Topo Athletic Terraventure 3 Review

Topo make running shoes that are designed to allow your feet the space to function. The toe box is rounded and broad which gives your feet the space to spread on impact. Your feet spreading when they hit the ground gives you cushioning, stability and spring from your feet. Also as your feet are able to work they get stronger. So, you are less likely to get any foot related problems.

Topo shoes have a low heel to forefoot drop. This allows your feet, ankles and lower legs to function more and encourages a more midfoot landing. This loads the foot and so it spreads on impact. This shock is then absorbed by the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Without any one joint getting overloaded.

The Topo Terraventure 3 is no exception. The toe box is broad and rounded just like the previous two versions and the shoes have 3mm heel to forefoot drop (25mm heel, 22mm forefoot). This makes the Terraventure 3 a very stable trail shoe. The low drop reduces the chance of twisting ankles and knees when running on rough ground as does the broader toe box.

The Terraventure 2 was an incredibly popular shoe. Selling out early in 2021. The Terraventure 3 was due to arrive in August but, due to factory closures caused by Covid has only just arrived into the UK. It is always a bit worrying when a shoe is as popular as the Terraventure 2 is replaced. Fortunately, Topo haven’t made that mistake of fixing the Terraventure until it is broken. The Terraventure 3 is made on the same last so the fit is the same. The midsole is the same dual density midsole. This has a layer of soft foam next to the foot to give cushioning and comfort and a layer of firmer foam underneath. This gives the shoe more stability and helps protect the foot from the trail. The firmer foam also gives the Terraventure 3 a firm push off. Ideal if you are picking up the pace or working hard up a steep climb.

As with the Terraventure 2 the Terraventure 3 has a rockplate in the forefoot to protect the foot from sharp stones, thorns etc.

The outsole is the same pattern as the previous Terraventure and is the same as the outsole pattern of the Topo Ultraventure and MTN Racer. The outsole is now made from Vibram Megagrip. This is a softer more sticky rubber than was used on the Terraventure 2 and gives better traction on wet rock, wood etc. This is the same outsole that is used on the Topo MTN Racer 2.

The other update is in the upper. There is still the same roomy toe box but, the mesh in the forefoot is now a more durable, close knit mesh. This will be more durable and reduce the chance of grit and much coming through the upper into the shoe. The heel section of the upper is made from a softer more pliable mesh. This coupled with some new overlays that pull from the heel cup allow the upper to pull in around the foot. This gives the Terraventure 3 a really positive, firm heel fit. So, even when descending at speed or running up steep hills the heel cup holds the back of your heel snuggly.

Although quite flexible in the forefoot. Especially considering that the Terraventure 3 has a rockplate. The shoe is stiff through the midfoot. This does give the shoe some anti pronation type stability even though it is a neutral shoe.

All this adds up to a light responsive but stable trail shoe. The Men’s weighs in at 290 grams in a UK 8 and the Women’s is 230 grams in a UK 5. The cushioning isn’t really squishy so this makes the shoes feel light and nimble to run in.

Most of my runs from the house are mixed terrain. I found the Terraventure 3 ideal for this type of running. They are comfortable on the road, flexible enough to get over the tussocky grass fields and grippy enough for the muddy single track down by the river. The issue with shoes with broad rounded toe boxes when you get on rougher more broken terrain is that your foot moves around inside the shoes. This is reduced in more flexible shoes but, often when shoes have a rockplate the stiffness of the shoe makes this an issue. The good solid heel fit of the Terraventure 3 reduces this considerably. I find that my toes are completely free to spread in the forefoot. Because the shoes work with your feet I find that it is easy to forget about my feet and just get on and enjoy my run.

The grip is good on all trail surfaces and wet roads. Which are often a problem in trail shoes due to the outsole reducing the surface area in contact with the floor. The lugs are a good enough length to grip on mud and snow yet still ride smoothly over firmer trails. That doesn’t mean that they will be grippy enough to get you round your local cross country race but, they will get you across a few farmers fields on all but, the wettest of days.

In summary the Topo has taken all the good bits of the Terraventure 2 and added to them. Creating in the Terraventure 3 a great everyday, all round trail shoe!

Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle

Other Considerations

Topo Mtn Racer 2: Similar fit but, with more cushioning and a softer ride. More flexible but, less protection as there isn’t a rockplate. Here is our review:

Inov-8 Terraultra G270: Similar firm ride. Zero drop. Not as broad fitting. Here is our review:
Scott Kinabalu 2: 8mm heel to forefoot. Scott e-Ride makes the shoes stiffer than the Terraventure 3 which gives a smoother ride on firmer ground but, makes them less nimble on more broken terrain.

Hoka Speedgoat: Narrow more pointed toe box but, available in two widths. Not as grippy in the mud. Much softer cushioning. They have a rocker similar to Scotts e-Ride which makes them smoother on harder trails. Here is our review:

Brooks Cascadia 16: A much more cushioned ride makes them less nimble. More of a cushioned road shoe feel than a trail shoe. Here is our review:

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