It has not been so long ago when I purchased the trail running shoe, La Sportiva Bushido. Since then I have used this pair on various circumstance and I have completed around 350 kilometres with various activities such as trail running, mountain running, hiking and scrambling. So far, I have been very happy with the “Bushido” in terms of fit, performance and durability.
The upper is designed to hug the foot and keep it in place. I found the fit to be nice and snug, but very comfortable at the same time. The shoe does a great job at wrapping around the mid-foot in particular, holding it securely in place. The heel is rather narrow, which is a staple of La Sportiva shoes. As soon I have received the shoes I had a first 10 k trail run in order to test them on my feet. I soon felt very comfortable with the shoes and quite natural too. Though, after a steep ascent I had the feeling my heel was not 100% “locked”. Therefore the day after I applied a piece of leukotape on my heel. I did this for 3 or 4 times and since then I never had any issues on my heel. The padded tongue of the shoe enables the rest of the upper to sit close against the foot and helps to eliminate gaps between the shoe and foot that rocks and dirt often creep down into.
I have a normal shaped foot and I did not have any particular fitting issue with the Bushido (as I also never had any issue with the La Sportiva Spantik). Though, by using the La Sportiva Bushido for various activities, I have noticed that sometimes I have a heel lift and therefore, when I know I will have a demanding training, I always need to lace the shoes in a secure way by using the “athletes loops“.
The upper consists of ripstop mesh, laminated microfiber, and a TPU exoskeleton. It strikes a good balance of breathability, drainage, and durability. I have read from other users that they apply Aquaseal to the seams for better durability. Though, personally, I did not apply Aquaseal to the seams and so far I did not have any issue. At the end of the day, I always believe that a product should be used the way the manufacturer delivers it. If that is not good enough, then, someone should search for alternatives.
The toebox is wrapped with a TPU cap, for improved resistance to abrasion and impact, like accidentally kicking rocks or snagging toes on talus. The tongue is gusseted on it’s bottom half and the gusset is connected to the footbed for a sock-like fit. One small disadvantage on that is dirt and debris can get it, though, this is not a major problem.
The Bushido midsole is built on a 6mm drop, with 25mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot. This gives the Bushido a low center of gravity, reducing its inclination to roll on off-camber surfaces.
The forefoot includes a compressed EVA rock plate and the midfoot has a TPU shank. These features:
- Achieve underfoot protection without a generously cushioned midsole that is top-heavy; and,
- Add torsional stiffness, which reduces the strain on foot muscles when edging.
I really enjoy the EVA “rock plate“, because it provides good stability and most of all, good comfort if one is wearing the Bushido in particular rocky environment. In addition the TPU shank helps the foot to remain firm and steady within the shoe and it protects the shank from any type of hard surfaces, such as rocks. In fact, the TPU shank has been so good on absorbing the aggressive contact with rocks, that has been partly damaged (See photos above).
The Bushido uses La Sportiva’s FriXion Red outsole compound. This compound ensures technical performance, durability and light weight without compromising grip and protection. The outsole design features aggressively designed lugs. The large amount of surface area provides great traction on smooth rocks and wet surfaces. The lug depth and spacing handles talus, scree, and sand without issue.
La Sportiva makes European half-sizes, which are on a different scale than US half-sizes. Use this conversion chart to determine your equivalent size.
Having used the La Sportiva Bushido for more than 5 months and 350+ km now, having done many different activities (trail running, hiking, backpacking, scrambling) and having reached many mountain peaks, I can highly recommend this pair of shoes. Actually, I have already purchased a second pair to have it for future use. The aggressive look, the great industrial design and the selection of materials make the Bushido a great choice for people that love to hike, trail run and generally people who love to be on the high routes.
SIZES: 38 – 47.5 (half sizes)
WEIGHT: 10.50 oz (298g)
LAST: Racing Lite Ergo
UPPER: AirMesh / Thermal adhesive microfiber / High frequency welded ripstop / TPU toe cap
LINING: Mesh / Highly breathable lateral mesh inserts / Stretch AirMesh (in tongue)
MIDSOLE: Compression molded MEMlex / 1.5mm dual-density compressed EVA rock guard (in forefoot) / TPU shank
SOLE: Dual-Density FriXion® XT V-Groove™ with Impact Brake System™
CUSHIONING: Midsole- 32A
This review was done based on the following activities using the La Sportiva Bushido:
- 150+ km of trail running
- Mount Tymfi Thru-Hike (Pindos)
- Training on Mount Parnitha
- Midnight Ascent on Mount Pentelia
- Summer Hike in Skiritida Forest
- Ascent on 5 Towers in Agrafa Mountains
- Erymanthos Mountain Spring Ascent