I bought this pair of Topo Athletic shoes last spring.
I was looking for comfortable shoes for long distances as I had two projects in mind for 2021:
- Pfälzer Weinsteig from North to South | EmigranTraile, at the end not yet completed, given some circumstances in 2021 and beginning of 2022;
- LUT-Lavaredo Ultra Trail (ITA)-120 KM | EmigranTrailer, at the end finished in 2021, with a correct strategy about the shoes
I had never used Topo Athletic shoes, but hearing some friends, they assured me they were really comfortable.
So, in the end I use them for training and long runs in 2021. And these last weekends (March 2022) I have been using them for hiking.
If the main target is comfort for long hikes or trail-races, after trying them for more than 400 km and almost 20,000 meters in altitude, I can confirm that these shoes guarantee it.
When it comes to shoes, however, it is very important to give more information about the person wearing them. Therefore, for the analysis and the impressions in the following paragraphs take into account that in these months:
- My weight fluctuated between 67 and 70 Kg;
- My standard shoe size is EU43, UK9, US10;
- My motion control is neutral;
- Usually I wore Thyo socks;
- Usually I wore anklets, because of past/recent injuries;
Here is the first important element to note. Since I wanted comfortable shoes for long distances, assuming that the foot swells a little after many hours, after trying them on, I decided to buy a pair of shoes with a larger size than the standard one I use!
It was definitely the best choice!
Moreover, as usual, following the next paragraphs, please consider that I have been practicing Trail-Running for about 10 years: My Trail Running Experience – Emigrantrailer | EmigranTrailer.
Topo Athletic MTN Racer – My use
As I anticipated, I used them mainly for long trail-running trainings.
In particular in April, I used them to do the first real long of the season, along the beautiful trails of the Rodalber Felsenwanderweg in Germany, described at thi end of this review: Trail-Running in Upper Rhine & Pfalz | EmigranTrailer.
Instead, I only used them once in an official race, precisely at Lavaredo Ultra Trail in June 2021: La Sportiva Lavaredo Ultra Trail – Home.
In this race I used them for the second part, when my feet would have required a more comfortable shoe.
At the end of the year, I also used them for hiking in the mountains in the snow.
So, in summary, I mainly used them on these types of terrain:
- Forest roads, dry and wet trails without any technical difficulties
- Snowy ground
As consequence, the following are my personal impressions and technical information. Other features can be easily find on internet or at the dealer: Topo Athletic Shoes & Gear | Move Better. Naturally..
Topo Athletic MTN Racer – Main Features
The shoes are definitely very comfortable, which was the main reason why I bought them.
I also really appreciated the grip in all conditions. However, this is not a surprise for me that I have appreciated the Vibram outsole for years.
I cannot comment accurately on the reactivity, but having done few specific tests or training in this regard, the impression is that they are no the best shoes in terms of reactivity.
The drop is 5 mm, which is slightly less than I am used to. However I really had no problem with that.
The weight is about 295 grams. I must admit that this surprised me positively. I thought they weighed more to ensure greater comfort and stability. And instead it is even lower than expected.
The lace system is a standard one. Typically I prefer to have the presence of the rubber band to lock the tied laces. It is a little detail, but very important for me. In any case, the absence of this detail has not given me problems so far.
The top layer is light, but, but this does not prevent to mantain a good protection for the foot. In addition, it is very breathable and it is in absolutely good condition after using the shoes so far.
Instead, the only signs of wear I observed them in the upper part at the height of the collar.
Generally speaking, until now the shoe, used on these terrains, has shown good durability and comfort.
In particular I found the flexibility of the material with which the tongue is made particularly comfortable.
For the inner sole I used the original one by Topo Athletic and I was fine with that.
On the rear side, the heel is protected enough and, at the same time, it is not so rigid to cause issues at the foot.
Summary table and additional information
The following table summarizes the main impressions about these Topo Athletic MTN Racer Trail Running shoes. Please use the link below in case you want to have a better reading of the table.
In my opinion, these shoes are perfect for medium and long distance “easy” trails and fast hike. I had a really positive result in terms of comfort for distances greater than 50 km or for durations greater than 5/6 hours. In addition, I believe that the terrains I tested with little technical difficulty and the absence of super-rocky trails are ideal for this shoe.
If you want more information or technical details related to this review, please do not hesitate to ask or comment below.
Last but not least, I hereby confirm that I have no personal or professional connections with Topo Athletic. Everything I wrote, it is based on a transparent feedback of my experience, without any prejudices for or against.
Enjoy Trail-Running….and hiking! 🙂
Andrea De Filippo
Original post in english language. For other languages, please open with a web browser (i.e. Chrome) and apply the automatic translation.
Related projects and articles
You might find of interest other articles with hints (always for free :-)) here: Trail Running Tips | EmigranTrailer