Verdict from 5 experts and 39 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Ride: The shoe's midsole is like that of the old Pegasus or the Kinvara — firm, light, but bouncy. Because of this, the Cyclone delivers a fast, nimble, and fun ride.
  • Grip: It has more than enough traction for concrete, road, and even some light off-road settings.
  • Comfort: The upper is thin, pliable, and soft with enough room up front. Because of this, runners are happy to report the shoe has an out-of-box comfort. 
  • Heel lock: Wide-footed runners are confident to say that they don't have any issues with this, owing it to the tall collar and extra padding.
  • Looks: "Immensely handsome," "stunning," "eye-catching," and "modern" is how runners find the shoe. It's unlike the past Topo models which were quite "conservative-styled" 
  • Breathability: The mesh upper has rice-sized openings that make it extremely well-ventilated. 
  • Lockdown: It is unencumbered with its very few overlays and stitches, but it's very secure like the Asics Tartheredge
  • Durability: After 100 miles of running, there are still no signs of wear on the outsole. 

3 reasons not to buy

  • Not for narrow feet: This is pertaining to the heel lockdown, which is great for wide-footed athletes but not narrow-footed ones. Some of them really had to crank down the laces, and even when doing so, they still felt some slippage during their hill climbs.
  • Lace bites: Tightening the laces causes pressure on the skin because there's very minimal tongue padding. 
  • Rigid toe-off: Because there's too much rubber on the forefoot, there's not much flexibility. This also adds to the weight of the shoe. 

Bottom line

The Topo Athletic Cyclone is the very proof that making an effective and great running shoe does not require fancy technologies — sometimes, it just "nailing the basics." Because it does so well as an uptempo daily trainer, it might be the shoe that can make Topo mainstream in the running scene. 

Be warned, this NOT your typical well-cushioned trainer, so don't expect a very plush ride. But if you're looking to transition to zero-drop Altra shoes, the Topo Athletic Cyclone is an excellent start. 

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Topo Athletic Cyclone: Retaining the Topo DNA with a race-ready build

Run naturally 

To make the Topo Athletic Cyclone a natural running shoe, it still maintains the brand's signature elements such as: 

  • roomy forefoot and toe box to accommodate natural toe splay.
  • low-drop design (5mm) to have better ground feel 
  • relative firmness and responsiveness for speed 

Race-paced shoe

The Cyclone, in general, is a lighter version of its successful sibling — the Zephyr. Because of its lightweight build and snappy Zipfoam midsole (which is like a combination of the plush yet bouncy React and the light but semi-rigid Revlite foam), the shoe really shines in uptempo paces and some even think it can handle races well too.  

What is it for?

If you're looking to transition to zero-drop platforms, the Cyclone is a great start. With all its qualities, it's really made for speed runs. And with its protective qualities, it can also handle some easy and long-distance runs. For long-time Topo fans, the Cyclone is also a great complement to the Zephyr. 

Rankings

How Topo Athletic Cyclone ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 7% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 6% Topo Athletic running shoes
All Topo Athletic running shoes
Bottom 8% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Topo Athletic Cyclone.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.