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Description

A minimalist, super-breathable trail shoe.

Although it's a minimalist shoe at heart, the La Sportiva Men's Helios Trail Running Shoe doesn't skimp on the features you need to tackle rough trails. An integrated tongue gusset keeps debris out of the ankle collar, the highly flexible MorphoDynamic midsole adapts to rough trails like none other, and the mesh upper drains water away quickly in case you're forced to run through a stream. Slide your foot inside this low-drop trail runner and enjoy the natural feeling of being closer to the ground.

  • Tempo 2 last offers a performance fit that's close to your foot for the highest level of responsiveness on the trail
  • HyDrain mesh upper allows water to drain away quickly in case you're forced to run through a stream or river
  • Combined AirMesh and TPU upper keeps this shoe light and breathable without sacrificing support or foothold inside the shoe
  • Synthetic heel lining encourages sweat to move away from your skin so your foot feels cool and dry
  • Low, 4mm heel-to-toe drop takes advantage of inherent biomechanics so your foot can naturally roll from heel-strike to toe-off
  • MorphoDynamic midsole offers more cushioning than a standard minimalist shoe
  • Highly flexible midsole also quickly adapts to uneven surfaces and absorbs impact to reduce stress on your knees and ankles
  • Frixion sole features large lugs that dig into loose sand and gravel and grippy rubber that improves traction on hard surfaces like the road

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La Sportiva Helios Trail Running Shoe - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Great Trail Runner So Far

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small

It took me a couple of shoes to go through before finding the Helios, but I found a really good trail shoe with this pair. I've run in Salomon's, and I love them, but wanted to try something different. I tried the Patagonia Everlong, and that was a good shoe until the nodules on the sole started to separate from the side wall and sole after 2 months on my favorite trail. What a pity as it was a good minimal trail runner. Thanks to Skylar at Backcountry, he recommended the Helios, and man, that was a home run. As many reviews state, the shoe runs small, so order accordingly or call your Gearhead. Once you have the right size, the feel is supportive on both the sole and heel, and the tread and lugs are great so far after a few runs. The feel on the trail is super grippy, super light and extremely breathable. Makes you want to run fast on the trail! My fav was the Salomon SpeedCross, but this pair will surely be my next fav for sure. Will be hitting the trail with this pair for awhile. The color scheme is pretty cool too in the Blue. Thanks Sklyar for the recommendation!

4 5

Great shoes!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

I love how light these feel on my feet and how the seem to conform to my feet and the terrain. My only minor coimplaint is that due to their minimal sole, you will definitely feel rocks (sometimes painfully) on rockier trails. Not sure if there could be a better balance between shoe weight and rock protection, but they're close. On trails with less debris/rocks, they're flat out awesome.

Like all La Sportiva, they run small.

3 5

Runs Small

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small

As stated it does run small, I would guess at LEAST a full size as I couldn't even get my foot into the shoe. Strangely the sizing chart for La Sportiva is skewed one size small in comparision to other EU shoes' sizing charts. So I would use a more universal sizing chart and expect that they are correctly built/sized per EU sizing but there chart is off.

Runs Small
5 5

All Hail the Helios!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

I have placed my fourth order (in blue) for these wicked awesome shoes. La Sportiva nailed it with this minimalist road/trail hybrid. My past shoes are at 580 and 738 miles and after awhile they lose firmness but hold up well. I use my oldest pair for road racing and speedwork and they are super flexible.

For trail running they are unstoppable! I've used them on packed snow, mud, technical rocky single track and everything in between and raced them up to 50 miles. Super grippy, they dry quick, have great ground feel or are "proprioceptive."

I have previously used other wonderful shoes by La Sportiva such as Wildcat and Ultra Raptor, and while these are great, hardy shoes too, the Helios have it all: durability, speed, traction, and work on roads as well. Runs one half size small.

Get you a pair.

All Hail the Helios!
Helios in action

Helios in action

Posted on

Still going strong on these after 11 months of use! I 'upgraded' from the Vertikal K. More protection in the sole but still maintains its minimal feel. I usually run on the Shoreline trail on the east bench behind SLC, UT and stick to runs under 10 miles. I take out my Nathan water bottle, which keeps a nice, minimal set up. NAT0040

5 5

Good Stuff

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Training course with hardpack, roadside, trails, NH class six road, including some snow remaining and Helios is a five star-

Helios grabs well climbing and feels lightweight-

Postholed in junk snow and found ice water and Helios drained out, squishy then drier and drier till the end...

Slightly wider in forefoot would be Helios next best move, for those needing it... :?)

4 5

good trail runner

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

I bought these shoes on sale after hearing many positive reviews. I was advised that they run small so I went up a full size when I ordered. They fit nicely, and per comfortable, but seem rather narrow. I don't think this will impact performance too much, but worry about how quickly the uppers will wear out. Be advised, these shoes do run small and narrow, but are a well built shoe. Backcountry customer service is A+, in my book. best return policy on the web.

5 5

Good shoe but runs small

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

Good light trail runner with some cushion but not too much. I haven't put these through the wringer yet but like them so far. I have worn through pairs and pairs of Wildcats but wanted less drop, the Helios offers that in a lightweight shoe. Beware, it runs really small. I wear a 45.5 in the Wildcat and had to go 46.5 in the Helios. Normally I wear an 11.5 street shoe and 12 running.

5 5

love these

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

I love these shoes. I have also been in the Vertical K and they are great but have become more of a hiking/scramble shoe than my go-to trail runner. The helios are a tiny bit stiffer and have a little bit more rigid upper making them great for varied and rocky terrain. They are still a minimalist style shoe with a low, 4mm drop but I feel there is enough body in the heel of the sole to accommodate the occasional heel strike on rough descents. They grip well on just about surface I have encountered, even wet rock that I have had trouble with in other shoes. I wear a 9.5-10 in most street shoes and a 10 in most runners. In the Helios I have the 44.5, or US 11. In comparison, I wear a 10 in New Balance MT110 and a 9.5 in North Face Hedgehog. They fit great, with a little extra room in the toe to help with toe bang on descents.

Responded on

How does the sole compare to that of the Vertical K? I love my Vertical K's except for running on very rocky trails... my forefoot ends up getting bruised when the rocks sneak between the openings in the sole.

Responded on

Mitch, sorry to get back to this question so late. The sole is definitely a bit beefier to help out on the rockier patches. While the Vertikal K is a bit more 'slipper' like, the Helios fit more like a traditional shoe. What I do like that crosses over from the Vertikal K is the low drop that encourages the fore-front strike. All the benefits of the minimal style with a sole that won't highlight every little pebble you step on. Looking forward to picking up the new blue/grey color when I finally wear my pair out! 11 months on the first pair and still going strong!

5 5

Great trail runner shoe.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm no shoe guru, but I run a lot and am really happy with this new shoe from La Sportiva.I've run/hiked in the Raptor for years, and love its durability and the total support you feel in the nastiest of terrain. I tried the Vertical K and loved it's feel, but really felt limited in how far I could run in it on nasty terrain. The Helios, in my mind, fixes some of my limitations with the Vertical K while maintaining a light, more "minimal" feel. I feel much more forefoot protection, a bit more cushioning in the rocky descents, and I have had no problem on long, technical runs. It will replace the Raptor for me in most situations. But the sole doesn't last as long as the Raptor so just economically, I'll still be doing a lot of hiking/running in that shoe. I also have to go up one half size in the Helios (45.5 vs. 45 in the Raptor). In other trail running shoes I am a pretty consistent 11 (New Balance). Here's a link to a more technical review: http://www.irunfar.com/2013/05/la-sportiva-helios-review.html

Responded on

I see that you've reviewed this and the Vertical K. I'm curious about what you have to say about durability when comparing the two. I've been running in just about everything but La Sportiva and I'm interested in giving them a shot, but just want to choose wisely.

Responded on

Eric, I've worn out both a pair of Vertical K and Helios. Vertical K feels great and fits like a glove, but has less forefoot protection. The sole between the two seems pretty similar, but I got quite a bit more milage out of the Helios so I'd definitely give it the nod over the Vertical K in terms of durability. The Helios is also great in technical terrain - I feel even more comfortable in the Helios than I did when I wrote the review above. Nothing wrong with the Vertical K, but I think I'll stay with the Helios - a couple of ounces isn't that big of a sacrifice to me to get the better protection.