La Sportiva is an Italian company with a strong passion for mountain sports. Their newest mountain running shoe is the Bushido. It looks fast and aggressive thanks to some great styling and multiple overlays of material in black and yellow. It reminds me of my favorite teenage possession, the Sony Sports Walkman.

La Sportiva Bushido

I decided to test the La Sportiva Bushido on some gravel roads and forest trails. After trying the shoes on, the first thing I felt was stability and security. There is a “sticky” tread (FriXion® climbing rubber) and a secure feel that reminds me of hiking boots, but unlike hiking boots, this performance running shoe is made to fly at just over 9 oz. in weight with a 6mm heel to toe drop.

The ride was comfortable and there were no hotspots or blisters to report (even during the typical breaking-in period). The La Sportiva Impact Brake System (IBS) design uses lugs oriented in opposing slanted directions.  This opposition increases braking power by an average of 20% and decreases impact forces by and average of 20%. My legs felt fresh even on the rockiest parts of the trail.

The rock plate underfoot protects against sharp rocks and roots. In other shoes, I had to use considerable energy maneuvering around these obstacles. With the La Sportiva Bushido I ran right over them. They also handled the muddy conditions that mother nature left us with this spring. I was able to navigate from rock to rock, crossing flooded streams with the knowledge that my feet would not slip and send me headlong into the muck.

The La Sportiva Bushido is a comfortable, lightweight trail running shoe that protects your feet and makes running off-road awesome. The Bushida tops my list of 2014 trail running shoes. Next up for my Bushidos will be an epic Presidential traverse in the White Mountains.

Thoughts?