If you're looking for a comfortable hiking boot that offers protection from the elements while moving quickly through technical terrain, then look no further than the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. This was a favorite of our testing crew, thanks to the all-day comfort and the streamlined design that sheds weight without sacrificing performance. The rugged outsole and the breathable and waterproof membrane helped us stay comfortable while pushing our limits in the mountains. Whether hiking the local trails, approaching a backcountry climbing area, or headed out for some moderate backpacking, this boot offers great stability and traction over varying terrain, all at a reasonable price.Editor's Note: This review was updated on October 28, 2022, to include updated insight on which boots we would recommend to a friend.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX - Women's Review
Cons: Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
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La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX - Women's
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|Pros||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent traction||Supreme comfort, high quality design, waterproof, excellent traction||Lightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortable||Improved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle|
|Cons||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||Pricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Expensive, Gore-Tex does not breathe well in hot conditions, thicker sole takes some adjustment||Lacks ankle support for extended backcountry travel||Lacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy|
|Bottom Line||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||Plush cushion, waterproof durability, and a stable design make these hikers a great choice for extended backcountry missions||A sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter trips||These boots offer improved traction and comfort right out of the box, though they underperform in terms of durability and support for extended backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - A...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - A...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||2.20 lbs (size 8)||1.86 lbs (size 8.5)||2.06 lbs (size 8)|
|Upper||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Nubuck leather||Leather, synthetic, textile||Leather, mesh|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Midsole||MEMlex||Altra EGO||Rubberized EVA||EVA||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a lightweight hiking boot that delivers a ton of performance at a reasonable price. Featuring a comfortable fit for most foot shapes (as well as an option for purchase in wider sizes), a Gore-tex waterproof membrane, and aggressive rubber outsoles, this shoe is built for moving quickly through variable terrain. After high marks in almost every metric, the Ultra Raptor easily came out as our top dog.
The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX delivered comfort right out of the box, from snowy alpine hikes in the Eastern Sierra to long desert approaches in Zion National Park. While more of a hybrid between a running shoe, approach shoe, and hiking boot, the lightweight design offers comfort without adding a ton of bulk. Our testers also appreciated the added comfort from the padding that wraps around the entire ankle and the tongue of the shoe and the soft comfort collar with a pull-tab feature whose material is soft to the touch and makes it easy to pull on. Additionally, La Sportiva's innovative lacing system helps distribute tension evenly throughout the hiking boot to minimize any hot spots.
Our testers ordered a half size up from their street shoe size and would recommend you do the same as these boots run a little small. And while La Sportiva footwear typically favors a narrow foot, this boot will accommodate a wide array of foot shapes, though, if necessary, it can be ordered in a wide fit. Padded yet breathable comfort as well as a lightweight design with minimal break-in time made the Ultra Raptor II one of our go-to's for overall comfort.
The Ultra Raptor II Mid is one of the most supportive lightweight hiking boots that we tested, shedding weight but not skimping on the innovative technology which allows for stability. The 5-inch comfort collar and a user-friendly lacing system extending to the top of the ankle helps prevent rolling the ankle and minimize any movement inside the boot. After twisting and folding the boot by hand, we noticed that there is enough stiffness to offer stability but also enough flex in the forefoot to allow for agile performance over technical terrain. We assume this is due to La Sportiva's compression-molded MEMIex midsoles and nylon molded flex TPU shanks.
The TPU shanks also provide cushion and support while absorbing the shock from impacting obstacles such as rocks and stumps during a quick descent. Removable Ortholite footbeds increase the overall support, while the lacing system is easy to customize to the shape of your foot and allows for a secure and sturdy fit when traversing cross-country terrain.
Our testers were impressed by the overall performance of the Ultra Raptor II Mid. It features an aggressive outsole that allows for excellent traction on all types of terrain. Innovative technology such as the Fixion XF 2.0 rubber outsoles and Trail Bite Heel will keep you in control while shifting from decomposing granite to hopping over boulders.
The support from the Impact Brake System X-Axis also gave us the confidence to rip through steep descents on loose and variable terrain. So whether you're a fair-weather hiker who mostly sticks to the trails or someone who likes to power through cross-country terrain in suboptimal weather and wet conditions, the aggressive outsole and incredible traction of the Ultra Raptor II Mid won't disappoint.
While the Ultra Raptor features a mesh, breathable synthetic upper, this material is also lined with a Gore-tex Extended Comfort treatment that allows your foot to release excess moisture without losing the waterproof component. Our testers put these boots to the test while hiking and approaching various rock climbs during the spring season in the Eastern Sierra, often moving through patches of snow and multiple creek crossings.
While the Raptor kept our feet completely dry, even when submerged up to the laces, we recommend using an additional gaiter if your hike or alpine mission takes you through snow that exceeds the height of the ankle, which is more or less anything above 6 inches. This wasn't the highest performing waterproof boot that we tested, but the lightweight Gore-tex technology kept our feet comfortable and prevented moisture from penetrating the boot's interior as we moved through variable spring conditions.
Ranking amongst the lightest hiking boots that we've tested, the Ultra Raptor weighs in at a very competitive 1.68 pounds for a women's size 40 EU. Our testers noted this lightweight design allowed for more agility on the trail when compared to other classic hikers, which can weigh up to 2.5 pounds.
Whether fastpacking, backpacking, or hitting the local trails, the lightweight hybrid design of this hiking boot allows you to go the distance without being bogged down by any extra weight.
While the Ultra Raptor II Mid stands out for its lightweight and comfortable design, that doesn't mean that you'll have to sacrifice durability. This well-constructed hiking boot features a high-weave AirMesh material that is resistant to abrasions while still being able to release moisture. And for those of us that lack a little grace on the trail and are prone to stubbing our toes on the occasional stump or rock, this hiking boot also features an anti-shock rubber toe cap for a more enjoyable experience on trail.
Built to perform in rugged terrain, the Ultra Raptor II also features a durable sole, a microfiber mudguard that wraps around the entirety of the boot, and a high-frequency lacing system that will last as long as the boot. While not as durable as a fully leather hiking boot, the synthetic mesh delivers lightweight performance on technical trails with abrasion-resistant Gore-tex technology built to last for many seasons.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX?
A cross between a running shoe and hiking boot, the Ultra Raptor is our go-to for fast and light missions without sacrificing comfort, stability, or waterproof technology. We're also happy to report no abnormal signs of wear and tear, even after a lot of time on the trail. This boot sells for an affordable price too, so if you're in the market for a lightweight and durable hiking boot that sheds weight without neglecting performance (and if you're reading this, we're guessing you are), you will not regret your purchase.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX features an affordable and lightweight design, as well as a comfortable and supportive fit that is waterproof and built to last. If you are considering other lightweight designs at a more affordable price, check out the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX. Or, for those with a wider foot, consider the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid.
— Trish Matheny
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