I was fitted for these at REI and had my reservations. I do a lot of hiking and have lost many toenails... Well before these. These shoes now have well over 1000 miles on them with over 500 of those being really hard miles in places like the Andes through rocky and muddy terrain. A year and a half later and these things still look new! I wish I could upload a picture I am not exaggerating. Other than normal tread wear these things are in great shape even the toe guard in perfectly intact. These things even survived my blue heeler for a season. They never had to be broken in, never a blister, and had a hard enough sole to protect your feet from rocks and rough terrain while at the same time being super light and comfortable. I will never go back to boots!
(Posted on 1/12/2019)
The outsole is fairly stiff, and the tread gives great traction. The cushioning is definitely on the firm side. This makes the Wildcats great for mountain running where there are lots of steep ups and downs. Not really made for streets or flat trails. Really solid, stable mountain running shoe.
(Posted on 11/27/2018)
I've had these a couple of years, using them mostly for hiking on unkempt East Coast trails, plus some training runs (from treadmill to single track), third-class scrambles, and a handful of standard deathmarches, from the Pemi Loop to some 27+ mile days in the Tetons.
I've never had sore feet at the end of a day, even after the Pemi Loop, which left every other part of my body sore. That's the best thing I can say about these shoes. They're soft all around, have a relaxed, almost boot-light fit in the upper, and provide reasonable cushioning on the bottoms, without too much deadening of sensations from the trail.
The tradeoff is that they're not the most precise shoes in the shop. The uppers are clearly not designed with the hug-your-foot ethos of the Bushido or Mutant shoes, and the high-ish platform is not the most stable. I feel more worried about rolling ankles in these shoes than in other Sportivas I've had.
The sole is medium-aggressive ... about halfway between a road running sole and the most aggressive lug soles you'll see. I find it performs adequately on all surfaces. It doesn't stick to slick rock like my 5.10 approach shoes, but it's better than every non-sportiva running shoe I've had. It works pretty well on loose stuff but definitely not as well as deeper-lugged shoes. I get good grip on wet rock, but generally not enough to move with total confidence on it. I don't wear these on pavement at all, because it's clear that the lugs will get worn down to nothing very quickly.
My biggest complaint is likely unique to my feet, since I don't see anyone else talking about it. But I'll mention in case anyone else has similar issues. I get enough heel-slip in these shoes that I have to tape my heels/ankles every time I wear them. I'm used to having heel-slip issues, but usually it just means I wear out the shoes in the back. This is the first time it's worn out my feet. I'm now finding this same problem with some other Sportiva shoes, so it may have something to do with their lasts and my food dynamics. Whatever it is, I suggest paying extra attention when trying them on ... and be sure to take long strides like you do outside. These felt perfect to me in the store, without a hint of troubles to come.
(Posted on 8/23/2018)
Haven't ever actually been able to wear these, reason I have monster sized feet. However I have plenty of friends who have worn them and gone on forever about how great they are. Only wish the investment would be made for slightly larger foot sized people like myself. Otherwise I really love everything about how the shoe is made and will continue to recommend it to hikers at our retail establishment along the PCT for thru hiker season. From the perspective of a former PCT hiker and future TA hiker, to new generations of thru-hikers, it goes a long way. However, it would be nice to say that I have actually used them as well
(Posted on 7/17/2018)
My second pair. They are amazing for long hikes on/off trail!
(Posted on 7/9/2018)
This is my 3rd pair and hope they will always manufacture this shoe. I'm not the killer athletic runner but an overweight person that just pounds away at hiking each weekend. This shoe has been on long treks down to Havasupai and up to the top of 11,000+ foot mountain peaks. It goes in sand, dirt, gravel, rocks, water, and pavement just fine. I put about 10 miles a week hiking on the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains. I love how this thing grips on the smooth glacier scraped rocks yet handles the abuse of sharp granite. If you have to cross a stream it will dry very fast. My feet never seem to get sweaty. I'm very happy with this shoe and will continue to purchase it until it's discontinued.
(Posted on 6/21/2018)
Got my shoes this past Saturday. Ran 10k yesterday in them. Felt great, no problem with stones or cushioning. Calves and feet are a little sore, but that could be just having different shoes to break in. Great shoes.
(Posted on 5/15/2018)
I bought my first pair of Wildcats a few years ago and loved them. Yeah they are a bit heavy and no they aren't as flexible as some of my other trail shoes, but they fit my wide foot very well (I normally have to wear 2Es in road shoes), they are supportive and stable, and the cushioning protects my legs. I'm a bigger guy, so having a little more shoe sometimes helps. Did I mention the grip? These shoes have no business being as grippy as they are, especially on wet rock. They're Incredible.
I do have other trail shoes in my rotation that I enjoy, and I've gone periods of time when I'm not running Wildcats, but I always seem to come back to them, especially when I'm tired of trying new shoes and I just want something that works.
In short, Wildcats are my old reliable. They are an excellent value, they handle everything I've thrown at them and they've never left my feet or legs wishing for more. I love em!
(Posted on 5/14/2017)
Thought the best way to try out my new Wildcats would be to go out on the rainiest day we've had in a while. Turns out these shoes are like wearing cats on your feet! They protected when they needed and gripped wet river rocks just enough to keep me upright. They are the best fitting shoe I've put on my feet in my 42 trips around the sun! I really enjoy good gear made with passion!
(Posted on 5/4/2017)
I have been wearing Wildcats for years for running ultras. Tons of 50ks thru 100 milers in all conditions. I have never had a blister in these shoes, including a couple really hot races with multiple water crossings where my feet got repeatedly soaked. They breathe and vent incredibly well and are very comfortable. A tad heavier than some lightweight shoes, but the comfort, protection, and support are well worth the small tradeoff, particular on rough mountain courses. I don't see ever switching away from my wildcats!
(Posted on 4/17/2017)