Topo Athletic Terraventure trail shoe review

Last updated: 25-Apr-19

By Alice Morrison

It was a bit of a baptism by fire. I was heading off for a two day running/hiking/scrambling adventure around Imlil in the Atlas Mountains with Sarah Munday, an Everest Trail Race alumni, who had brought the Topo Athletic Terraventure trail shoe over with her for me to test.

I’m running ETR in November so am in mountain training mode. I decided to go for it but stashed another pair of trail shoes in my backpack just in case.

As it turned out, that first foray with the Terraventure was a full-blown ridge scramble which needed hands as well as feet and turned a bit nasty as we ate our lunch perched at 3000m with a thunder and lightning storm raging above our heads.

The good thing, though, was it meant I got to try out the shoes in extreme mountain conditions – wet and dry. I had the opportunity to try it on wet and dry rock, shale, packed earth, grass and scrub but I did not get a chance to take it through thick mud, so that is the one surface I can’t speak to.

Features

  • Roomy Toe Box: Anatomical toe box allows toes to spread naturally and comfortably
  • Lightweight Breathable Materials for a ‘2nd Skin’ fit and feel
  • Rock Protection Plate: Flexible ESS rock plate protects against stone bruising caused by sharp rocks and roots
  • High Traction Outsole: Combines multidirectional traction, heel braking lugs, and mud/snow release design features
  • Stack Height:25mm (heel) // 22mm (forefoot)
  • Heel to Toe Drop:3MM
  • Weight:8.2 oz (Size 7)
  • RRP £107.26

RUNULTRA_Topo-Athletic-Terraventure-running-shoes-review

PROS: What’s good about the Topo Athletic Terraventure trail shoe

When I put it on, my (broad-ish) foot spread out nicely into the toe box and was not cramped by the lacing and mid section. It felt very snug round the heel.

Too tight? I wondered but after ten minutes or so, I didn’t feel it at all and I had no blisters. I am a 7 ½ – 8 and ordered a 7 ½, and it fits but wouldn’t allow for a thick sock, so if you are in doubt go up a half size.

The laces do up easily and I didn’t have to pull them too tight or loosen them up much.

The shoes feel light on the feet and they are light at 8.2 oz for a 7.

I never read the blurb about a shoe prior to trying it out as I like to make my own decisions about how they feel and not be influenced by the manufacturer.

The particular route we were following on my first outing with them was extremely steep and rocky, alternating with hard-packed earth covered in small stones, and scrub land. Both up and – much, much more importantly – down, the Terraventure gripped. It kept my foot ON the surface and I could feel the lugs snagging on to secure me.

Since our descent was mildly terrifying, this was a stand out feature of the shoe for me. And it has held true in all the outings since on more runnable ground. When I did go and look at the manufacturers’ blurb, the lug design was explained.

The shoe is cushioned but not overly so and I felt I got real feedback from the ground, which I like. I have done a couple of 10 – 12 hour days in them and was concerned that there might be a trade off with tiredness and some bruising.

My feet were tired and I did feel a slight ache under my arch but I didn’t feel that the lightness of the shoe and its responsiveness to the terrain had significantly affected its comfort.

There is a baffler on the toe box to ward off rocks. Good news for the clumsy.

RUNULTRA_Topo-Athletic-Terraventure-running-shoes-review

CONS: What’s not so good about the Topo Athletic Terraventure trail shoe

I think this is a great all-round shoe, so if you are a racing snake, or looking for something particularly technical or for set conditions (desert, serious mud, wet grass etc) you might want to go for something that caters specifically for that.

Also, if you have a narrow foot, the Terraventure may be too roomy for you.

My one concern about the shoe is its durability. In four days I was out in it for over 40 hours in some very, very harsh terrain and it held up well but because it is so light and the bottom is so comfortably spongy, I can’t yet tell if it will maintain that over an extended period of time.

I hope so because I really liked the shoe and am seriously considering it for ETR in November.

Conclusion

“Honest” is the word that comes to mind when I think about summing up the Topo Athletic Terraventure. I felt like it kept me safe and took me over the ground well.

I found it to be a really comfortable shoe that looked after my foot. For all round trail running in the mountains, it is a good choice.

Scores  
Design 9/10
Features 9/10
Performance 9/10
Value 9/10
Overall 9/10


Other shoes you may want to try:

Salomon S-Lab Ultra trail running shoe

Salomon Speedcross 4 shoe

ON Cloudace running shoe

All images Alice Morrison except when stated.

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OUR RATING:
5/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"When I put it on, my foot spread out nicely into the toe box and was not cramped by the lacing and mid section. It felt very snug round the heel"

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Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

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Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

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Advanced

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Increase of up to 1500 metres

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Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

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Increase of up to 1000 metres

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Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

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Very little change < 500 metres

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