La Sportiva Cyklon With Boa Fit System | Review - Outdoors Magic

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La Sportiva Cyklon With Boa Fit System | Review

Chosen for our Outdoor 100 2022/23. Here’s a new collaborative effort that has left our gear testers mightily impressed

We’re big fans of La Sportiva’s trail running shoes here at Outdoors Magic. In fact, we even chose the La Sportiva Mutant as the best performing trail running shoe for grip when we conducted a head-to-head analysis of eight different options last year in our grippiest trail shoes test. This new release, the Cyklon, is actually somewhat of an evolution of that Mutant. The main difference however, lies in the clever lacing system – or perhaps you could say the lack of one.

The Boa System

This shoe is the result of an exclusive collaboration between La Sportiva and Boa who make an extremely innovative precision fit system that’s an alternative to lacing. You see their cable and cog-type system used on a lot of snowboarding boots and while it has already featured on trail running shoes in the past, this could well be its best application in this realm so far. Why? Because, the two brands have both worked together on this shoe to develop something called a Dynamic Cage which creates a super precise, micro adjustable fit.

This ‘cage’ is essentially three individual panels throughout the shoe’s upper (two on the inside and one on the outside) and they link up with the Boa Fit System. When you press down on the Boa cog and twist it, this pulls in those three panels, directing lace tension to four specific areas around the midfoot. To put that in a shorter, more direct way, it creates a completely even tension right the way around your foot to make for a very stable ride.

“It’s grippy on pretty much everything.”

It’s also worth pointing out that this fit then holds precisely without shifting even a millimetre. So, that issue of having to stop and do up your laces when they’ve loosened or untied completely is completely eradicated here. If you do need to make any adjustments, say, if you want a looser or tighter fit for specific sections of a run, these can be made almost effortlessly.

Our tester using the Cyklons around the base of Ben Nevis. Photos: Michael Drummond.

The durability of the system? We’ve not had any issues with it at all during our long testing period – even when we’ve caught it on a few rocks and roots. You can rest assured, however, that a full guarantee will cover you if somehow the system does become damaged.

What The La Sportiva Cyklon Is Best-Suited To

From our experiences, you can take La Sportiva for their word when they say this is designed for medium-distance mountain running. We’d also say these serve pretty well as an option for anyone who likes to hike in trail shoes.

The Upper

Alongside the Boa Fit System and that wraparound tongue, the upper features a breathable mesh right throughout it which is stiffened and protected on its flanks and at the toe by a TPU laminate. Around the ankle, there’s a elasticated fabric that serves, in a way, like a gaiter, blocking out any unwanted gravel, dirt and debris. This does make putting the shoe on a little trickier but there’s a knack to it: loop the finger on one hand under the back of the ankle cuff and the finger on the other hand through the loop on the front of ankle, pull up and push.

This is a shoe that our testers found true-to-size. It’s a little narrow around the toes compared to some shoes out there but certainly not uncomfortably – at least not in our experience.

The Sole Unit

The outsole is worthy of addressing first here. Why? Because it’s beefy. You’ve got 6.5mm lugs here. That’s pretty deep, so expect plenty of bite from these. It’s actually a very similar sole to the one found on the La Sportiva Mutant which, as was mentioned in the intro to this article, was picked as the grippiest trail running shoe when we conducted a comparative review last year. We’re not sure whether the Cyklon was out at the time but if it was also in the test I’d say they’d both rival each other. La Sportiva’s proprietary rubber compound FriXion is used on this shoe. FriXion has three types: white (slightly sticky and hard wearing), black (for climbing shoes) and blue (not sticky, for road running). The Cyklon uses the white FriXion, effective for mountain running shoes of this type.

The midsole is filled with EVA foam and features TPU lateral inserts under the heel which add a little bit of protection underfoot. There’s no rockplate across the sole, which normally would put you at risk of feeling sharp rocks and roots, but that’s not a problem here. There’s protection, but there’s also a slight cushioning and flex. All the aspects you’d expect from a medium-distance shoe for the mountains.

The heel height is 26.5 mm and the front is 19.5mm which gives a stack height of 7mm. Fairly standard in that regard then.


Grippy on pretty much everything, a super impressive Boa Fit System which gives that even fit and easy micro-adjustment, a bit of cushioning to help with those runs that creep into long-distance territory and still a good bit of responsiveness too – there’s plenty to like here.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic.

“I took on a massive three-week fastpacking challenge last year and my shoes really let me down. I’d chosen to run in the Peregrine 11s by Saucony and it turned out to be a bad selection on my part. Alongside giving me some major blisters, what really peeved me about them was the fact that the laces needed redoing about three or four times a day. Just the slightest bit of moisture would cause them to swell and come loose – sometimes in pretty precarious scenarios for me.

“That experience has made me a real convert to shoes with BOA fit systems as they completely solve that issue and not only that but they also create a really even, comfortable and secure wrap around the foot.

“What I like about these shoes in particular is just how perfect they are for running in the UK’s hills where, more often than not, you’re going to encounter some mud. These, I’ve found, are made for the sloppy stuff. They’ve also got a fairly tough midsole too though and that means that when you do move from muddy trail to rocky trail, any sharp stuff underfoot is blocked out nicely.”

Paul Messner using the Cyklons during our Test Team event in the Lake District. Photo: Neil Irwin

La Sportiva Cyklon with Boa

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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