The Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro has been a popular choice among thru-hikers. It’s a trail-running shoe that has a wider toe box than the popular Altra Lone Peak, but with more support and durability. A shoe designed for ultramarathoners may also work well for long-distance thru hikers. How does this shoe compare to “zero drop” running shoes for trail runners? Or more traditional hiking shoes. This Topo Ultraventure pro review focuses on the shoe’s support and weight. It also reviews its durability, fit, value, traction, weather resistance, fit, and value. This will help you determine if the Ultraventure Pro is right for your feet and style of hiking.
Topo Athletic: brand overview
Topo Athletic, a running shoe brand, is becoming increasingly popular with thru-hikers and trickling down to casual hikers. It is also very popular among podiatrists. Topo Athletic has been awarded the Seal of Approval by The American Podiatric Medical Association for shoes that promote healthy foot health.
What’s all the fuss about Topos? Topos blend elements of “natural running” and some of the support and cushioning of traditional running shoes. “Topo Fit” features
- Toe boxes with large openings allow for natural spread of toes
- Shoes with wider toe boxes provide a better fit in the heel, midfoot and heel.
- For a little more support, consider “low drop” shoes from heel to tip.
Topo is a brand that has a cult following . Topo’s trail runners are more supportive, less sloppy and offer better durability than Altras. Topo Ultraventure Pros might be a good option if you have had injuries, fit problems, or issues with durability with the Altra Lone Peak ( , like me). The current price is $150
Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro Trail Running Shoe for Men – Topo Athletic $120.00
It’s worth a look Backcountry.com Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro Trail Running Shoe for Women – Topo Athletic $120.00
It’s worth a look Backcountry.com
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Topo Ultraventure Pro review
The Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro, Topo’s premium ultramarathon shoe is the Topo Ultraventure2. The Topo Ultraventure Pro review was based on a series hiking trips that I have chosen to evaluate the various elements of hiking footwear such as support, durability, and traction. My hikes included light and fast hikes on the Moss-Hanne trail, Allegheny Front Trail, rock scrambling at Shingletown Gap and more difficult day hikes along Pennsylvania’s Mid State Trail. I’ll keep this review updated as I gain more information about the Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro premium trail running shoe. Here’s my honest and unreserved review of the Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro.
Ultraventure Pro review: support
Thanks to the integrated rock plate and natural flex point in forefoot, the Ultraventure Pro is moderately stiff through midfoot. The rock plate provides moderate support for the midfoot and some torsional rigidity to provide some ankle stability and lateral support. Ultraventure Pro has “light stability” which prevents overpronation and provides arch support.
This shoe is supportive in trail runners. It’s still a running shoe, and a “low-drop” shoe, which places it at the lower end support continuum for hiking boots.
Drop refers to the height difference between a shoe’s toe and heel. For added support and shock absorption, traditional “high drop” running shoes and traditional hiking shoes add heel cushioning and structure to the underfoot. This creates a “high fall” ( 1/2”) that runs from the heel to the toe. Zero drop shoes remove that cushion and support so the heel is level and the toe is flat. Zero drop shoes are thought to be healthier as they mimic barefoot walking. Zero drop shoes require runners to rely solely on their lower bodies for shock absorption, stability and support.
Topo knows that not all people can wear “minimalist” or “zero-drop” shoes. The Ultraventure Pro, a “low drop” shoe like the Ultraventure Pro, strikes a balance between “high fall” (extra cushion/support), and “zero” (which makes your lower back work harder). Ultraventure Pro’s heel has a drop of 5 millimeters and the stack height is 25 mm.
My lower body fared better in Ultraventure Pro’s “low drop” Ultraventure Pro than in Altra Lone Peak’s “zero drop”. Altra Lone Peaks were relatively easy trails and my lower body experienced problems, including strained calves as well as turned ankles. The Ultraventure Pro has not had these problems. They can cause fatigue in my feet on longer hikes. I felt tired after using them for a section of Pennsylvania’s Mid State Trail. My (flat) feet, (crooked), ankles and (skinny calves) have not been injured and I feel fine on Topos with moderate terrain.
The Topo Ultraventure Pro provides more support than the “zero drop” trail runners, but less than traditional hiking shoes.
Ultraventure Pro review: weight
Hikers don’t purchase trail runners to support their hiking. They purchase them to save weight.
The Ultraventure Pro is a light trail running shoe that meets hiking standards.
My Ultraventure Pros (men’s size 12) are 23 ounces each. They are more than half a pound lighter that the average pair hiking shoes and more light than average hiking boots. The Ultraventure Pro is lighter than my trail runners ( read my review), and slightly lighter than my older (past seasons), Altra Lone Peaks and On Cloudventures( read review).
This makes the Topo Ultraventure Pro an excellent choice for those who want to be quick and light.
Ultraventure Pro review: comfort
Comfort depends on your personal preference, fit, physiology, hiking style and personal preference. The Ultraventure Pro is a trail running shoe that many hikers will love.
- Toe box with roomy dimensions that can accommodate swelling and gives toes space to move
- Shoes with wider toe boxes provide a more secure fit in the middlefoot than shoes that have a narrower toe box.
- moderate cushioning
- Moderate arch support and light stability to prevent overpronation
- Low drop shoes offer a bit more cushioning and support than zero drop.
- Lightweight mesh uppers allow for better ventilation and airflow
As long as you don’t do any extreme hiking, there’s a good chance you’ll be comfortable in this shoe. My toes have felt more comfortable over the past two months, as I alternated between hiking in the Topo Ultraventure Pros with the Topo Trailventure 2 hiking boots (which I consider the most comfortable). The Ultraventure Pro’s cushioning and light stability make them more comfortable than the Altra Lone Peak for thru-hikers.
Review of Ultraventure: Weather protection
For keeping their feet dry, hikers generally fall into one or two categories. The first group hikes in waterproof-breathable footwear to keep out as much moisture as possible. The second group combines merino-blend hiking socks and lightweight trail running shoes, which will dry quickly if they get wet.
The Ultraventure Pro falls into this second category.
It’s designed for breathability and ventilation, just like most running shoes. If you are hiking in puddles, dew, or moisture, your feet may get wet quickly. (Just an hour ago I tried to outrun a spring storm in my shoe and got soaked. Its mesh uppers will dry quicker than hiking shoes and waterproof trail runners. Topo has also included drainage gills that allow for the removal of any sweat or water from the shoe.
The shoe is not waterproof.
Ultraventure Pro review: traction
Ultraventure Pro comes with Vibram Megagrip soles. These outsoles are well-known for their wet/dry traction.
The Vibram outsole is made with lugs that are widely spaced to shed snow and mud. These lugs have sharp edges that give you some bite in gravel and scree. Although it’s not as grippy in solid rock, it is not terrible. This outsole is great for moderate terrain. It also treads well on single-track mountain biking trails in my region.
Overall, this tread pattern is versatile and works well on many trails. This is another Pro column check.
Ultraventure Pro review: durability
I can’t yet judge the Ultraventure Pros durability. They have been very reliable, but I haven’t yet logged 100 miles. However, durability limits were evident at this mileage in my Altra Lone Peaks as well as On Cloudventures last pair. This is a plus. Ultraventure Pro’s durability is rated high by trail runners according to customer reviews.
As my mileage increases, I’ll keep this blog updated. This shoe is showing good signs of being more durable than the trail running shoes I have used for hiking.
Ultraventure Pro review: fit
The “Topo Fit”, which has a wider toe box, a better fit in the heel and middlefoot, is more secure than other models.
Altra Other brands have wider toe boxes. The fit is favorable for hikers. Standard to wide feet .
Many podiatrists argue that everyone should wear footwear with wide toe boxes, even those with narrow feet.
The Ultraventure Pro is more secure than Altra, according to my experience. The Altra Lone Peak was sloppy and unable to handle moderately difficult trails. My feet were slipping on moderately steep Altras descents, which can cause injury to your toes. My feet felt secure on moderately steep trails with steep ups or downs while hiking the Pennsylvania trails in Topo Utilure Pros. My feet did occasionally slip on Mid State Trail’s gnarly rock gardens. While the “secure fit” is a significant improvement over Altras, it’s not as secure as hiking technical terrain with brands that have a tighter fit such as Salomon and La Sportiva (with narrower toe boxes).
Topos is a great option for hikers looking to have a wider toe box.
Ultraventure Pro review: value
The Ultraventure Pro is more expensive than most trail runners, with a MSRP price of $150. This is $10 more than the Altra Lone Peak and La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II, but $5 less than new Hoka Speedgoat5. You can also get the regular ultraventure 2 for $15 less.