Topo Athletic burst onto the scene several years ago with an anatomically shaped shoe that wasn’t zero drop, and has found a great deal of success since then. The TOPO Athletics MT2 is a solid entry in their trail running line, and is one of their lighter and more minimal options, which might be why it is one of their most inexpensive shoes. The MT2 is a good basic shoe trail shoe that will go the distance for most runners.
Weight: 7.3 oz, Size 7 (Tested, Women’s 9)
Stack Height: 23mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)
Fit: true to size (i.e., your normal running shoe size)
Upper: Ultra light mesh with polyurethane overlays to provide structural support
Midsole: Full length EVA Midsole (no rock plate)
Outsole: Full length rubber high traction outsole with multi-directional lugs
Now for more details. In this review, we’ll break things down in to six areas:
What’s good about the TOPO Athletics MT2: The new, differentiating, or simply well-designed aspects of the shoe.
Anatomically Designed Toe Box
The thing that I most love about TOPOs is their anatomical design. This means that the toe box is much more rounded than your standard shoe and gives your toes room to splay.
With the dampness of the Pacific Northwest I was running on mostly on sloppy trails, and the MT2s handled wonderfully in the muck.
I like to run through the biggest puddles and tackle the muddiest terrain when testing shoes, and the MT2s proved to be stable through all of it. I was able to descend a mile long hill that was a mix of snow and mud with almost no slippage and I felt comfortable the entire way. You can definitely feel confident on a mix of terrains in the MT2.
The lower stack height, low drop, and low weight all combine to create a shoe that feels very agile and natural when trying to move quickly through technical terrain.
The MT2 is comfortable right of the box. The upper material is soft and lightweight, and the padded tongue keeps you from feeling too much pressure when you tighten down the laces. The shoe conforms well to your foot and feels secure.
The MT2s have enough cushion to handle pavement and gravel fire roads in comfort. The soles of the shoes are likely not intended for long term road usage, but being able to mix it up makes this a good racing shoe for those races that require time on the roads to connect the sections of trail.
What could be improved: Tweaks or improvements that could improve the shoe.
I really don’t know why shoe manufacturers are skimping on the tongue length. Does this really improve the weight stats in an substantial way? If not, please give us back 1/4 inch on the tongue so it doesn’t feel like the tongue is going to slide right under the top of the laces.
The tongue is just long enough to get away with the heel lock lacing, but it’s right on the edge of being comfortable.
While I love the anatomically designed toe box, the MT2 is just slightly narrower than some of the other shoes in the Topo lineup. And it is noticeable. I’d love to see this shoe in the same width as some of the other Topos.
The MT2 does not feel like a super fast shoe. It’s midsole is softer than some other shoes and thus doesn’t provide as much of an energy return as you might find in a shoe that has a stiffer midsole.
When to use it: The situations or scenarios where the TOPO Athletics MT2 excels.
Moderate to long runs on single track or mixed surfaces.
Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this shoe or not.
Overall, I think this is a solid shoe for anyone putting in moderate to long miles on single track or mixed terrain, wants the ability to take their trail shoes to the road, and doesn’t have super wide feet. The price point is really reasonable at $100, and with 80 miles already underfoot, the shoe is showing little signs of wear. However, if it wears similarly to the Ultrafly the likely issue will be tears in the sidewall. I’ll keep you posted as to whether that occurs.
Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase the TOPO Athletics MT2.
If you are interested in purchasing these shoes, check out your local, independently-owned running specialty store to check them out. If that’s not available, consider using this Amazon affiliate link. They’ve got a great shipping and return policy and it’ll drop a few nickels into the URP coffers. Thanks!
Your Reviewer: Sarah Bradham
I started my love of gear as a climber and as I turned my attention to running I shifted from carabiners, ice tools, and crampons to hydration packs, midsole foam types, compression clothing, and everything in between. After several years of foot injuries, I’m enjoying getting back to my beloved muddy and rocky trails near my home in Portland, Ore. In my work life, I enjoy coordinating an annual Mountain and Ultra Running Camp at the base of Mt. Hood with Yassine Diboun, Amy Sproston, Joelle Vaught, Krissy Moehl and Jeff “Bronco Billy” Browning.
This product was provided to URP/me for review purposes. Compensation was neither offered nor requested and all words and thoughts are 100% my own.