Topo Athletic Shoes: A Look Back on 2016

Topo Athletic Shoes: A Look Back on 2016

I have a favorite running shoe. Well, not just one shoe but an entire shoe company: Topo Athletic. I have tried a lot of their shoes over the last couple of years and I wanted to recap on a few of the models that are still available as of today, November 14, 2016.

First off, there is more to this article then just talking about shoe specs. To me, that’s honestly the boring part – but I can’t argue that it’s important when comparing models. I’ve also included some photos and videos of me using these exact shoes that I’m talking about. This isn’t a wear a couple times and write a review about them kind of post. As you can tell from the picture below these are shoes I have worn for months.

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Topo Athletic was founded in 2013 by Tony Post, former CEO for Vibram USA. Even though Topo is still a small part of the running industry they are making waves through the entire market place. With only a few years in existence they have launched the most lightweight waterproof shoe named Hydroventure and the Ultrafly was named the Runner’s World Best Debut.

In all Topo shoes you’ll find a wide toe box, low heel to toe drop (between zero and 5mm) and light weight. These three principles are in line with natural foot movement and the wide toe box allows you to use your toes for great balance and control.  In comparison to traditional running shoes you will typically find a more narrow toe box, heel to toe drop of 8mm-12mm and heavier shoe weight. Topo allows for most runners to transition into a natural gait shoe without going to the extreme of barefoot running. Jumping too soon into a shoe you aren’t used to can cause problems for any runner. So if you are switching to Topos for the first time I’d suggest one of their higher drops to get used to the difference in foot movement while you run.

So let’s get down to some of my favorites.


Ultrafly: Favorite road shoe. They put some extra cushion under this baby and it really helps my legs out. Since I run a lot of trails my body is spoiled with the soft terrain to the point that I started to hate running on roads. Once these came out I was elated. I felt like I had some extra air underneath me yet not the added weight that you find in shoes like HOKA. 5mm drop, 23/28mm platform.

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ST-2: Favorite gym and wear anywhere shoe. These are under the “road running” section but they are too minimal for me for distance. They are amazing in the gym, even with the little bit of running I add into those workouts. They are extremely flexible and lightweight so they are great for packing in a bag for a trip. Overall, one of my favorite shoes because of the versatility. 0mm drop, 16mm platform.

Hydroventure: The lightest, fully waterproof trail shoe and named Gear of the Year by National Geographic Adventure. I used these for my 50 mile trail race and had absolutely no issues. It didn’t even rain so there really wasn’t a need for the waterproof feature. They perform like a trail shoe should and are not hindered in any way by the waterproofing technology. I’ve even heard top running store emplyees say that it’s just expected that a waterproof shoe will not perform as well as a typical shoe, but that’s only because they have never tried these. They brought puddle jumping back to my trail runs, instead of avoiding them all together. 3mm drop, 20/23 platform.

MT-2: Named 2016 Runner’s World Best Buy, this is the second generation of the first Topo shoe I ever tried, the MT. These are a great all around trail shoe that provide a great deal of comfort all while giving you grip on the trails and staying light in weight. 3mm drop, 20/23 platform.

Rumor has it there will be another trail shoe coming before the end of the year called the Terraventure. It will have a rock plate and more rugged design. It reminds me of a more hardcore Runventure, which is no longer available, but is still one of my top trail shoe preferences.

As an ambassador for Topo Athletic I’d love to share a 20% discount code you can use directly on their website: TOPODREWSEN20  This code is valid until December 31, 2016 and can be used as often as you’d like – so be sure and share!

If you have any questions about the shoes mentioned above or even some that weren’t included in this article please feel free to comment below.

Happy Running!

By |2016-11-14T13:01:28+00:00November 14th, 2016|Equipment, Running, Shoes|2 Comments


  1. Roy Robbins July 10, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

    topo shoes look great. need to ask you something. are they designed for people with flat feet as well ?

    • Travel-iN Fitness July 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      They can work for people with flat feet if that person is willing to gradually ease into the Topo shoes. They have a less structured approach so they don’t provide much arch support. Jumping into these after wearing shoes with lots of support will most likely result in injury. I’d recommend wearing them around the house for an hour or so for a few weeks, then wearing them outdoors for walking around and then gradually using them for workouts or running.

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