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La Sportiva SS21 news: interview with Jonathan Wyatt, Running Product Specialist

By Camilla Pizzini

Powered La Sportiva

There is a lot of news from La Sportiva regarding the Running 2021 category. To find out more about them, we interviewed Jonathan Wyatt, Running Product Specialist.

How did you structure this year’s running collection? What were the key points you wanted to focus on?

It was really important for us to cover all the needs and to develop shoes that were also valid in those categories where something was still missing. Above all, we wanted to follow the demands of our consumers, trying to satisfy their needs in the best possible way.


Is there a model in particular that you are satisfied with and that you want to tell us about?

Lately we have noticed that there is more and more enthusiasm for the world of trail running, especially for long distances. So we wanted to expand our family of shoes in that sector in particular. This year the Jackal was presented and for next year we have the Karacal model. We have worked on it in particular on comfort and maximum mobility, so we have a very comfortable and breathable shoe thanks to the seamless upper which is also very good for training and off-road races over medium and long distances. At the end of the development we realized that it was so comfortable that we could also evaluate its use in moments of relaxation.


When the development of Karacal started, did you have three features in mind that you wanted to focus on? 

It was important for us to follow the changes and evolution of the sport, we saw that a lot of people liked the modulation we put into the Jackal, so we decided to pursue that concept. One thing that we were pleased about was that we received a lot of feedback from our consumers who asked us to develop a little more protection to cushion the impact in the race, so we satisfied them. We also paid attention to the sole and the cushioning part. We used the blue FriXion, the strongest compound for this kind of distance in running, and we also introduced an all ground outsole that works on any kind of surface thanks to the fairly protruding blocks that also adapt to mud or smooth ground. For the midsole we have a drop of 7mm with a height difference of 22mm in front and 29mm behind. And finally we worked on lightness and comfort. A size forty-two weighs 290g, the upper breathes really well and also the volume of the shoe is very adaptable to any type of foot and by that we don’t mean wide, but it fits well.

Tell me about the Ultra Raptor II Mid, how did its development begin?

It is undoubtedly an iconic shoe for the mountain running collection. As with the trail, hiking is an area in which many aspects have changed, for example, consumers are increasingly looking for softer and more flexible boots. So it was time to expand the family. This boot is dedicated to hiking and with the soft “Comfort Collar” you can achieve the right stability and comfort. The sole allows a nice grip even for those who want to go faster. As a first point of development we have set ourselves the goal to create a comfortable, stable shoe on the heel even in cross movements and here it is. In addition, for the first time we have a shoe that is available in two widths: “Normal” and “Wide” so as to make it easier for those with larger feet. Finally also the weight has been reduced to 470gr in size 42.


In the Cyklon model instead you have introduced the Boa Fit System technology for the closure?

Like the Karkal, the Cyclon is for long distance, but it is a completely different kind of shoe. We wanted a shoe that would go really well especially on difficult terrain as we have many athletes who often find themselves in mixed situations between climbing and running. So we wanted a shoe that would give great stability and confidence on technical terrain and we chose to work with Boa. We really enjoy working with them because we are able to develop the best models by taking full advantage of the benefits of their system. In this case we added an extra feature. The only limitation of the Boa system is that it provides a rigid closure, not adaptable for the foot when it inflates during the run, while on the Cyclon we have inserted a Dynamic Cage, an elastic webbing in the middle of the lacing that lets the foot expand and deflate during the run. In this way it leaves the right space for maximum comofort over long distances.

What about the Infinitoo high energy return technology applied in the jackal?

It is a technology that we have been developing for a few years and that we have already applied to various models and that is already present in the Jackal. It’s a really innovative material that gives optimal energy return in terms of performance. This feature comes to our aid after so many miles of running because it can give you that extra boost of energy to continue. The inserts are located under the heel and forefoot. It’s also a life-long benefit of the shoe, it doesn’t give in after a few miles. For the future we are considering new applications to take full advantage of it.


Anything new for the next few years?

Now we have a very complete collection, so it’s not easy to evaluate something totally new, but we are undoubtedly thinking about updating some shoes because our philosophy is based on following the development of a shoe to make it better and better over the years. Now little by little we are also aiming at more and more ecological and recycled materials, but always keeping the performance at its best.

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