Topo Athletic Shoes?

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    BPL Member


    Locale: montana

    Hi all, is anyone using Topo Athletic as a BP shoe? I’d never heard of them til I wandered into REI yesterday and handled a pair. Those I looked at (Terraventure 2) sure seemed to tick a lot of the right boxes…

    Your experience, and thoughts?

    BPL Member


    I’ve worn at least three generations of Topo athletic shoes – MT-2, Terraventure and a model whose name escapes me at the moment. I also have a brand new pair of Terraventure-2s which I’ve only used on a couple of short hikes.

    I love these shoes for hiking, running trails and backpacking. The one caveat I’d offer is that all these models have minimal forefoot cushion. My feet are used to hiking in minimal shoes so they work well for me. However, a good friend who hikes with me got a pair and immediately developed pain in the balls of his feet; I’d discouraged him from getting a pair based on my prior experience and knowing his history for forefoot issues. The traction is awesome and I feel confident running down steep scree slopes. I just love the ground feel but that cuts two ways as noted above.

    After long days (20+ miles hiking or running) my feet do feel sore unlike in something more cushioned like the Brooks Caldera/Cascadia.

    For the same reason I’d careful with a heavier pack; these shoes don’t offer much support at all.

    The Terraventure-2 seems to have a slightly beefier sole but I don’t have many miles on that pair.






    Locale: The Cascades

    Agree with much of what Pedestrian wrote. I like mine, they’re what I’ve done my last few backpacking trips in, especially the wider forefoot than many other shoes, but I can develop a sore foot after a long day hiking in rocky/root-filled terrain. The soreness is gone by next morning though.

    BPL Member


    Only have around 200 miles on them, but I’m really liking my Terraventure 2s. Best fitting shoe I’ve worn – foot feels secure but toes have plenty of room. Pretty good balance of cushioning and stability. I also have the Ultraventures which have pretty much the same fit but more cushioning and a little higher heel-to-toe drop. I think the Ultraventures feel a little too soft, but some may prefer that.

    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    a buddy of mine has had three pairs, two were replacements from Topo; he loved the fit, he hates that they get trashed so quickly (even though they do stand behind them)- specifically the mesh forefoot

    he was so-so on the outsoles

    he’s tried preemptive shoegoo, to no avail

    one time they blew out on the Bob Marshall Open, not really the place you want a shoe failure; he’s done with them

    Kimberly Wersal
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Colorado

    I’m a big fan:  I’ve had 6 pairs, 3 pairs of road running shoes, and 2 pairs of MT-2s and the latest pair, the Runventure 2.  I tried a pair of the Terraventure 2’s but they were a little too beefy for me (I’m accustomed to a little more minimalist type shoe).  The Runventure 2’s are my favorite, so far.  I used them for a backpacking trip 2 weeks ago, straight out of the box and they were an excellent fit and very comfortable.  I haven’t had any durability issues with any of the pairs I’ve had.  I’m still wearing a pair of MT2s that must be 6-7 years old.  The soles are badly worn, but the uppers are still in good shape.  I use them for short walks and working in the yard.  I can’t quite bring myself to throw them out.

    BPL Member


    Locale: montana

    Thanks all for your considered responses. I tried on the Terraventure 2 yesterday at REI and found them VERY comfortable. They seemed shaped to my feet almost perfectly. They lacked a size 10, so tried the 9.5 which was a touch small for my left foot.

    I’ll be getting a pair of 10’s…

    BPL Member


    I wear Topos on a daily basis to work.  I have not tried them for hiking yet as I currently use Altras.  One word of advise is to buy them direct from the Topo website.  If you have any issues they will stand behind them if you bought them there.  If you buy them somewhere else they will not.  I had a pair that the toe cap came loose and they sent me a new pair with a prepaid label to send the old pair back.  Of course if you buy from REI they will stand behind them also.

    Jacob D
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Bay

    I love my Ultraventure for long distance trail running. I would not hesitate to backpack in them. I believe this is their most cushioned shoe as well. I haven’t had any durability problems yet, but also have not hit that 400+ mile mark.

    They compare well with a shoe like the Akasha, which I really like for backpacking.

    BPL Member


    Well, shortly after I posted my comment above, I got a tear in the mesh of my Terraventure 2s. It was only a small tear, and it probably occurred when climbing around some deadfall (trail was early in season and had hundreds of downed trees over 10 miles).

    I had about 100 miles of summer backpacking trips planned, so I bought a new pair just to be cautious. The shoes were used on some Colorado trails in early July and then I finished up a week of hiking around SEKI last week (mostly on trail with only a few off-trail miles). The shoes were comfortable the whole time – they worked great! But I noticed when I got back that the sole of the shoe has started to peel off:

    Everything else about the shoe looks pretty good, but this could have been a major issue if the delamination progressed further. Hard for me to trust Topo shoes after this, and I guess my shoe search resumes. I’ll be contacting Topo about this, but I did not purchase my shoes directly from them.

    Update: I contacted Topo and they will be sending me a new pair of Terraventure 2s at no cost. They claim it was a defective shoe.

    Evan E.
    BPL Member


    Locale: western Massachusetts

    I wore the Ultraventures this summer and they are the most comfortable shoe I have worn backpacking. They have almost the toe room of Altras but they are narrower and fit my feet better. The Ultraventures have more cushioning than the Terraventures. After about 100 miles they are in good shape, no signs of anything breaking down, but that’s not much so time will tell about durability.

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