Verdict from 7 experts and +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Some users were happy with the wide toe box that accommodated the forefoot comfortably.
  • The incredible traction enabled a running experience that’s mostly free of any slipping, wrote one user.
  • One reviewer said the Topo Athletic Hydroventure was unbelievably lightweight.
  • Another user mentioned the shoe kept his foot warm and dry throughout the run and under any condition.
  • The shoe presented underfoot steadiness and firmness on rough ground, one runner noted.
  • Many users liked that the shoe was comfortable.
  • A majority of runners felt that the shoe did well in keeping the foot dry while running under wet conditions.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The outsole did a poor job of dealing with the muddy terrain as the shoe kept slipping while running, said one reviewer.
  • There were a few reports stating that the Hydroventure was not as responsive as other trail-running shoes from Topo Athletic.

Bottom line

With a stack height, ride, and responsiveness that are all created similarly with other shoes from Topo Athletic, the Hydroventure aims to be a mid-cushioning running shoe that provides ample underfoot protection while introducing an all-new feature: waterproofing. As a shoe claiming to have waterproof characteristics, the Hydroventure delivers well while accomplishing more.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Video reviews

Good to know

  • The lightest fully-waterproof trail running shoes on the market, Topo Athletic Hydroventure shoes offer robust performance and breathable comfort for off-pavement workouts.
  • With an outsole that offers multi-directional lugs, forefoot flex grooves, and a mud-release technology, there is optimized traction for durability and maximum grip.
  • Featuring an EVA midsole with a flexible thermoplastic urethane plastic for protection against sharp rocks and roots while delivering a smooth and responsive ride.
  • The upper presents an original eVent technology, which is a waterproof and breathable membrane that consists of nylon mesh and printed polyurethane.

As the design of the Hydroventure includes a stack height that runs high around the midfoot and lowers down around the forefoot, the shoe runs small and it is recommended that runners getting half a size up their usual shoe size. The structure of the shoe is geared towards neutral pronators, but with its wide toe box, the Hydroventure can accommodate up to a high-volume foot. Width profiles available are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women.

The Hydroventure’s outsole is made of sticky rubber and features aggressive, wide-breaking lugs for tricky downhill traversals. This sticky rubber compound is also used in the Hydroventure 2 running shoe.

Coming in a size of 4.5 mm, these multidirectional lugs allow for natural foot function all throughout while providing an optimized and aggressive traction. It is designed to be flexible and to work efficiently for all types of terrain.

Flex grooves are added to the forefoot section. These indentations accommodate the natural bending of the foot as it gears toward the toe-off phase of the gait cycle.

With a 5-mm heel-to-toe drop, the midsole of the Hydroventure is designed to encourage natural loading and foot motion during the gait cycle. The cushioning leans on the firm side, but it still aims to offer a comfortable ride.

There is also a TPU add-on called the ESS rock plate and it’s embedded in the midsole foam. It is made to protect the foot against jagged rocks and other trail hazards that can potentially injure the foot while delivering a smooth and responsive ride. It also has a segmented design to allow for flexibility.

The upper of the Hydroventure employs an exterior mesh that is durable and tightly woven. It utilizes a welding technology that eliminates overlaps, as well as the need for stitching. The toughness is further proven as it prevents puddles, rain, and other water sources from penetrating the fabric from the outside.

The interior features a single-layer eVent waterproof cleatie design that employs Direct Venting Technology, which is constructed from waterproof membranes. This technology keeps the foot dry while remaining breathable and durable. It lets moisture and vapor escape out through the fabric, thus cutting down the weight of the shoe.

The overlay structure of the upper is a series of 3D printed-on bands that keeps the foot in place especially during runs on rocky terrain.

An anatomical toe box presents an extra wide shape that presents plenty of room for a freedom of movement and a natural splay of the toes without being unsteady.

The laces are guided through ghillie loops that rest on a fully-gusseted tongue. The tongue is padded to allow flexibility, cushioning, and avoid hot spots in the midfoot area.

Rounding out the upper of the Hydroventure is a toe bumper that shapes the toe box. It protects the toes from injuries and enhances the fit.

How Hydroventure compares

This shoe: 78
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: $130
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 9.7oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
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.

jens@runrepeat.com