New to the La Sportiva lineup this year, the Cyklon is a dedicated mountain running shoe that represents years of collaboration between La Sportiva and the BOA company, both of whom are innovators in precision fit systems for a variety of performance footwear. The lacing system on this model leverages findings from BOA’s ongoing agility and speed performance studies, and works in conjunction with existing La Sportiva design elements to create a secure fit and solid connection to the midsole of the shoe.
The most notable aspect of this shoe is the BOA fit system. With a quick turn of the hand, the Dynamic Flap instantly wraps around the foot, and the overall tension is applied evenly across the top. The control dial is easy to access on the upper part of the shoe and simple to use: push down and turn to tighten, and pull up to loosen. This system is great for those who have a foot shape where a snug fit is hard to find. One of the benefits of this design is that no laces come untied mid-run, however it does lead you to wonder what happens if part of the component breaks. Fortunately, in our experience with other shoes, this lacing system is remarkably durable.
The BOA system is not the only component of this shoe that provides stability. The Dynamic Cage is a three-layered system built into the upper of the shoe which provides further stability. One layer on the outside and two layers on the inside of the shoe are connected by the BOA fit system to cradle and protect the foot. While two of the layers are static, one layer is elastic and allows for movement during activity. A TPU toecap and side panels provide additional protection to the foot, while the heel stabilizers further lock the foot into place. For those runners prone to ankle sprains, the cage aims to reduce lateral movement and provide stability on the run.
A sock-like gaiter adds to the snug fit of the shoe and also prevents excessive trail debris from getting inside the shoe. The upper is made from a breathable mesh and there are some small air vents on the inner aspect. Although the extra, built-in gaiter is made of a breathable mesh, we found the shoe to run a little hot.
The midsole consists of double density EVA with a stabilizer insert contributing again to the overall theme of this shoe: safety and stability. It does a nice job of keeping the foot aligned over the last on irregular terrain and has nice responsiveness upon impact. The overall stack height is moderately high at 28mm in the heel, but there is no rock plate in the Cyklon, so you’ll feel a bit of the sharp impacts you encounter when going over super-rocky scree.
The outsole and multidirectional lugs of the shoe are composed of FriXion 2.0 (called “White X” for the logo on the bottom), a proprietary La Sportiva compound that has ultra-adherent tread and is extra grippy on multiple types of technical terrain. Lengthy 7mm lugs provide excellent traction on most off-road terrain, and are outstanding in muddy conditions, but the tread is aggressive enough on these shoes that we would not recommend them on extended road sections. However, during the winter, the outsole can be integrated with the AT Grip spike nails for extra stickiness on the ice.
True to its roots in mountain running, the Cyklon is an excellent choice for traversing steep terrain, and the BOA lacing system works as advertised to provide a secure fit on technical surfaces. The midsole further improves your overall stability but lacks some smoothness on milder surfaces. This shoe is probably best suited for short to medium-range distances when the trail conditions are most challenging.
Features and Specs:
- Weight (men’s / women’s): 11.6oz / 9.5oz
- Stack height: 28/20mm
- Heel-toe drop: 8mm
- Upper: Breathable anti-abrasion mesh with thermo-adhesive TPU reinforcements
- Midsole: Memlex dual density EVA with medial and lateral stabilizer inserts
- Outsole: FriXion XF 2.0 rubber with multidirectional 7mm lugs
- Lacing: BOA fit systems
- MSRP: $160