La Sportiva Bushido Trail Running Shoe

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    La Sportiva Bushido Trail Running Shoe | ActionHub

    The Bushido's side-lugs offered extra traction for climbing and trail runs, though they were not helpful for running on pavement.

    Warm weather gets runners thinking about the trails they want to conquer throughout the season and, just as importantly, the accompanying gear. This year, it’s worth putting La Sportiva’s Bushido trail running shoe on your radar if you’re hoping to tackle some tougher terrain.

    When La Sportiva sent me a pair of the shoes to review for ActionHub, I was immediately drawn to the flashy, powerful design. As anyone can see, this shoe is tricked out with a ton of features, but also comes in some crazy color combinations for those who seek a more aesthetically-pleasing design. I like my shoes more practical, so the grey, white, and yellow color scheme worked just fine. But even in the more muted colors, the shoes still draw eyes.

    In contrast with other shoes, the Bushido’s lugs wrap around the edges of the shoe as opposed to being concentrated on the sole. Though it makes the shoe look bulky, the result of this design choice is added traction control. Made for uphill, rocky running, these side-lugs ensure contact with the ground at all times. On the trail, they kept me upright and stable as I climbed.

    Though moving the lugs to the sides was strategic for climbing, it left something to be desired for running on flatter surfaces. I missed the lugs on the sole of the shoe that protected my foot during these runs and, as a result, experienced some foot fatigue.

    La Sportiva's Bushido trail-shoe features a flashy design, even in muted colors.

    La Sportiva’s Bushido trail-shoe features a flashy design, even in muted colors.

    The shoe’s upper is a mix of mesh around the toe and side that provides breathability. For support, each softer area is reinforced with other materials. The toe, for example, is completely protected by a TPU toe cap that offers superior protection from roots, rocks, and other natural obstacles runners might encounter. The TPU wraps around the midsole as well to keep that part of the foot guarded. Lastly, the heel features an impact brake system that is highly responsive.

    The tough design on the outside of the shoe sharply contrasts with the minimalist interior, which features very little padding. The heel has minimal lift and the sides were high, which caused me to experience some rubbing about halfway through my run. Even when wearing taller socks, my ankles still felt rubbed raw by the end of the trail. The short, foamy tongue was a great feature, though. Since it lies perfectly flat and molds to the top of your foot, it creates a complete barrier, preventing dirt and pebbles from working their way inside the shoe.

    As most La Sportiva customers will tell you, these shoes run narrow which, with my small feet, was actually a plus. The shoes fit well with minimal tightening required. The narrowest part was the heel, which kept my foot in place throughout the run. The top was wider, however, allowing my toes and midsole some movement.

    The main drawback for this shoe would be for speed-concerned runners. The Bushido’s sophisticated design weighs it down a bit, even though it provides energy efficiency and agility. If you’re looking to make a run in record time, you may want to consider another model.

    Images by Lauren Montemurri

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