Best Topo Athletic Shoes Reviewed & Fully Compared
When we review products, we look at all of the brands and innovative new companies that can offer runners something that helps them enjoy the sport. Not every piece of gear is coming from a brand that’s well-known, and this can be a good thing. It helps us to find those hidden gems that quickly become some of our favorite products. This includes shoes made by Topo Athletic. If you haven’t heard of Topo, then you’re definitely missing out. Created in 2013, the brand is the brainchild of Tony Post—an avid and experienced runner. Post understood what runners needed out of their shoes and brought that knowledge to Topo.
There’s definitely something to be said for shoes that were designed by someone who really understands the sport of running. Topo athletic shoes are lightweight, durable, inexpensive, and perform well. There’s not much more you can ask for out of a good running shoe, and we wanted to share these products with our audience.
Most runners already have a go-to brand for their favorite running shoes. It can be difficult to make that switch, especially to a product that you’ve never heard of. This is why we researched Topo running shoes and created a list of the most highly recommended models. This information came from other runners who have used them, online reviews, and research from all over the internet. We won’t steer you wrong, and hopefully this review list will give you some new options to consider.
- Topo Athletic Ultrafly 2
- 3-Piece EVA Midsole
- Topo Athletic ST-2
- Stretch Mesh Upper
- Topo Athletic Fli-lyte 2
- Wider toe box
9 Best Topo Athletic Shoes
10. Topo Athletic Ultrafly
A 5mm heel-drop allows for most every runner that strikes mid to forefoot to be comfortable in this shoe and the EVA sole will provide a bit of feedback to help correct any gait misalignment. The additional cushioning and support also allows runners suffering from heel and arch injuries, such as plantar fascitis, to run relatively pain free while avoiding further - and future - injuries. This shoe also features Topo’s wide tox-box, which allows your feet to spread out naturally as you run, eliminated cramping and even again reducing the risk for injury.
Durability / Quality
They’re lightweight, durable, and a slightly molded heel to secure the foot. This shoe, and the others in the Topo Athletic line, were constructed to feel almost as if you're barefoot while running, and while that may make a dedicated runner question their durability you needn't fear. They'll hold up well through your long runs and be light-as-air during your track workouts.
Cost or value
Topo Athletic's top-of-the-line shoe also bears their top-of-the-line price tag, but is still considerably less expensive than average running sneakers in other brands. Again, Topo Athletic is trading on product quality as they build up their brand at this point, which means they are happy to produce a stellar product at a lower price point to convert hesitant shoppers into loyal customers.
- Excellent cushioning and support
- Lightweight, breathable material
- EVA mid-sole provides “light guidance and feedback”
- One of Topo’s most expensive shoes
- The 5mm heel-drop may require adjustment for those used to a higher heel-drop
2. Topo Athletic ST-2
One of the core features of all Topo brand shoes is that the toe-box is wide enough to allow toes and feet to stretch as they make impact with the running surface, preventing uncomfortable cramping. The light, breathable mesh that these shoes are made of also make them flexible, and perfect for traveling as they lie down flat. An added bonus of the lightweight material is that it’s incredibly soft - as far as sneakers go - and doesn’t cause any uncomfortable chafing or blistering.
Durability / Quality
The Topo ST-2 was designed with weight and durability in mind. This shoe has been perfectly configured for speed workouts, tempo runs, and fitness training. (COULD USE MORE INFO HERE)
Cost or value
As an up and coming brand, Topo is trading on quality and design as opposed to name brand value, which means you’ll be getting a superior product without an astronomical price tag.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Breathable, soft material
- Mesh structure allows for packing flat
- Wide toe-box
- Relatively inexpensive when compared to more widely known brands
- Not the widest available toe-box of the Topo lineup
- Limited availability in brick and mortar stores means you may not get to try on before purchase
3. Topo Athletic Fli-lyte 2
The trademark wide toe box Topo features is one of the best features of this shoe yet again. This model also a softer, multi-density midsole that provides more cushioning without weighing the shoe down--the weight of the shoe actually remains the same (8.4 ounces).
These shoes are also highly breathable and extremely lightweight.
Durability / Quality
This model is even more durable than the previous one. They feature an updated, and more durable, mesh upper that will be able to take on elements you encounter when road running.
Cost or value
Since these shoes have been recently released, they are one of the pricier options on our list. However, they are well worth the investment if you are looking for a durable pair of shoes that will last.
- Provide stability
- Adequate cushioning
- Secure fit
- Not flexible enough for some runners
1. Topo Athletic Ultrafly 2
These running shoes offer comfort and stability during your runs thanks to their wide toe box and additional cushioning. At 10 ounces (male) and 8.3 ounces (female), they are lightweight, even though they feature a 3 piece EVA midsole. This midsole allows for responsiveness and shock absorption.
Additionally, these shoes also feature a molded foam heel--which further secures your feet during your runs. Their Orthalite footbed will also provide additional comfort, stability, and responsiveness for all runners.
Durability / Quality
This model features updated mesh that is more durable and flexible while also providing maximum breathability. Their rubber outsoles combined with their updated to flexible overlay on the toe box of the shoe make these shoes durable and give it a less bulky and sleeker design.
Cost or value
Since this model has recently been released it has a steeper price than many other options on this list. Given its features, durability, and overall comfort levels these shoes are definitely worth the investment. However, if you want similar benefits, without having to pay for what these shoes are worth, we highly recommend their previous model. They Ultrafly shoes are also on our list, at number 10.
- Ample room in the toe box
- Orthalite footbed
- Update mesh system
- Rubber outsole
- Highly durable
- Not as lightweight as other models
4. Topo Athletic Magnifly 2
If you like shoes with padded heel area ,In these shoes, heel cup is cushioned very well, the cushioning in the whole shoe isn’t too soft. The right amount of cushioning enhances shock absorption so you can run on pavement or concrete without worries and the stress on the muscles is also lower. This is a neutral trainer for every day running with zero drop. There are overlays in the upper to reduce any skin irritation.
The rubber in the outsole makes shoes much more durable. According to the reviewers, the shoes will last for a long time. The look of the shoes makes them also attractive for the buyer, bright colors are mixed with darker elements.
Cost or value
You can get these shoes for less than 110 dollars. This is an average price for road running shoes. It’s worth to look for them on sale.
Runners with wide feet really enjoyed these shoes
Appropriate amount of cushioning
Roomy toe box
Well- padded tongue
The zero drop may not work for everyone
5. Topo Athletic Runventure 2
Topo keeps in mind that comfort is a key to success, these shoes provide very firm cushioning, it’s EVA foam, it will let you to run both on concrete but also on more challenging surfaces. Thanks to the really wide toe box, your toes feel more comfortable. Runventure 2 perform very well on the mud but we wouldn’t recommend them for puddles and trails with water. The mesh in the upper is tear resistant. Runners praised the traction, the upper provides secure fit.
The mesh in the upper and the tongue prevent entering any debris. Compared to the previous version, these have 0 drop.
The cost or value
You can get these shoes for about 100 dollars. This is a good price for high quality and comfort. If you want to save some money, you can look for an older version, it’s similar but be aware that these are 0 drop shoes.
6. Topo Athletic MT-2
Boasting Topo’s trademark wide toe-box and breathable material, these sneakers make trail running a delight. The material on these shoes is a bit stiffer than with other Topo shoes, but it provides for additional stability on unpredictable terrain. You don’t need to worry about slipping and sliding, as the sole of the shoe is equipped with multi-directional lug traction as well as forefoot flex grooves. The mud release feature will allow you to hit the trails in any weather, while the fully gusseted toe will ensure that your shoe stays firmly in place through sticky or slippery spots.
Durability / Quality
These trail running shoes were made for the rough and tumble. Expect to be able to put a fair amount of miles into them across rough terrain before any serious signs of wear come through.
Cost or value
This shoe is the mid-range trail running shoe that Topo manufactures, and is a tremendous bargain in price without giving up anything in quality.
- Overall the shoe is very light for a trail running shoe
- Additional support and cushioning adds comfort and helps prevent injuries
- Wide toe-box allows for natural toe spreading
- A little bit bulkier/wider than some other brands
7. Topo Athletic Women's Cor
Like most Topo shoes, these also feature a wide toe box. They encourage natural running thanks to Topo's flexible S2 shoe platform and are extremely lightweight--weighing in at just 5.2 ounces. They offer a zero drop and a breathable and secure fit.
Durability / Quality
These shoes are both versatile and highly durable. You can use them for running, cross-training, and light weightlifting.
Cost or value
These shoes are moderately priced and come highly rated and recommended.
- Several color options
- Sleek design
- Sizing runs small.
8. Topo Athletic Terraventure
The traction works great on every kind of terrain, shoes have very low heel drop- about 3mm. It means that there’s lower risk of blisters.
Like in many other Topo models, the toe box is roomy which is great for runners with wider feet. Terraventure are also one of the most lightweight trail shoes, making them great for racing.
There’s 6 mm of very thick rubber to make shoes more durable. The ESS forefoot plate protects your feet from rocks. The overall construction is very sturdy, you can use the shoes on different terrains and there won’t be many signs of usage. Terraventure are very versatile, some users preffer to use it for longer runs, other prefer to use them for racing.
Cost or value
Trail running shoes are expensive and it’s not a secret. For good running trail shoes, you will usually need to spend more than 1000 dollars. Topo are one of the least expensive shoes in their category. This is less known brand but they offer great products.
The shoes don’t need break-in time
Very lightweight for trail shoe
Ghille Lacing system keeps your feet in place
They’re high in the heel are so they can cause blisters.
9. Topo Athletic Hydroventure
For trail runners who love a bit of a challenge and find themselves dashing over rocky terrain, the Topo Hydroventure is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
A flexible rock plate in the midsole protects against rocks and roots, while the wide toe-box allows your feet to expand and provide additional stability.
The fully gusseted tongue ensures that your shoes stay firmly on your feet as you make your way across uneven surfaces, and the snug (but not uncomfortable!) heel provides added ankle support.
Durability / Quality
Considering that they’re fully waterproof, these shoes are also incredibly light and feature Topo’s trademark lightweight design.
Their physical structure may be a bit wider than other brands (to account for the toe-box), but they don’t feel bulky once they’re on your feet.
They are trail running shoes, and for that reason made of strong material that will take a beating. Although they are not the most durable, they do hold up well!
Cost or value
For all their added technology, these shoes are the most expensive of Topo’s trail running series, but they’re worth every penny.
The only fully waterproof trail running shoe available
Fully gusseted tongue
Flexible rock plate
More expensive than other Topo offerings
The Criteria Used When selecting The Best Topo Athletic Running Shoes:
Topo Athletics has all the makings of a specialized startup that focuses on helping the body to become more efficient in a natural way. Backed by an investment firm out of Silicon Valley, this brand has quickly made a name for itself among dedicated runners. Quality always sells when it comes to athletic gear. You trust your shoes to protect your feet, absorb shock, and to help improve your form and performance. A failure to do any of these can result in injury or distract you from enjoying the sport that you love. Topo shoes have a focus on the body’s natural movements and biomechanics. This translates into a minimalist approach to shoe design that still manages to offer a superior level of comfort.
These running shoes are designed using emerging technology that goes into creating lighter and less bulky products. Topo tests new materials and the ways that they interact with the body’s natural range of motion and momentum. The sleek design and ability to improve performance were also taken into account when creating this review list. Below, you’ll find a list of criteria that we looked at when deciding which Topo running shoes made the cut.
If you’ve ever spent time nursing blisters or friction sores on your toes, then you can appreciate a running shoe with a larger toe box. This is the area at the front of the shoe that encases and protects the toes. Topo shoes are known for having a roomier toe box that improves mobility and offers less restriction. The company believes that allowing the toes to spread out naturally when they hit the ground increases balance and provides superior shock absorption. This allows the foot to go through its normal and complete range of motion with every step. Running shoes that prevent this place the responsibility of shock absorption primarily on the shoe’s sole, which can cause problems when it’s not properly supportive.
Keep in mind that Topo shoes are made to be kind of a middle ground between traditional running and barefoot running. The minimalist design allows for light cushioning, which is great if you’re curious about barefoot running, or want to make the transition to barefoot running as easy as possible. Testers have really enjoyed the lack of additional materials between them and the ground. It increases traction and allows them to pick up the pace a little bit. The fewer obstacles you have to the flow of your natural gait, the faster you’ll be able to get through the full range of motion. For many, this translates into a faster running time.
It’s hard to strike the perfect balance between the weight of the running shoes and their comfort level, but Topo has managed to do it. With the help of new technological innovations and mixtures of different materials, these shoes are incredibly lightweight. Any dedicated runner knows that the lighter the shoe, the less they’ll have to pull up with each stride. This places less stress on the joints and can make the process of running that much safer. It also helps to reduce friction which results in fewer blisters and those pesky shoe burns that can keep you off your feet for a bit. All of the shoes on this list are extremely lightweight and still reasonably supportive.
Whenever you deal with running shoes that are not typically found in running shops and department stores, there’s always an additional cost that brick-and-mortar retailers are known for. Working closely with Amazon, we are able to bring you a buying guide with the latest and greatest models from this emerging running shoe company at the absolute lowest prices. There is a model that is sure to fit any and every budget on our list. We want our readers to be able to experience specialty boutique running shoes at a price that makes sense for them.
Take a look at any of the Topo Athletic running shoes on our list and you will notice that they have a unique look that is different from anything else that is out there. Our list made sure to include models that give you flexibility and comfort while looking good doing it. Countless studies show that when runners are happy with their shoes, they are more likely to run more often and for more distance than otherwise. So, while all the crucial components of a great shoe are accounted for, we didn’t forget about looks and styles. Don’t forget the different colorways that are available on Amazon once you click over to check out the shoes.
Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Topo Athletic Running Shoes.
No matter which shoe you choose, you are sure to get Topo Athletic’s trademark mix of barefoot running and modern cushioning. Before you make your decision, consider the additional factors that will help narrow down your choices. Choosing the right running shoe is important and the following factors will ensure that the shoe you choose will be comfortable and functional, and most importantly, an overall great running experience. Keep reading to find out what else you should consider before choosing the best Topo Athletic shoe for you!
Mind The Drop
Barefoot running is all about the neutral, zero or low drop. While most novice runners don’t think about it too much, modern running shoes have a difference in the heel to toe elevation (drop) that you kind of get used to after a while. This allows for the shoe to do a lot of the work for you, at a cost to building muscle and maximizing effectiveness. A lower drop means that your feet and legs will do a lot more of the work, so keep this in mind when making the transition. Take stock of your old running shoe’s drop and don’t go too fast when starting with the Topo’s. Let your feet and legs get used to their new duties, the end result will be toned and strong muscles.
Think about the type of activity that you will be doing in your new shoes. We recommend a selection that is geared for specific activities, such as gym workout training, long distance running, and weight training to name just a few. While it’s a misconception that a “do it all” option is the best way to go, you want to make sure that you are not putting any excess wear or use on footwear that you are counting on for high performance and response levels. We made sure to indicate which models are ideal for gym workouts and which are best for long distance running. Seasoned runners always maintain a solid amount of footwear in rotation for different activities; it’s a good idea to match your activity to your footwear.
Keep Focus On Your Form
This is the key to take full advantage of Topo’s running shoe technology for you. There is light guidance and feedback that it provided by the footwear. So it’s important to pay attention to your form and how you’re following through with your steps and strides. Barefoot running is incredible for the development of small, intricate muscles and tendons found throughout the feet and legs. Since Topo goes out of their way to provide some light cushioning, this gives you more comfort as you get adjusted to the advantages of a lower drop and a neutral shoe.
Don’t Fear Change
The number one thing that seasoned runners do when they find a brand of footwear that they enjoy or break a personal record in is to stay with that brand for the rest of their lives. Don’t make the same mistake. Be bold and try new running shoes, new brands, and new styles. Stay with your tried and trusted brand, but keep some options in rotation that are fresh and offer you a little more variety than what you’re used to. Topo is great because their footwear comes with great price tags that allow anyone to give them a try, and their design is really unlike anything that you’ve experienced before. So take a chance on an edgy pair of new running shoes, you never know the difference they can make to your regimen.
Still have questions? We have answers! Take a look at the following frequently asked questions that runners had when purchasing a Topo Athletic shoe.
Q: How are Topo runners different from the rest?
We went through countless reviews and positive feedback to reach a general consensus of what separates them from other running shoes. Think of them as a bridge between your standard cushioned runner and barebones, barefoot running shoes. Testers noted that their light cushioning mixed with a low to no-drop on certain models are a welcomed transition for them. If you’re thinking about going barefoot, think about getting a pair of Topo’s to bring you into the world of neutral running.
Q: How can I maximize the effectiveness of my form while running?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Keep in mind that your form will not change overnight. With the aid of barefoot running shoes and careful attention to your form while running, your muscles will slowly build and adapt, in turn tweaking your form for the better. Just be sure to check the tread on your footwear and replace when needed.
Q: Sometimes barefoot running shoes give me some skin irritation, but I still want all the benefits of barefoot running, what can I do?
We suggest using Leukotape. It can help prevent irritations from turning into something bigger – like blisters. Leuko tapes are waterproof and provide the protection you when experiencing skin irritations. But remember – be proactive. Apply Leukotape before irritation starts in the areas you need it the most.
Why don’t I see Topo Athletic running shoes in most department stores?
Remember that running shoe giants–like Nike and Adidas–pay a lot of money and have a strong pull for shelf space in department stores. This keeps new and innovative brands such as Topo out of the hands of (or off the feet of) everyday runners that don’t really care about corporate sponsorships and “synergy”, they just want running shoes that can work for them. Don’t be afraid to give a new brand a try.
We are sure that you will find the Topo Athletic running shoe that works best for you! We know how important it is to find the best running shoe for you and we hope the information we provided in this guide will help you make the best decision based on your personal wants and needs. Still, have questions? Feel free to reach out to us and let us know! Happy shopping!
Here are some sources we used
Using trusted sources in order to provide you with accurate, detailed information in this guide was on of our top priorities. The following sources enabled us to compile the above top 10 list and provide factors and other considerations that will help you make the best decision when choosing the right shoe for you.