La Sportiva Vertical K Product Review

Short Take

The adaptable midsole of the La Sportiva Vertical K keeps you chugging ahead at a fast clip no matter what terrain you find underfoot.

Big Features

  • Adaptive Midsole: The Vertical K’s soft, highly compressive EVA foam midsole deforms on impact to dissipate impact forces for a smooth, stable and cushioned ride.
  • Sticky Outsole: The outsole’s full length, sticky compound is designed for superior grip on technical and rocky terrain.
  • Innovative Upper: Below the stretch gaiter that covers the upper is an air mesh for better breathability. Up front, a PU leather toe cap keeps you protected.

Trail Test

La Sportiva had an idea. What if we could design a trail shoe that adapts to the ground underneath it? The product of this idea was the Morpho Dynamic midsole, which has the ability to mold around rocks and other objects on the trail for sure grip and a protected ride.

Featured on other La Sportiva models including the Quantum and Electron, the Morpho Dynamic midsole went on a diet and teamed up with a lightweight upper to produce the Vertical K. At just 7.0 ounces (Men's size 9), this shoe is certainly light enough for race day, and sturdy enough for daily training too.

Our testers liked the close-fitting upper. It’s impressive how lightweight the upper is, given that the shoe is constructed both with a mesh upper and full-length gaiter. It feels very streamlined on your foot – and maybe just a bit too streamlined in the forefoot, where a few testers felt a little cramped by their pinkie toe. The heel of the shoe locks you in place and the midfoot is very secure.

The Morpho Dynamic midsole and FriXion XF outsole do what they say and then some, working together to deliver a smooth transition and considerable comfort on both road and trail. When the ground gets tricky, the Vertical K kicks into overdrive to keep you moving forward at your preferred pace.

Runners Say

Daniel

Really like the fit of the sock-like upper, except my pinkie toe gets pinched.

Joanna

The Vertical K is my new favorite La Sportiva shoe. I wasn’t expecting such an amazing transition.

Matt

This shoe gobbles up debris. It has a fantastic blend of cushioning and responsiveness.