La Sportiva Bushido II Running Shoe
One of the things that I love most about this design is that it boasts a super grippy outsole that is able to scale difficult terrains. The angled lugs on the outsole are designed to give you an extra edge when running over steep inclines or declines. I suggest giving these shoes a try if you are really into running on difficult trails or while running in soggy weather conditions.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the features that make the La Sportiva Bushido II one of the best technical trail runners out there on the market.
Heel shanks for added stability
Great flex in the forefoot
Wicks away moisture while maintaining excellent breathability
Great for muddy trails
Multi-directional lugs are great for running up and down hills
Heavier than expected
While the midsole of this trail shoe boasts a few stability features, I would categorize this shoe as a great neutral runner. The midsole is very modest and doesn’t offer that plush step-in feel found in many stability trainers. While the padding is minimal, this midsole really shines while out there on the trails. The slightly stiff nature of the midsole gives you a tone of protection and stability when the ground under your feet is uneven. Plus, the compressed EVA foam provides a very energetic ride to make your runs light and easy, even on difficult trails.
I also love that this design of this midsole provides modest stability features to help your gait cycle stay nice and even. While it has great flex in the midfoot for snappy toe-offs, the heel is fairly stiff and rigid. The heel is reinforced with TPU shanks that provide extra stability to your heel that helps you keep your balance without affecting your natural gait cycle too much.
To me, the upper is where the La Sportiva Bushido II really shines. It walks that fine line between protection and breathability. If your runs take you through some pretty muddy and wet conditions, you will want to have this shoe strapped to your feet. It boasts water-resistant overlays that not only protect your feet from mud and water, but it also prevents rocks and twigs from finding their way inside of your trail running shoes. If you are anything like me, the moment a rogue rock hitches a ride inside of your shoe, you have to stop, pop off your shoe and quickly evict that rock before you take one more step. The build of this upper works to eliminate those annoying scenarios.
The upper is composed of a blend of breathable mesh in key areas of your foot to help move hot air up and away from your foot, and it is also reinforced with a thermoplastic film that helps to protect your feet from abrasions that often occur on uneven and difficult terrain. I love this upper because it works overtime to keep your feet protected as well as comfortable and dry.
La Sportiva running shoes are known for their smart and well-designed outsoles, and the Bushido II is no different. The multi-directional lugs and tacky finish of the rubber will make you feel like Spiderman as you scale steep inclines or race downhill with confidence. One of the newer features found in this shoe is the Impact Brake System. The materials used on the outsole help to absorb impact to protect your joints, and the design of the lugs are placed in key areas to help you maintain control of your stride.
The forward-facing lugs on the forefoot help you gain more control when running downhills, and the aggressive lugs around the sides of the foot and the heel help to maintain stability on rocky or gravel trails so you don’t lose speed. Runners love the outsole of this shoe because the lugs aren’t overly aggressive or thick, but are still built for even the most difficult of trails for a nice and even gait cycle.
Overall, I would recommend this shoe for runners that like to get a little dirty. The built of this upper is made to protect your feet from mud and water, which makes it one of the best shoes to take while wading through streams or through thick mud. If I were to compare this shoe to a car, it would most certainly be a Jeep. It boasts a sleek and sporty style with all of the performance features that are made to help you scale almost any type of terrain.
It’s important to note that this shoe does fit a little on the narrow side. If you have narrow feet, this shoe is likely to fit like a dream. However, many found that the overall fit of this shoe fits just a little too snug for comfort, so it may be in your best interest to size at least a half size up for a comfortable fit. If you have the option, be sure to try these shoes on before your buy, because there were a few users that found that the overall fit of this shoe was not what they were expecting.
Also, the toe box of this option doesn’t give your toes much room to naturally splay inside of the shoe, which is another reason why you may want to buy a size larger than you would normally wear. The good news, however, is that the complex lacking system gives you tons of room to play with the overall fit of this shoe for maximum lockdown and control.
The style of this shoe caters to a very specific audience of runners that want something that is simple and sporty. While the frame of this shoe only comes in basic black, those looking for punchy colors will be quite pleased to find that it is also available in black frames with bright accents that come in yellow, red, and green. I personally love that the outsole of this design boasts a bright yellow rubber outsole with red accents that looks incredibly unique and modern. It’s not breaking the mold in terms of design, but small accents really make the overall design of this shoe stand out in a crowd.
The price of this shoe runs in the middle of the road. It isn’t the most expensive trail runner out there on the market, but it isn’t exactly budget-friendly. When you take into consideration the modern performance updates and the durability of the outsole as well as the upper, this shoe is well worth every penny!
Comparisons to Previous Versions
One of the most notable changes made to this newest design is that it has improved cushioning in the tongue and the heel collar. This updated cushioning is much softer, and contours to the shape of your foot over time. It also cuts down on the overall break-in period of this shoe, which is a major improvement for some runners.
The overall design of the upper has also undergone a few changes as well. This updated version boasts more mesh air vents that help to move hot air up and away from your foot. It also provides protection in the form of synthetic overlays for added stability as well as resistance to water and mud.
What I love most about this La Sportiva shoe is that the lugs spark that perfect balance between agility and control. The design of the outsole is great for running up and down hills with a good deal of confidence, and the durable upper helps to keep your feet nice and dry no matter the weather!