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Reviews La Sportiva Cyklon review

La Sportiva Cyklon review

Looking for a new trail running shoe to tackle some of the world's toughest terrain? The La Sportiva Cyklon might be the answer, says trail running coach Jude Palmer...

If super technical trails are calling and you want a shoe that feels secure and grips well on rock or mud, then the La Sportiva Cyklon is for you.  

Designed with skyrunners (think mountain goats) in mind, it marries the pedigree of La Sportiva with the technology of BOA fit systems.  

This delivers a shoe that not only looks different, but one that also makes you feel like you could hurtle down a cliff and cross the line smiling.  

What’s the fit like?

The Cyklon looks like it’s for serious athletes and on first try you need to be serious about getting it on.  

The ankle cuff means less grit or snow will get into your shoe, but it also narrows the foot entry, making my size UK5.5 foot appear momentarily bigger.  

However, there is a fold in the heel cuff material that makes for a handy finger hold to pull the shoe on with. Expect to take a few runs to get the hang of it, though.  

Once on, the phrase ‘fits like a glove’ springs to mind. The Cyklon feels secure and snug, which may feel a little odd if you’re used to roomy shoes, but that’s what you need if you want to run fast downhill or on loose ground.   

The ‘Dynamic Cage’ construction of the upper means that the foot is held securely in all directions even before you do up the laces, or in the case of the Cyklon, the laces and dial.  

La Sportiva Cyklon Boa dial
The Boa dial helps deliver a snug, supportive fit on the Cyklon (Credit: Steve Sayers)

This is a very familiar method to what you’ll find with cycling shoes, but it’s still relatively novel to see it in the world of trail running.  

Yet it has many advantages in terms of ease in adjusting fit during a run if you need to and holding the foot in position.  

The BOA system is straightforward to use, too. Simply twist the dial to tighten and pop it out to loosen. Breakages are rare says BOA, while a free repair kit is also available. 

The toe box felt relatively spacious but because the shoe is designed to fit snuggly it may be useful to try on different sizes before buying and seeing what works for you.   

If you want a roomy trail shoe to run long flat trails then other options are likely to suit you better.  

Is the La Sportiva Cyklon comfortable?

While there’s no rock plate, the midsole is filled with EVA foam and features TPU lateral inserts under the heel, which add a little bit of protection underfoot so you don’t feel every rock and pebble.  

Stack height is a respectable 28mm at the rear and 20mm at the front. That’s luxury compared to fell-type trail shoes and probably best suited to medium length runs rather than all-day epics.   

While cushioning is pretty good, this shoe isn’t going to offer the same kind of soft run as some max cushioned options on the market, but then that is not what it is intended for. 

The multiple layers, robust toe protection and ankle cuff add to the feeling of great foot protection and support and, while it almost certainly is why this shoe is slightly heavier than other trail shoes (256g, UK5.5), you don’t feel it when they are on your feet.  

That said, this extra layering can make your feet feel warmer than other trail shoes.  

What’s the traction and stability like?

La Sportiva Cyklon tread
The Cyklon’s deep tread helps make light work of soft mud (Credit: Steve Sayers)

The ultra grippy outsole comes with 7mm lugs and lends itself well to rock and the ubiquitous soft mud of British winters. 

It inspired confidence when taking on steep wet descents, while La Sportiva AT Grip Spikes can be bought and fitted separately if you’re running on icy ground. 

Technical running demands good forefoot movement for steep ground and the Cyklon offers great flexibility in this area allowing the foot to work in the way it was intended.  

La Sportiva says the Cyklon can help you float like a butterfly and run like the wind, which sums up well how you feel with these shoes on. In my experience, they fit so well that they felt part of me.  

Ultimately, the Cyklon is a great technical trail shoe which will make you want to go and run mountains.  

Verdict: The La Sportiva Cyklon is great technical trail shoe and a mountain must-have.

Score: 90% 

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