La Sportiva Electron Review

Last summer, Bryon completed a very thorough review and overview of the technologies used in La Sportiva’s new Morphodynamic shoes which can be seen here. Convinced that I couldn’t write a better review about this shoe, I decided to put together a video highlighting my enjoyment testing this shoe on trails in the Wet Mountains of southern Colorado. For an overall outlook about what I liked and disliked about the Electron, see below.

Overall Impressions
Out of the box I didn’t think I’d like this shoe much. The sole appeared bulky and the fact that the shoe weighs in at 13.1 ounces did not increase its chances of becoming a part of my regular shoe rotation. However, the shoe looks great and once I slipped them on I began to understand what this Morphodynamic cushioning is all about. The cushioning in the Electron is substantial, plenty for an ultra, and equally distributed between the heel and forefoot (heel to toe drop is a standard 11mm). For me, this shoe fits true to size and I noticed how well the upper is constructed to include overlays to keep the debris out. [Editor’s note: For most runners, both the Electron and Quantum, its sister shoe, many runners find they need to size up at least 1/2 size and sometimes a full size.] The Electron also locks your foot down well and the upper hugged my foot like a glove. So… here is a performance list of pros and cons for the shoe.

Pros:

  • Great cushioning: This is now my go to shoe for any training run over 25 miles.
  • Great traction from the Morphodynamic sole which increases surface area contact with the ground.
  • Plenty of support for overpronators.
  • Rubber saved my toenails a few times on rocks.
  • Plenty of protection from sharp rocks despite lack of rock plate.
  • Ballistic construction. No debris got into my shoe on any runs.
  • Morphodynamic sole seems to role and adapt over any terrain.
  • The forefoot was flexible but did not hinder ascending steep trails.
  • Simple and effective lacing system.
  • Great fit!

Cons:

  • Without lugs, the shoe is slippery on muddy trails or wet clay.
  • Weight – 13.1 ounces will deter me from racing in this shoe.

It should be noted that I was not able to get the shoe wet to see how it shed water.

[Disclaimer: iRunFar.com would like to thank La Sportiva for providing this shoe for review.]

Tom Caughlan

is iRunFar’s Minimalist Gear Editor. Tom’s passion for trail running and specialty running retail experience shine through in all of his highly technical reviews, which do range outside minimalist shoes.

There are 15 comments

  1. Tom Caughlan

    Honestly, I didn't think it was that heavy of a shoe until I actually looked up the specs. Certainly not a featherlite trail shoe but I will say it doesn't feel like 13 oz. All of my daily trainers are under 10oz.

  2. Tom Caughlan

    From what I understand the Electron is the lighter racing version of the Quantum. Same last and overall concept as far as I can tell.

  3. Larry

    Actually, it's the opposite. Quantum is lighter than the Electron per the LS website, but not by much. I have a pair of Quantums sent to me by LS and I'm not impressed. Thankfully, they were free. Putting on the Quantums and standing on the kitchen floor, I was experiencing supination at the heel. I've never felt this in a shoe before (I'm a neutral runner). The shoe is also tight fitting compared to the other LS shoes I've run in and seems claustrophobic and the fabric doesn't breathe well. The new morpho sole does deliver on traction, though, and the best I've ever experienced.

    I'm currently running in the new LS Crosslite 2.0, but they're way overbuilt compared to the original. And, the fabric on both shoes where the forefoot flexes has completely torn open after less than 100 miles. Due to the overbuilt nature of the new Crosslite, though, there's another layer of nylon that thankfully prevents debris from entering the shoe. Karl's tongue-and-cheek has a lot of truth to it. They're going the wrong direction with their product line. Discontinuing the Fireblades has sent me looking for a new shoe. The Crosslite 2.0 is the best I've found in their current line, but without any type of rock plate, they beat up my feet more than I'd like.

  4. Tom Caughlan

    You're right Larry. I got this right in the review but got the names mixed around. Thanks for correcting me. Neither are what you'd think of as light. I wish I could share more personal info with the La Sportiva line but this is my first trail shoe from them. I am a slight pronator so the supination obviously didn't bother me.

  5. Brett Mayer

    I've not found a LS shoe that I like since the Slingshot a few years back, good grip, relatively light weight & a relatively low drop considering it came out 3 or 4 years ago…

  6. Paul b

    I have a pair of Electron's and I like them. I run on rock (skree fields) to mud, to big roots. The only thing I was skeptical of was the snow and they are OK. Everyone is sliding in the snow in any shoe unless they have yak tracks, microspikes and/or poles. I have a narrow foot so they fit just right.

    I twisted my knee in a pair of lug shoes and wanted something that had a natural feel of the surface. Slipping a little in slippery conditions is not a bad thing.

  7. Bob B

    I just put 50k on my Quantums at the Laurel Highlands Ultra. I put them through everything from steep wet rocky ascents, descents, muddy rollers, sand, streams…everything but ice and snow. I love these shoes. If they truly weigh 13oz… I don't care, they feel light. They handled well in the mud…no more slipping than the people around me in lugged shoes, plus I had no slipping on the rocks as I exited the mud. The lugged shoe runners did until the lugs cleared of mud. The only negative I found was the lacing takes a little getting used to. I had to stop to make some adjustments several times. I am a neutral runner.

  8. Jason

    I have the Quantum and consider them the best shoe I have ever tried for running down technical trails. I can just bomb downhill with these things. They are very protective and actually pretty nimble. For high, technical mountain runs, they are the shoes I have been looking for.

    The upper on the Quantum seems plenty burly enough so I don't really know why one would choose the Electron over the Quantum. Definitely on the heavier side – these would not be my choice for a racing shoe. Also would not be my choice if I lived in a place with smooth trails.

  9. John

    My Quantums were delivered this afternoon and I'm very disappointed. I sized up to a 45 from the 44.5 I wear in LS Wildcats and can't even get my foot in the Quantum. The arch is much higher than the Wildcat and the heel is very narrow as well as the forefoot being more narrow than the Wildcat. I've waited a week for them to arrive and now am sending them back tomorrow and starting over in my search for a new pair of shoes to replace my Wildcats. I've had 3 pair of Wildcats with never a blister or any foot/leg problems at all. My current Wildcats have well over 600 miles on them. I'm just wanting to get a lighter shoe I can do 25-30 mile training runs in and wear for 50M and 100M races. I tried the Saucony Peregrine and really like them except the 4mm heel to forefoot drop is giving me calf and achilles problems on longer runs (good for me under 15 miles though) so I need to go back to a more traditional 10mm drop. BTW – I have a very high arch and wear neutral shoes.

  10. Xavi

    Hi, little by little I'm engaging in the long distance and this year I have thought to do a couple of ultra trails and other races between 21-42km. My height is 1.87 m and weight just under 75kg.

    I'd like to try a LaSportiva and I'm doubting between the raptor, wildcat or quantum (or electron). What would you recommend to start at a long distance?

    Thanx!!

  11. La Sportiva Electron Women’s Schuhe für 95,00€–32% günstiger

    […] Weiterhin findet man auf der Website Irunfar.com auch noch einen guten Testbericht zu der Herrenversion der La Sportiva Electron Laufschuhe. Dem Blogger Tom gefiel hier zum Beispiel die klasse Dämpfung, der gute Schutz vor spitzen Steinen, sowie die einfache und effektive Schnürung sehr gut. Einziger Kritikpunkt war für den Tester hier das etwas hohe Gewicht von 660 Gramm (Paar; mittlere Größe), wobei dies wohl nur für die wirklichen Profis von großem Gewicht sei. (Quelle) […]

  12. Peter Kuiper

    The shoe in the presentation is the Electron GTX, not the normal Electron. And I very much doubt that they have the same weight, although this is pointed on the la Sportiva website. I have both the Electron and the Electron GTX. Without having measured their weight on a presicioninstrument, the normal Electron appears to feel the same as the Brooks Cascadia. The Electron GTX is definitely heavier. Both are great shoes to me, the normal Electron is my fave. #2 for me is the Brooks Cascadia.

  13. snow pixy

    My experienced with the La sportiva Electron (women's is mixed. I loved them for 8 days (160 miles)out of Yosemite on the PCT, which is how long it took for the sole to split right across the metatarsal heads. I will say they were comfortable and my feet were happy in them with few exceptions. They have NO traction in SNOW!and mud ain't pretty. On trail with deep loose grit the toe box packed up with grit between the outer and inner layers, which was more annoyance than problem. I found them better for hiking than running. My biggest gripe is that I paid $145 for only 300 miles and half of that with cracked soles. I usually get a 1000 out of a pair of shoes. The soles need to be modified so they're not so brittle that they fracture.

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