Thursday, April 12, 2018

Topo Athletic MT-2 - Product Review

You read this website on this shoe & you would go like... yea this shoe looks pretty good, from the pictures it looks well-cushioned, should be a comfy ride..

You buy the shoe & then try it out... and you go like.. wow, everything on the website is true, except maybe the shoe needs more cushioning man..

Perhaps its me. And my old bones needing some cushioning love..

But damn that 23mm heel sure feel bit thinner than that.. I'm fairly sure it's a combination of me & my chunky self & my running style but perhaps I've been a bit pampered by the likes of HOKAs & maximalist cushioning ..

Yea so be warned if you're a bit like my case.. all the reviews online are stating the cushioning is great etc etc but guess what I did - I replaced the thin Topo shoe insert with a gel insert (bought from shoe shop) + an Ortholite insert (from one of my old Salomon shoes) - just to make it work for myself.

Yea so be warned..


What I do love? The shoe does fit LIKE A GLOVE - absolutely a joy to wear & I'm thrilled to find this, I would say, the PERFECT fit? Roomy toe box + snug secured middle.. very very nice. It is also not 'swimmy' as one review stated (as compared to an Altra - can't testify against that but I do agree wrt the one Altra Lone Peak v1.0 I own)

The profile is simple & straightforward with some comfy lacing going on at the top - fits very well even if I don't wear socks. It is LIGHT as hell. I definitely feel the 3mm drop aiding my gait & to be honest quite a revelation to me, I mean I finally understand all the rage surrounding low drop shoes. (Also shows how much I know about running!)

The outsole has not given me any issues on light trails or road so far. Feels & look moderately grippy but I have not brought it for the super technical trails just yet because of the missing rockplate but I will.. eventually.

So far if that cushioning was perhaps closer to the 26-29mm range I'm sure my feet would absolutely be in heaven. And if it pushed to 30-36mm range I'm sure I would gladly surrender my credit card.

There's another model in the 25mm range actually = Terraventure. More rugged & suited for technical trails. Don't think that extra 3mm & rockplate would suffice for what I'm looking for though - certainly would be an improvement. (Vain note: looks less appealing too colour wise)

Sizing wise - I've bought a US size 9 - fits right for my measurements.

I'm keeping the MT2 as my training shoes for the shorter local neighbourhood runs & park-runs - a shame because I would love to bring them on my longer runs but the missing cushioning that my legs need is holding me back.

What can I say... except that I hope my legs do get stronger and that this review has helped provide further insight into this lesser known Topo which I'm sure will be making a big splash in the coming years.


Tested them in a more technical run recently - held up well, you will feel the missing rockplate on the sharper edges - but overall not too bad.

Essentially you adopt a different running approach when wearing different shoes, ie. probably can't bomb the downhills as you would with maximalist shoes, instead just go with smaller faster gait etc. and you would perhaps avoid sharp edge rocks and hunt for soft grounds more often. And hence once you do that, it ain't too bad.

Another plus with trails, the thinner cushioning you don't feel as much coz you're on soft grounds most of the time. You would feel the impact more once you're back on roads.

Happy running folks!