I had high expectations for these shoes as I have owned the previous model of the La Sportiva Bushido and they became my favorite fast packing and running shoe over the past years.
Coming out of the box, this pair had a more subdued color scheme compared to most La Sportiva’s which may appeal to some runners. Personally, I really enjoy the patterns and simple design.
The Bushido is listed as 10.5oz/ 300 grams per half pair but honestly feel lighter. My Saucony’s are listed at 9.4oz and the shoes feel the same on the foot.
- Category: Trail running
- Weight: 10.5oz / 300grams (M9)
- Stack height heel/toe: 19mm / 13mm
- Drop: 6mm
- Fit: Performance
Fit & comfortability
La Sportiva shoes in general run narrow but have many more length options than most manufacturers to obtain a more precise fit.
This is great for me as I have a very narrow heel and a moderate forefoot. The previous model Bushido’s fit me perfectly, while the new Bushido II’s are slightly tighter in the forefoot.
When I first put them on, they felt too tight, I even double checked if I ordered the right size. After walking around the house for a few minutes the shoes felt tight, but not in a bad way.
Looking on the La Sportiva website, I found that the shoe insert had been redesigned for a sock-like fit, which the shoe definitely has. The shoe is listed for “normal volume feet” but I have a low foot volume, and these were snug for me.
The Bushido II also has a redesigned heel which was widened and cushioned slightly more than the previous version of this shoe. This caused mild heel slippage for me but was solved by changing to a heel lock lacing pattern.
Overall, after a few break-in runs of 1-5 miles, these shoes really began to feel comfortable and I began to appreciate the different fitting styles.
Cushioning & outsole
These are a moderately cushioned ride with a high road feel and a heel drop of 6mm. If you primarily run on asphalt or concrete and are not a minimalist runner, these would not be the ideal shoe for you.
The high responsivity gives confidence off roots or uneven surfaces while the rock plate does an excellent job of protecting your feet from sharp stones.
The unique outsole provides the best grip I have experienced in any shoe that is not a climbing shoe on both wet and dry surfaces.
While this is a trail shoe, the support was good enough so that I was able to hike 30 miles over 5 days in these while carrying a Kelty pack weighing 35lbs and never had issues over the trip with support or cushioning.
So far, I have about 85 miles in this pair of shoes so I cannot give a definitive answer here.
However, many of these miles have been hard miles off-trail and over rocky terrain in Arches national park and Canyonlands National Park in addition to many other areas.
The sand and rock there are often hard on shoes and many of my family’s shoes looked fairly beat up after a week of hiking, while the Bushido’s looked nearly new once cleaned of dust.
In addition, the toe cap has held up very well to scuffs and had minimal markings on it even after multiple strikes.
I personally prefer the previous heel design but understand that most runners will prefer the new one.
Greater color options could be offered on the North American website as there are only two options compared to six for the La Sportiva worldwide site.
The performance, lightweight design, grip, and responsiveness of this shoe earn it high marks, as long as you have the foot type to fit in it!
Good to know
- The La Sportiva Bushido II is a trail running shoe that aims to provide the perfect blend of comfort, responsiveness, and stability. It is intended for those who need additional support while running on the trail.
- The shoe utilizes the dual-density FriXion XT 2.0 V-Groove2 along with the Impact Brake System. This rubber material is meant to deliver the right amount of traction that is needed when tackling challenging terrains. The outsole lugs are focused on providing improved stability and added grip.
- Featured in the upper area is the updated tongue unit. This material is padded and highly-breathable to provide added comfort to the foot. It also prevents trail debris from entering the shoe.
Like most of the La Sportiva shoes, the Bushido II offers a snug fit in the forefoot, midfoot and the heel area. As a result, a more comfortable riding experience is enjoyed by the user. Sizes come in 5 - 11 for the women's version and 7-15 options for the men’s. When it comes to width, medium fit is the available option for the Bushido. The shoe is sure to accommodate narrow and medium-footed runners.
The FriXion XT Groove 2 is integrated into the La Sportiva Bushido II. This full-length, dual-compound rubber material offers the right amount of traction, especially on wet and slippery conditions. The sticky grip is essential in tackling a wide variety of trails.
Along with the FriXion XT Groove 2 is the Impact Brake System. This component of the shoe is designed to decrease impact forces. This system is also meant to provide increased uphill and downhill traction.
Utilized in the footwear is the Compression Molded MEMIex. This 4-mm full-length midsole is engineered to deliver moderate cushioning for a more efficient and comfortable ride.
Long-lasting support is offered by the LaSpEVA. This material is described to be a soft-cushioned layer of EVA foam that provides additional shock absorption throughout the running session.
Featured in the La Sportiva Bushido II is the 1.5-mm Dual Density Rock Guard. Located in the forefoot area, this layer of compressed EVA is focused on protecting the foot against different trail hazards, abrasions, and rocks.
The TPU STB Inserts is integrated into the midsole of this running shoe. This component of the La Sportiva Bushido II delivers added stability, especially for those who are overpronators.
Compared to the Hoka One One Arahi 2 which uses the breathable mesh, the Bushido II utilizes the Air Mesh. This material is essential in covering the platform to promote a more breathable coverage. The primary goal of which is to keep the foot fresh, cool and dry during the running activity.
Added durability is offered by the High Frequency Welded Ripstop overlays. This feature of the shoe is meant to provide a more secure and seamless lockdown fit. As a result, possible slippage during the activity is prevented and lessened.
Consisting of a TPU frame is the STB Control. The structure extends around the midsole and upper area to increase stability. The purpose of which is to provide a secure fit as well.
A Stretch Mesh Air Tongue is integrated into the footwear. The tongue unit is made up of a stretchable material provide a more comfortable, secure fit. It also prevents debris and small stones from entering the shoe.
The TPU Toe Cap is also used to keep the toes protected against the hazardous nature of the trails.