Topo Terraventure Review – Topo Athletic Low Drop Running Shoes
Topo Terraventure Review
Did You Know? After reading the review, if you are looking for a shoe like the Terraventure trail running shoe but, would prefer a waterproof upper then the Topo Hydroventure is exactly that!
Topo is the newest brand to Northern Runner. We have tried a number of shoes since the brands inception in 2013 but despite the nice fit and being well made, they tended to be a little stiff, taking a while to break in. Once broken in the Topo shoes where lovely to run in, were durable and I used each pair until they wore out. However, most customers are looking for that wow factor and aren’t used to breaking shoes in so we decided not to range them. That is until the Topo Terraventure hit the market.
The Topo Terraventure is a trail running shoe that fits into a category that we would call ‘road to trail’. The shoe has enough cushioning to comfortably do a few miles on the road on the way to your favourite trails and it is grippy and nimble enough to cope with everything off-road except the deepest of mud, that is obviously isn’t advertised to do!
“If running shoe cushioning is too soft then the cushioning does the work and your foot isn’t required to perform it’s natural function.”
Unlike previous Topo shoes that I have tried, this shoe has a slightly softer feel and the midsole is more flexible. So, the shoe does feel good from the box. Topo’s are not super-soft and ‘mushy’ shoes though. They offer a substantial amount of cushioning but, it has a firmer, responsive feel to it. This is so that your foot ‘knows’ it has hit the floor. Or to put it a little more accurately, your foot will be made to spread out to provide shock absorption (like it’s designed to do), propel you and provide stability from the extra width. If running shoe cushioning is too soft then the cushioning does the work and your foot isn’t required to perform it’s natural function. You obviously lose the natural aforementioned propulsion, cushioning and stability and your foot gets weaker over time, which can lead to injury.
The upper on the Topo Terraventure is bonded together i.e. there is no stitching. This reduces rub points and increases the flexibility of the upper. The broad rounded toe box is very similar to that used by Altra. It’s the broader that toe box that encourages your toes to spread and function as they should. The heel fit is secure though and the upper locks around the heel and midfoot to give a snug fit in those areas before opening out in the forefoot.
The outsole is rugged and grippy. Although it isn’t a the stickiest rubber it doesn’t feel dangerous on wet hard surfaces and has shown no signs of wear from the road despite having done a good few miles of mixed road/trail running. The heel to forefoot differential is a very low 3mm. This is to promote a more efficient mid-foot running style and reduce heel strike, again akin to booming brand Altra with their Zero Drop shoes. Although unlike other shoes with a low drop, these shoes don’t ‘feel’ that low.
“The broad rounded toe box is very similar to that used by Altra. It allows your toes to spread and function as they should.”
My general feeling about these shoes is that they just work. The shoe doesn’t have super plush cushioning but is cushioned just enough. It’s not the lightest shoe on the market but, it’s not heavy either and feels light on your feet. The Terraventure is responsive enough for when you want to pick up the pace yet cushioned and comfortable enough for those slower recovery runs.
Similar road to trail shoes to consider:
Altra Lone Peak 3.5
The Altra Lone Peak 3.5 is very similar to the Topo Terraventure in many ways. Both shoes have a very rounded more foot shaped toe box and have a low heel to forefoot drop. The Lone Peak 3.5, like all of Altra’s shoes is zero drop. However, the feel or ride of the shoe is very different. The Lone Peak 3.5 is much softer underfoot. This doesn’t make it more cushioned it just has a softer feel so it will appeal to those who prefer a less responsive feeling shoe. The outsole is made from a Vibram outsole which will offer a better grip on wet rock than on the Topo Terraventure. Although for most trail runners the grip offered by the Terraventure will be ample.
The Brooks Cascadia has a 10mm heel to forefoot drop. So, it feel more like traditional road shoe. The cushioning has a very similar feel to that found on Brooks road running shoes although there is a little less in order to make the shoe more stable on rough track and trails. This would be a better shoe for those runners who are heavy heel strikes with no desire to change.
Scott shoes always feel light due to their eRide system that gently rolls you forward as you place your foot on the floor. The Scott Kinabalu is no exception. This is one of the most versatile trail shoes as it feel great on the road as well as off it. 11mm heel to forefoot makes it good fo the heavy heel strikers but, the curve to the midsole means that if you land further forward you don’t notice the heel. So, it is a shoe versatile enough to be use by all foot strikes. Here is out review of this shoe: https://www.northernrunner.com/blog/scott-kinabalu-supertrac-running-shoes-review/
Inov-8 Trail Talon 275
The Trail Talon 275 uses Inov-8’s powerflow midsole to give a bit more cushioning than you will find on most of their off road shoes. This makes it ideal for hard packed trails or the odd bit of road. The heel to forefoot is 8mm which is often enough for the heavy heel strikers and low enough for the mid foot strikers. This shoe is made on Inov-8’s standard last which is a broader fit. This is to allow enough room for your feet to spread on impact and also spread as they get warm. Rea our review of the Trail Talon 275 here: https://www.northernrunner.com/blog/inov-trail-talon-275-review/