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Initial Thoughts on the La Sportiva Raptor

February 5th, 2010

Raptor BlkYellow web[1]

If you put the Raptor side-by-side with La Sportiva’s Wildcat, you’ll see a lot of similarities. They’re built on the same framework – the outsole looks the same, same support system, same shaped upper. But there are some noticeable differences that will make all the difference to trail runners. One is the cushioning. If you thought the Wildcat was plush, (maybe too plush?) the raptor changes things by taking out the 2.4mm layer of LaSpEVA. Without the cush, the shoe has a low-to-the-ground, more aggressive feel to it. It also seemed like the heel-to-forefoot ratio changed, but that could be my imagination. The firm feeling compares favorably to the Crosslite, which is a super firm racing shoe.

The other difference in the Raptor is the TPU lacing harness. If the Wildcat felt a little wide in the midfoot, the Raptor snugs up nicely, “wrapping” your foot through the mid. This should add a bit more of that huggy feeling that’s apparent in the Crosslite and the Fireblade. Another cool thing is the type of rubber used on the outsole. It’s a stickier compound so it will work great on a course like, oh, let’s say the Ohlone 50K or even the Western States 100 Miler. Think slippery, rocky downhills that you can now cruise down with total confidence. Like the Wildcat, the Raptor has nice support from the heel cup through the arch and, as I’ve seen with all Sportiva trail shoes, the ankle collar is nicely done, causing no rubbing, slipping or ankle bruising.

Finally, the Raptor just looks cool. It’s clearly a La Sportiva shoe with its black and yellow, the logo blazing across the side. I’d put it right in between the Crosslite and Wildcat in its performance and cushioning ratings.


The Green Silence Sure Doesn’t Look It

January 11th, 2010

Green Silence Shoe

So far, “Did Ronald McDonald design your shoes?” was the first question I got that gave me an inkling other people may not find the color scheme of the Brooks Green Silence racing flat as cool as I do. But I guess bright red and yellow aren’t for everyone.

Anyway, trends in minimalist footwear and eco-friendly production have come together to produce this shoe. Since I’ve been moving from super supportive (old Montrail Hardrock pre-09 and Continental Divide) to lighter weight trail shoes, I liked the idea of this shoe too. It’s not a trail shoe. The tread is quite flat. In fact, the whole shoe is quite flat. This suits my feet well, as I have low arches and like a wide platform. The fit of the shoe is roomy in the toe box and snugs up fairly well in the midfoot. The lacing system is asymetrical, with a one-sided tongue, but this stays in place better than expected.

For those who want a minimalist shoe, this racing flat might seem too cush, but the midsole is a single piece construction that has a flat profile. In other words, even though your foot is raised a little off the ground, your heel is not any higher than your forefoot. The upper is made of super light material that doesn’t create any pressure points. A big plus is that there are no heavy plastic overlays – this always scores points with me. At 6.9 ounces, the Green Silence is the lightest shoe on the ZombieRunner floor.

I took it out for a run around the block (I haven’t run very much lately) and after settling down a bit, felt happy in the shoes. I have yet to try them on a long run, but when I choose a pair of shoes to wear to the store every day, it’s the bright red and yellow ones that call to me. Here’s to happy running!


ZombieRunner store coming to Palo Alto!

April 8th, 2008

We’ve started moving into our new Zombie retail/warehouse. Lots more news soon…

Fine Arts Theater

Originally named for a small community, Mayfield, which was later annexed to Palo Alto, this theater was originally a simple Spanish Mission style structure, but was given a plain Moderne facade and marquee in the Fifties. In the early 2000s, it was the Jamil Rug Gallery. In April of 2008 it becomes ZombieRunner Headquarters.


So many shoes, so little time…

The New Zombie Space
The Zombies

The proud Zombies

If ZombieRunner were a country, I’d move there

December 6th, 2006

One of the better customer testimonials we’ve seen:

I love your selection of products!! Thanks for adding new stuff all the time! If Zombie Runner were a country, I would move there.

Gotta like that!

- dc