La Sportiva Anakonda shoe review

13th August 2014

La Sportiva Anakonda 

450 miles into my Anakondas and they are still going strong. What this says for the build quality of this shoe is unprecedented. The shoe is a monster, not only is it built like a Spartan (in structure but not in weight) it fights like one too. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was desperate for the Anakonda to fit my foot well, however, on first acquaintance I was a little upset as the heel counter seemed to have a little too much volume (I have narrow heels). In fact, I didn't actually wear the shoe for the first few weeks of owning them as I was so distraught. To cut a long story short, after altering the lacing the shoe fit like a gem. 

Overview.

The Anakonda is made to eat up mud, snow, rocks -  basically anything loose  or slippy and the Anakonda will bite into it. The shoe has a very low profile and a minimal heel-to-toe drop (4mm), this is great for feel and responsiveness but does mean if you're running on hardpack tracks or tarmac, be prepared for a firm ride. Reading the specs on the Anakonda and from it's looks, I had it down as a short distance fell racing shoe but to my surprise I wore this shoe for the 62 mile Paddy Buckley round and it performed stupendously. 

La Sportiva Anakonda Front Runner 1

Old vs New - The shoe at the rear as been worn for 450 miles.   

La Sportiva Anakonda Front Runner 2

      A surprisingly large amount of tread left after 450 miles.

La Sportiva Anakonda Shoe Review 3

Heel counter has 'bagged' slightly.    

La Sportiva Anakonda Shoe Review 4

Yes, the 'old' and 'new' shoe are obvious but after the hammering these shoes have had their condition is remarkable.

Pros.

  • The position and material of the welded overlays hold the foot well but also add to the integrity of the fabric. With most shoes of this genre it's very common for the fabric to rip or wear away. We've only noticed one obvious wear point on the little toe side of the right foot-this only became apparent after 425 miles.
  • The thin nature of the fabric upper means the Anakonda doesn't get waterlogged and drains water. A massive plus for the UK fell running market.
  • The tread  and rubber compound offer excellent grip. The 'U' shaped lugs seem to shed mud well and the  FriXion XF rubber sticks like anything to everything (barring wet slate-I've not found a shoe that does this yet).
  • The gusseted tongue does a darn good job at keep debris out and also seems to keep wetness out. To say I'm a little confused how the shoe can drain water well but not letter water in (quickly) through the upper I don't know. My educated guess would be the wizards at Sportiva have applied a waterproof coating to the upper of the shoe and left the lower part permeable.
  • Part 'Pro' part 'Con' - The TPU Heel Stabiliser. This feature is amazing if your heel fits, the rigid nature of the counter means the counter doesn't 'mould' to the heel. However, if it does fit, then you're in for a treat. It provides protection and stability in abundance.

Cons.

  • Part 'Pro' part 'Con' - The TPU Heel Stabiliser. If the heel counter does't fit your heel then it's unlikely you're going to be able to get it too. It took me  while to fathom out a lacing system that allowed me to get along the with Anakonda.
  • There is no Women's specific fit. Unfortunately this does mean there is a good chance the heel will be too broad for most Women.
  • The laces are a bit slick and don't hold their tightness without some jiggery-pokery (Not the end of the world but certainly not perfect).

Tech Specs.

Purpose - Fell running

Weight - 294 grams (UK 8)

Forefoot stack - 14mm

Heel stack - 18mm

Drop - 4mm

Upper  construction

  • Synthetic mesh with welded and stitched overlays.
  • Externally gusseted tongue.

Sole construction

  • 7mm deep lugs.
  • FriXion XF rubber.
  • Forefoot rock plate.
  • Neutral

 

Any comments are always greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

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