Topo Athletic Hydroventure Review Facts
In 2013 Tony Post and his team of athletes took their years of shoemaking experience and their passion for the outdoors and all things athletic and started Topo Athletics. Fast forward a few years, and they are cranking out one great trail shoe after the next. The Hydroventrue is the next in line after the Topo Athletic Runventure, and while the two shoes have many similarities, the one area where you can expect to see the biggest changes are in the waterproof and durability categories. The outsole of the two is virtually indistinguishable, but the big changes can be found in the upper. The Hydroventure uses Topo’s patented 3 layers eVent fabric to ensure that sweat is pulled away from the foot to keep you dry from in the inside out and that from the outside, water never had a chance of entering the shoe in the first place. This shoe utilizes a multi-directional lug system along the underfoot, and while these lugs add great grip, they are not so extreme that this shoe can’t also double as a road running shoe too.
For runners who were pleased with the outsole of the previous model, the Runventure, there is good news. The outsole of the Hydroventure is almost identical. The outsole system on this shoe features lugs that are larger, but less aggressive. This gives the shoe added grip, but it doesn't keep it from being a shoe that can also take the runner on road runs as well. The overall material of the outsole is Vibram
rubber which is designed to be highly protective and durable.
The midsole of this shoe features a traditional EVA midsole foam. This provides adequate cushioning, but won't provide an overly plush ride. It is still able to provide a level of firmness that runners found to be useful on the trails. One unique feature found in this upper is the inclusion of a TPU rock plate. This is built right into the midsole material and protects the foot sharp or jagged rocks or roots on the trail.
The first thing you'll notice when looking at the Topo Athletic
Hydroventure is the tightly woven fabrics of the upper. The upper of the shoe is the crowning glory of this design. It features Topo's patented eVent material which is a three layer system that is designed to wick moisture away from the inside and protect the foot against water entering the shoe from the outside. Runner rave that this is one of the most, if not the most waterproof trail running shoe that they have experienced. In addition to that, runners were surprised at how breathable the shoe was overall. Often times, shoes sacrifice breathability for waterproof
or water-resistant fabrics, but Topo was able to include both in their Hydroventure. The overall fit of the upper is roomy in the toe box and allows a natural splay of the toes. It also comes with a toe bumper built into the front of the shoe to protect the runner against surprise elements in the trail and to keep the shoe looking newer longer. The runner can also except a padded tongue that is designed to eliminate friction and provide more comfort.
Runners were surprised at the lightweight
nature of this shoe. It weighs in under ten ounces (9.7 ounces to be exact) which makes it one of the lightest trail running shoes on the market today. Often times, trail running shoes are not able to provide superior durability and protection in a lightweight package, but the Topo Athletic Hydroventure is able to provide both to the runner.
Oftentimes, if a shoe is highly waterproof, that means it won't be highly breathable. Topo was able to include both breathability and complete waterproof capabilities in the Hydroventure. The secret is the patented eVent material of the upper. This is a three-layer material, where the layer furthest from the foot is made from a breathable mesh. This makes it possible for air to escape to regulate the temperature of the foot, but it also keeps moisture from entering the shoe. This translates to a completely dry foot that stays odor free and free of blisters.
This shoe is offered in two classically good-looking color combinations. Athletes can purchase the shoe in navy and black or brick and brown. This isn't the brand for the runner who is looking for a uniquely designed and colorful shoe
. Topo puts the majority of its time and energy into the fit and function as opposed to the aesthetics.
The key element that helps this shoe feel so comfortable is its ability to prevent moisture from impacting your run. It also does an amazing job of regulating temperature. This can all be attributed to the eVent material used in the upper. It is a multi-layered system that keeps water from getting in while simultaneously keeping sweat from causing irritation during the run. The traditional EVA midsole foam provides a firmer cushioning to the runner, and the midsole actually cradles the foot. The toe box is wider which supports a natural toe splay and natural movement of the foot.
Both the upper and the outsole of this shoe offers superior durability. The outsole of the shoe is made from Vibram rubber which not only protects the foot from the dangerous elements of the trail, it also works to protect the shoe from wear and tear. Additionally, the multi-layered material of the upper helps the shoe maintain a newer look and feel for longer. Runners were pleasantly surprised at how long this shoe lasts even after extensive use and mileage
This shoe features three key protective elements. The first is the toe guard found along the toe box of the upper. This is designed to protect the runner against stubbed toes and unexpected roots and branches and rocks that can be found on the trail. The second is the built-in TPU rock plate. This is built into the midsole and protects the foot from the jagged elements found on the trail. The third is the Vibram rubber outsole that is designed to protect the entire shoe from premature wear and tear. Overall, runner felt completely safe and protected while attaching some of the tougher terrains out there.
Even though the drop on this shoe is a mere 3 mm, runners who reviewed this product found that it is not as springy and responsive compared to other trail running shoes in this genre. They highlighted that the shoe does provide some responsiveness, but they were expecting more overall.
The key features where you can expect to find support in the Topo Athletic Hydroventure is in the 3D printed bands. These bands are uniquely designed to help keep the foot stable while you tackle tough trails. The heel of the shoe is also designed to keep the foot in place and reduce the risk of irritation and friction caused by unwanted movement. A seemingly small supportive detail that runners found went a long way is the padded tongue. This helps keep the foot in place and offered added cushioning to reduce friction.
This shoe is made for the trails, specifically those where you will be slogging through streams and puddles. The shoe is designed to be waterproof and it more than delivers on its promise. Runners felt totally confident and protected wading through water and some reported that they even went out of their way to find water. Since the lug system on these shoes is not overly aggressive, this shoe can also be used for the occasional road run as well.
The price of these shoes is slightly higher than some runners felt comfortable. Although these shoes on their own are not overly expensive, and in fact, they are only slightly higher than the average trail running shoe on the market today, runners were disappointed because Topo's tend to be more affordable.
However, runners were quick to comment that waterproof shoes tend to be more expensive and they were happy to pay the higher price for a product that actually works like the Topo Athletic Hydroventure.
This shoe offers adequate traction. The lug system on the underfoot of the shoe is deep and plentiful, but it is not designed to be overly aggressive. The grip is there, but in particular muddy or slippery conditions, the shoe doesn't offer superior traction. The upside to this is that this is a versatile shoe that can easily be used as a road running shoe too.
Runners didn't have too much to say about the flexibility offered in this shoe. In terms of natural movement, runners were pleased with the wider toe box that allowed for a natural splay of the foot. This helped the runners move naturally on the trail. Additionally, while the lugs underfoot are deep, they are not too aggressive and don't impede the natural gait cycle of the runner.
This shoe is not marketed as a stability shoe, but it does offer some stability elements to the runner. For one, the 3D printed bands located on the upper help stabilize the foot and keep it from unwanted side to side movement. Also, the midsole of this shoe features a traditional EVA foam, but the footbed is designed to cradle the foot and keep it stable even on uneven surfaces. Again, this is not a shoe for the runner with severe pronation
issues, but it can be helpful for basic stability needs.
This shoe features a 3mm drop. Runners reported that they liked the lower drop for trail running because it keeps the foot connected to the ground below it. It makes the runner feel safer on the trail because they are able to adapt and respond naturally to the trail
. Since trails can change quickly, runners liked that they were able to react to the uneven surfaces that the trail can throw their way.
- eVent Material
- Multilayers system that pulls sweat
- Direct Venting technology
- Traditional EVA midsole foam
- TPU rock plate
- 3D printed bands along the upper
The bottom line for this shoe is that it is a high quality, durable trail running shoe for the adventurer who doesn't want to be stopped or slowed down by moisture. This is a great waterproof shoe to add to your trail running arsenal. Topo is a high quality brand, and the provide their runners with a superior fit and added comfort. Runners love the protective elements of the shoe like the built in TPU rock plate and the protective toe guard. They also love the fit. The toe box is wider and provides room for a natural splay and while the midsole is made from a traditional EVA foam, it won't weigh you don't with unwanted bulky cushioning. The price tag is a little higher than some felt comfortable with, but overall, runners viewed this shoe as a great investment to add to their trail running collection.