La Sportiva Cyklon Review | BOA Lacing System
The La Sportiva Cyklon is a shoe designed for Sky Races. These are mountain races on a mix of rough terrain very similar to fell running within the UK. The shoes have been partly designed by 6 time World Mountain Running champion Jonathan Wyatt. To paraphrase his words, the Cyklon is an ‘update’ to the very popular La Sportiva Mutant.
Obviously, the first thing that strikes you about the La Sportiva Cyklon is the BOA fastening. When I first saw the sample shoes, I would be running in I thought that it might be a bit of a gimmick. Surely if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? Laces have worked for years so why change them? My experience with the Cyklon just goes to show that you should approach all new things with an open mind.
BOA has been working on these clever uppers for years. They believe that how the shoe fits can affect how the foot functions in the shoe and therefore how fast and nimble you can be.
The Mutant has a Lyra cuff designed to prevent debris from getting into the shoes. It also helps create a very snug fit. We have lots of customers who re-purchase this shoe as they love the performance. However, these customers have a common complaint which is that the Mutant takes a bit of effort getting on! The Cyklon has a similar Lyra cuff to keep the debris out of the shoes. However, the Boa fastening system allows you to loosen the shoe off completely, pop your foot in like putting on a loose sock and then wind up the BOA. This pulls the shoe in around the foot to give a snug, dialled in fit. I was amazed at how well this worked. There was no slippage at the heel, the shoes weren’t too tight across my toes or over my midfoot. The upper just cinched in to fit perfectly around my foot. When running I never felt that I needed to adjust anything. The upper just comfortably flexed with my foot. Very pleasantly surprised.
La Sportiva running shoes are always a bit on the small side. They make every Euro size, so there are more than UK sizes. I am a UK 11 in most brands but use a UK 11.5+ in La Sportiva running shoes.
In comparison to the Mutant, the Cyklon is much more flexible. The lower 8mm drop (28mm heel, 20mm forefoot) of the Cyklon makes the heel feel much less prominent than the 10mm drop of the Mutant. The Cyklon rides over rough ground easily be it rocky terrain, thick heather or tussock grass. I think this is partly because of the flexibility and partly the fit of the upper which flexes well with your foot. Your foot doesn’t move around in the shoe. The same is true when contouring. You don’t feel like you are fighting the shoe to keep your foot in contact with the hillside.
The shoes weigh in a touch over 300g, which could be considered ‘heavy’ for this type of shoe, but they didn’t feel heavy on my feet. They feel solid and supportive. The flexibility of the shoes made them really easy to run up hill in. You don’t feel like you are fighting the shoe at all.
The Cyklon is a shoe for rough or open mountain terrain. On some longer runs with sharp rocky bridleway sections I did find that I could feel the rocks through the shoes. I wouldn’t say that the shoes are as versatile as the Mutant, which has just enough protection to cope with a bit of this sort of ground without making your feet sore.
The outsole is made from La Sportiva’s white cross rubber, which is the softest, stickiest rubber that they use on their mountain running shoes. This is the same as on the Mutant and I found it to be exceptionally grippy on wet rock. The large studs are reasonably durable and 7mm in length, which offer good grip in good old British mud.
As with all shoes of this type the cushioning is firm and responsive. As they are shoes designed to be nimble on rough ground.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
Scott Supertrac RC 2: A lower 4mm drop. Not quite as flexible due to the e-ride. Here is our review:
La Sportiva Mutant: These are a very similar shoe. A little more versatile as the midsole is a touch thicker. Here is our review:
Saucony Peregrine 11 ST: Not as tough and rugged but, offer a softer ride. Here is our review:
Inov-8 X-Talon 212: A lighter shoe but, doesn’t offer the same protection from debris and the upper isn’t as durable. If you added in an Inov-8 gaiter the shoes would probably weigh the same:
Walsh PB Trainer: The original fell shoes:
VJ XTRM: Lower drop. Stiffer. Good sticky rubber: