Killer traction. Comfy cushioning. More toe box real estate.
The RW Takeaway: Fairly lightweight and fiercely durable, the Jackal offers un-killable comfort and cushioning for big efforts on the trail.
- An EVA foam midsole with softer PU inserts feels responsive without tacking on extra weight
- Rock plate, toe bumper, and sturdy TPU overlays provide rugged trail protection
- Two-rubber outsole with multidirectional 3mm lugs grips exceptionally well across varied terrains, save very deep mud
Weight: 297g (M), 249g(W)
The rugged Italian heritage of Calzoleria Sportiva—the Sports Shoemaker—spans nearly a century, reaching back to the days founder Narciso Delladio first cobbled shoes for farmers and lumberjacks in the Fiemme Valley. A far cry from those wooden leather boots that gave the company its start, the Jackal remains true to its hardy origins as a mountain running shoe for braving ultra-distances. To keep the shoe comfy over big, rocky miles, the lacing attaches to the lateral mesh panels to allow the foot to breathe and expand more easily inside the shoe’s inner bootie. Underfoot, a pair of PU inserts help soften the firm EVA midsole and full-length rock plate, and staggered impact-braking lugs dig in “while bombing down hills, crossing streams, and navigating rocks and roots.” Despite the wider fit and roomier toe box compared to La Sportiva’s usual offerings, our testers noted that the Jackal does run about a full size short.
- Durable, highly cushioned midsole with rock plate
- Excellent grip on wet and dry trails
- Length runs short
- Less suited for fast, technical trail running
Cushioned for the Long Haul
The Jackal doubles up on EVA foam in the midsole; the top layer sitting closer to the foot is a little more forgiving, while the second layer has a firmer ride to stabilize the rearfoot upon landing. On the outsole, you can see the shoe’s full-length rock plate between that bottom layer and the outmost rubber tread. Alone, that can be a recipe for a harsh ride after double-digit miles, so La Sportiva adds a pair of PU inserts—one at the heel and another at the forefoot. They bring extra softness and spring to the otherwise firm cushioning, but the even greater benefit is the additional shock-absorption. When those elements all came together on the run, our testers found that the shoe’s ride wasn’t especially fast or flexible, but didn’t feel overly stiff or cumbersome. The slight toe spring helps, too, letting the Jackal roll forward more easily with each stride.