LA SPORTIVA: KAPTIVA GTX

Test of the new version of the Kaptiva with joint characteristics

10 January 2020
The Sportiva Kaptiva GTX is the new shoe that the company from Ziano di Fiemme offers for trail running on medium and long mileage distances in the winter season.

By choosing to use the light and flexible Gore-Tex® Invisible Fit membrane, LA SPORTIVA proposes the evolution of the already known Kaptiva model, in order to be able to adequately tackle winter trail paths supported by construction methods and materials aimed at making it safe progression and performance, even in skyrace activities.

We have tested this new shoe in different environmental contexts, and on paths characteristic of the cold season that alternate hard and sometimes frozen soil, foliage, mud, wet stones and even on snowy terrain.

Before testing it, we listened to Jonathan Wyatt, a runner with considerable international experience and designer of mountain running footwear for La Sportiva. Wyatt affirms the intention to offer a comfortable, protective yet light shoe with this model, and the goal of obtaining joint characteristics immediately aroused our curiosity!

The weight actually stands at less than 300 grams, and the EVA injection sole and midsole set was created to meet the needs of stability. The first impression of the fit, even if the tongue is decidedly thin, responds to the criterion of comfort, and the acceptance of the foot takes place in a functional way as you could already experiment with the Kaptiva summer model. Supported in the insertion of the foot by the presence of a rear buttonhole, and paying due attention during the tensioning and connection of the flat strings, a pleasant winding is obtained.

There is also a sensation of filling that avoids any concession to empty volumes, destabilizing in the slow speed but especially in those at higher speeds and downhill. The innovative SLIP-ON construction with the elastic and single-layer collar that forms a whole with the ankle also contributes to this result: the upper part, compared to the original model, has been modified to ensure greater stability to the foot.

The front of the shoe is in non-deformation Single Mesh and is equipped with reinforcements without seams, and is also very appreciable on an aesthetic level. The proposed colors are four: two for the men's model and two for the women's model. The exclusive Ortholite® mountain running ergonomic footbed with a thickness of 4 millimeters gives the foot adequate perspiration, while the drop is 6 millimeters.

Running use confirmed the effectiveness of the winding and a perceived sense of security at different speeds. What is greatly appreciated is the level of impenetrability guaranteed by the structure of the shoe, with the dirt-guard lining and collar that offer a barrier to the entrance of all the small stony or woody masses encountered on the paths.

From the summer model Kaptiva GTX® inherits the appreciated characteristics of great flexibility in the forefoot area guaranteed by the longitudinal Flex Grooves along the bending lines of the sole, a decisive advantage in the progression phase on the steepest slopes.

For winter use, the type of compound must guarantee high grip on slippery and muddy terrains, therefore the choice of the designers fell on La Sportiva FriXion White®, symbolized by the white X. In parallel, the design of the spaced and differently inclined Impact Brake System blocks on which it is possible to mount the AT Grip Spike nails for use on hard snow or short sections of ice works effectively. The traction and also the optimal discharge of the mud on the heaviest soils are thus supported, other valuable factors that have become evident in all the test exits. The toe is also equipped with TPU protection, useful to protect the foot from possible slips which in winter may be more frequent. Finally, the use on snow pleasantly surprised by the membrane's ability not only to wrap the foot, but also to ensure its warmth and dry accommodation.

Kaptiva GTX is bad enough to face the conditions of the winter trail in the name of protection, lightness and comfort.

Technical data

  • Upper: Tongue in enveloping and elastic knit fabric with front in stabilizing mesh and No-Sew reinforcements (without seams) in protective TPU.
  • Lining: Breathable non-slip mesh.
  • Midsole: Compression EVA and stabilizing and anti-torsion TPU inserts with bi-density EVA rock guard insert.
  • Sole: Frixion White with Impact Brake System with anchors designed for mounting AT Grip Spike nails
  • Footbed: Ortholite Ergonomic 4mm.
  • Drop: 6mm.
  • Cushioning: 8-9.
  • Weight: 280 g (half size 42).

Ruggero Bontempi

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