La Sportiva Prodigio Staff Review

May 10, 2024

La Sportiva Prodigio Staff Review

La Sportiva Prodigio Review by Laura from Outdoors Oriented

I've put >50k on these so far and loving them! Here's a little rundown on my experience so far.

Fit and Features

  • This is a cushioned shoe that strikes a good balance between comfortable cushion, energy return and stability. The cushion is soft but has some bounce to it, which is a good thing (propels you into the next stride a bit.) What I really like is that it has a max-cushion feel without being too high off the ground and thus unstable like some shoes (Hokas.) It's also not too stiff and retains good ground feel, which some cushioned shoes really lack.
  • Outsole is great. The lugs aren't overly deep (which is good on flat, non technical surfaces like paths or hard dirt trails) but they are well designed to maximize grip. The outsole material (Frixion Red, ironically the black portion of the outsole) is nice and sticky while being more durable than the Frixion White which we saw on the Ultra Raptor. The outer edges of the heel area are made of a more durable compound to resist wear. The shoe performs well on a variety of surfaces - dirt, light mud, wet grass, rock, roots, wooden bridges. Grip on rocks was especially secure. There is a flexible laminated nylon inlay in the sole that functions as a rock plate to protect your foot from sharp rocks and other debris.
  • More generous fit than other La Sportiva trail shoes. Not necessarily overly wide in the toe box, just fairly roomy all around without being sloppy. The Bushido has a more precise fit and is all-around a more technical shoe, but with less cushioning. (In my opinion, and for my weird feet) this is a roomier shoe than the Oboz Katabatic, KEEN Zionic and La Sportiva Bushido, reasonably on par with the KEEN Versacore and Merrell Agility Peak. As with many La Sportiva shoes I find that I need to size up a half size from my usual.
  • Highly breathable mesh upper doesn't get hot, drains and dries quickly when wet.
  • 6mm drop - Lower drops take stress off the knees but place it more on the calves and Achilles. For those looking for that, this is a good offering.

Who should try on this shoe?
  • Trail runners, obviously!
  • Those who have been looking at/having been recommended Hokas or similarly cushioned shoes.
  • Those who like the idea of a light, fast-drying, all-rounder shoe.
  • Those who hike long distances. This would be a super comfy shoe for long day hikes.
  • Those who will be hiking in areas that are fairly technical with lots of rock (Bruce Peninsula, Killarney, out west) as these puppies are pretty great on exposed rock. Even running at speed downhill I was never unsure of my foot placement on rocks and always stuck like velcro.
Maybe not ideal for:
  • Those who want firm cushion or a lot of arch support. An alternative in this case would be the Merrell Moab Speed (Men's Women's) as it has both those things if you still want a lighter shoe.
  • Backpacking with a heavy pack - though this is a matter of preference and lots of folks thru hike in trail runners - the soft cushion of these shoes wouldn't be as ideal in my opinion for heavy weight carrying.
  • Those who are doing a lot of pavement/road walking, like the Camino, for example - the rubber compound isn't intended for this and will wear more quickly. The Merrell Morphlite Men's Women's for a light shoe or the new KEEN Targhees or Oboz Sawtooth X would be better for this.
  • Snowy conditions
Other similar models offered by Outdoors Oriented:

Merrell Agility Peak Men's Women's, KEEN Versacore Men's Women's, La Sportiva Bushido Men's (though fit is a bit different)


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