2024-07-21
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La Sportiva: the brand that embraces the challenges of nature

To best challenge the obstacles in running in nature, you need ad hoc technical equipment... and that's where La Sportiva comes in.

La Sportiva: the brand that embraces the challenges of nature
Photo credit: La Sportiva

Tesero is an Italian town of almost 3,000 inhabitants in the province of Trento, at the foot of the Val di Fiemme.

It is a sports and cultural center well known especially in the winter season for its cross-country trails, for skiing in general and for a tradition of handcrafted and original nativity scenes.

In summer, however, this village offers many activities such as excursions and walks to learn about the natural and artistic heritage of the area and the possibility, for fishing enthusiasts, to fish in the picturesque lake.

La Sportiva | shoestechnologies
La Sportiva G-Tech
Credit: La Sportiva

But another important aspect that has made Tesero so well-known is the birth of one of the most important brands on the Italian and international scene of technical mountain equipment: La Sportiva.

The origins of La Sportiva

The Tesero-based company was founded  in 1928 by Narciso Delladio, a shoemaker initially specialized in the production of wooden clogs and leather boots mainly for lumberjacks and farmers in the Fassa and Fiemme valleys.

Over the years, his name and skill began to expand so much that during the Second World War, Delladio had the task of producing mountain boots that were intended for the army, patenting a particular type of lacing that was then used by many other shoe factories.

Known at the beginning as “Calzoleria Sportiva”, from the 50s he began to work alongside Narciso his son Francesco who managed to expand the production of footwear, creating a new laboratory in the industrial suburbs and thus inaugurating the name of the brand we know today La Sportiva“.

Over the years, the company has specialized in various technical areas including, for example, climbing. Over time, the company has managed to gain more and more notoriety thanks to the high quality of the product and the variety of catalog offered, to the point of being considered today one of the pillars for the production of clothing, footwear and technical accessories both winter and summer.

Now that we have found out more about Tesero and the birth of La Sportiva, let’s go into more detail about one of the areas in which they specialize: trail running.

The world of trail running conquers the mountains

Running is a discipline that can be practiced anywhere, from the classic treadmill, to the crowded streets of a city and even in unspoiled landscapes. In addition to all this, regardless of the weather and terrain conditions, you can’t give up a running session!

The type of running we want to talk about today, however, as mentioned earlier, is trail running.

For those who don’t know what it is, by definition we could refer to it as the “race in nature”, i.e. practiced on mountain, hilly or flat terrain, dirt roads with stretches of slopes and natural depressions without man having modified them in any way.

La Sportiva | shoestechnologies
Credit: Alessio Soggetti | Unsplash

Being in full contact with nature in this discipline offers the runner a unique experience where speed, pace and running style must adapt to the changes in the trails, putting themselves to the test more and more.

Since trail running is a discipline in which the terrain can change continuously, it is important to know it and know that you can encounter muddy terrain, with stones, rocks, gravel and other elements that make the activity more challenging. For this reason, it is essential to have adequate and technical equipment.

Let’s find out, then, the main features of trail running footwear:

  • Increased cushioning: Trail running shoes must be able to absorb possible shocks caused by uneven terrain.
  • Waterproofing: when running in nature, you may encounter different streams, snow or rain, so having waterproof shoes on your feet allows you to optimally protect your foot.
  • Grip: the presence of knobs of a good degree of thickness allows you to have an excellent grip on the ground and therefore stabilize the support of the shoe on the surface. In addition, the distance between the lugs makes the sole self-cleaning, so that dirt and mud do not get “stuck” in the shoe.
  • Protection: trail running shoes must have greater protections and reinforcements, mainly in the heel area so as to try to prevent possible injuries resulting from collisions with rocks, stones or simple branches positioned on the path.

After seeing all these specifications, let’s discover the La Sportiva line designed specifically for this activity.

La Sportiva and winter trail running shoes

When do we encounter the greatest difficulties to face in trail running? Certainly in winter, when we find snow and/or ice on the trails, and especially when temperatures and weather conditions are more adverse.

For these reasons, La Sportiva has also specialized in the conception and design of footwear that can offer comfort and safety to all those who love to run in the mountains.

Specifically, trail running shoes are extremely technical, lightweight, equipped with excellent foot protection and good grip on any terrain. The shoes are made with Frixion compounds, produced exclusively by La Sportiva, to ensure grip and resistance to wear and tear on the various terrains. In the line we also find models with a Gore-Tex  membrane that makes the shoe waterproof and breathable.

But now let’s see a model in detail suitable for trail running: the Cyklon model. Designed mainly for medium-distance off-road runs, it is a shoe that offers stability and perfectly wraps the foot thanks to  the Dynamic Cage closure system with BOA Fit System that works together with the components of the upper to wrap and stabilize the foot especially in downhill stretches, thus working on the prevention of possible injuries. 

La Sportiva | shoestechnologies
Cyklon
Credit: La Sportiva website

The mud-ground tread, on the other hand, is made  of  a very grippy La Sportiva FriXion White compound that also allows the addition of AT Grip Spike spikes  to run on icy terrain, in addition to the EVA midsole increases the stability of the shoe in general.

Braving nature in safety

The passion for the mountains, or even more generally for nature, unites many people who love to put themselves to the test by facing the natural challenges that our territories put in front of us. Trail running is a discipline that wants to take running to the next level by being able to see to what extent man can challenge nature, but to do so we must not underestimate what can happen in unstable terrain or with adverse weather conditions or simply with what we can find along the trails.


And this is where awareness  and knowledge of the territory and one’s own skills comes into play, a fundamental element to deal with this type of activity. But thanks also to the experience and study of the territory of brands such as La Sportiva which, having been born in the mountains, have increasingly refined their knowledge over time, we can face our challenges in nature safely.

You may also be interested in the following articles:

Mountains shoes: how to face winter!

Mountains shoes: how to face winter!

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