Topo ST-2 Zero Drop Running Shoes Review | Topo Now In Stock at NorthernRunner.com
Topo ST-2 Review
The Topo Blueprint
Topo have successfully designed shoes that work with your feet, as opposed to simply keep them feeling comfortable. There are no gimmicks. Topo shoes are simply made in a shape that allows the foot to function and has a cushioning level that is firm enough for your foot to get the feedback it needs to work correctly, yet comfortable for longer distances. If you’re used to an extreme level of cushioning it might take a few shorter runs to strengthen up.
The Topo toe boxes are wide and rounded, not only to prevent your toes from being squashed & rubbing, but to give your foot the space to spread on impact. This means that you get more natural stability, cushioning and spring from your own feet. Your feet then get fitter and stronger, including the plant fascia, reducing the chance of getting foot related injuries like planta fasciitis.
All Topo shoes have a low heel to forefoot drop that encourages you to land more on your midfoot and lift your feet behind you as you move forward. This gives you a more natural upright posture, using the whole of your body to move you forward and spreading the load. Running shoes with a high heel to forefoot drop encourage you to land with your foot more in front of your centre of gravity, regardless of whether your heel or forefoot touches the floor first. This effectively stops you moving momentarily, causing you to lean forward at the waist and push yourself forward. This is not only an inefficient running style it also over stresses the knees and quads which can lead to lots of running related injuries.
The Topo ST-2
This new shoe is the lightest, most flexible shoe in their range. Topo suggest it is designed for perhaps more shorter and quicker runs, but for some runners that enjoy the firmer, more responsive cushioning like myself these will be the perfect all round shoe.
The stack height is 16mm which includes a 4mm thick outsole and 12mm of foam midsole. Before maximal cushioned shoes started to appear on the market place, that would be about the norm. They are Zero Drop, which means that they are flat from heel to forefoot and will therefore promote a more midfoot landing. If it’s time you went from heel landing to midfoot, switch between these and your old pair gradually. The upper is collapsible including the heel cup so these shoes will easily fit in your bag for traveling.
I’ve been running in this shoe for a few months now and I love it. It suits a lot of running sessions for me: its light and firm so is perfect for tempo, threshold and even sessions. I run on disused railway lines, bridleways and roads and its fine on all these surfaces. Although it is a light weight shoe, it still provides comfort and cushioning for longer runs and having had a few injuries, I find this is one of the best shoes to run in for me, as it lets your feet work naturally and keeps you floating along, feeling balanced and in control.
The upper is very light and flexible so feet feel well fitted into the shoe, plus it’s snug and comfortable. The rounded foot shaped toe box gives your foot enough room to function but, doesn’t feel overly big and ‘slippy’.
The Topo ST-2 is best suited to those that like a light, flexible, responsive shoe.
Best Topo for NEWCOMERS TO ZERO DROP
If you aren’t used to shoes with a low heel to forefoot drop but, want to start improving your posture and allowing your feet to function when you run or walk then the Topo ST-2 isn’t the best starter shoe. Topo do a range of shoes that have a varying degree of stiffness and where the heel to forefoot height is a little more than zero so that your feet can gradually get used to working without over stressing anything. The best starter shoe in the range would be the Topo Ultrafly. This is 5mm from heel to forefoot and a bit stiffer than the ST-2. It also has a bit more cushioning. The shoe will still promote a more midfoot landing and the rounded, broad toe box still encourages the foot to spread on impact to stabilise, cushion and spring you forward.
To view all of our Topo range of running shoes click here: https://www.northernrunner.com/topo-m105
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
You May Also Want to Consider:
The Altra Escalante is also zero drop, light and quite flexible. Altra like Topo also have a foot shaped toe box that is more rounded and broader than what is currently the norm. The main different between the two shoes is the softness of the midsole. The Altra Escalante is much softer. This makes it less good for running quick in but, allows you to run easy in them. For some runners the Topo ST-2 will feel to firm and for other the Altra Escalante will feel too soft.
Altra One v3
Zero drop, foot shaped toe box but, a firmer faster feeling shoe than the Altra Escalante. Not quite a flexible as the Topo ST-2 and doesn’t mould to the foot as nicely. Although for some customers the added bit of stiffness will make it easier to develop speed. Here is a link to our comparision of the Altra Escalante and the Altra One v3:
On Cloud X
The Cloud X is a narrower fitting shoe in the forefoot and a bit stiffer than the Topo ST-2. Although it is still very light, flexible and responsive.