Facts

Update: Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 3
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.4oz | Women: 6.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 3mm | Women: 3mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 23mm | Women: 23mm
Forefoot height: Men: 20mm | Women: 20mm
Release date: May 2017
Brand: Topo Athletic
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $100
Colorways: Black, Pink
Size
Small True to size Large
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Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this November

Expert Reviews

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91 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews

  • 96 / 100 | Avery Smith

    Topo Flylite 2: The only road shoe you need

    More photos

    If I could only have a single pair of road running shoes, I would happily choose the Topo Athletic Flylite 2.

    They can handle any type of road running, from speed work to long runs. With a wide toe box and low drop platform, the Flylites are a perfect combination of a barefoot running shoe and a standard daily trainer.

     

    Marketed Statistics

       Weight  8.4oz Terrain  Road
       Heel Height 23mm  Support Level  Neutral
       Forefoot Height 10mm  Price  $100
       Drop  3m    

    Data from Runners World Shoe Lab:

    • Weight -  Light | 8.4 oz
    • Heel-To-Toe-Drop - Low | 4.3 mm
    • Heel Height - Very Low | 25.4 mm
    • Heel Cushioning - Moderate
    • Forefoot Height - Low | 21.1 mm
    • Forefoot Cushioning- Firm
    • Flexibility - Very Stiff
    • Stability Features - More
    • Energy Return - Most
    • Upper 

     

    The Flylite has a soft, yet sturdy, perforated mesh upper. The upper has a synthetic moisture-wicking lining which keeps the feet cool and dry in hot weather. I never developed any hot spots or blisters while running in the Flylite.

    The upper is reinforced with printed plastic overlays giving the upper a defined, yet adaptable structure. It doesn’t collapse around your foot like other uppers, making it feel more sturdy.

    Heel cup

    The Flylite has a low profile heel cup to provide structure and support. The heel collar is lined with plush cushioning to enhance comfort.

    Topo made the cushioning just right: there is just enough padding for maximum comfort, without feeling clumsy and hot.

     

    Tongue and Laces

    The tongue has a moderate amount of padding. It absorbs all of the pressure from the laces without going overboard. The tongue stays put on top of the foot. It doesn't bunch up or move from side to side. The Flylite has standard flat laces.

    Since the shoe has a wide fit, I do have to crank down on the laces a little bit, but this isn't a problem. The laces do not stretch at all. I wish they did; It would improve the fit.
    I recommend putting a pair of lock laces on almost any pair of running shoes; they make putting on the shoe very easy and they improve the fit.

    Fit

    The Flylite has a straight fit. The heel and midfoot are the standard widths, but the toe box is very wide. This is a distinguishing factor of the Flylite, as it allows your toes to splay as if you were running barefoot.

     

    Midsole Material

    The midsole is a made of a standard wedge of EVA cushioning that dampens a fair amount of impact. The EVA moderately dense. This makes the shoe feel decently fast while still absorbing plenty of impact.

    The Flylite is quite a stiff shoe considering how thin the midsole is. The stiff midsole gives the shoe more of a standard daily trainer feel when running slowly and more of a fast springy ride when running uptempo.

     

    Strobel board

    A strobel board is a hard piece of material between the midsole foam and the sockliner. The strobel board stops your foot from sinking into the midsole cushioning. The strobel board effectively moves the epicenter of the midsole compression from just underneath your foot, to just above the outsole.

    The strobel board causes your foot and lower leg muscles to work harder, but as a result, you go faster. Removing the strobel board makes the shoe more comfortable, because your feet and lower legs do not have to work as hard, but you can't sustain as fast of a pace.

    Drop

    The Flylite has a 3-millimeter heel to toe offset. This makes the shoe better for midfoot and forefoot strikers.

    The shoe does not have enough cushioning to accommodate heel strikers. The low drop coupled with the wide toe box gives the shoe a natural ride.

     

    Outsole

    The outsole is a combination of hardened EVA foam in lower wear areas and durable carbon rubber in high abrasion areas. The outsole provides good traction on wet roads and light trails.

    The shoe prioritizes being lightweight over being durable. As a result, the shoe will only last about 300 miles. The shoe is also less expensive than the standard shoe so don’t feel like your getting gypped by the durability!

     

    Best Result

    If I could only have one road running shoe, It would quite possibly be the Flylite. (Luckily this is not the case). The Flylite works very well as a lightweight daily trainer but can also handle uptempo running. I would run any race up to a marathon in this shoe.

    This shoe runs best on roads. It works fine on groomed trails but the performance breaks down on anything technical. I recommend this shoe to any efficient forefoot/midfoot strikers on the market for another all-around road running shoe.

    Sizing

      Shoe Brand My Size
      Topo Athletic  12.5
      Merrell  12
      Brooks  12.5
      Saucony  12
      Altra   12
      New Balance  12 
      Nike  12.5
      Scott  12.5
      Adidas  12.5
      Hoka One One  12.5
      Vibram  12
      Inov-8  12.5
      Vivobarefoot  12

    Comparisons

    Topo Flylite 2 Vs. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V4

    The Zante is the normal shoe version of the Flylite since the two shoes have a similar ride and weight, but the Zante has a standard narrow fit and greater heel to toe offset.

    The Zante has a more secure fit and better traction. If you prefer more of a natural fit, the Flylite is a better option; but if you prefer a more standard shoe with the same ride, the Zante is a better choice.

    Topo Flylite 2 Vs. Topo Magnifly

    The Magnifly is the big brother of the Flylite. The Magnifly still has the flat geometry and the wide toe box of the Flylite, it just has an ounce and a half extra cushion.

    If you want more cushion for longer runs or because you are a less efficient runner, the Magnifly would be a better choice.

    Topo Flylite 2 Vs. Altra The One 3.0

    The One is another low profile, natural running shoe. The one is slighter lighter than the Flylite and has slightly less cushion.

    The One also has an even wider toe box. The Flylite can handle longer distances and rougher terrain than the One whereas the one has a more barefoot feel.

    Conclusion

    Topo has done a fantastic job with the Flylite. If Topo keeps producing such high-quality shoes that are so fun to wear, they are sure to become one of the big name shoe brands.

    There is no blatant flaw with the Flylite; however, with further innovation, it could become always be lighter, more durable and more comfortable.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 97 / 100 | Nikki Justice

    Need for speed with Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2

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    Calling all fellow road runners! Are you tired of blisters, black toenails, and crammed toes? It’s time to turn that tempo run up with the Fli-Lyte 2, lightweight road running shoes by Topo Athletic!

     

    Overview

    This is the moment we have all been waiting for! Finally, a road running shoe that has been constructed with human anatomy and biomechanics in mind.

    The Fli-Lyte 2 is the perfect daily trainer with a wider toe box allowing for greater toe splay. It is also incredibly light in weight, which is perfect for all distances.

    I honestly never realized how uncomfortable my previous running shoes were until I gave Topo Athletic a shot.

     

     

    Trying a new shoe can be absolutely terrifying, especially if you’re someone like me who competes in races 2+ times per month, all year round.

    I can’t afford to spend time nursing injuries or dealing with inconveniences such as blisters, so picking the right shoes is unequivocally imperative.

    My first experience with Topo Athletics was with their new Hydroventure 2 trail shoes and I absolutely fell in love with the product line.

     

     

    Naturally, after my great experience with the Hydroventure 2, I opted to give their road running shoes a shot and I’m so happy I did!

    Aesthetics

    As always, I predominantly focus on functionality over aesthetics. I chose the “coral/aqua” model of the Fli-Lyte 2 and I think the color is really fun and bright.

    Typically, I opt for low key color schemes, but the aqua is one of my favorite colors, so with springtime and warmer weather headed our way, I figured why not?

    This may sound petty, but my “sole” wish (pun completely intended) is that the outsole was not the color white!

     

     

    I primarily run outdoors and my shoes unsurprisingly get pretty dirty, so the color white inadvertently amplifies how dirty my shoes truly become.

    I understand that they are running shoes and they are going to get dirty, but I’d prefer if there wasn’t a color that made it so obvious. I want my things to stay looking nice, who can relate?

    Sizing

    Prior to purchasing the shoes, I read reviews about this particular model and decided to order a half size up.

    Moreover, having previous experience with the sizing of the Hydroventure 2, I had an inclination that these shoes would also require a half-size increase for optimal fit.

     

     

    I was correct in my assumption and the half-size increase was perfect.

    Here are various shoe brands that I run in and my size chart to be used as a comparison in choosing the right size for yourself:

     

     Nike 9
     New Balance 9
     Reebok 9
     Asics 9
     Brooks 9
     Altra 9
     Saucony 9.5
     Mizuno 9.5
     Inov-8 9.5
     Salomon 9.5

    Specifications

    Here is a quick break down of the Fli-Lyte 2 road running shoe specifications:

     

     Weight  6.9oz (~196g)
     Heel drop 23mm
     Forefoot height 20mm
     Heel-to-toe drop 3mm offset
     Type Road running
     Category Neutral

     

    Before choosing the Fli-Lyte 2 road running shoes, I was contemplating choosing the Ultrafly 2 instead due to the differentiation in heel-to-toe drop and cushioning.

    The Fli-Lyte 2 sit at a 3mm offset, whereas the Ultrafly 2 sit at a 5mm offset. This distinction may not seem like much, but if you are not acclimated to a lower drop shoe you may be prone to injuries of the Achilles, calves, posterior tibialis, or even arches.

     

     

    To be clear, running in a shoe with less “drop” doesn’t automatically make you a better or more efficient runner.

    The premise is that it changes the load that your body deals with for each step, essentially working the foot and ankle differently.

    Footwear can actually change your running mechanics, so it’s important that you’re running in the correct offset for your individual optimal performance.

    Needless to say, I never run in a single pair of shoes and I have a rotation of shoes that I use for varied terrain and training.

     

     

    For instance, I am running about 40-50 miles per week and currently rotate between the Fli-Lyte 2 (as mentioned, 3mm drop), Saucony Breakthru 4 (8mm drop), Altra King MT 1.5 (0mm drop), and Topo Hydroventure 2 (3mm drop) depending on the terrain, tempo/pace, duration, and weather.

    Moreover, after much consideration, I felt as though the Fli-Lyte 2 road running shoes were suitable for my needs because they are lighter in weight, have greater flexibility, and have neutral support in comparison to the Ultrafly 2.

    I am very pleased with the result of the Fli-Lyte 2 sneakers, to say the least.

     

    Performance and comfort

    Turn up the pace! I felt like I had feathers on my feet with these shoes as they weigh in at a mere 6.9 ounces (~196 grams)!

    Currently, I use these shoes for training purposes, but I will be testing them out in a race next month because of their light weight and phenomenal performance.

    The Fli-Lyte 2 is very responsive and it is great for both tempo runs and endurance runs. I felt as though the cushioning was ample enough for long runs and had no issues running half-marathon distances in these shoes.

     

     

    I would imagine it would be equally as great for those who desire to run marathon distances or greater in these shoes.

    I’ve experimented with them on the treadmill as well as road running and I’m extremely pleased with the comfortability and performance of this shoe.

    I dread running on the treadmill, but where I live is very flat, thus I utilize the “dread-mill” for hill training and the Fli-Lyte 2 shoes were the real MVP.

    I felt as though the ride is still soft enough to be comfortable, yet still completely responsive to every step.

     

     

    My husband is my training partner and he has to keep me in check sometimes while we are running together because when outfitted in the Fli-Lyte 2 shoes I push the pace on accident.

    In my defense, my “need for speed” running pace is my favorite, but these shoes are just so light and springy it’s hard not to run fast in them.

    Furthermore, it is gratifying to really be able to open up in a shoe that accommodates your foot so well! Needless to say, there may or may not have been a few slower-paced scheduled runs that turned into tempo runs on accident…whoops!

     

    Laces

    Let’s talk about these flat laces really quickly. I was elated to find that the Fli-Lyte 2 shoes were outfitted with flat laces because I believe a flat lace distributes pressure more evenly across the top of the foot.

    There isn’t anything more frustrating than having to frequently stop to tie your shoes and this isn’t the case with these flat laces. I never have issues with my shoes coming untied and they always stay securely tied.

     

     

    They are a tad on the long side, so I just double-knot and double-tie (I know, I’m extra) and not once have I had issues.

    Uppers and shoe shape

    As for the uppers, they are incredibly breathable and are constructed with a no-sew printed mesh.

    Despite encompassing the wider toe box, the Fli-Lyte 2 does a great job at cradling the foot and still feels amply locked down, unlike the Altra Escalante which offers a wide toe box, but do not quite lock the foot down as adequately as I would like.

    Unlike the exaggerated width of the Escalante, the Fli-Lyte 2 is the perfect width that gives you a natural feel without compromising functionality.

    In addition, because the printed upper is one constructed piece, this reduces the overall weight of the shoe which contributes to why the Fli-Lyte 2 is so light in weight!

     

     

    One issue I had with the upper material for the Fli-Lyte 2 for the first few miles was a bit of irritation on the dorsal aspect of my great toe. It appeared to be the area where the mesh has a small printed area toward the medial aspect of the shoe.

    This issue was easily remedied by choosing thinner socks to offset the irritation I was experiencing.

    The shoes are completely broken in at this point and I no longer experience irritation, but I did have a bit of trouble in the beginning. Otherwise, I had no issues with blistering or hot spots other than the first few miles.

     

     

    Furthermore, I wanted to mention that I love how the heel locks down perfectly on the Fli-Lyte 2. The heel collar is padded perfectly and holds my foot in place without causing blistering as other rigid running shoe models do.

    Midsole and outsole

    The midsole of the Fli-Lyte 2 is perfectly cushioned with EVA cushioning great for all distances. I feel as though the flex point of the shoe is perfect and I have never had issues in this area.

     

     

    The outsole of the Fli-Lyte 2 is unique as it is comprised of an EVA foam with targeted rubber aspects.

    I personally believe the strategically placed targeted rubber tracts well over contact points, but I am interested to see in the future the longevity and durability of these rubber tracts after 100+ miles or so.

    My shoes are currently showing signs of early wear and tear at 40 miles, so it will be interesting to see how long these shoes will hold up. The outsole is predominantly EVA foam; thus this certainly attributes to the overall lighter weight of this shoe model.

     

     

    For clarity, I did not run attempt trail running in the Fli-Lyte 2 as I strictly use them for road running and treadmill running. I truly believe by design that this is their intended purpose and it would be prudent to use them as such.

    The grooves of the outsole are small enough so stones do not get stuck in them while road running, but I’d imagine the shoes to be very slick under muddy conditions as the outsole is overall very flat and not aggressive enough for trail running.

     

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Wide toe box allowing for toe splay
    • Shoe locks down really well
    • Lightweight
    • Flexible
    • Great responsive ride
    • Ample cushioning

    Cons

    • Some irritation on my great toe
    • Short break in period required
    • Early signs of wear/longevity concern

    Final thoughts

    Topo Athletics may be a newer shoe company, but if they keep releasing bangers like these shoes they will be a staple in the running community.

    As the saying goes, “the cream always rises to the top” and that is where Topo is headed. The Fli-Lyte 2 is great for all distances and paces and I couldn’t be happier with the overall construction of the shoe.

     

     

    If you’re ready to embark on running with a more natural feel, you most certainly need to give these shoes a shot.

    No matter if you’re a weekend warrior or an elite marathoner, these shoes are great to have in your arsenal. They unquestionably will not disappoint!

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 91 / 100 | Runner's World | Level 5 expert

    The biggest change here is that the shoe is softer without the midsole getting any fatter—and, importantly, the shoe’s weight remains unchanged.

  • 90 / 100 | Run Bulldog Run | | Level 3 expert

    Weight, look and fit are all pretty similar to the original, but the out-of-the-box experience and snazzy new colors should make this another winning shoe

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  • The Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2 features a Full-Length EVA Midsole that’s made to provide a more flexible and softer ride. It has a wide Anatomical Toe Box that allows natural splay.
  • An updated upper design adds durability and form to the façade. It also features a Printed Upper Pattern to provide midfoot security.
  • Lastly, a Rubber Outsole is layered beneath the midsole foam, and it provides enough traction and increased durability.

The Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2 is a neutral road shoe that has a standard running shoe length when it comes to sizing. This best for users who prefer short and long-distance running activities. The available widths are D – Medium for the men’s version and B – Medium for the women’s version.

The Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2 utilizes a Rubber Outsole that enhances traction and increased durability. It has the ability to withstand any damage and pressure. It performs its function properly over a long period of time.

In its midsole, the Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2 utilizes the Full-Length EVA material. The foam is soft and flexible. It provides enough cushioning and rebound properties. This technology is important in protecting the runner’s foot from feeling sharp objects during walking and running activities. Engineered with a 3-mm heel-to-toe drop, the cushioned midsole encourages foot motion and natural loading.

The Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2has an updated Ultra Light Mesh that provides additional structure. It offers added durability without affecting the breathability and weight.

It utilizes a Printed Upper Pattern that provides a more snug and secure fit for the midfoot.

The Anatomical Toe box also plays an important role in the construction of the shoe. The roomy box promotes a more comfortable and natural toe splay. This prevents runners from experiencing issues like blisters, bunions, and cuts.

Comparison