The Bottom Line: La Sportiva Akasha is a great trail running shoe for moderate technical terrain. It is durable, and with a slightly wider toe box, this shoes works great for long runs. Similar to other La Sportiva shoes, the Akasha is geared more for mountain running than for fire roads. It is on the heavier side compare to other brands, but with this added weight comes added durability.
I have been a huge fan of La Sportiva mountaineering boots, but I didn't have a lot of luck with their trail running shoes until I tried Akasha. I have tried other models before, but the fit didn't work for me. With the high-mileage training and ultra races I'm doing, I need shoes that can give me decent cushioning for comfort but also a grippy sole on technical trails. I recently ran a CCC race, and the terrain was mostly technical singletrack with a little road section in the middle. I gave this model a try while training, and I compared these shoes to a Hoka model that is famous for its cushion. Akasha is on the thinner side, but it still provides comfort for runs exceeding 15 miles. I trained in sunny Southern California, where the conditions can become pretty hot, but the shoes never give me blisters. When it was time for the race, I was about 2 hours in when the weather turned from sunny to a rain storm with a little bit of hail. I ran with this shoe for 20 hours straight in the mud and rain, and my feet couldn't have been happier. I had no blisters, and I managed to keep all of my toenails. Scored!
Having used the Akashas in different trail conditions, I can say that the soles feel pretty grippy in packed dirt, soft ground, and even mud. These shoes have also become my go-to shoes for hiking and scrambling. While the Akashas aren't the lightest compare to other brands, I don't find the weight an issue. Sizing of this model feels pretty true to size and consistent. I also love the color for the women's version. While La Sportiva shoes are often marketed to enthusiasts who are pursuing more mountainous terrain, the Akasha has a great value for almost any terrain and is perfect for a long day on the trail.