Comments: Recently decided to try Helios based on talking to a La Sportiva representative at a race. Have been running in Cascadia 7s and 8s. Helios fit is great, very light, very comfortable and lots of breathability. Easy to lace up and get a good comfortable fit. My feet seem to have adjusted easily to the new shoe which is not always the case for me. These seem to have a much stickier grip than the Cascadia and seem to shed rocks nicely. So far I am really liking them and think they will service me well in some long upcoming races.
From: Patrick, Round Rock, Texas
Comments: Actually, there is a 2 mm LaSpEVA plate in the Helios. Maybe not a rock plate per se, but I find it easily as effective than the Pro Sense Film in the Salomons (Sense Ultra). Both are good solutions.
Comments: the Helios has been great for me so far. It has retained everything I liked about the vertical K, and fixed everything I did not like. The Helios has adequate rock protection to run fast down rocky trails (Vert K does not) and is has a normal, nicely fitting upper (Vert K has a weird socklike thing that makes it very hard to get at the laces). All this for only an ounce more weight. Right now the Helios is my main go to trail shoe.
From: Alex, Boston, MA
Comments: Orange/grey colors are a shade darker than they appear on the computer, and the outsole is grey, not white. Very light. Minimal tongue...if you like tight laces, they may dig into the top of your foot. A bit of curved heel around the backside of the ball of your heel. I'd list the arch support at minimal. The Helios certainly have more cushioning and support than other minimal shoes (NB MT110), but obviously not as much as a Montrail Mountain Masochist I or II or a Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra II. Big toe box, but minimal lateral support for the sides of your feet...you'll be gripping to hold on when running off-camber trails. The rock plate is minimal (I am skeptical there is one). Re: sizing...I believe RW's shoefitr system may suggest sizes in the Helios that are a half size too big. If you're familiar with the Montrail Mountain Masochist II, order only a 1/2 (US) size larger in the Helios. You'll have plenty of toe room.
From: Jimmy, McGillicuddy, St. Louis, MO
Editor's Note: The La Sportiva Helios midsole does not contain a rock plate.
Comments: This is my second pair of La Sportiva's that I have tried out. The first was the Vertical K a few months back that I had tested out for a few weeks, capping off testing with a 50k. Even though the Helios has a smaller stack height overall, I find these to provide more cushioning than the Vertical K's. Upon completion of the 50k in the Vertical K's, my feet felt beat-up. Not the case with the Helios. For someone that likes ground feel with a little bit of cushioning, these have done the job thus far. A second positive of the Helios is the lack of movement that you get with your foot inside of the shoe. I purchased a size larger in both models and found that the upper material of the Helios prevents your foot from sliding around as it did in the Vertical K's, or similar movement found in the NB 1010's. I also think the sturdier upper material will prevent those random punctures that can happen on the trail from twigs, resulting in a more durable shoe. A final positive is the inclusion of the "rock plate". I haven't found flexibility to be an issue compared to the Vertical K, just that you feel even more protected on the trail. I had experienced a sharp rock or two on occasion with the Vertical K's and this does not seem to be an issue thus far in the Helios.
From: Jason, Western New York