Lengthy-Term Overview: La Sportiva Bushido II

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The La Sportiva Bushido II ($130, 10.five ounces) is developed as an all-mountain trail-operating shoe. It may possibly carry out nicely in that application, but I purchased a pair earlier this summer time to use for hiking in Alaska’s Brooks Variety and on the Yosemite Higher Route in early-season circumstances.

More than a 5-week period, I place 315 demanding miles on the Bushido II, making use of it to scramble across granite slabs, hold my edge on steep tundra slopes, scurry more than talus and via scree, kick methods into the snow, and push via thick willows, dwarf birches, and alders. For a lot of of these miles, the shoes were soaking wet, due to numerous fords, waterlogged ground, and melting snow.

How did the second-generation Bushido carry out? And how does it evaluate to the original Bushido and to other well-known backpacking footwear?

The original Bushido (see my extended-term overview) was a winner for La Sportiva. It was the bestselling women’s trail-operating shoe at REI and an employee preferred. Not wanting to ruin a excellent point, La Sportiva only produced a couple of tweaks to the second-generation model, which was released in spring 2019.

Like its predecessor, the Bushido II is notable for its:

  • Dreamy match
  • Excellent traction
  • Low center of gravity
  • Underfoot stiffness
  • Affordable dry time
  • Exceptional durability for a 10.five-ounce shoe

With these characteristics and qualities, the Bushido II excels on higher routes, in trailless wilderness regions, and for the duration of early-season circumstances. Due to its firm and thin midsole cushioning, it is not nicely suited for higher-mileage on-trail hiking, especially thru-hiking.

Also like the original, the Bushido II fits finest on narrow and low-volume feet. It retains the very same final, and there are no discernible adjustments to the match of the upper, either. This will frustrate some but please the shoe’s loyal fan base.

Shoe review
Following 315 demanding miles, the Bushido II nonetheless had some life left. The uppers have been mainly intact, and the outsoles had some rubber left. (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Important Specs

  • Breathable upper made of mesh, synthetic leather panels, and TPU overlays and toe cap
  • Grippy, heavily lugged, extended-lasting outsole made of dual-density FriXion XT
  • Low-volume upper and narrow Racing Lite Ergo final
  • Stack height of 25 millimeters at the heel and 19 millimeters at the forefoot, with a six-millimeter drop
  • 4-millimeter EVA midsole with a 1.five-millimeter EVA rock guard in the forefoot
  • Gusseted, thinly cushioned tongue
  • 10.five ounces for a men’s size nine
  • eight.eight ounces for a women’s size seven
  • $130 MSRP
  • Much more information and facts

Bushido Versus Bushido II

The original and second-generation Bushidos are much more alike than distinct. I detailed the similarities and adjustments in my Bushido II preview final year and will summarize them right here.

No adjustments have been produced to the:

  • Final or match
  • Outsole rubber or lug pattern
  • Stack height or drop
  • Weight
  • MSRP

Modifications incorporate:

  • A redesigned but functionally comparable tongue
  • Inclusion of a much more responsive EVA midsole foam, which went unnoticed though hiking
  • The use of much more abrasion-resistant material beneath the arch
  • A more breathable mesh in the upper
  • A redesign of the toe cap

Shoe review
The original (left) and second-generation Bushido (proper) are much more alike than distinct. Most importantly, the match and outsole are unchanged, and only modest adjustments have been produced to the upper and midsole. (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Match

When reading shoe testimonials, context matters. I have narrow and low-volume feet. My go-to operating shoe is the Salomon Sense (any of them—the S-Lab, Pro, original Ultra) and the S-Lab Ultra for longer trail efforts. The Hoka 1 1 Speedgoat two mainly fits, even though I want its toe box have been not so conical. The Clifton two match me superior than the four and five. And my feet swim inside the Altra Lone Peak.

La Sportiva carried more than the precise match of the original Bushido. The Bushido II has the Racing Lite Ergo final, and the upper feels identical in spite of some reengineering of it.

Out of the box, the Bushido II is slightly snug on me. But following they pack out, which requires a couple of miles, I obtain the match fantastic. My heel stays in spot, the wide lacing method and gusseted tongue comfortably cradle my midfoot, and the toe-box volume is just proper, enough to avert pinching and discomfort but not so a lot that lateral handle is compromised.

Durability

Higher routes, off-trail hiking, and early-season circumstances are tougher on footwear than traditional on-trail miles. The footwear are subjected to much more lateral stress, much more anxiety on the outsoles, and much more abrasion from rock and brush. Also, in such environs, the footwear are regularly finding wet. 

Shoe review
Navigating across wet lichen-covered talus in the Brooks Variety (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Following 315 miles on the Bushido II, my test pair nonetheless had life left: the uppers were largely intact, and the outsoles nonetheless had tread. But I threw them out prior to my return flight home—I didn’t want their horrendous smell to contaminate my checked luggage or the major cabin.

Primarily based on this knowledge, I feel a affordable life span for the Bushido II is 400 to 500 higher-route miles.

The uppers of the Bushido II are slightly much more sturdy than the original, due to enhanced building of the toe cap and arch. The 1st blowout points now look to be:

  • The mesh panels, which fray, specifically in vulnerable spots, like along the outdoors edge
  • Loose thread ends along the lacing method, which I fixed with an application of Aquaseal

Shoe review
The mesh panels along the lateral edge showed the most indicators of put on. (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

I also became nervous about the loosening of the liner fabric about the heel cup. It proved immaterial, but I feared it would result in blisters or compromise the match.

Upper

The upper consists of ripstop mesh, laminated microfiber, and a TPU exoskeleton and toe cap. It strikes a excellent balance of breathability, drainage, and durability.

The Bushido does not dry as immediately as I would like, but it was superior than other La Sportiva and Salomon models. With its easy and minimally padded upper, it just can not hold onto a lot water.

The toe box is wrapped with a TPU cap for enhanced resistance to abrasion and effect, like accidentally kicking rocks or snagging toes on talus. The new toe cap is much more sturdy than the original.

Shoe review
(Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Outsole

The Bushido characteristics an aggressively lugged outsole produced of a proprietary premium rubber, FriXion. It sticks reliably to bare rock, bites nicely into vegetated slopes and spring snow, and was on pace to final 400 to 500 miles. Honestly, it’d be greedy to ask for superior efficiency.

Shoe review
The Bushido II (left) utilizes the precise very same rubber compound and lug pattern as the original (proper). (Photo: Andrew Skurka)

Midsole

The Bushido II sits low to the ground: such as the six-millimeter outsole, it has a stack height of 25 millimeters in the heel and 19 millimeters in the forefoot. This benefits in a steady shoe, but it is not adequately cushioned for higher-mileage outings.

The forefoot contains a compressed EVA rock plate, and the midfoot has a TPU shank. When new, these characteristics boost underfoot protection without having sacrificing stability, and they add torsional stiffness for enhanced edging. More than time the rock plate softens, providing up some protection and rigidity.

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Comparisons

If you like the efficiency of the Bushido but require a much more generous match, contemplate these other models.

  • La Sportiva Ultra Raptor ($130, 12 ounces) has a lot of structure in the heel and upper, which tends to make it sturdy but potentially challenging on feet. Its outsole is sticky but significantly less aggressive and extended-lasting.
  • Salomon X Ultra three ($120, 13 ounces) fits and performs comparable to the Ultra Raptor. It has an aggressive and challenging-wearing outsole and sturdy upper. But the Swift Laces will fray in gritty environments.
  • La Sportiva Mutant ($135, 10.7 ounces) is the widest shoe of this group and the least rigid. The laces need to be swapped out straight away, but otherwise the durability is extremely excellent. The burrito-style lacing method is fantastic.

Lead Photo: Andrew Skurka

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