La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
Designed primarily for trail running, these shoes offer enough support and foot protection that testers reached for them frequently when trekking to climbs. The mesh uppers breathed well during a week of hot, dusty approaches in Red Rock, Nevada, and our tester really appreciated the beefed-up rubber toe bumper as she hiked out from long climbs. “Even when I was stumbling and kicking rocks left and right, I didn’t feel anything,” she said. “That burly front protection is clutch when your feet are sore from being crammed into tight shoes all day.” Soled with Sportiva’s sticky FriXion XF rubber, the shoes were “excellent on all types of terrain, even the dreaded dirt-dusted rocks,” another tester said. The shoes fit medium to wide feet best, and are available in men’s and women’s models.