The La Sportiva R&D team has been hard at work this year. After researching the market and analyzing trends, the team has developed a new line of shoes that acknowledges the latest needs in the hiking and backpacking categories. The result is the FC Series, a groundbreaking new footwear line that combines the athletic feel and fit of a Mountain Running® shoe with the stability and support of a hiking boot. The FC series is an athletically inspired hiking line that focuses on a beautiful fit, enhanced flexibility and a cushioning system that provides the user with a lightweight product that is exceptionally comfortable. The FC series features the first dual density midsole in a hiking boot, allowing better flex and the ball of the foot for even more energy transfer and comfort. The FC series combines this proprietary technology with La Sportiva’s Impact Brake System (IBS) to create a boot feels like a running shoe and supportive enough for hiking and backpacking. “The Flex Control series was designed to meet the specific needs and trends that we are seeing in the hiking footwear marketplace. There is a market shift towards lighter weight, more cushioned hiking shoes and we felt the need to address this trend with a line that combines running shoe technology with the stability and fit of a hiking shoe,” said Jonathon Lantz, president of La Sportiva N.A. The line consists of 4 models consisting of a high, mid and low all in Gore-Tex® XCR® and a highly breathable low version. When creating this new series of footwear, La Sportiva’s Italian designers focused on three main features – the uppers, the midsole and the outsole. They developed a system in which all three components work together to create an end product that is greater than the sum of its parts. Uppers were designed with a primary focus on the fit and flex. All of the shoes have anatomically sculpted overlays to promote proper, easy flex in the ankle area and the main flex area in the forefoot. In these key areas of flex La Sportiva used softer more elastic materials that allow for an easier range of motion and a better fit by allowing the users foot to be free of constricting materials. At the same time, the upper still provides excellent support and protection. Midsoles were a key area where La Sportiva brought in trail running shoe technology. Seeing so many people wear trail running shoes on the hiking trails with packs made La Sportiva realize that people want a softer, lighter and faster product that has excellent cushion. The dual-density compression molded EVA midsoles in the FC Series are designed to work in conjunction with the Flex Control zones of the upper. The main density of the midsole is soft enough for running shoe comfort but firm enough to provide stability for heavy pack pounding. The second density is a softer EVA that provides immediate under heel cushion and forefoot cushion. This softer density extends into the sidewall of the midsole in the forefoot and provides a softer flex zone that works with the upper providing an easier flexing, energy conserving flex pattern. Outsoles in the FC series are equipped with the proprietary Vibram® River Impact Brake System (IBS) outsole. This outsole continues with the Flex Control concept by removing restricting materials from the key flex zones in the outsole to promote proper flex. IBS uses angled, opposing lugs to increase traction by 20% and reduce impact forces by 20% over normal lugged soles. The FC1.1 is La Sportiva’s revolution of the day hiker. This is the go-to shoe for every outdoor enthusiast. Designed for all day comfort, the FC1.1 feels like a running shoe, but is supportive enough for the longest days. Available in men’s (pictured) and women’s models. MSRP: $105 The FC2.0 GTX is a versatile multi-sport hiking shoe with a Gore-Tex® XCR® lining for waterproof breathable protection in the most severe conditions. Both the FC 1.1 and the FC2.0 GTX use flex Control Technology in the forefoot. Available in men’s (pictured) and women’s models. MSRP: $140 The FC3.0 GTX is a mid-height boot that incorporates Flex Control technology in the forefoot and in the ankle, for heavy load support and freedom of movement. Available in men’s (pictured) and women’s models. MSRP: $150 The FC4.0 GTX is La Sportiva’s most stable and supportive hiking boot. This full height boot uses La Sportiva’s Flex Control technology in the ankle and forefoot and is capable of hauling the heaviest loads to base camp. Available in men’s (pictured) and women’s models. MSRP: $170
ABOUT LA SPORTIVACelebrating their 80th anniversary, La Sportiva brings a strong alpine mountaineering and climbing heritage to their line of performance mountain footwear. This core experience enables La Sportiva to offer the most versatile technical climbing, mountaineering, Mountain Running® and hiking shoes on the market. For more information on La Sportiva visit www.sportiva.com or see us on Facebook .