportiva's (in other words the toe box is wider!).  These are low to ground but offer a little cush with the morphodynamic sole.  The are neutral and feel like houseshoes with a grip.  They offer plenty of protection from rocks/roots but still offer a good ground feel.  I am on my 2nd pair and have worn them on 35 milers in the mountains.  Held up well overall.  FYI use the shoe fitter.  I am usually a men's size 7 and I am a European 41 in these guys.  Again great shoe!
From: LJ, Knoxville, TN USA

Comments: This is a fast trail shoe and after a couple of fast paced trail runs it will become my dedicated trail racer. I own and train in some of the zero drop minimal trail shoes(trail gloves). Which will always pretty much be training shoes for me. So, I've been seeking a shoe like the Vertical K to bump up the cushioning and protection for races. There is a sizing issue with this shoe. I had to size up one full size(U.S.) and that maybe not have been enough. My toes were hitting the front of the shoes on a downhill and there is no second set of lace eyelets to hold the foot back.
From: Rob, Negaunee, MI, USA

Comments: I have put about 40 miles on these shoes and absolutely love them. They offer the best of both worlds; minimalist and cushioning. While I am not a fan of cushioned shoes, these do a great job of feeling nimble on single tracks, but for the steep long downhills, I really appreciate the cushion. Also, while there is not rock plate, the shoes do a great job of still protecting your feet from the rocks. These will most likely become my go to shoe for ultras.
From: Buddy, Chino Hills, CA, USA