Guest Review by Jeni Rees-Jenkins - La Sportiva Mutant & Bushido trail shoes
We got local North East running legend, Jeni Rees-Jenkins to test out some La Sportiva shoes for us, and told her to give us her honest and unbiased opinion on how they performed for her.
Jeni is well known amongst the running community up here, especially within the ultra/trail running community, winning the overall Scotish Ultra Marathon Series in 2016 and coming 2nd in 2017, despite it being a quieter racing year for her!! She was also one of the founding members of the Insch Trail Running Club which is a fast growing club, dedicated to promoting trail running within the North East.
We'd like to thank Jeni for her review and good luck for all her running adventures in 2018. We'll be keeping a close eye on her progress.
Shoe porn! Or at least a story of two shoes! I'm writing a wee kit blog for The Running Shop and have some kit to test! So let me tell you about my love for La Sportiva...
Shoe 1: Mutant! OMG what a shoe! I asked Andrew to help me find a shoe to cover mixed terrain in mountains.. Not an easy feat! But my feet are grateful, I used these to run a few training runs locally including Bennachie and further afield in glencoe and Torridon! I then wore them doing the two breweries hill race (18 miles, tough trail, 1500m ascent) as well as the Ochil ultra (50+ miles, mostly trail, lots of bog, lots of climbing) and Jedburgh ultramarathon which is 35miles of mud. My thoughts...
🌟 they are so comfy, like slippers all the time! And I've had no blisters! Even at the end of an ultra they are brilliant and feet feel great! I worry about big miles but these shoes are comfy, have enough cushioning to support but are also minimal enough to feel the terrain!
🌟 grip is immense, I've skipped over rock, through bogs, heather bashed, climbed and even slid over ice in them and they have made me feel confident and safe! Great shoes for tough running
🌟 breathability... I've done a fair few river crossings and I'm impressed at how quickly they empty! I was fed up of squelchy shoes... No more!!!
🌟 my fave feature is the wrap around tongue making them easy to get on and off but also has a integrated gaiter, I have loved having less grit and heather filling my shoes! I can't wait to use them in a mountain marathon!
I'm converted with these bad boys and planning to use them next year in all my big mountain events! Next big adventure for them is Tour de Helvellyn in a couple of weeks time!
Shoe 2: Bushido: In addition I needed a shoe for ultra distance where more Road and harder trails were to be tackled! Andrew gave me a pair of Bushido to try out! I was unsure at first and their first outing was a cross country run to Loch Lyon from Tyndrum.. They were good but in hindsight the mutants are better for a non path day! I then wore these to run the Speyside Way race and Dramathon as well as numerous low level bennachie days! My thoughts on these:
🌟 they are a very comfortable shoe but have less cushioning that the mutants, I like this for dry summer days up big hills and are great in scrambling. They are not so good on wet rock so keep low level and they are great!
🌟 they feel super light and fast, I have confidence in my running and the laces have never been an issue! No blisters in these yet but they take a while to empty of water, no squelching tho!
🌟 a great shoe for ultra distance over trails and fantastic for skipping through mud and over rooty sections of trail.
🌟 they have a snug fit which has been ace for scrambling about as you can squeeze them in wee nooks which is great!
They are a super shoe! Wearing them on Saturdays race which is at foxlake, we are doing an ultra there where we are on a section of the John muir way!
Anyway I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to give them a blast! I'm converted and my year off has been better than expected... Maybe it's the shoes! Go see Andrew if you need any help and advice! He's been great!
- Andrew Gordon