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La Sportiva Bushido 2 Review 2020 – For Trail & Mountain Running

Before I get stuck into this La Sportiva Bushido 2 review and how they perform while trail running, I’d like to quickly talk about the history of the company. It’s always nice to understand the level of experience and craftsmanship that goes into producing the products that you are going to be wearing for so many miles out on the trails.


RELATED: La Sportiva Kaptiva Review


La Sportiva was founded in 1928 by Narciso Delladio in Italy, so it’s safe to say they’ve been in the mountain equipment game for a long time. La Sportiva possesses a strong passion for the mountains and the environment which is why there is always a consciousness of what kind of impact their factory has on the outdoor world. This really resonates with Trail & Kale as a brand and lifestyle.

The La Sportiva Headquarters is located in Ziano di Fiemme, a small mountain village in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, and so the tradition and heritage of handmade footwear lives on in this magical alpine valley existing in the shadows of jagged limestone peaks and glaciated valleys where alpine masters such as Bonatti and Messner plied their craft. The Dolomites also happens to be the perfect place to test their products, we know because we have run around the region ourselves.

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running trail and kale web 1 2

When I first tried on the Bushido II shoes, it was clear to me that a lot of experience and thought went into their design. On first impressions, they felt snug, lightweight, and super grippy. They felt so good in fact, I felt I had to drop what I was doing and take them straight to the trails of Marin, California. Here’s my run on Strava (with extra pictures of the Bushido 2 shoes). Why not join our Strava club while you’re there. 🙂

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Now, Let me try to explain why I enjoy running in the Bushido 2 trail running shoes so much.


Not sure where to start with trail running shoes? Here is my definitive list of the best trail shoes for running.


Bushido 2 Fit & Design

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 12

The Bushido 2 fit feel comfortably snug, due in part to their design and also because the sizing of these La Sportiva shoes come in a touch smaller than some other brands like Brooks Running, On and Inov-8. Having said that, they fit me well and feel more responsive as a result. Some of the snugness also comes from the padded tongue/inner sock feature. When I talk about the Bushido 2 feeling snug, I don’t mean they are too tight, but rather that they feel like they have stretch and are more form-fitting than some other running shoes. ‘Race ready’ if you will!

La Sportiva shoes are built on European half sizes which are smaller increments than US half sizes. This gives them five extra sizes per size run, which gives you a better fit! You can check your size using the La Sportiva shoe size chart.

There’s also very good cushioning in the midsole too, which is something that many high-performance mountain running shoes seem to lack. The Salomon S-Lab Sense 7, for example, is a more minimal shoe with not too much padding underfoot. Don’t get me wrong, the S-Lab Sense are excellent shoes that I love, but I do think that if you can squeeze in some extra cushioning without sacrificing on weight or by adding a higher heel drop, then bring on that cushioning as it’s going to make those long runs more enjoyable.

Bushido 2 Upper Construction

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 13

The upper has a slip-on construction that wraps your foot like a sock without compressing or exerting and pressure points. There’s also localised, breathable mesh fabric that stretches to allow your feet to swell and contract as they warm up or cool down during a run.

La Sportiva is using a rubberised material for some areas of the upper for support and also strength in the shoe build. What I love about this particular material is that it’s very flexible and will not create any pressure point because of it being moulded in a particular way.

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 16

There’s a finger loop for slipping the shoes on, and also a toe cap, designed to protect your feet, should accidentally kick a rock on the trails, it happens!

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 11

Padding around the heel area is soft and comfortable. The side walls don’t rise too high either, which give me more flexibility in the ankle/achilles heel areas without unwanted rubbing.

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 9

The Bushido 2s solid heel cage locks my feet in place solidly, really important when navigating gnarly terrain at speed. I have every confidence with the responsiveness of this shoe. With all this said, the La Sportiva Bushido 2 upper construction is excellent!

Bushido 2 Inner

There’s an inner sock that attaches the padded tongue to the forefoot area which adds to that slipper-like fit of these La Sportiva trail running shoes. This keeps the tongue in place and prevents debris coming between your foot and the shoe walls. It also reduces the risk of chafe as there are fewer seams inside.

Bushido 2 Tongue & Laces

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 10

Briefly mentioned earlier, the tongue is very well padded, more so than on many other trail running shoes that I have tested, but the padding is localised. Its an unusual design and material but it’s very effective at locking your foot in place while maintaining top comfort levels. The laces look good and stay tied up with just a single knot during a run.

Bushido 2 Outsole

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 7

There’s so much grip on the Bushido 2s and it’s that sticky type of grip (the best kind)! I’d liken it to some of Salomon’s high performance running shoe outsoles. It’s a material that may wear down a little quicker than some other rubbers but wow, it really does grip well. When in doubt about shoe longevity vs performance, I’d personally suggest going for performance over longevity, especially when it comes down to having an effective braking system which will provide extra control, responsiveness and ultimately, your safety while out on the trails.

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 15

The outsole has a good rock-plate too which helps reduce discomfort when running over sharp rocks.

Bushido 2 Drop & Weight

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 5There’s a drop of 6mm from heel to toe. It’s a happy medium for runners who like a minimal drop and others who prefer more. I’m a fan of keeping the drop as low as possible as it helps to improve my running form due to the more natural footfall. Having 6mm on the La Sportiva Bushido 2 feels great for me.

Weighing in at 298g the Bushido 2 is a pretty lightweight racing shoe, especially considering all the protection you get that’s essential for most runners on the mountain trails.

Bushido 2 Toe Box

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running Trail and Kale web wm 8

The toe box is a medium width and feels nice and airy due to the breathable upper material.

la sportiva bushido 2 review trail and mountain running trail and kale SQ
La Sportiva Bushido 2
Comfort
9.5
Design & Function
9.5
Durability
9
Flexibility
9
Performance
9.5
Pros
Very comfortable
great cushioning
Impressive traction
More accurate fitting options due to European sizing metric
Love the design
Cons
9.3
Overall Score

Find the best price for the Bushido 2, at a reputable store below:

In Summary

My current favorite trail and mountain running shoe, the La Sportiva Bushido 2 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high performing trail running shoe with the combination of responsiveness, stability and comfort with excellent protection and impressive traction.

They offer enhanced cushioning while also providing the user with a stable, lightweight, sticky and aggressive outsole. The performance and protection on technical terrain, is impressive, to say the least. At $130 the Bushido 2 is a fantastic buy!

I have awarded these shoes an Editor’s Choice Award, and they currently sit in first place on our Best Trail Shoes list.

I’m going to be running in these a lot, and then I may just get another pair! 🙂

Find the best price for the Bushido 2, at a reputable store below:

La Sportiva Bushido 2 review trail running trail and kale web 1

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37 COMMENTS

      • One of my concerns is the stiffness of the outer sole. Was this something you noticed? The reviews I read were about Bushido 1, so things might have changed.

        • The Bushido 1 was a stiffer shoe for sure. This one feels more stripped down and race-ready and I found the flexibility to be good. Some shoes flex all along the bottom, but these flex only where they need to, which is under the forefoot of the shoe, where the feet actually flex.

        • It’s a good coincidence that you have S/Lab Sense 7 in your Trail Shoes for 2019, since those are the ones I use right now, but going to a bigger distance, with potential rougher terrain, I am afraid I will get my feet mauled. It’s also a coincidence, that the 3 shoes I have in mind for +50k are all in your list: the bushido 2, sense ultra 2 and speedgoat 2. I guess your pick would still be the bushido 2 for bigger distances and the S/Lab for 5k to Marathon distance?

        • haha oh god. Both!? Up to 50k, the bushido, maybe the Ultra 2 if you’re doing more of those even longer races of 50miles/ 100k…

        • I think ultimately you’ll need to see how they both feel for you. The most comfortable will be the one for you to take to that 100k race. They are both great shoes.

        • Btw, how’s the fit for you? I think I will struggle to find a place to try the Bushido. Is the sizing equivalent to S/Lab Sense 7?

  1. Seems like there are some improvements to the Bushido. I have the women’s Bushido I, I’ll have to find a review of the women ‘s Bushido II. I loved the Bushido I so much that I bought two pairs! I’ve taken them on some pretty rugged terrain including some gnarly backpacking trips and have been impressed not only how they feel, but also how well they handled all kinds of rough terrain. Thanks for the review.

    • Hi Tiff!
      Glad you enjoyed the review and thanks for letting me know! It really is a great shoe, I’m going to be reviewing the La Sportiva Kaptiva soon, so stay tuned for that one too 🙂
      -Alastair

  2. Hi. When are you going to do review on the La Sportiva Kaptiva? I’m deciding between these and the Bushido. Would you say the Bushido 2 and Kaptiva are capable of 100 to 160km races? I have used the Mutants and these were awesome and took a beating as well. I know these are two different type of trainers, but I’m interested in these new releases. So would really appreciate your advise. Thanks. Neil.

    • Hey Neil!
      I’m hoping to review them in the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be putting them through their paces on the trails during that time. On first impressions, they are every bit as good quality as the Bushido II, and they fit just as well, so I’m confident they too will be a good shoe. Would a first look YouTube video be of any use? I can probably get one of them out much sooner.
      -Alastair

  3. Thanks Alastair 🙂 yeah first look/thoughts video is a good idea. I have narrow heal, high arch but do like a little room in the area. So i am a bit concerned on that point, but willing to give one of these ago 🙂 on sizing I’m uk 10.5 in Salomon, but for the mutants im uk 11, so suspect i would need an 11 in these, or so you think a 11.5?

  4. Hi, wondering how these feel on the road?
    I usually have to run to / from the trail, or use sections of road to connect trails (in the UK). Just tried these on in store this evening and they felt good, new to this game so don’t know what to look for yet. Really appreciated your review!
    Cheers.

    • Hi Claire,

      The Bushido 2 performed well on road sections too as the midsole cushioning is really good. You can’t go wrong with this shoe, I’m still loving it! 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions and please feel free to look around our website for more trail running and adventure inspiration. 🙂

      -Alastair

  5. These seem like they would be a direct competitor to the Salomon XA Elevate how does the midsole cushion toe box width stability and sizing compare.

    Thanks

  6. First up comments, just arrived in France and headed for the Alps, been running in Hoka Torrents and deceived to give the Bushido 2 a bash as we can’t easily get them in South Africa….only covered 20km in the Bushido but my initial feeling is that’s it’s the best fit and most comfortable trail shoe I’ve tried to date so really excited about them

  7. Just bought my first pair of La Sportiva shoes. Went with the Bushido 2 because of your review. Did a 16 mile trail run over various terrain. They worked great! I was worried about the sizing but no problems. I have a 50k coming up October 5th. It’s on some very smooth trails. Wondering if I should use these or buy the Nike Pegasus trail. Thoughts?

  8. Hey Even,
    They’re both excellent shoes but the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail is extremely good over smooth trails too due to the midsole cushioning and comfortable road shoe feeling.
    -Alastair

  9. Hi! Nice review! I have some Achilles tendonitis lurking and found the stiff upper heel collar padding in the Akasha a bit annoying. Does the Bushido have similar padding? Same size as Akasha?

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Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair. I started Trail & Kale as a way to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. Trail & Kale has since grown to become a thriving blog and community that inspires people to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
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