The La Sportiva Bushido III is our new top pick for stability when running tricky trails

Our Scotland based testing team aren't slowing down, putting the new La Sportiva Bushido III through its paces over Arthur's Seat and more technical trails

from La Sportiva
RRP  £139.99
4 point 5 star rating for the La Sportiva Bushido III

by Anisha Page |
Published on

Building on the 10-year legacy of the original Bushido trail running shoes, the new Bushido III is a perfect choice for trail-runners seeking stability on all types of off-road terrain.

This updated version has a new outsole and rubber compound design, as well as some increased breathability in the upper. It is durable, versatile, and confidence inspiring. Plus – let’s face it – those bright colours do wonders for your fashion factor too.

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Pros

  • Durable and versatile
  • Supreme grip and traction on wide range of surfaces
  • Extremely breathable

Cons

  • Less cushioning than other trail shoes
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Performance
    5.0
  • Sustainability
    4.0
Women's sizes (UK)3–9
Men's sizes (UK)6.5–12
Weight250g per shoe (UK 5)
Drop 6mm
Stack height30mm / 24mm

Upper

The top of the La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO

The upper has been designed with maximum breathability in mind. The mesh is all very lightweight and the updated tongue is ergonomic, padded, and highly breathable. The Bushido III also has a new construction of side panels to add to this effect. This is obviously great during the run, but it also means that the shoes dry remarkably fast after a day of bog stomping.

The shoe stays in place with a gusseted, slip-on construction which locks down your foot nicely without compressing or rubbing. Our tester did find the Bushido's shape a little narrow, which is typical of most La Sportiva shoes. So we were pleasantly surprised to see that the brand have also released a wide version which offers slightly roomier dimensions.

Midsole

The Bushido III boasts a comfortable and well-balanced compressed EVA midsole. This absorbs shock and cushions every step whilst also being extremely lightweight, supportive, and flexible. Despite its lower-riding profile, your feet will still be protected when running over sharp, rocky terrain.

Side profile of the La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO

The Ortholite Hybrid Mountain Running footbed has an open cell structure and durable PU foam cells, enabling effective moisture management. It is treated with antimicrobial agents and is also washable to keep your feet fresher for longer.

Outsole

The Bushido III is a rigid shoe with great traction and sensitivity. The lug pattern has been updated from the previous model to offer complete security on technical trails. It has a FRIXION Red bi-compound sole (developed by La Sportiva) which delivers an effective combination of grip, long-lasting wear, and shock absorption. You'll find an aggressive lug design with multi-directional lugs and grooves to offer superb grip on even the most slippery of surfaces.

The lugs of the La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO X SPORTSSHOES

It also benefits from La Sportiva’s impact braking system; the lug pattern has slanted and opposing angles to reduce impact forces and increase traction. This system is hugely beneficial when going downhill – say goodbye to faceplants and run with confidence. Its lower riding profile enables good sensitivity and engagement with the trail beneath you. Whilst this is a benefit for shorter distance runs, the reduced cushioning might be a problem on longer-distance runs. Finally, it has TPU toe cap, so when you end up kicking those pesky rocks, your foot is somewhat protected.

Features

The heel of the La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO

The shoe comes with heel loops. Our tester found these really useful as a seasoned rock-climber who often wore these shoes for crag approaches. With the loop, you can then attach them to the back of a harness with a karabiner. However, even if you don’t climb, the loop is useful when you want to clip your shoes to the outside of a backpack or even just for pulling the shoes on. The Bushido III uses a traditional lacing system which effectively locks down the midfoot and prevents in-shoe slippage. And we must comment on the design here – what an eye-catching and funky colour combo! You will be the envy of all your friends.

Sustainability

The Bushido III does quite well in terms of sustainability. It is a shoe built to last and a lot of the design has been geared towards increasing durability. The outsole is made of durable rubber to improve its longevity and functionality whilst the upper has abrasion-resistant reinforcements to prevent debris from entering the shoe, thus protecting it from damage. The uppers are also reinforced with thermoplastic film and a TPU skeleton to further increase durability.

Blurry La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO

Recycled materials have been used for many parts, from laces to sole. The laces are 100% recycled materials the insole is made with 5% recycled rubber and 15% production waste foam.  The anti-abrasion mesh also uses recycled materials. The product is entirely free of animal-derived materials so suitable for vegans.

How we tested

Anisha Testing the La Sportiva Bushido III trail running shoe
©LFTO

Your tester, pictured here flying up Arthur's Seat, was Anisha Page – a member of our new Scotland-based testing team.

"I tested these shoes on a variety of different terrains from grassy trails to rocky scrambles. Since I live in Scotland, I had ample opportunity to test these out in wet and challenging conditions, and the Bushido III's never failed me!"

Verdict

We wholeheartedly recommend this versatile and durable shoe. It quickly our tester's go-to for the majority of trails, and the hardy construction makes the mid-range price tag a lot more valuable.

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