Those who enjoy a technical trail will need the right shoes for the job. Sensitivity is key, as is a protective shoe that won’t enable you to feel every rock, pebble, or branch you strike on your journey. For a technical shoe that offers peak sensitivity, traction, and protection, look to the La Sportiva Bushido II. This is a tried and tested trail shoe that is known for its sensitivity and performance on highly technical trails. For a high response run without slippage, let’s explore the Bushido II.
The Right Amount of Protection for Technical Trails
Some trails require a great deal of protection, others not so much. Technical trails require a very specific type of protection that does not leech from the overall sensitivity of the shoe itself. The Bushido II offers up just the right amount of foot protection for the most technical trails. With that said, this is not the most protective shoe on the market. If it is a high level of protection you crave, you may want to look elsewhere. With that said, the shoe itself has a midsole stack height of 19mm in the heel. There is an additional 13 mm in the forefoot. Midfoot strikers may feel a few rocks and bumps along the way, but an integrated rock plate does disperse the severity of direct impact. This adds to the comprehensive sensitivity but takes from the level of protection.
Ample Sensitivity and Responsiveness
Part of the overall compromise on protection means gaining a shoe that is brimming with sensitivity. This is a thinner shoe that allows you to feel exactly where your toes are placed. Not only can this help you to maintain your balance and stability, but it can aid in maneuvering quickly on those very technical trails that require a quick foot. With that said, if you’ve never had a very sensitive shoe before, it may take some getting used to. You will have to condition your feet in order to adapt to the impact you’ll feel on the trail. If you’re used to very sensitive shoes, this pair will not disappoint.
Traction That’s Great For The Descent
La Sportiva hasn’t updated the traction on the outsole of the Bushido II for years. This means that much like previous pairs, the large lugs are still directed towards the front. While this makes for good traction on the way down, it can compromise traction when heading up a steep path. With that said, the shoe still performs quite well on soft surfaces, packed trails, dirt roads, and roads with multi-terrain patches. The outsole does a pretty great job of biting down and sticking to whatever surface a runner is trekking on. Thanks to the overall rigidness of the shoe, it is also easy to navigate on very technical or challenging surfaces.
A Comfortable Stride
In terms of comfort, the La Sportiva Bushido II offers up adequate support and cushioning that is well placed. While the foam that sits in the midsole is responsive, it is a bit harder than you may expect. With that in mind, this is not necessarily the most comfortable trail shoe you’ll encounter. However, the fit is very specific and concise, meaning you’ll feel supported and stable when you run. The shoe does run a bit more narrow, but those with wide feet should find ample room and plenty of splays upon striking down.
Overall, this is a shoe that should check most boxes you’ll have on your list, especially if you’re a technical trail runner or someone who just craves a more responsive shoe.