Preview: La Sportiva Bushido II

And it's about to get even better.

The La Sportiva Bushido II is mostly the same as the first-generation, but with a few nice tweaks. (Andrew Skurka)

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The La Sportiva Bushido is designed for running on rugged mountain trails, but I’ve found it to be best suited for backpacking high routes. Most notably, this shoe:

  • Sits low to the ground for stability on uneven surfaces
  • Features a stiff midsole for kicking steps in snow and hard dirt and for holding an edge on sidehills and steep slopes
  • Has an aggressive and sticky rubber outsole for excellent traction on rock, dirt, and vegetation
  • Is well constructed so it can endure the abuse that high routes dish out
  • Fits snugly for precise control

Read my full review of the first-generation La Sportiva Bushido.

La Sportiva is updating the Bushido for spring 2019. The Bushido II will retain all its winning features but gets a few tweaks that should make it even better.

(Andrew Skurka)

Preview: La Sportiva Bushido II

La Sportiva employees at the recent Outdoor Retailer booth in Denver sounded mostly happy with the performance and sales of the first-generation Bushido. Both guys I spoke with said that it’s their favorite trail running shoe, and one mentioned that it’s the bestselling women’s trail running shoe at REI.

So La Sportiva’s approach to a second-generation Bushido was similar to that of Altra when it released the Lone Peak 4.0—improve it some but don’t mess with why people love it.

The Bushido and Bushido II are more similar than different:

  • Same MSRP, at $130
  • Same weight, at 10.5 ounces (men’s) and 8.8 ounces (women’s)
  • Same narrow Racing Lite Ergo last
  • Same low-volume fit
  • Same outsole rubber and pattern—the Dual-Density FriXion XT V-Groove with Impact Brake System
  • Same tongue
  • Same stack height and drop—19mm to 13mm, with a 6mm drop

The outsole rubber and pattern is unchanged, but the exterior of the arch was updated to improve durability. (Andrew Skurka)


Changes to the Bushido II are relatively minor yet significant enough to warrant a second-generation designation.

The biggest difference is the EVA midsole. The Bushido II is supposedly more responsive and springier thanks to the addition of proprietary LaSpEVA to the holdover compression-molded MEMlex.

The arch exterior is covered in a more durable material. This was one of the first blowout points on the first generation, although it was inconsequential—when the TPU abraded off, the plastic underneath was exposed.

Rubber (instead of synthetic leather) now covers more of the toe box, and the upper mesh fabric was changed to improve breathability, hopefully without affecting durability. (Andrew Skurka)

The upper is made with a more breathable mesh fabric. I didn’t have complaints about this, and I’m hoping the new mesh is at least as durable.

Finally, the toe guard was redesigned. Rubber (rather than synthetic leather) has been extended over the toe box, and the small strip of synthetic leather on the lateral perimeter of the toe box has been removed, apparently to avoid some complaints about pinching.

Filed To: RunningTrail RunningRunning ShoesTrail-Running Shoes
Lead Photo: Andrew Skurka
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