Anyone Familiar with the La Sportiva Raceblade/Fireblade

Recently, ultrastud Mike Mason commented enthusiastically about the La Sportiva Raceblade in response to my review of the Montrail Streak. Mike said,

Phenom shoe. Flat, fast, just enough protection, elastic tongue keeps the rocks out, and a nice wide toebox. This is by far the best trail shoe I’ve run in.

Well, such words from the likes of Monsieur Mason are enough to get me asking questions, especially since I can’t find any decent reviews of the Raceblades online. So, anyone run in the Raceblades? If so, what do you think? Anyone at La Sportiva wanna shoot me a pair to review? ;-) Also, since I can’t find any La Sportiva shoes in a conveniently located store, how does La Sportiva’s sizing compare to other brands?

Men’s La Sportiva Raceblade in, get this, yellow/red
– way to keep the color names simple La Sportiva!

A running store in Asheville, NC, told me that the La Sportiva Fireblade is very similar to the Raceblade. Anyone tried the Fireblade? How is it? If you’ve also run in the Fireblade how do the two compare in size as well as performance. I’ll try a pair of the Fireblades on wheile I’m down in Asheville for the Mount Mitchel Challenge this weekend, and would love to know if the Fireblades are a reasonable fit proxy for the Raceblades. The only “decent” information I could find on the Fireblades was a thread on the Runners World forum.

Please share any info you have on either the La Sportiva Fireblade or Raceblade!

[Updated 2/21/08 12:29 p.m.]
As always, lots of good info in the comments. Including:

  • The President of La Sportiva North America describing the relative sizing and performance of the Raceblades and Fireblades.
  • La Sportiva Mountain Running Team member, Derrick Spafford sharing his and Sara Montgomery’s (also on the LSMR team) thoughts on both the Raceblades and Fireblades (Sara loves the Fireblades, while the RAceblades are D’s fav)
    • Spaff also directed me to a review of the Fireblades that he and Sara wrote for Snowshoe Magazine (Who trail runs to get in shape for the snowshoe racing season, Derrick? ;-) )
    • Now Sara’s weighed in, too!

There are 12 comments

  1. jlantz

    The Fireblade sizing will give you an idea of the correct size for the Raceblade. The Raceblade does fit a little different in the toebox and it is a higher volume fit than the Fireblade. The Raceblade is slightly lighter and a little more deconstructed. I recommend the Fireblade from personal experience but it fits my foot better

  2. Trail Goat

    *Blink, blink* Did the president of La Sportiva North America just stop by? *blink, blink*Uh….If so, well, I guess I got my answer straight from the mountain goat's mouth, as it were!? If not, jlantz, you're a big enough of a shoe geek to masquerade as the president of La Sportiva North America. Either way, thanks for the insightful comment, jlantz! I'll definitely checkout the Fireblades while I'm in Asheville.

  3. Trail Goat

    I almost forgot, if that is THE Jonathan Lantz, my thanks go out to you and La Sportiva for really stepping it up this year and taking a leadership role in sponsoring races and athletes!

  4. Derrick

    I also found the Raceblades a little narrower than the Fireblades. Funny, in our house, Sara says the Fireblades are the best shoe she's ever run in and I say the same about the Raceblades. I usually wear a 42 in the Raceblades and have worn a 41.5 in the Fireblades. Another shoe worth checking out is the new Crosslites….just awesome traction in snow and mud. Same sort of sizing as Raceblades, but less overlays on the upper.

  5. Trail Goat

    Thanks, Meredith.Spaff, good to hear from you. Thanks for the info .. Oh, and congrats on making the La Sportiva team – that's new right – or am I just slow?

  6. Trail Goat

    Spaff, Thanks for not pointing out that I was just being a bit slow upstairs about you just making the La Sportiva Mountain Running team. Regardless, nice work! Thanks, too, for the Fireblade article. I just posted the link in the main post.

  7. Sara

    Hi Trail Goat,Good to see that you've been feeling better these days. I was sympathizing with your blah running days awhile back, and felt in a bit of similar boat. (I think for me it was low iron.) Thanks for the kind words, and hope you get a chance to try the 'blades' and like them. I'm such a fan of the Fireblades, since they have allowed me to run long again after having scary metatarsal pain for a couple of years. No other shoe has come close to being as comfy for me, though I remember I had to ease into them a bit at first with the lower heel.

  8. Trail Goat

    Sara,I'm definitely feeling better these days, thanks! I've still got a ton of training to do before I consider myself "race fit," but it's nice not to be literally stopped in my tracks by fatigue as I was in December. That was awful.I, too, took extra iron during my recovery period. Are you vegetarian, as well? I will be getting a chance to check out the blades. I was thinking that I'd have to ease into them, as you suggest. Five or so years ago, I messed up my right Achilles and have had intermittent trouble with it ever since. That said, I'd like to experiment less bulky trail shoes and fells-type shoes are out since I often have 3 mile road approaches before I hit trail.

  9. Sara

    I haven't tried the Imogenes myself. I'm going to try the Lynx out this year, it's also new.Yeah, we're both vegetarians as well. We used to eat a lot of fish as our only meat, but stopped that about a year ago. Before that I used to be able to get away with taking a few weeks off the iron supplements here and there, but I learned the hard way last fall that that isn't a smart option anymore! Spinach salads are a new staple for me now too, which seems to help.

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