La Sportiva Crosslite Review
February 18, 2009 by Bryon Powell · 13 Comments
Billed as a racing shoe, La Sportiva’s Crosslite (11.6 oz.) can just as easily be a lightweight, trail trainer. During an initial test run that included 30+ miles of trails and a 15-pound pack, I found that the Crosslite offers more than enough cushioning and support for even the most ridiculous of trail endeavors.
Indeed, the shoe’s widely spaced lugs provided adequate cushioning on the early morning frozen ground. This is much different from the Crosslite’s sister shoe, the Skylite, which offers little in the way of cushioning. The Crosslite’s lugs and rock plate also fared well on rocky sections of trail. As morning turned to afternoon and the frozen trail thawed, the Crosslite really started to shine. The shoe clawed tenaciously to the slickest sections of wet clay while the wide spacing of the lugs allowed the shoe to easily shed any mud once back on terra firma.
On later test runs, the Crosslite ran smooth and neutral on the roads. Again, the widely spaced lugs showed their utility by providing a surprising amount of cushioning for such a lightweight trail shoe.
One great feature of the Crosslite is its elastic lace guard, which both keeps the laces from getting snagged and helps keep trail debris from entering the shoe.
In general, I found the Crosslite to be as supportive as heavier trail shoes, but it did not offer as much arch support. Therefore, I would suggest that anyone switching from a more substantial trail shoe gradually build up the length of his or her runs in the Crosslite. In addition, as a victim of chronic Achilles tendonitis, I was wary of the fact that the shoe provides less relative heel lift than standard running shoes. That said, the Crosslite has yet to irritate my Achilles any more than other shoes.
The Crosslite is clearly a shoe that can tackle any trail condition or even the road. While some trail runners use it as an everyday shoe, it won’t be mine. The three types of runs on which I can see myself choosing the Crosslite are (1) muddy trail runs, (2) trail races up to a marathon, and (3) the occasional trail run during which I want to have a bit of fun or pick up the pace. I also plan to try the Crosslite out on snow and ice… if I ever see some here in Washington, DC.