Topo Athletic Brand Overview
Topo Athletic is a new brand but it has generated buzz among my Backcountry “Gearheads”. In the sense that it has wide toe boxes, and a low (heel-toe) drop), it is very similar to Altra. Topo shoes are not designed to cushion the heel or provide support in the midfoot. This means that athletes rely more on their feet and lower bodies for shock absorption, stability and support. (Read more in my Topo Athletic brand reviews.
Topos also offer a better fit and support than Altra’s “zero-drop” shoes. Topo Athletic has been awarded the Seal of Approval by the American Podiatric Medical Association for shoes that promote healthy feet.
Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 Review
The Trailventure 2 is Topo Athletic’s mid-cut hiking shoe or lightweight “fastpacking” boot. It’s not much heavier than a trail running shoe, but it’s made for hiking, not running. The Trailventure 2 targets fast-and-light hikers. However, it may be a light and comfortable pick for more casual hikers, too, as well as for hikers who want a wide toe box.
This Topo Trailventure 2 review (not sponsored) is an independent evaluation. This review is based on 100-200 mile hikes in a demo pair Trailventures, which I received from Topo Athletic following my Backcountry colleagues’ encouragement to me to review Topos for Hiking Feet. The Trailventure 2 has been tested on several of Pennsylvania’s most popular hiking trails, including the Allegheny Front Trail, Mid State Trail and Standing Stone Trail. They were also worn on several day hikes in Acadia National Park, Maine.
Topo Trailventure 2: support
Trailventure 2 provides more support for the foot and ankle than most trail running shoes but less than average hiking boots. The ESS rock plate provides moderate stiffness through the midfoot, with a natural flex around your feet. This provides ankle stability and foot protection. My father had bad feet and ankles, but my feet and ankles were fine after I started Trailventure 2. They are great for moderate to difficult day hikes.
Lightweight hiking boots may not offer as much protection for the ankle as backpacking and hiking boots. Trailventure boots’ ankle cuffs, like other lightweight boots, are not stiff or particularly high. It also has a “low drop” (5mm), which means that it provides less support and cushioning for the heel than traditional hiking boots.
The Trailventure 2 is a great choice for casual hikers, and those who are looking for a durable hiking boot or shoe.
Topo Trailventure 2: weight
It’s okay: Most hikers purchase Topos to save weight, not for support.
Hikers looking for a lightweight hiking boot may find the Topo Trailventure a good option. The pair weighs in at around two pounds, depending on your gender and size. This clearly puts it in the lightweight hiking boots category. The Trailventure 2 mid-cut weighs about the same as low-cut hiking boots, if not a few ounces more.
The Trailventure 2 is a great lightweight hiking shoe!
Topo Trailventure 2 review: comfort
I have been impressed by the Topo Trailventure 2’s comfort on moderate to easy hikes. Topo’s large toe box provides a comfortable fit and pairs well with the moderately cushioned soles. When I want to hike in something lightweight and comfortable, this is the shoe I choose.
Trailventure 2 feels light on my feet thanks to a Zipfoam midsole. It’s a lightweight shoe that is very responsive, but not as firm as Salomon’s and La Sportiva’s trail shoes. The Trailventure 2’s comfortable factor is dominated by the Trailventure 2’s spacious toe box.
Hikers who require more arch support than the Trailventure’s would be advised to use Superfeet or another brand.
It’s well-built for light and fast hiking, which is Topo’s goal niche. It also makes it comfortable on more difficult terrain. For example, my feet feel fresh after a week of hiking. I find that the wide toe box works well for me. My feet feel a bit more tired in Trailventure 2 when I am hiking on longer hikes or harder terrain than they do in sturdy hiking shoes or heavy-duty hiking boots. These shoes are not made for backpacking, but I was able to do it.
Topo Trailventure 2 – water proofing and breathability
Trailventure 2 comes in both a waterproof and nonwaterproof version.
Trailventure waterproof waterproofing system incorporates eVent waterproof membranes. According to industry testing, eVent membranes outperform Gore Tex (still industry standard) when it comes to waterproofing. eVent is actually slightly cooler than Gore Tex, as it is not only breathable but also air permeable. It allows moisture vapor and air through its membrane, while still being waterproof in moderately humid conditions. This is a great advantage, especially for speed hikers (whose feet are hotter than average hikers).
Keep in mind that Trailventure’s waterproof membrane is not waterproof to the top part of the waterproof bootie. It measures just a little over 3 inches. The waterproof membrane is within the boot’s, not on its outside. It is housed in the white bootie (pictured above).
Trailventure 2’s eVent waterproofing is another plus. My experience with the membrane has been positive. My feet have remained dry and comfortable while I slogged through some slippery trails in late winter or early spring. It will also let in moisture if you splash through puddles or wet foliage for miles.
Non waterproof hiking shoes are preferred by many fast hikers as they dry faster and keep you cooler than waterproof boots. This will save you $20 over the eVent model.
Topo Trailventure 2: traction
Trailventure 2’s Vibram Megagrip soles have a lot of things to love:
These shoes have a versatile tread pattern that is suitable for all types of hiking surfaces.
- Some lugs have sharper edges to dig into uneven surfaces.
- Large spaces between the lugs for shedding mud and snow
- Rubber with moderately soft properties for extra traction on rocks
This is a great formula for hikers who want to tackle a varietyof trails. I have found this tread to be very useful on the steep, rocky trails of Acadia National Park in Maine. It has also been very successful in Pennsylvania’s valley and ridge region. Vibram outsoles are able to dig into forests floors and stick to rock slabs. They have been very secure on steep descents, including those on loose rocks, leaf litter, hardpack snow, and single-track trails shared by hikers and mountain bikers. Although I have bailed twice on steep, slushy trails that no tread works well in, it was a good experience.
This shoe is my favorite for moderate trails and mixed terrain.
Topo Trailventure 2, quality and durability
I can’t yet judge the Trailventure long-term durability. My first pair of Trailventure boots is just 200 miles old. I will keep this blog updated as more miles accumulate. Lightweight hiking boots are not as durable as backpacking and hiking boots. Most hiking boots and hiking shoes have a shorter life expectancy if they are lighter in weight.
Topo’s shoes are known for their durability, which is a big plus when compared to other trail runners. After 75 miles, my pair looked like new. My Altra Lone Peaks, On Cloudventures and Altra Lone Peaks were also damaged at this mileage on similar (rocky) terrain. As I get closer to 200 miles, I am only seeing light wear. I think the Trailventure 2 is a good hiking boot/shoe with average durability.
Topo Trailventure 2: fit
Topos have a natural fit, with a large toe box that allows for your toes and to spread naturally. This fit would be beneficial for most people, but may feel strange for those with narrow feet. Trailventures have a tighter fit in the heel, midfoot and foot so they aren’t as slippy as Altras for steep downhills or rock gardens.
They may suit wide to average feet better than narrower ones. They are not available in large sizes. However, very few hikers have wide feet. Most people wearing “wides” require that the shoe’s forefoot and toe box be at least a half inch wider than the rest. Trailventure 2 fits my feet comfortably.
They are pretty standard in size. My Topo size is roughly the same as my hiking size, which is about a half-size larger that my usual shoe size.
Topo Trailventure 2: value
The Trailventure original (linked below), is slightly less expensive than other lightweight hiking boot that I recommend such as the Hoka Anacapa Middle and Salomon Ultra 4 Mid. Even though the boots are waterproofed and feature premium Vibram outsoles, it’s still true. This shoe is a great choice for casual hikers or lightweight “fastpacking” boots/hiking footwear.
Trailventure 2 is $20 more. These prices are comparable to the lightweight hiking boots and hiking shoes I recommend. This is an average price if Trailventure 2 offers average durability.