Over the coming months I will be looking at a range of La Sportiva trail running and hiking shoes. This week we start with the La Sportiva BUSHIDO.
I did my first sky running marathon a couple of years ago and after a couple of extra hours out there I became a little more interested in my choice of shoe than I had been previously. I am also incredibly lucky that my training ground for running is primarily on trails with very little time on the pavement or tar seal. When I do find myself running on gravel forestry roads I wear my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18s.
a hiking company means there are a few hours spent hiking (we call it tramping in New Zealand) and as I embrace lightweight hiking more and more I don’t always want to wear my hiking boots when I head out for a weekend mission. Mix up the hiking with some great #midweekmissions trail running with my girlfriends and there is the perfect justification for purchasing and trialing a number of different shoes.
The La Sportiva Bushido (womens) ticks two boxes really well: technical trail running shoe and a stable multi-day hiking shoe.
I find La Sportiva trail running shoes a great fit for my foot shape and I have switched styles numerous times and not had the usual wearing in time I had previously experienced with other brands. There is some talk around the office and online that this shoe is narrow; personally I do not find this, but it is no Inov8 ‘slipper’ either. What I have lost in terms of slipper like comfort I have gained in stability and faith that I am less likely to roll my rubber ankles. The lower profile stability is something I really appreciate when I am carrying a heavy backpack for tramping too. I don’t wear my thicker hiking socks but stick with my Icebreaker Multisport Mini Merino Socks.
It drains, it dries relatively quickly and is durable – what more can you want. If you want all the tech speak then it is the La Sportiva Air Mesh that enables the breathability whilst the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) exoskeleton/wrap provides durability, structure and torsional stability - STB Control System ™. It is the general lack of padding on the upper that aids the quicker drying time.
I like the fitted tongue until I forget to wear my gaiters or putties when I’m hiking or running over scree slopes. But that is more about getting stones in my shoes than the fitted tongue.
The laces on the womens Bushido are way too short for me. It annoys me every single time I put them on and I can’t double knot my laces. This is no doubt a symptom of not having a narrow foot and therefore these shoes being more on the snug side for me.
The midsole is thin with just a 6mm drop (25mm heel to 19mm forefoot) and relatively ridged – something I really like when I am hiking and carrying a pack. I also like the rigidity when it comes to foot placement on tricky terrain or sidling some mountain, you can have faith that your potential to roll or slip within your shoe is minimized. Tech speak this is all thanks to the compression moulded MEMlex and TPU shank. Lastly, the EVA rock guard in the forefoot helps you keep your toenails attached to your toes when you are kicking at the stones all day long.
The tread is grunty! The rounded U shaped lugs wrap over the midsole adding stability. I have used my Bshidos on really rocky ground, tree root riddled trails and through a few rivers and sections of mud and they have always held up. The Impact Brake System helps you stay in control on the downhill sections, however there is no anti-trip system – take it from me!