Straight outta Ziano di Fiemme, positioned in Italy’s autonomous province of Trentino, hails La Sportiva. Genuine mountain supermen such as Reinhold Messner and Walter Bonatti were amongst the clients of La Sportiva’s gear. The company is well known for their true-to-the-core mountain equipment. A couple of years ago they extended their climbing and mountaineer assortment and joined in on the mountain running InterCity. The outcome is a small range of fine off-road running shoes that seems to get raving reviews wherever they turn up.
I was looking forward to have a go with the hottest part of the gang – the Anakonda. No, not a member of the genus Eunectes this shoe is a single minded missile for running beside the paved street. From all shoes in La Sportivas series the Anakonda has the least cushioning of all available models – pretty erotic for my likes. The narrow and close-fitting composition makes it even more natural to run. This shoe clearly and naturally inquires for a jog beside the road. As I have to run a couple of meters on paved roads to join the next trails, the Anakonda asks for wet grass and mud like a real Anakonda asks for water as the biological milieu.
With a 4 mm variance you always feel the ground. Going up and downhill on wet and muddy terrain the traction is impressive. As the product description says - This shoe is made for true fell running. And the Italians did just that. Once you get used to the very hard Frixion rubber of the sole you don’t want to go back to the road and waste that direct feeling of the ground. However this shoe is categorized in the “Short Distance” section it is possible to use it on longer runs when you are used to a “natural running” vibe. Saying that I would not recommend this piece of equipment to users with zero experience with minimal shoes, as it needs a well-trained muscular basis to hold the body.
Another feature that needs to be pointed out would be the double mesh upper with added durability. It is designed to shed water and that is exactly what it does. No need to avoid minor potholes or wet grass climbs as the shoe absorbs the water pretty good and also dries fast. Even during rain there is no such thing as a wet socked sponge like cluster on your feet.
A lot of positive attributes bring me to the unenthusiastic side of this shoe. Sadly I got heavy blisters on both feet. The aggressive and stiff heel with the rigid TPU material gave me some difficulties. I recommend people exercising that shoe to use a hair drier to soften the stiff back of the shoe before every run during the first sessions. As stupid as it sounds, it worked for me.
Tune of the day: Materia - Bengalische Tiger