La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Review – Conquering Peaks with Confidence?

Explore the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX: a top-tier hiking boot offering unmatched durability, traction, and weather protection.
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

Unveil the secrets behind the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX's trail dominance.
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a highly durable, comfortable, and technically advanced hiking boot, ideal for challenging terrains and varied weather conditions.


<br>Design & Versatility
<br>Comfort & Support
<br>Durability & Performance
<br>Waterproofing & Breathability
<br>Value for Money


  • Superior weather protection
  • Exceptional traction
  • Durability
  • Comfort and support
  • Versatile fit


  • Warmth in high temperatures
  • Heavier side
  • Premium price tag


Unveiling the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX emerges as a beacon of innovation and resilience in the realm of outdoor footwear, specifically engineered for the passionate hiker and trail adventurer. Designed with the rigorous demands of off-road trails and rugged terrains in mind, this shoe promises to elevate the hiking experience by offering unparalleled protection, comfort, and stability.

First Impressions: A Fusion of Durability and Comfort

Upon first encounter, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX immediately impresses with its robust construction and thoughtful design. The shoe’s aesthetic is striking, blending technical prowess with a style that’s both sleek and functional. It’s evident that every element, from the aggressive tread pattern to the supportive mid-cut design, has been meticulously crafted for the outdoor enthusiast. This footwear is not just a tool for traversing landscapes; it’s an ally for the intrepid explorer.

Setting the Stage for Rigorous Testing

My initial interaction with the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX took place against the backdrop of anticipation for real-world testing. I was drawn to its promise of waterproof protection, courtesy of the GORE-TEX membrane, and intrigued by its potential for breathability and comfort over long distances. The stage was set to evaluate this shoe across diverse conditions—from the damp and muddy trails of the Pacific Northwest to the rocky, sun-baked paths of the Southwest. This introductory phase was not just about assessing a piece of gear; it was about preparing for a series of adventures that would test the limits of both the footwear and the wearer.

In this review, we delve deep into the heart of what makes the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX a standout product in the world of outdoor gear. With its sights firmly set on providing a superior hiking experience, let’s explore how it holds up under the scrutiny of rigorous outdoor testing.

Technical Specifications

Engineered for Excellence: Key Features and Technology

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a masterclass in technical innovation, designed to meet the specific needs of hikers and trail runners seeking reliability and performance. Here’s a closer look at the technologies and features that set this shoe apart:

  • GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology: Ensures waterproof protection while maintaining breathability, keeping feet dry and comfortable in all weather conditions.
  • FriXion® XF Outsole with Impact Brake System™: Offers outstanding grip and traction on varying surfaces, reducing impact forces and increasing downhill braking power.
  • Injection-Molded EVA Midsole with TPU Stability Inserts: Provides cushioning and stability, supporting the foot during dynamic movements and uneven terrain.
  • High-Cut Ankle Cuff: Adds support and protection without sacrificing mobility, ideal for navigating through rocky and uneven trails.
  • Ortholite® Footbed: Enhances comfort with its breathable, long-lasting cushioning, and is treated to reduce odor, keeping the feet fresher for longer.

Designed with Durability and Comfort in Mind

Materials and construction play a pivotal role in the durability and overall performance of the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX:

  • Abrasion-Resistant Mesh Upper: Combines durability with breathability, ensuring long-term wearability and comfort.
  • TPU Lacing Harness: Offers a secure fit, adapting to the foot’s movement for optimal comfort and stability.
  • Rubber Toe Cap: Provides additional protection against rocks and roots, safeguarding the toes during hikes.

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX stands as a testament to thoughtful design and technological prowess. Each feature, from the waterproof GORE-TEX membrane to the supportive and cushioned midsole, has been integrated with the user’s utmost performance and comfort in mind. This shoe is not just a piece of equipment; it’s a comprehensive solution for the dedicated hiker or trail runner looking to conquer diverse and challenging terrains.

Performance Evaluation

Mastering the Elements: Fabric Performance and Weather Resistance

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX excels in delivering exceptional fabric performance, making it a formidable ally against the unpredictable elements encountered on the trail.

  • Breathability and Waterproofing: Thanks to the GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology, this shoe offers a perfect balance between waterproof protection and breathability. During long hikes in varied weather conditions, from rain-soaked paths to humid environments, my feet remained dry without compromising on air circulation, a crucial factor in maintaining comfort over distances.
  • Durability in the Face of Nature: The robust construction, featuring an abrasion-resistant mesh upper, withstands the relentless wear and tear of rocky, uneven terrains. Combined with the protective rubber toe cap, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX showed minimal signs of distress, even after extensive testing across harsh landscapes.

A Closer Look at Practical Features

La Sportiva’s attention to the practical needs of hikers is evident in the thoughtful inclusion of features designed to enhance the hiking experience.

  • Grip and Traction: The FriXion® XF outsole with Impact Brake System™ provides unparalleled grip on various surfaces, from slick rock faces to loose gravel. This technology notably reduces the impact on descents and increases braking power, instilling confidence with every step.
  • Fit and Stability: The TPU lacing harness and high-cut ankle cuff work in harmony to offer a secure fit and ample support. These features are particularly beneficial when navigating technical trails, ensuring stability and reducing the risk of ankle rolls.
  • Comfort and Adjustability: The inclusion of an Ortholite® footbed and injection-molded EVA midsole contributes to the overall comfort, offering cushioning that adapts to the foot’s shape. The ability to adjust the fit easily with the lacing system allows for customization to individual preferences and foot shapes, enhancing the comfort level during extended wear.

Evaluating Performance in the Field

In real-world testing, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX stood out for its ability to handle a variety of conditions with ease. Whether it was ascending steep inclines, crossing streams, or tackling long distances, the shoe’s performance remained consistently high. The combination of weather resistance, durability, and practical hiking features solidifies its position as a top choice for those seeking a reliable, comfortable, and high-performing hiking boot.

Fit and Comfort

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX not only excels in technical performance but also shines in the realms of fit and comfort, critical aspects for any outdoor footwear destined for the trail. This section delves into the shoe’s comfort levels, fit across different body types, and its adaptability to various activities.

Precision Fit for Diverse Foot Shapes

  • Adaptable Sizing: La Sportiva has engineered the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX with a keen understanding of hiker needs, offering sizes that cater to a wide range of foot shapes. While the brand is known for its precision in crafting shoes for technical performance, they haven’t skimped on comfort. It’s advisable to start with your regular size and adjust as needed, considering the potential for thicker socks in colder conditions.
  • Customizable Lacing System: The shoe features a robust lacing system that extends down towards the toe, providing hikers with the ability to fine-tune the fit. This adaptability is crucial for accommodating feet of different widths and volumes, ensuring a snug, supportive fit without being overly tight.

Uncompromised Comfort Across Activities

  • All-Day Wearability: During extensive testing, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX demonstrated exceptional comfort over long distances. The Ortholite® footbed and EVA midsole contribute significantly to this, offering a cushioned ride that absorbs shock and reduces foot fatigue. Whether trekking up steep inclines, navigating rocky terrains, or embarking on multi-day hikes, the shoe’s comfort remained unparalleled.
  • Support and Stability: The high-cut ankle cuff is not just about protection; it also adds a level of support that instills confidence on uneven trails. This, combined with the shoe’s overall design, ensures a comfortable fit that doesn’t compromise on stability, making it suitable for a variety of outdoor activities beyond hiking, including light backpacking and trail running.

The Verdict on Fit and Comfort

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX sets a high bar for what hikers can expect in terms of fit and comfort in outdoor footwear. Its design takes into consideration the varied needs of hikers, offering a fit that is both accommodating and precise. The comfort it provides, even after hours of rigorous activity, underscores La Sportiva’s commitment to creating shoes that support the wearer’s journey, not just in terms of distance but in the quality of the experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or someone embarking on their first trail adventure, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX offers a blend of fit, comfort, and support that will make any journey more enjoyable.

Pros and Cons

In evaluating the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX, it’s essential to weigh its strengths against its potential drawbacks. This balanced perspective helps to understand where the shoe excels and where there might be room for improvement.


  • Superior Weather Protection: The GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Technology ensures that your feet stay dry in wet conditions while allowing them to breathe, a critical feature for long hikes in variable weather.
  • Exceptional Traction: The FriXion® XF outsole with the Impact Brake System™ offers outstanding grip and stability on a wide range of surfaces, providing confidence on tricky descents and slippery terrain.
  • Durability: Constructed with high-quality materials, including an abrasion-resistant mesh upper and a rubber toe cap, the shoe is built to withstand the rigors of rough trails and extend its lifespan.
  • Comfort and Support: The combination of the Ortholite® footbed and the EVA midsole delivers excellent cushioning and shock absorption, enhancing comfort during long-distance hikes. Additionally, the high-cut ankle cuff offers added support without restricting mobility.
  • Versatile Fit: Thanks to its adaptable lacing system, the shoe can accommodate a wide range of foot shapes, ensuring a snug and secure fit.


  • Warmth in High Temperatures: While the GORE-TEX membrane excels in waterproofing and breathability, in extremely hot weather, the shoe might feel warmer compared to non-waterproof models, potentially leading to discomfort during intense activities.
  • Weight: Given its robust construction and protective features, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is on the heavier side, which may affect agility and speed, particularly on long ascents or fast-paced trail runs.
  • Price: As with most high-quality outdoor footwear that incorporates advanced technologies, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX comes with a premium price tag, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious hikers.

Final Thoughts

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is a high-performing hiking boot that offers a commendable blend of durability, protection, and comfort. Its advantages make it a reliable choice for serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who face diverse terrains and weather conditions. While there are a few considerations regarding warmth and weight, the overall benefits provided by this shoe, including its exceptional traction and support, underscore its value for those seeking a dependable outdoor companion.

Comparative Analysis

When positioned alongside its contemporaries in the hiking footwear market, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX stands out for its exceptional blend of durability, protection, and comfort. Compared to similar models like the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX or the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX excels in providing superior traction and stability, thanks to its FriXion® XF outsole and Impact Brake System™. While both the Salomon and Merrell boots are praised for their comfort and reliability, the Ultra Raptor’s aggressive tread design and braking system offer a noticeable advantage in challenging terrains, providing hikers with an added level of confidence on slippery or steep paths.

However, it’s important to note that the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX may feel slightly heavier than some of its competitors, a trade-off for its robust construction and enhanced protection features. In terms of price, it aligns with the premium segment of the market, similar to the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX, reflecting the investment in high-quality materials and technology. For hikers prioritizing weather resistance and rugged durability over ultra-lightweight design, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX presents a compelling option, offering a well-rounded performance that meets the demands of diverse outdoor adventures.


The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX emerges as a formidable contender in the realm of hiking boots, distinguished by its exceptional durability, advanced weather protection, and unparalleled traction. Its thoughtful design and robust construction cater to the needs of serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who confront varied terrains and weather conditions. While it may present a heavier profile and come with a premium price tag, these aspects are a testament to its quality and the comprehensive protection it offers.

Ideal for those who value reliability and performance, this boot is particularly suited for challenging adventures where terrain and weather are unpredictable. In sum, the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX by La Sportiva is a high-investment, high-return piece of gear, offering a blend of features that justify its position as a top choice for anyone looking to elevate their hiking experience.

Further reading