The La Sportiva Bushido II is the newest version of this tried and tested trail runner, known for its sensitivity and minimal protection that performs well over technical surfaces. It is a harder shoe with fantastic stability, making it an excellent option for tackling super nasty terrain. In this new update, La Sportiva integrates a new type of foam, which makes the shoe more responsive. The heel cup has also been redesigned to slip less (which it does), and the toe cap is reinforced for what we hope is a higher level of durability. Unfortunately, the toe box is narrower than it previously was, making it harder for toe splay. This trail runner still lives up to its reputation, offering fantastic performance for those who prefer a less cushioned and protective trail runner.
La Sportiva Bushido 2 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Sensitive, stable, perfect amount of protection, precise fit, great for technical surfaces
Cons: Heavier, lacks cushioning, best for narrow feet
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The newest iteration of the La Sportiva Bushido II still boasts stand-out sensitivity that offers just the right amount of protection. This low-profile shoe has minimal yet responsive cushioning that'll keep you plugging away the miles. It's great for technical trails, and with some calluses, can perform on long trail runs.
Ultimately, this shoe provides just the right amount of foot protection for most technical trails, but its far from being a super protective shoe. The midsole has a stack height of 19 mm in the heel with 13 mm in the forefoot. If you're a midfoot striker, like our main tester, you'll find your feet getting sore from taking impacts after running over sharp rocks. While the integrated rock plate does a good job at dispersing these direct impacts, you can still feel sharp rocks underfoot, which adds to sensitivity but takes away from protection.
The toe cap in this iteration seems to be about the same offering a harder and rubberized collar of protection from toe stubs. The rubber isn't super hard, so a hard enough impact won't ultimately be completely protected.
The overlay offers fantastic breathability and does a great job of keeping out trail debris like sand, small sticks, and the like. Overall, foot protection is a little less than average, which might be perfect for those who appreciate an intimate trail experience.
While foot protection is "about right" for those who prefer a thinner shoe, sensitivity is ample. You can really feel where your toes are placed, which ultimately helps you keep your balance and stand upright. While this is a technical shoe, it offers an immense amount of sensitivity that we love and appreciate. This shoe can take a beating for many miles, but you might find that you can have to condition your feet to get used to the impact.
The Bushido 2 still has the same outsole as it has for years. The lugs are primarily directed towards the front for good traction on the way down. We'd love to see a more multi-directional design as we noticed our foot slipping out on slippery and steep terrain.
Aside from that, we tested it on dirt roads, hard-packed trails, over kitty litter, and snowy surfaces. In all these conditions, the outsole does a great job of grabbing and sticking to the surface.
The shoe itself is pretty rigid, which makes it easy to kick in a snow step for enhanced stability on technical surfaces.
Welove the stability of this shoe. It has a harder construction surrounding the midsole and outsole with integrated shanks in the heel. The outsole is fairly flexible back and forth but doesn't offer much lateral torsion, keeping your foot straight on the trail.
The stack height isn't very high, which aids in providing better stability as well. The forefoot offers a little more room than most trail runners but isn't as wide as it once was in the previous iteration. This hasn't changed the stability but is an important construction consideration.
Comfort & Fit
The compression foam in the midsole is harder and quite responsive, offering a pop to your running stride. It's not seriously cushioned and is not the most comfortable trail runner out there. The fit is specific, though, which we love. Our narrow footed runners prefer this shoe, but it also works for those with wide feet as the upper is soft and flexible.
The lacing system integrates a TPU overlay that completely wraps the foot for the right amount of tightness and precision.
The arch has some support, and the heel cup fits nice and tight. There is no "extra" material inside the shoe, providing lots of room for a versatile fit. We recommend the fit of this shoe, but can't say it's the plushest or the most cushioned.
In the world of trail runners, this one is a little heavier than average. It weighs about 10.4 oz for a size nine where most trail runners fall into the range of about 9 oz.
This fits right smack in the middle of the price for most trail running shoes. This ultra-classic has proven itself time and time again, it a fair price for its performance. After 100 miles of running, we've noticed the lugs wearing down quite a bit, but have spotted no issues with the upper. While it's not the most durable shoe, it should last you a few hundreds of miles before its time to buy a new pair. It's a perfect option for those seeking a stable, sensitive ride.
The La Sportiva Bushido II received a new update this year that makes it a more responsive but more narrow trail running shoe. It still has the same construction that optimizes a fine balance between protection and sensitivity. It's not a great shoe for those who need ample cushioning, but best for those who appreciate an intimate and stable experience on the trail. Take it to the tops of mountains, on zoomy track, and everywhere in between.
— Amber King