In Japan, Bushido refers to the code of samurai. Japanese warriors held values of loyalty, frugality, courage, and honor until death. So far, the Bushido IIs live up to their name.
When I look for shoes, the traits I look for first are high build quality and durability, moderate to aggressive tread, stability, and foot protection for technical trails. I like to try lots of different drops, stack heights, and footbed shapes, so not a fundamentalist here.
In terms of build quality, the Bushido IIs are excellent. I’ve put 500 trail miles on my pair, and they have performed well and show wear, but remarkably little. In ten years of trail running, I’ve had few shoes hold up so well.
- Outsole: La Sportiva’s FriXion XT 2.0 with their impact brake system. For more info about La Sportiva’s outsole types, shoes, and other technologies, click here
- Midsole: 4mm EVA foam with a 1.5mm rock guard in the forefoot.
- Upper: mesh laminated with thermal adhesive microfiber, ripstop, and a TPU toe cap & mid-foot wrap that provide excellent protection
- Drop: 6mm with a 19mm stack on the heel and 13mm on the toe
- Weight: 10.5 ounces for mens 9
There are a few worn-spots worth noting. One of the plastic stability control inserts cracked after about 300 miles. The EVA midsole wore hardest under the rear of my arches directly behind the midfoot TPU wrap and similarly the outsole wore hardest right under my arch where the midfoot wrap goes under the outsole.
In terms of fit, the Bushido IIs, like the original Bushidos, have a more narrow, low volume fit, and the last is what La Sportive refers to as their “racing lite ergo.” I have pretty average size feet, and I found the Bushido IIs to fit quite comfortably, though I did size up half a size based on recommendations, which was a good idea.
The toe box is relatively narrow. When I first saw them, I thought I would be uncomfortable since I usually like a wide toe box, but I found these astonishingly comfortable, and hence they became my go-to for a couple months.
Verdict: great shoes, buy them and then buy extra pizza & beer since they’ll last you a few weeks longer than most other shoes for the same price.
The Bushido IIs cost $130 retail.
I wrote this review completely of my own accord. I bought the Bushido IIs myself and have no association with the company otherwise.