Uphill All the Way: La Sportiva VK Boa Mountain Running Shoe

Quick, fast and intuitive, La Sportiva’s VK BOA is their lightest Mountain Running Shoe. Every detail has been designed to reduce weight. The BOA dial-based performance fit system and knitted upper ensures a precise, performance-driven fit that wraps around the foot perfectly.

Photo: La Sportiva


Keep in mind that the fit is a bit narrow—but snugness is the purpose here. You don’t want any space at all inside the shoe when you’re chugging uphill over rocky terrain. Our tester went up a half-size from his regular size and ran with a thicker supportive sock. He found the BOA dial system very easy for adjustments on the go if the shoe loosens a bit, which can happen if you’re really pounding over crazy steep terrain.


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Photo: Mountain Life


The VK’s unequaled flexibility shows its advantage when climbing up scree or any unstable ground, because your feet can dig in, explore and finesse their way over angles and obstacles. The VK is not a brawny, long-distance shoe. If you want mattresses on your feet, you should look elsewhere. This shoe encourages a more conscious, refined style of ascent-focused medium-distance mountain running where your feet stay in tune with the landscape.


Photo: La Sportiva


The VK BOA is not truly in the “barefoot” minimalist style, though the shoe does excel during forefoot-led uphill running. The midsole boasts a 1.5mm dual-density compressed EVA rock guard (in forefoot) for a layer of real protection. And the outsole (FriXion XF 2.0 with Impact Brake System) really shows its teeth when you’re climbing.

Check out more from La Sportiva, including apparel, mountaineering boots, ski hardgoods and more, here.