Topo Athletic Runventure 2

7.9
7.9 score
[Editors rating (7.9)] = Runnerclick score (7.9)/10

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Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
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Topo Athletic Runventure 2 Review Facts
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When Topo Athletic released their Runventure trail running shoe in 2015, reviewers took note of how careful the company was to incorporate all of the primary features that outdoor runners look for in their footwear. With a highly protective outsole, a durable yet breathable upper, and lightweight comfort, it offered a versatile and stable shoe that works just as well on mountain trails as it does on paved roads. Their Runventure 2 model has successfully managed to retain all of the features that buyers enjoyed about the first addition while improving upon a few others. It now presents a more streamlined look and includes a zero-drop platform for better balance. Though buyers do wish that Topo Athletic had updated its midsole material, they still find this version to be a very dependable and comfortable piece of gear for their heavy-duty runs.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-Strong cushioning and support

-Provides a breathable wear

-Offers extra toe room

-Fits true to size

-Protective and stable

-Lightweight and versatile

Cons

-Lacks flexibility

-Inconsistent durability

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Constructed of trail-optimized rubber, the Runventure 2’s outsole is specially created to provide the durability and strong traction that trail runners need. Its multi-directional gripping lugs keep the runner going as they travel through forests and over mountainous terrains, even providing greater security as they go uphill and downhill. Yet they are small and streamlined, arranged in a keyboard-like pattern, which allows them to transition well onto paved roads. Its design also keeps dirt, mud, and other debris from clinging to it and impeding the runner. The outsole is also outfitted with a Rock Protection Plate, designed to further safeguard the foot from all sharp objects that are found when running across rocky trails.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Within recent years, activewear brands have begun to abandon traditional EVA foam for their shoes’ midsoles and are engineering their own custom materials. This is to ensure a level of cushioning and durability that is unique to the brand itself. Adidas has their Boost technology, Nike has ZoomX, and Puma has Ignite. Yet, even as their competition, Topo Athletic still relies on EVA foam for its midsoles. Because the Runventure 2’s outsole already does much of the work when it comes to reducing impact, the brand believes that a simple layer of cushioning and energy transfer is all this model will need. While reviewers feel perfectly supported during runs, they do notice that its midsole feels a bit too stiff. Further tests, and experimenting with different materials, could fix this in later releases.
Upper
Upper

Upper

When designing trail running shoes, many brands struggle with finding a perfect balance between durable protection and breathable comfort. Topo Athletic achieved this when it came to their Abrasion Resistant Mesh. Constructing the Runventure 2’s upper, its breathability keeps the runner comfortable in warm-weather conditions yet still safeguards the foot chamber from dirt and debris. Reviewers have also noted that it’s incredibly resistant to wear and tear. They also appreciate the Anatomical Toe Box, as it allows for greater balance and provides more comfort to those with wider feet. As with most of the brand’s running shoes, a Printed Upper Pattern is integrated into the lacing system for a more secure fit. Finally, the heel of this shoe is affixed with Elastane material to boost security and allow a more natural fit.
Weight
Weight

Weight

A common praise for the Runventure 2 is its lightweight structure and its ability to give runners a very nimble stride. With men’s shoes averaging at 9.2 oz and women’s rounding out at 7.4 oz, this model weighs considerably less than even a number of basic athletic shoes on the market. Though this may lead to some initial speculation over just how fit this shoe is for trail running, its carefully engineered features quickly prove to all consumers that sturdiness does not have to come with unnecessary weight.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Despite runners’ growing need for more breathable athletic shoes, several designers that specialize in trail running seem to struggle with providing this feature. They believe that proper ventilation must be sacrificed for sturdiness and protective measures. Topo Athletic found a way to provide all three when they created their Abrasion Resistant Mesh. Aside from its ability to provide complete temperature and moisture control, making these shoes especially useful during warm weather, it is able to withstand the usual wear brought on by prolonged usage. Furthermore, the holes in this material are small enough to keep the foot chamber free of debris, thus doing more to prevent possible irritations.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Overall, runners enjoy the comfort that the Runventure 2 provides them. Not only does the outsole safeguard the foot from dangerous rocky terrains, but the EVA foam midsole provides just the right amount of cushioning that they need. The upper further enhances this comfort by allowing complete breathability, providing temperature and moisture control, while still keeping dirt and debris out of the foot chamber. Finally, the Anatomical Toe Box enables a roomy yet stabilized fit that those with wider feet are grateful for. A notable downside, however, is that its midsole will eventually begin to lose its shape and become more compressed. This, in turn, provides the runner with less cushioning and support over time.
Style
Style

Style

The Runventure 2 has a simple and streamlined look that’s quite similar to its predecessor, with a few notable changes thrown in. The toe on this model appears less rounded, yet still allows for a wide and comfortable fit. Large overlays are also scrapped for a more subtle Printed Upper Pattern, which is usually the same color as the mesh material. Furthermore, when it comes to men’s sizes, this version’s color options are more neutral. Men can choose between black/light green and dark grey/red. Though a light grey/purple/yellow version is available to women, they still have the option of choosing between raspberry/black and stone/plum.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Most of the Runventure 2’s features are incredibly durable. The rubber constructing its trail-optimized outsole is specially formulated to take a serious beating, even while running across rocky trails and downhill on mountainous terrains. The Abrasion Resistant Mesh upper is also able to withstand any possible damage and keep out any debris while still providing a breathable wear. Unfortunately, the same does not apply for this shoe’s midsole. Over time the EVA foam will begin to compress and lose its original shape, giving the runner less cushioning the more they use it.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Aside from durability, protection is what all trail runners look for when it comes to their footwear. While its lower than average weight might make some buyers question what it offers, the Runventure 2 proves to be quite proficient at safeguarding runners from potential hazards. Not only does its durable outsole provide a firm grip on various outdoor terrains, including wet trails and down mountainsides, but its Rock Protection Plate shields the foot from any hazardous objects that could penetrate the sole. The upper’s Abrasion Resistant Mesh successfully performs three jobs in one: allowing a completely breathable wear and resisting long-term damage while keeping the foot chamber free of any debris the runner may encounter.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Runventure 2’s responsive nature starts off with its outsole. The multi-directional gripping lugs allow for a secure run on rugged terrains, yet they’re still perfectly shaped for an easy transition into road running. Its upper, however, proves to be the shoe’s most responsive feature. The Abrasion Resistant Mesh allows for total breathability, keeping hotspots under control and working quickly to ensure that sweat dries. The holes in this material are just small enough so that no dirt or debris can get into the shoe and potentially cause irritations. Finally, its durable wear ensures that runners can wear it for a long time to come.
Support
Support

Support

Initially, the Runventure 2 is able to provide the runner with ample support. The EVA foam midsole cushions the runner and provides a fair amount of shock absorption and energy transfer as the outsole safeguards the foot from rough terrains. Over time, however, the midsole has been known to wear down and lose its original shape. Runners won’t be offered the same amount of cushioning the more they continue to use this shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

There are certain trail running shoes that do not transition well when used on paved roads, no matter how well they perform during rugged outdoor sports. Some feel too heavy to use, or their gripping lugs get in the way of the runner’s movements. According to online reviews, however, the Runventure 2 does not have this issue. Not only is it able to get the runner safely across forest and mountain trails, all while providing a durable wear, but it is also able to comfortably perform on asphalt and concrete. This adaptability would also make it an excellent choice for beginning trail runners, provided they were able to handle the shoe’s zero-drop platform.
Price
Price

Price

The Runventure 2 can be found on Topo Athletic’s website, and other outlets catering to outdoor sports, for just $110. When compared to similar models, especially those from Brooks and Altra, this is quite a reasonable price. It becomes even more worth the money spent once buyers consider its high-quality features, level of protection, versatile wear, and how long it is guaranteed to last.
Traction
Traction

Traction

A trail running shoe would be considered as such without incredible traction, and the Runventure 2 offers a surprisingly versatile grip. Its multi-directional gripping lugs grasp rocky terrains even during light rain. Runners feel secure and stable while running through muddy and rocky trails, not having to worry about slipping or if any unwanted debris will cling to the outsole. Yet this feature is tapered enough that runners can easily transition onto paved roads, making it especially appealing to first-time trail runners. There is no indication, however, that this model performs well in icy conditions, and it is not marketed as an all-weather shoe.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Several trail shoe designers seem to struggle when it comes to providing the right amount of flexibility in their products. Unfortunately, Topo Athletic has run into this problem when it came to the Runventure 2. While an EVA foam midsole is acceptable for more casual models, trail runners typically need something that is more durable yet pliable to ensure a smoother stride for longer. Many reviewers found this shoe’s midsole to be much too stiff for their liking, even after weeks of breaking it in. This lack of any real give, of course, means that the material is more susceptible to premature damage and degradation.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Though there is no indication that the Runventure 2 has any corrective features, runners appreciate the features that provide them a secure run and long-lasting wear. The outsole’s multi-directional gripping lugs keep the wearer moving safely across forest and rock trails. They especially come in handy when traveling up or downhill on mountainous terrains. The Printed Upper Pattern placed over its durable mesh ensures that the shoe retains its shape and aids the lacing system in keeping the foot locked in place. The Anatomical Toe Box and Elastane heel further maintain the foot’s original shape while providing a more comfortable wear.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Unlike its predecessor, which had a heel-to-toe drop of only 2mm, the Runventure 2 features a zero-drop platform. Its platform height is 19mm, which is large enough for ample cushioning yet not enough to impede in the runner’s movements. Runners prefer zero-drop shoes, as it provides them with better balance and posture during their runs. Trail runners especially love them, as it enables them to feel closer to and more in tuned with the surfaces they travel on. Those who need, or just prefer, the added heel cushioning, however, will not enjoy wearing this model.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Trail-optimized rubber outsole with Rock Protection Plate
- EVA foam midsole with limited flexibility and durability
- Abrasion Resistant Mesh that’s breathable, durable, and protective
- Print Upper Pattern for additional structure
- Anatomical Toe Box provides ample toe room and extra balance
- Zero-drop platform for better balance and posture
- Comparatively reasonable price tag
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Though it may be a relatively new company, trail runners know that they can depend on Topo Athletic for footwear that is as lightweight and comfortable as it is durable and protective. The newest model in their Runventure line continues to follow this model with several carefully engineered features and a streamlined look that fits in well on both rugged terrains and everyday outdoor surfaces. Yet reviewers still hope for a more flexible wear, and that they will one day replace their fragile EVA foam midsoles with a more advanced material. Because the company was started with the intention of listening to consumers and giving them products that fit their running needs, there is a very good chance that they will follow suit with addressing this particular concern.