La Sportiva Raceblade To Be Discontinued (iRunFar to Continue)

La SportivaIt is with a heavy heart that I tell you that one of my favorite shoes, the La Sportiva Raceblade is being discontinued. Yes, the only trail shoe that I’ve worn out in less than a year since spending the summer of ’06 in Park City, Utah is being deep sixed. I am deeply saddened, as this has been my go to shoe for all my trail races and much of my pacing this year. The Raceblade is light, responsive, and just works for me. Fortunately, the La Sportiva Fireblade is also many of these things as the Raceblade and Fireblade share the same last, midsole, and outsole. (Also, long time iRunFar readers may recall that I fell in love with the Fireblade before the Raceblade.) I’ll take consolation in the fact that the Fireblade is an awesome shoe. It’s essentially the Raceblade with a slightly more protective and supportive upper at the cost of only a few grams.

La Sportiva RacebladeHowever, if the Raceblade’s are your shoe, my advice is to go hunt down a couple pairs for your closet and then consider the Fireblade as a replacement when you run out of Raceblades. Later this year, I’ll be trying out the even lighter La Sportiva Skylite (less-lugged version of the Crosslite) and will let you know how that compares to the Raceblade.

We should also take a second to dispel any rumors that iRunFar is collapsing a la Lehman Brothers. That rumor is 100% incorrect – iRunFar is still alive and kicking. I should have let y’all know a few weeks ago that I’d be posting less frequently for a little while. You see, I’ll be running the Iroquois Trails 100 this coming weekend and, despite a busy schedule, I am and have been committed to getting to bed at a reasonable hour since I returned from the GORE-TEX TransRockies Run on September 1. I had a non-stop schedule for July and August that wrecked me and thought it key to rest up physically and mentally before trying to tackle my first 100 in over two years. (I’m quite nervous about it.) First off, let me take a second to dispel any rumors that iRunFar is collapsing a la Lehman Brothers. That rumor is 100% incorrect – iRunFar is still alive and kicking. I (Bryon) should have let y’all know a few weeks ago that I’d be posting less frequently for a little while. You see, I’ll be running the Iroquois Trails 100 this coming weekend and, despite a busy schedule, I am and have been committed to getting to bed at a reasonable hour since I returned from the GORE-TEX TransRockies Run on September 1. I had a non-stop schedule for July and August that wrecked me and thought it key to rest up physically and mentally before trying to tackle my first 100 in over two years. (I’m quite nervous about it.) All that said, later this week I hope to post a full report on Day 5 of the TransRockies Run and a course preview of the Iroquois Trails 100, and I will posting Tony Portera’s TWIR.

There are 9 comments

  1. Derrick

    Hey Goat, As I’ve mentioned before, the Raceblade has been the shoe that I’ve gone to over the past year as well. I’ve loved the fit, feel and protection offered in such a lightweight shoe. The funny thing I’ve found though is that since the introduction of the Crosslites, I have been wearing them a lot more and not the Raceblades quite as much. On days where I want/need a little more protection I’ve been finding that I’ll lace up the Raceblades or Fireblades, but on most other days I’ll go with the Crosslites. They have a great fit, fantastic traction and are remarkably light. In fact, I just wore them for my first 100miler and had absolutely no blister or foot issues. The Skylites are a super sweet feeling shoe that you will love. Same sort of fit as the Crosslites, but a little lighter due to the less aggressive sole, more suitable for racing over dryer and flatter surfaces.Good luck at IT 100!!

  2. Buzz

    Glad you're getting some sleep! To be rested is the most important training component for a 100.Derrick said it well – the Fireblade/Raceblade are very well regarded, while the Crosslite is surprising a lot of people . They all encourage more of a "ball of the foot" type stride, rather than a "heel-toe" stride.

  3. Grae Van Hooser

    Goat,Glad to hear from you. It's funny that when I was mowing my lawn last Saturday I grabbed a pair of Raceblades I forgotten I had, sitting in my garage. What I'm going to use for doing yard work now? Although I did notice that I have about 10 pairs of Masai's & Leona Divides still in the box, never worn! I was going to sell them on Ebay, but to busy and/or to lazy!Anyway, have a good 100 this weekend. You should do fine. Just run your own race, stay on top of your nutrition, run in the moment, enjoy the trials and take it as it comes and deal with it. It should all work out for you. Besides, wasn't your best WS result the one where you least expected it, didn't really force it, and didn't really care? – Grae

  4. Meghan

    Hi Bryon!I'm surprised you didn't say "we at iRunFar" instead of "I (Bryon)." You're giving away your secrets! :)I'm here to wish you good luck this weekend! So good luck this weekend! Go run like hell!Meghan

  5. Trail Goat

    Derrick and Buzz,Thanks for the additional insight! You comments always add a great deal to our shoe discussions.Grae,What size are the Masai?!?! Crap, you just added another shoe I need to consider racing in at the IT100. It's my toughest decision I'll face re the race.Meghan,I (Bryon) am one of folks behind iRunFar. You can't forget Mr. Portera!All, Thanks for the well wishes for this weekend!

  6. Sunshine Girl

    Have fun this weekend! Keith and I are off to Skoki Lodge for his big 45th birthday!! we'll think of you on the trails as we run on the trails!

  7. solarweasel

    oh man… i've been running in raceblades religiously this year. i hope to find a few pairs on clearance to stock up my closet as you suggested…i havent tried the skylite/crosslite yet… can anyone comment on how they compare to the raceblade fitwise? for me, one of the big draws to the raceblade was how it never rubbed my feet the wrong way

  8. Trail Goat

    Leslie,I hope you and Keith had a great time over the weekend. I know I did, despite the DNF.Solarweasel,I haven't worn the Crosslites enough yet to give you a good comparison on the long term fit of the Raceblade vs. the Crosslite. I haven't worn the Skylite at all. Hopefully, Buzz, Derrick, or some equally well informed Sportivite will stop back in and be able to share their thoughts.For the record, I wore the Raceblades for most of my 56 mile effort at the Iroquois Trails Ultras. I did get heel blisters, but I've had them in a wide range of shoes for many years. I found the Raceblades were stable and protective enough on the course's uneven ground.

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