La Sportiva caught my eye with the Vertical K. The C-Lite 2.0 ($110) is no slacker on the trail. Although the C-Lite 2.0 was launched in Spring 2011, I had to review this shoe.
The C-Lite 2.0 fits snug but very comfortable. I did not go up a half a size. Some wearers may want to go up half a size because of the race-type fit. The shoe weighs under 11 oz.
The AirMesh upper is durable, breathable, and water resistant. You will notice around the toe and medial/lateral side of the shoe an “overlay” of Uretech – mixture of sand, rubber and glue that is sprayed or painted on the shoe to provide a lightweight, abrasion resistant coating that is flexible and highly moldable. This is extra protection for the shoe.
The midsole is made of MEMlex – a compression molded midsole of 80% EVA and 20% SBR that provides a firm, cushioned midsole that is very lightweight. For additional stability, a wishbone torsion control shank is near the heel.
The upper is slip lasted, that is, sewn into a sock and then slipped into the last of the shoe. This design provides a sock-like fit to reduce any dead spots. This construction is similar to climbing shoes (Hmmm, La Sportiva may have some experience in this area).
Aggressive V-Groove outsole adds cushion and excellent grip. The outsole also contains FriXion – La Sportiva’s proprietary sticky climbing rubber formula.
The testing mileage varied from 30+ miles to 18 miles. The C-Lite held up to very muddy (no lack of traction) and wet conditions. The shoe is flexible yet stable for all types of terrain. It response well in any trail condition. It is a best all-around trainer combining comfort, fit, traction, and relatively lightweight.
The shoe drained well after stream crossings. I had no issues with feeling “sloshing” in the shoe that included testing the shoe in both thin and mid-weight socks. In the “lab”, the C-Lite tested “Good”.
It was difficult to find a flaw in these shoes. My concern was regarding the lower part of the lacing, that is, would it be slug enough on the foot because the scree gaiter covers the laces. I had no issues with fit or any slipping.
- Toe Measurement – 18 mm
- Heal Measurement – 26 mm
- Drop – 8 mm
- Non-gusseted Tongue (Notice the “Scree Gaiter” wrapping the entire shoe)
- No Rock Plate
- Midsole – EVA
- Upper – Synthetic/Nylon
- Made In – China
I found the La Sportiva C-Lite 2.0 to be one of my favorite trail shoes. It is a best all-around shoe combining comfort, fit, traction, and relatively lightweight (under 11 oz). Out of all the shoes tested, I keep wanting to run in the C-Lite 2.0. It was difficult to put these back in the closet when I wanted to run in them. I would recommend the C-Lite 2.0 for any race distance and condition. Some runners may need to go up a half size because of the slug fit. Another winner by La Sportiva.