I was excited to try the La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II trail running shoe. It’s Janji’s first trail shoe and La Sportiva’s first collaboration. It’s got to be good. Just looking at the shoe, I love the colors, they are bright and fun. You should never judge a shoe by what it looks like but it is always nice to have a fun running shoe to look at. There are a few versions of the Jackal II out now including the La Sportiva X Janji collaboration as well as the BOA version if you prefer not worrying about shoe laces. The midsole in the shoes of the various versions of the Jackal II are all the same.
La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II Quick Facts:
Weight: 1lb 3.4 oz
Heel Toe Drop: 7 mm
Type of Shoe: Trail shoe
La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II Fit:
As mentioned, I’m a big fan of the fun pattern on the shoe. There are plenty of bright colored running shoes, but not a lot of fun patterned running shoes. Of course, color and patterns on running shoes don’t matter, how you feel in them too. The Janji collab “Tectonic Shift” design on the uppers was inspired by the ever-changing landscapes trail runners set out to explore—the colors on the upper draw people in. I’ve had more compliments on the shoe upper than any other shoe. It stands out.
The upper features recycled mesh uppers with no-sew thermo-adhesive TPU reinforcements. I’m not surprised that La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II uses recycled materials because of both brands, but I am happy they do. It’s always nice to see brands that use recycled materials. I’ve run in several brands that have used recycled materials and it takes a toll on the actual upper breathability. Luckily the Jackel II breathes really well and I can’t tell it’s recycled materials.
The Medial and lateral mono-burr mesh increases breathability, so you don’t have to worry about your feet overheating. The 100 recycled and updated laces allow for a higher forefoot volume. This means you won’t feel like your feet are running out of space if you have a higher intake.
The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, which is what the La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II does. Don’t have any issues with any rubbing or irritation. Plus, I cannot emphasize this enough but the breathability is fantastic. My feet never overheat or sweat. The plush heel counter and tongue feel nice.
I wear between women’s sizes 10 and 11 in running shoes, and I’ve found the size 11 to fit perfectly. I haven’t had any issues of it rubbing or causing irritation.
La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II Ride:
The midsole of the La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II is made with a combination of EVA and Infinitoo™ polyurethane (PU) inserts for a balance of cushion and trail stability. It feels soft under the foot but not overly soft and not like my foot sinks into a pile of mush. I like that it’s responsive yet cushioned. It’s also a lot more stable than many other trail shoes I’ve tried. When running over rocks, I never find that I’m about to roll an ankle.
Durability and Traction:
The La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II features 1.5 mm dual-density compressed EVA rock plates to protect your feet. FriXion® XT 2.0 dual-compound rubber features Impact Brake Systems™ and 3.5 mm lugs for traction. What does this even mean? The Jackal II has plenty of traction; you don’t have to worry about sliding around. I’ve run on loose sand and through some stream crossings with no issues. Regarding durability, I think it will last the full 400 miles, if not more. I’ve already put over 100 miles on the shoes with no signs of stopping.
I’ve used the Jackell II on several different terrains, including smooth, runnable trails, crossing streams, and even some technical trail. It has been able to handle it all with no real issues. I like that upper is breathable so if I am crossing a stream, it dries out quickly. I also appreciate that when I’m running over rocky or technical terrain, it doesn’t feel like the rocks are cutting through my shoe and into my feet. There is plenty of cushion and I feel as though I could run as many miles as I want. I’ve taken them out for 15 miles with no issues, I could definitely run further but I haven’t needed too.
La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II Conclusion:
The La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II is a great trail shoe if you’re looking for a multipurpose trail shoe that can handle anything. I haven’t had any trail terrain that I don’t enjoy using the shoe.
Who should buy the La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II? If you’re looking for a fun printed trail shoe that can handle any trail.
Who should not buy the La Sportiva x Janji Jackal II? There aren’t a ton of reasons not to buy the shoe. It is one of the more expensive trail running shoes out there, but other than that, it’s a fun and unique shoe. It can really handle almost any type of terrain.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: ASICS Superblast
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews. Here, you are looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.
Question for you:
What trail shoe are you loving right now?