Tim Long - C-Lite 2.0 Review

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In what is becoming one of my all-time favorite running shoes, the La Sportiva C-lite 2.0 (formerly the "Crosslite 2.0") just about has it all: great fit, comfort, cushion, traction, relative lightness, and a simplicity that even my old Montrail Highlanders would be proud of, all wrapped up in a stylish design that says, "I'm serious.  Accept it."

I've now run them some 250 miles over every surface, including a half marathon with pavement, two 50ks with substantial climbs and descents, and general trail running.  Friends are likely tired of my constant praise of the 2.0.  This is my go-to shoe currently and unless the Vertical K shines brighter, I'll be wearing the C-Lite for all my trail racing.

The slip-last construction feels sock-like with no bulkiness or extra fabric to bunch up.  I've worn them with transparent thin socks and thicker wool socks; both of which left my feet unscathed and no worse for wear in these shoes.  I'm certain I could wear them barefoot with comfort if I wanted.  The fit is a little wider than other La Sportiva trail runners and I have to cinch down the lacing (hidden under the debris cover) to get them secure around my girly skinny foot (note: the Quantums and Electrons are much more narrow).  The only (small) problem I've found with the upper, and overall shoe, is a tear developed just where my foot bends at toe-off.  It seems to only affect the outer layer and the inner material is still intact.  It has absolutely no effect on the use of the shoe.

Moving on to the business end of the C-Lite 2.0, the sole is constructed of a flexible injected-molding EVA midsole with grippy outer lugs that bite into every condition the trail may throw at you.  LS does something special that facilitates energy transfer during foot strike and toe-off.  My guess is it's a combination of the midsole molding and the 8 mm drop (26mm heel / 18mm forefoot).  Honestly, I don't like to over think the process or mechanics of it; I just enjoy the hours I'm able to put on the shoes with comfort and lasting efficiency.  At the end of a 50k I raced last weekend, my feel were in perfect shape, no hot spots, no soreness, and all toenails in pedicure-perfect shape.  Ok, maybe not that pretty but definitely intact and the correct color (i.e. no bruising).  After wearing the Hokas for much of last season and having my ankles look like they were in iron shackles with bruises and sores, the low collar on the LS shoes is a welcome change.

Overall, you can't go wrong with the C-Lite 2.0.  Even if the Vertical K turns out to be as amazing as I'm hoping, the 2.0 will continue to be my first choice in a trail running trainer.  Visit the Inside Trail Racing Store for more information and great deals on all the La Sportiva trail shoes.

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