La Sportiva Jackal offers the complete package for Ultras

The RW Takeaway: Lightweight enough and fiercely durable, the Jackal offers unforgettable comfort and cushioning for great efforts on the road.

An EVA foam midsole with softer PU inserts is responsive without adding extra weight
Rock plate, toe bumpers and durable TPU liners provide rugged protection for the trails
Dual rubber outsole with 3mm multidirectional studs grips exceptionally well on varied terrain, saves deep mud

The solid Italian legacy of Calzoleria Sportiva, the sports shoemaker, dates back to the days when the founder Narciso Delladio made shoes for farmers and woodcutters for the first time in Val di Fiemme. Away from the wooden leather boots that started the company, the Jackal stays true to its rugged origins as a trail running shoe for tackling ultra-fast distances. To keep the shoe comfortable for long rocky miles, the lacing attaches to the mesh side panels to allow the foot to breathe and expand more easily within the shoe’s liner. Underfoot, a pair of PU inserts help soften the solid EVA midsole and full-length rock slab, while the stepped brake lugs dig as they bombard hills, cross streams, and navigate rocks and roots. “. Despite the looser fit and roomier toe than La Sportiva’s usual offerings, our testers noted that the Jackal has full-size shorts. Branded Shoes

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Amortized for a long journey

The Jackal is doubled in EVA foam in the midsole; the top layer that sits closest to the foot is a little more forgiving, while the second layer has a firmer offset to stabilize the hindfoot upon landing. On the sole, you can see the full-length rock slab of the shoe between the bottom layer and the outermost rubber tread. On its own, this can be a recipe for a hard run after double-digit miles, which is why La Sportiva adds a pair of PU inserts, one in the heel and one in the forefoot. They add further softness and elasticity to the cushioning that would otherwise be firm, but the even greater benefit is the additional shock absorption. When all of these elements came together during the run, our testers found that the shoe’s gait wasn’t particularly fast or flexible, but it didn’t feel too stiff or bulky. The slight spring of the tip also helps, allowing the jackal to advance more easily with each step. Shoes And Sneakers

“The Jackal is a bit more cushioned for long days, but it doesn’t dampen trail feedback or compromise running, which I’ve experienced with other cushioned shoes,” said one tester. “I won’t take this shoe for the fast days, but I’ll save it to slow down and log more than 10 miles at a time.”

Grip for the hills, control downhill

With a length of 3mm, the Jackal sole passes comfortably from the trail to tougher dirt areas and sections of fire roads. But generally those cleats ask to be taken to the mountains for many uphill and downhill hikes. Its rectangular shape, divided into two opposite triangles, increases the tread surface so that there is more contact with the ground to disperse the impact. The stepped design also allows each cleat to gnaw uphill like a tooth biting an apple and brake like a car downhill so you don’t slip. (Hence the name “impact brake pins”). In addition, the placement of two different tires ensures that the sole remains firm, without premature wear. A stickier soft rubber fills the center of the forefoot and heel areas, while a harder, more durable rubber outlines the edges. Best Sneakers

Foolproof for foot swelling

Our feet expand when we run, especially when we run very long distances. Ask our video producer Pat Heine, whose feet got so swollen during her 200-mile Tour des Géants run that she had to cut her feet off her shoes. Sure, this is an extreme case, but too tight a fit can be very uncomfortable. That’s why the Jackal incorporates some puffy-footed safes, such as a looser fit and a very generous toe. The lacing attaches to the nylon mesh side panels which allow the upper to expand and contract with the foot. This creates a bit of extra space without making the fit sloppy; an elastic bellows tongue keeps the foot securely wrapped inside the shoe. The only major problem you noticed. Kacamata Rayban

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