Saturday, March 07, 2020

La Sportiva Jackal Initial Run Review, Shoe Details, and Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

La Sportiva Jackal ($140)

Sample Weight: 10.7 oz / 303 g US9 (averaging each shoe as they had an 8g difference)
Stack Height: 25mm heel / 19 forefoot, 7mm drop. 
Available now

I take the Jackal, Sportiva's roomier, more cushioned (dual density EVA midsole with PU inserts, and a 1.5mm dual density hardened EVA rock plate), "ultra" oriented shoe first on hard packed groomed snow which then softened in the sun through Park City's Round Valley, next some downhill pavement and finally flats for a total of 7.43 miles. 
I share the shoe details, run impressions and compare to Bushido, Salomon Sense Ride 3 , and Peregrine 10 in the 6:00 video below.
Note: I am always a half size up from my normal in Sportiva as are our other testers who have run many if not all prior Sportiva. I am fine at a half size up, with considerably more volume than any prior Sportiva and despite the very firm front toe bumper. Our other testers need to go up another half size so a full size up from normal, it seems, maybe as they run very steep technical terrain.
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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John said...


Would this be the successor to the Akasha, which was also an ultra focused shoe that was never updated? Do you know how they compare?


Drew Coughlin said...

Thanks for the sneak peek, Sam. Now if I could just find a retailer with some inventory in stock.

Sam Winebaum said...

I did not run the Akasha but Jeff Valliere who will also be reviewing did. I see it had more stack than the Jackal, weighed more too. The PU inserts in the Jackal and more relaxed rock protection stability elements I think are the elements which could push it into Ultra territory Akasha review is here:
Sam, Editor
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martinokenobi said...

Hello Sam, thank you very much for the review!

I have one question: the heel section (the one protecting the Achilles's tendon) is soft or rigid? I have issues at my Achilles's and I cannot run with a soft heel section. Now I use the ultra raptor which has a rigid heel part and works well for me, however I got intrigued by your review!




Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Martino,
The Achilles collar of the Jackal is extremely rigid, lightly padded, and very vertical. So much so that with certain socks I have gotten some extremely rare for me irritation there. Also the landing while stable is quite narrow. I have had no issues but in our full review to come some of our testers found heel area somewhat unstable in technical terrain at speed. That rigid heel counter may contribute to that as well
Sam, Editor

martinokenobi said...

Thank you very much Sam! You are giving me precious informations, and I look forward to the full review!

Chelle said...

Hi Sam,
I have a narrow low volume foot and small heel.
I did have the Salomon xt-6 softground which worked well with its rigid rocker and padded sucked in heel. Even though I did have some bagginess in the sides of the middle, I was solid.
Going to the Salomon sense pro 4 was horrible on technical trail- heel/foot slippage from side to side in shoe and the flexy sole felt so harsh. My feet just hurt and felt battered after trail running a rocky and up down gorge.

Can you recommend any of the sportivas for a narrow foot with slim heel? With decent cushion? We don’t get all in store down under to try unfortunately. Wish we had a rei type store for it.