Wildcats vs Ultra Raptors (La Sportiva)

Mike K

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Jul 6, 2012
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I'm looking to buy one of these two for my backpacking adventures. (Hoping to buy soon with 20% off sales). I'm coming from a more traditional boot. My pack weight is around 30 for a 3-5 night trip. Does anyone have opinions or thoughts about the Wildcats vs. the Ultra Raptors? I'm looking at the "regular" versions. I've looked for previous comments about one or both of these shoes on the site but couldn't find them.

I've tried on the Wildcats and they felt good. I hear they are very breathable, more durable than the Ultra Raptors, but less grippy than the Ultra Raptors.

I'm hoping to try on the Ultra Raptors as well. Less durable but more grippy than the Wildcats supposedly.

The Akyra's were intriguing but didn't fit as good as the Wildcats.

Thanks.
 

mike_offerman

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Feb 8, 2012
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I wear the Ultra Raptors most of the summer. I have not had any issues with them not being very durable. I am guessing that I put on 4-500 hiking miles on a pair before replacing them. I usually notice that they don't have quite as much cushion at the end of their life, but there is still some tread left. Great shoe for keeping your feet cool.
 

Bob

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Had wildcats .. were great. Wore then out ... Looked at raptors but ordered bushidos. Haven't got them yet. Raptors have the higher heel the others not. Sportivas run about 1size small I've found.. Also wear salomons. They are as good. Try campsaver in Logan UT. If they don't fit you can ship them back free, sales all the time
 

Yvonne

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Jan 19, 2012
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I have the Goretex Wildcat Trailrunners and love them. Very durable and sturdy, I hike and backpack almost everything in them. A pair usually lasts me about half a year or about 550 miles.
I just bought the La Sportiva Ultraraptor Mid GTX boots and find them great for rocky terrain and mountains. Did the West Rim a few times in them this winter as well as trails in washes with boulder hopping and they worked great. For years I didn't have any hiking boots but wanted to give these ones a try before I move to Washington. So far I'm pleasantly surprised. But I do have hiked only about 80 miles in them so far and haven't tested them yet in muddy and slippery Northwest mountain trails
 

Bob

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THey are great shoes.... But I wore the sides off the wildcats off trail in the beartooths on one trip.... So like most all off them need to be mostly on trail
 

LarryBoy

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I've probably gone thru 20-30 pairs of Ultra Raptors over the years. I replace them every 700 trail-miles, whether I need to or not. Even if there aren't any visible holes or chunks missing, I find the support/cushion/structure breaks down and my feet take a pounding. They've lasted as much as 1100 miles for me before, and as little as 350, in truly awful conditions where they never dried once in three weeks of Idaho bushwhacking.
 

Bob

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I've probably gone thru 20-30 pairs of Ultra Raptors over the years. I replace them every 700 trail-miles, whether I need to or not. Even if there aren't any visible holes or chunks missing, I find the support/cushion/structure breaks down and my feet take a pounding. They've lasted as much as 1100 miles for me before, and as little as 350, in truly awful conditions where they never dried once in three weeks of Idaho bushwhacking.
Cheaper to get some superfeet replacement insoles......
 

LarryBoy

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Cheaper to get some superfeet replacement insoles......
Oh believe me, I've tried every color of Superfeet out there, plus most of the other major brands. They don't work with my feet, which are really really flat.
 

fossana

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I'm on my ~4th pair of Ultra Raptors, which I use for trail running, hiking, backpacking, and scrambling/climbing approach shoes. I've climbed up to 5.4 routes in them. I don't know about the fabric layers on the Wildcats, but with some brands that have open mesh (e.g. Topos), they are permissive to large volumes of sand. The other things I like about them are they run wide and high enough volume for my cushy orthotics, and the back of the shoe is vertical not cupped, and doesn't compress my Achilles tendon (a stupid newish shoe trend).

Oh believe me, I've tried every color of Superfeet out there, plus most of the other major brands. They don't work with my feet, which are really really flat.
I also have flat feet, and don't like Superfeet. There used to be an off-the-shelf flat foot specific insert, but I can't find them anymore. Given the mileage you do, you might consider getting custom orthotics. I'm still wearing the bomber pair I had made ~8-10 years ago. It's worth the money for a quality pair.
 

regehr

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I've used both of the shoe models mentioned here, I liked them both and don't know that I found much difference between them.

Last few years I've switches to Altras where I like the wide toebox and extremely light weight, but they do wear out fast. In contrast both of these models of Sportivas lasted a while.

Fit is very individual, it's just not possible to figure out if you'll like a shoe by asking people you have to just try them.
 

Jackson

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Ultra Raptor all the way. I had Wildcats for one season and the mesh upper got blown out near my pinky toes on both shoes by the end of summer just from backpacking and hiking on trail. Ultra Raptors have a far better, tougher upper if you ask me, and the sole and tread are practically identical, so they feel really similar. The mesh tearing issue could just be because of how I walk, but I'm pretty sure I've heard similar complaints from others.
 

Mike K

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Great information and thoughts form all of you. @Jackson you're the one who I remembered talking about the Ultra Raptors but I couldn't remember what you had said and what thread it was in. That info about the uppers on the Wildcats being (potentially) less durable is great to know.

It sounds like neither these shoes are going to be durable like the boots I'm used to wearing. But I'm excited to try out some lighter weight footwear. I have a pretty small volume fit which is why I think La Sportiva (in general) will work well for me.

I also wear shoe inserts (the hard custom kind that I got from the foot doctor). I've been using them for many years so I'm not as concerned about the "cushion"/support wearing down. I'm more concerned about the sole.

It's worrisome that @Bob wore the sides off going off trail. That's something I do on most trips (peak bagging, exploring, etc).

I'll try to try them on in person locally first. If not, Campsaver seems like I good option.

Thanks everyone.
 

LarryBoy

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I also have flat feet, and don't like Superfeet. There used to be an off-the-shelf flat foot specific insert, but I can't find them anymore. Given the mileage you do, you might consider getting custom orthotics. I'm still wearing the bomber pair I had made ~8-10 years ago. It's worth the money for a quality pair.

I do full custom orthotics in my ski boots and I kinda think they do more harm than good. My feet just do not tolerate anything that's got shape to it. It's kind of frustrating tbh.
 

Mike K

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I do full custom orthotics in my ski boots and I kinda think they do more harm than good. My feet just do not tolerate anything that's got shape to it. It's kind of frustrating tbh.
That's interesting (and a shame) that the full custom orthotics are no good for you.

My foot doctor seems to think I had plantar fasciitis, then it turned into bursitis, and now I'm left with bone spurs on the bottom (heel) of each foot. I can't stand for long without discomfort/pain...especially barefoot! I've been dealing with this for probably 10+ years. Pretty used to it now. Luckily they don't bother me as long as I'm moving. Also, I just slide these orthotics right on top of the insole that comes with the shoe.
 

Bob

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3,264
Great information and thoughts form all of you. @Jackson you're the one who I remembered talking about the Ultra Raptors but I couldn't remember what you had said and what thread it was in. That info about the uppers on the Wildcats being (potentially) less durable is great to know.

It sounds like neither these shoes are going to be durable like the boots I'm used to wearing. But I'm excited to try out some lighter weight footwear. I have a pretty small volume fit which is why I think La Sportiva (in general) will work well for me.

I also wear shoe inserts (the hard custom kind that I got from the foot doctor). I've been using them for many years so I'm not as concerned about the "cushion"/support wearing down. I'm more concerned about the sole.

It's worrisome that @Bob wore the sides off going off trail. That's something I do on most trips (peak bagging, exploring, etc).

I'll try to try them on in person locally first. If not, Campsaver seems like I good option.

Thanks everyone.
Get a light weight leather boot. I have Scarpa kailash ...fit like a glove, can wear them all day take the abuse as they have no mesh in them
 

mike_offerman

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Feb 8, 2012
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507
I also have a narrow foot and the raptors fit great. I mostly do off trail hiking and have never had issues with the uppers getting worn out.
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
Messages
655
I do full custom orthotics in my ski boots and I kinda think they do more harm than good. My feet just do not tolerate anything that's got shape to it. It's kind of frustrating tbh.
TBH, mine add more cushion than arch support. I get arch blisters with shoes that are too incut in the arch area or if I wear orthotics with too much arch support. Hope you can find something that works for you.

At least the women's version narrowed the forefoot a few years back. I have wide feet, but my feet would slide around somewhat in the older iterations w/o insoles.
 

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