La Sportiva Helios Review
The Helios utilizes a similar construction to the accoladed Vertical-K shoe yet adds increased stability and the ability to descend more comfortably. It achieves this with a roomier toe box and a slightly thicker sole.
The upper is constructed with Hydrain Mesh and Eva Airmesh, meaning it is a highly breathable yet durable upper. This is an important combination, for too often great breathability comes at the price of a weak construction that tears and wears easily.
The sole is constructed with an injection molded EVA compound and an additional 2mm of LaSpEVA ( a compound not found in the vertical-K). The added benefit of the LaSpEVA is extra cushioning and rebound elasticity.
All of these technical features combine to make a shoe that is very well rounded. Road running converts will feel at home with the quick and nimble racing flat feel that can dish out 3 minute km/s with ease. It ascends very quickly, grips to wet surfaces well with the use of climbing rubber on the toe, and cushions your feet well for the descent. The shoe has held up well overtime and very little if any wear and tear is visible. The sole still retains its elasticity after 7 months of use.
Best Use: 10-25k races, quick training days, smashing records.
Ascending: 4.5/5 Flats: 4/5 Descending: 3/5 Durability: 5/5 Weight: 8.1 oz
Overall Score: 16.5/20
La Sportiva Bushido Review
The Bushido is the do it all shoe that works well for any kind of trail runner. It deservedly won the 2014 editors choice award in TrailRunning Magazine. It features STB control construction utilizing a thermoplastic urethane (TPU) frame wrap to reduce the need for underfoot support and increase the overall rigidity and durability of the shoe. This construction results in big weight savings and comfort rarely seen in a shoe this minimal.
The upper is constructed with durable Airmesh and welded ripstop fabric. The liner is a thin mesh fabric and the toe is covered with a TPU cap.
With the unique TPU frame construction La Sportiva was able to get away with a much thinner sole. The sole is constructed out of Memlex ( 80% eva 20% SBR) as well as a thin yet effective EVA rock guard.
So what does this all mean? Fast.. Period.
The unique construction allows for a large reduction in sole weight which makes this shoe very nimble on the feet. This shoe handles quick miles on the flats, ups, and downs with ease. The aggressive sole lugs are effective in dry, wet, muddy, and even snowy conditions. This is why I find it the do everything shoe for me. If I am unsure what conditions will be like in the morning I take these with me and am satisfied 90% of the time.
They are also my go to racing shoe for short/mid distance races. I cannot comment on their 30k plus racing capabilities, as I do not race those distances. The rock guard and TPU frame are great for descending very technical terrain. After downright abusing these shoes for the the past 7 months they have still been able to perform well.
Best Uses: Technical trails, descending, variable conditions
Ascending: 4/5 Flats: 4/5 Descending: 5/5 Durability: 5/5 Weight: 10.5 oz
Overall Score: 18/20