Topo Terraventure Women’s Shoe Review
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but when I first saw the box of the women’s Topo Terraventure sitting on our ropoorstep I was instantly excited. “Oooh, it’s so cool and pretty at the same time!” I initially thought. Quickly, I reminded myself that it was just the box and who knows what actually laid inside.
The box was a bit heavier than shoes that I normally go for, but was still lighter than what I anticipated. I was excited to see what the shoe had in store.
Upon opening the box, I realized the whispers were true. They looked a lot like Altras, but had a bit more of a cushion like a HOKA Clifton. The box advertised a roomy toe box (reminiscent of the Altra’s design), low drop (3 mm, 14/11), and lightweight. They looked really well made. The seams were perfect and even. Nice looking tred, although not to the extent of soccer spikes, appeared like it could hold up on rough trails. Plus, the design was just girly enough, with an edge, for this mud-loving girl.
Before taking them on a spin, they had a weigh in: 8.6 oz per shoes for a women’s 8. Nice and reasonably light for a durable and roomy trail shoe!
The first few runs I was really impressed with the Topo Terraventures. They fit my wider forefoot well and gave my heel a nice little hug. Also, they felt light, but sturdy underfoot. For the first run, I took them for some easy miles on a fire road. I was impressed: no blisters or weird rubbing, my feet felt supported but not stiff, and the toebox provided the perfect amount of room for splayed toes and no slippage. After the first few miles I really put the Topo Terraventure’s to the test as the California winter hit.
Terrain Testing the Topo Terraventure:
Mud: The Terraventure’s performed well in mud, although it wasn’t their strong suit in the thick stuff. The multidirectional tred provided adequate traction for light mud, but if any mud stuck or I happened to go uphill through the mud pit that California has turned into, the Terraventure’s became great ice skates. The lip around the toe box and 2 layers of mesh upper kept my feet mostly clean and dry, leaving a happy runner when she finished a long muddy adventure. Plus, even after many runs and muddy beatings the Terraventure upper held together and didn’t rip like other shoes I have.
Water: Thanks to all of the California rain, not only did the Terraventure’s get mud tested, but they also were water tested. The shoes held up well in water, and drained fairly well for how much glue and mesh made up the upper. They never got the squish sound that is so common (and annoying) after your shoes get wet and didn’t start sliding around on foot.
Rocks: Although the Terraventure’s did not feel stiff underfoot, they provided ample support on rocky terrain. They have a rock plate in the forefoot, providing some extra protection. It was a wonderful feeling to trust the shoes completely on a rocky downhill and not feel like I was about to break and ankle.
Climbing: The terraventure’s held onto my felt well when climbing. They only slipped around if I started carrying mud on the bottoms and the uppers loosened up. They provided great traction on rocky, and light mud uphills.
Descending: Although my feet didn’t slip much overall in the Terraventure’s, they were a bit annoying on the downhills. The round laces, combined with loop fabric eyelets did not work well in holding my foot in place on steep descents. No matter how tight I made the Terraventures at the beginning of a run, the forefoot would still loosen on the downhill. The few times I actually stooped to fix it, I found that the laces were near impossible to simply cinch, from the top, through the eyelets. The laces didn’t move easily though the eyelets and thus I was stuck on the side of downhill trails, uniting the shoes completely before being able to retie them. Although not a big deal to fix, it was definitely a person nuisance. On the brigt side, the laces felt comfortable on the forefoot and never felt like they were cutting off circulation.
Who should buy the Topo Terraventures?
Casual trail runners looking for a fairly light, but sturdy shoe that can hold up to the elements should look into purchasing this shoe. The slightly wider forefoot was comfortable and didn’t slip around like Altra’s.
Who should avoid?
Quick trail runners or those who hate stopping to retie their shoes should avoid the Terraventure. The laces and eyelets are constructed so that they don’t loosen when running, but the design backfired and resulted in a shoe that is tedious to retie once loose.
I would highly recommend this shoe as it was comfortable, supportive, and didn’t cause any rubbing or blisters. They are good for both short and long runs. The EVA midsole provided the perfect amount of cushion for a 30 minute or 3 hour adventure. Now that I’ve put them to the test I’m going to try swapping out the laces to see if that helps prevent the retying issue. These shoes are worth the $110 price tag!
Visit the Topo Athletics site for more information. If you’re looking to purchase these shoes, please visit their Where to Buy tab and support your local independent running store. If that’s not an option, please visit this Amazon affiliate link and you’ll drop a few nickels into the URP bucket. Thanks so much.
About your Reviewer: Jen Gates
Jen Gates is an animal lover and high school teacher. She is 25 years young and lives East of San Francisco with her fiancé and their cat. Jen goes out of her way to find new running friends to explore the local trails with. She loves running out in the Marin headlands and in Redwood Regional Park. Next on the docket is the Marin Ultra Challenge, where Jen hopes to get covered in mud, have lots of fun, and eat more food!