Shoe Review: Topo Ultrafly 2 (Women)

The Topo Ultrafly 2 is a neutral road shoe that is light enough for your speed workouts, yet cushioned enough to take you through a road ultra in comfort. The updates from version 1 to 2 are noticeable, and make an already great shoe even better. 

Specs

  • Weight: 8.3 oz, Size 7 (Tested, Women’s 9)
  • Category: Neutral
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Stack Height: 28mm (heel), 23mm (forefoot)
  • Fit: Snug; recommend going up 1/2 size
  • Upper: Mesh, very breathable, welded overlays to provide structure
  • Padded tongue
  • Ortholite footbed that resists compression, antimicrobial treatment to resist odor
  • Midsole: 3-density midsole for light guidance
  • Outsole: Sturdy rubber tread
Topo Athletic Ultrafly 2 Sideview

What’s good about the Topo Ultrafly 2: The new, differentiating, or simply well-designed aspects of the shoe.

Changes from V1 to V2

For everyone out there who was a version 1 user, let’s talk about the changes from V1 to V2.

  • The last was modified to fit snugger in the heel and roomier in the toe box. 
  • More toe spring in the forefoot.
  • Less printed overlays to reduce weight and improve breathability
  • More durable upper mesh. 
  • Added an Ortholite footbed for their antimicrobial properties and reduced compression.

What didn’t change

  • Weight and breathability, it’s still 8.3 oz for women and 10 oz for men.
  • The platform is the same 3-density midsole and rubber outsole, which allows for more feedback in a cushioned shoe.

Durability

I loved the original Topo Ultrafly. My only complaint was that I started to get holes in the sidewall of the shoe after about 250 miles. This wasn’t a huge deal for me, as due to my funky running gait, I wore out the tread at around 300 to 350 miles. But, still, it’s not ideal to be putting holes in your shoes. The new mesh seems to be much more durable, and in my testing, I’m wearing down the tread with the upper still completely intact. 

It does everything well. The Ultrafly 2 may not be the lightest shoe out there, but it is pretty darn light, and it provides great cushion to weight ratio…I love this shoe so much that I got one pair to test drive, and after wearing those out, purchased two more pairs. This is currently my go to road shoe.

Snug Heel & Roomy Toe Box

In version 1 I had to use the heel lock lacing technique in order to keep my heel in place as the heel was a bit sloppy. Version 2 fits so well in the heel that I only noticed when beginning to write this review that I did not need to change up the lacing technique, as they just fit well with the standard lacing. The additional space in the toe is noticeable and allows for extra splay. For those of us who don’t really want to feel our shoe, this Topo Ultrafly 2 delivers.

Footbed

The Ortholite footbed is antimicrobial foam and it doesn’t STINK! After 300+ miles of sweating in a shoe, they are typically pretty ripe. I stuck my nose right down into the shoe and took a good whiff and smelled nothing. The stink factor doesn’t affect performance, but it is a nice little bonus. The footbed is also more durable than in V1 (See side by side comparison; these footbeds have about the same number of miles on them).

What could be improved: Tweaks or improvements that could improve the shoe.

Topo Ultrafly 2 overview

Laces

The laces on version 1 were a rounded style, while version 2 has a flat style. I never had issues with the rounded laces coming untied, and I do with the version 2 laces. You would think the flat laces would be more likely to stay tied, so I’m surprised by the issue. I haven’t changed how I tie my shoes, so I’d prefer to see a return to the rounded style laces. If I had thought about it, I would have pulled all the laces from my worn out version 1 shoes …

When to use it: The situations or scenarios where the Topo Ultrafly 2 excels.

Any variety of road running—short, long, speed, long and slow.

Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this shoe or not.

An emphatic YES! This is one of my favorite road shoes. It does everything well. The Ultrafly 2 may not be the lightest shoe out there, but it is pretty darn light, and it provides great cushion to weight ratio. It’s durable for its weight, and the changes in version 2 have done nothing but improve upon an already great shoe. At $125 it is middle of the road price wise. Truthfully, I love this shoe so much that I got one pair to test drive, and after wearing those out, purchased two more pairs. This is currently my go to road shoe.

Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase the Topo Ultrafly 2.

If you are interested in purchasing these shoes, check out your local, independently-owned running specialty store.  Independent stores are vital to our community and need all the help they can get.
If you can’t find these near you, consider using this Amazon affiliate link. Should you purchase, it’ll drop a few bucks 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.

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