93
Great!
344 users: 4.5 / 5
10 experts: 91 / 100
Terrain: Road / Treadmill
Weight: Men 9.7oz / Women 8.1oz
Heel to toe drop: Men 0mm / Women 0mm
Arch support: Neutral

Verdict from 9.9 hours of research from the internet

8 reasons to buy

  • The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 is durable, said some runners. 
  • Several consumers mentioned that the shoe is comfortable. 
  • This running partner offers excellent ankle support, some buyers claimed. 
  • Some purchasers said that it is softer compared to its predecessor. 
  • A few testers appreciated the shoe’s roomy toebox. 
  • This running companion is breathable, according to a commenter. 
  • A couple of reviewers like the lightweight structure of the shoe. 
  • This shoe is also perfect for walking and other non-strenuous activities, based on reviews.

3 reasons not to buy

  • One wearer reported that the Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 does not offer enough cushioning. 
  • A couple of users complained because of the narrow midfoot section.  
  • One user commented that the upper material puts a strain on the foot, causing discomfort.

Bottom line

The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 is an everyday running shoe designed for runners and athletes with neutral gaits. It is crafted with advanced technologies, providing excellent comfort, durability, and support. This well-cushioned running shoe is also suitable for workouts and casual walks.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

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Our reviews

90
/100 by Patrick Lister, posted on .

This brand is awesome. This shoe is awesome. Enough said.

 

 

If you want a straight and to the point review, there you have it. But, for those of you interested in why I make such high claims, read along with me on this review to discover all this road shoe has to offer.

 

 

I love shoes for many reasons, but one thing that always strikes me is that a great shoe is a sum of all its parts. So, here are the parts:

Upper

Upper material

 

 

This is the key upgrade from Magnifly 2 model. This is a very light and breathable fabric that brings forth comfort alongside it. I caught myself really impressed by the material. It was successful with lockdown and security as well.

Collar

Another inviting upgrade from the previous model. This collar is emphasized by a more secure material that brings forth more advanced cushion. I found the collar very useful to promote good fit.

 

Heel cup

This is a very mildly enforced heel area, but I didn’t mind it at all as I still found great lockdown. It also comes with a nice design. I wished there was some reflective addition, however.

 

Lacing system

The Topo brand does an excellent job of not over complicating their lacing system. It's very simple and effective for excellent lockdown. They have a great knack for creating a very secure midfoot, which is required for me to take a shoe seriously.

 

 

The tongue is connected to the upper, which creates more security. The shoes have a very nice loop system on the tongue, which is effective at keeping it in place with runs.

Toe box

Anatomical toe box like all their shoes. Something to get used to but once you do, you won’t go back.

 

Midsole

The midsole is the same from the previous years model, which is good because nothing needed changing.

There is a combination of two different foams that bring forth a more firm vs cushioned feel. This midsole is very likeable, and I believe it will satisfy anyone who wears it for daily use. 

 

 

This shoe is a zero drop shoe, which will require some transitioning. Don’t be a fool like me who just went out and ran in them. I promise you, your calves and feet will be yelling at you. If you routinely run in low drop, then jump in and enjoy!

The zero-drop comes in with a moderate amount of stability too. I experienced a nice amount of support with this shoe.

Outsole

The outsole is more of the same. If you have any history with this brand, the sole will look very familiar to all recent road models. It's a good outsole, though.

 

 

I haven’t experienced any issue with wet weather and have felt comfortable on fast turns as well. The wear seems acceptable, too. So, I guess there is a reason it's the same: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Fit

I love the fit of this shoe. The Topo Athletic brand is committed to a great lockdown, which promotes a secure fit. They also have an anatomical toe box in all their shoes, which brings natural wear.

 

 

Lastly, all their shoes have a low drop of 5mm or less, which promotes healthy foot and ankle (with transitioning).

I would say that you should buy half a size up with this brand. The toe box will bring your feet to spread more, which will bring your feet to “grow”.

Since using this brand solely for the past month, I have noticed that all my other shoes feel small. My feet are returning to how they are supposed to be now!

Feel

The feel is a daily trainer feel. It is a good mix of “whatever”. You can do fast, slow, short, and long in these effectively. They provide a good amount of support.

 

 

The cushion is very effective, and they bring a better-than-good road feel. These are my favorite “feeling” daily trainers that I own.

Function

I see function as: Do they do what they are supposed to do?

 

 

These were made to be a daily trainer, and they function very effectively as such. I have tried many daily trainers over the past year, and these are my favorite.

Performance

The shoe fulfils its purpose as a daily trainer as mentioned above, but how do they perform on various levels?

 

 

  • Daily: 10/10
  • Short: 10/10
  • Long (10+): 8/10 - This is more on me as I am not used to zero drop all the way, and long runs were a little rough for this reason.
  • Recovery: 8/10 - More of a firm shoe, and I prefer some more support and cushion for recovery
  • Speed: 7/10 - Not made for this but can do it effectively.
  • Race: 7/10 - I wouldn’t race in them, but if I did, it would be more of a half to a full marathon distance.
  • Casual: 7/10 - It is not the coolest looking shoe, and the prolonged standing was uncomfortable to me due to the zero drop.

Quality

The quality seems good. I need to get more miles to find out how long they last. But, with over 50 miles running, I haven’t noticed any breakdown.

 

 

They have a very basic look and no fancy features which makes me think I’m not getting as much for what I buy, but you will soon find out that less is more with Topo.

Overall

Highs

  • Performs well at multi-levels
  • Toe box
  • Security
  • Comfort
  • Feel
  • Natural fit
  • Upper material nice upgrade
  • Basic yet elite in function
  • Foot lockdown
  • Zero drop

Lows

  • Not much upgrades vs the last model
  • Unchanged outsole
  • It is not a very agile shoe; Don't work well with lateral movement or sharp turns
  • No reflective features are seen

 

 

These shoes are THE epitome of what you want to see in a daily trainer. They can achieve all these while bringing forth a zero drop, natural shoe.

This shoe is Topo Athletic. They effectively brought forth all their shoe commitments in this shoe, and it sure as heck shines.

Thank you, Topo, for another great shoe in your lineup. If you have not tried this brand, start with the Magnifly 3. You won’t be disappointed!

Patrick Lister | Level 3 expert Verified
I love people, and I love life. My love for people has lead me to the field of Physical Therapy and specialize in treating athletes, as well as runners. For the past 3 years, running has become my exercise. I have gone from 5k's to 1/2 marathons and now to marathons. My current PR is 3:28.

98
/100 by Mark Clements, posted on .

I am a 42-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall, and my feet are sized 12 (Brannock). I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.

First glance

The Magnifly 3 shoes appear to be very basic. They have a noticeably wide toe-box and a pretty even heel-to-toe drop. There is nothing fancy about these shoes at all.

 

 

They appear very reminiscent of the first versions of the Altra Escalante, except a little stiffer.

Preliminary fit

Shoe length

My feet are size 12 (Brannock). Size 12 in the Magnifly 3 seemed just a little long, but nothing major since I am always marathon training, and the extra space comes in handy on long runs.

Laces

I use a heel-locking tie, just like every other shoe I wear, since it keeps my heels cinched down. The laces are the perfect length when using all the eyelets and a heel-locking tie.

No need for double-knotting them, either, since the material comes together nicely. Only once did the laces come untied, and that was because I put the shoes on a little too hastily and did not tie them well.

Toe box

As I stated above, the toe-box is extra-wide. This is a welcome addition to most running shoes, as my toes had plenty of space to move around.

Upper

Very nice, breathable mesh upper. Again, very basic with nothing fancy.

 

Midsole

The midsole has two levels of foam density for cushioning: Near the foot is a little softer, and on the ground-side, it’s a little firmer.

Outsole

At the outset, I was a little concerned about the design of the outsole. It looks as if it won’t hold up to high mileage (my initial estimate was incorrect).

Weight

Again, there is just not much going on with these shoes – very basic. There is not much to worry about in the way of weight. They come in right at 10 ounces.

Heel & arch support

This is the first area of concern for me. While the shoes provide a nice molded foam collar and an “Ortholite” foam footbed, there just isn’t enough arch support for me. I could immediately tell that my feet would be prone to flatten in the arch.

 

After 200 miles

I gave the Magnifly 3 a full range of testing in my current marathon training cycle:

  • Short runs (2-8 miles) at recovery pace
  • Track speed work
  • Fartlek and Hill Repeats on the streets
  • Long runs

 

The shoes have held up quite nicely. It did not take very long for them to “break in” as they were flexible from the start. The shoes did not attract any additional moisture or dirt, as other shoes had.

I did have one problem: Because of the minimal arch support, I began feeling the pains of plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I could give the shoes the benefit of the doubt since I had not been running in zero-drop shoes prior to these, but the lack of arch-support is noticeable.

Performance

The Magnifly 3 is a very versatile shoe and capable of running any workout you might need. I was able to maintain track workout speeds as needed, and they held up nicely for a long run of 18+ miles with no issues.

Expected lifespan

At 200 miles, the Magnifly 3 still have lots of life left in them. I am several hundred miles from reaching the end of these; I anticipate a lifespan of 400-500 miles for these shoes.

 

Pros

  • Simple structure
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight but long-lasting

Cons

  • Minimal arch support

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a very simple, versatile running shoe with no frills, if you do not need major arch support, and if you are looking to throw a zero-drop shoe into your rotation, the Magnifly 3 is for you.

I will keep these in my rotation of trainers even after this test.

Mark Clements | Level 4 expert Verified
My name is Mark Clements. I’m an avid runner in my 40’s and I run races from 5Ks to Marathons. I’m always training for a race and run at least 40 miles/week, rotating up to 5 pairs of shoes through my runs. My long term goal is to run into old age, remaining injury-free, which comes in part by being equipped with the best shoes out there!

80
/100 by Justin Helbing, posted on .

DISCLOSURE: For this review, I’d like to thank Topo Athletic for providing me with a pair of Magnifly 3 shoes. No additional compensation was provided, and the review process objective throughout a normal life cycle of my daily training shoes.

 

Introduction

Welcome to Fall! Or, as we know it best in the Midwest, the two-week-long window between sweltering summer heat and the punishing winter months set to test the limits of human endurance and prepare those of us brave enough to venture outdoors to train for the spring racing season to come.

In this beautiful interim period, I have the opportunity to try out the Topo Athletic Magnifly 3, a road trainer in a line of footwear designed for two main purposes.

One is to provide a more natural ride with as minimal support as needed. And the second purpose is to allow generous room for the forefoot without sacrificing feel and security at the rear and midfoot.

I got the shoes on perfect timing. There were optimal outdoor conditions for me to test it. And, it was also at a time where I have been focusing not only on logging some recovery miles following my last marathon but also on strength and cross-training to aid in preparing my body for the next great adventure.

Thus, my level of excitement for this model to join my quiver of shoes was high. 

As I found, however, a shoe only in its third iteration still has some noticeable issues that, while minor, will make the shoe better, safer and more durable in years to come.

Upper & fit

Having become familiar with the Topo Athletic line over the past year or so, the design centers on one goal: to provide the least structure necessary to support the runner through the gait cycle with ease and just the right mix of support and responsiveness.

 

 

Much like other models, the hallmark of the Magnifly 3 is a wide toe box for proper toe splay at midstance and a snug fit in the heel and forefoot. While this model does not deviate from the main objective, sizing is mildly inconsistent throughout the line.

While models like the ST-3 tend to run wide and roughly true to size, models such as the MTN Racer and the Hydroventure 2 (both trail models) required a half size up. The Magnifly 3 is somewhere in between.

Normally, I measure between a 10 and 10.5, more recently leaning toward the latter. With a size 11 slightly more roomy along the sides of the midfoot and looser on the heel and a 10.5 not quite long enough, I was in a tough spot.

I chose the 11 to avoid feeling too cramped in the toe box to comfortably log serious mileage in without risking the dreaded darkened toenail.

While I tend to enjoy a little more generous fit to my trainer, this may be a point of frustration for some (including those living in the Midwest where Topo models are difficult to find in brick and mortar stores for appropriate sizing).

One of the major updates to the upper of the shoe is the continued deconstruction of the midfoot cage. In previous models, the midfoot featured a set of interlocking welded overlays to provide a flexible structure from heel to forefoot.

The tradeoff (as seen in models still featuring the forefoot welded materials such as the Hydroventure 2) is that breathability is decreased under high heat and on up tempo and distance runs.

With areas of looser and tighter spaces in the engineered mesh upper, the Magnifly 3 retains a fair amount of structure and firm hold without adding weight or creating folding over in the upper. This is the case with similar models from competitors such as the Escalante 1.5 as well as the Merrell Bare Access series.

One major flaw in this construction on the model was in the adherence of the rubber cap of the outsole to the front of the upper.

After only approximately 30 miles of wear, the tip of the adhered area began to peel and has now receded to the intersection of the upper and the midsole (see photo below).

 

 

While it is only cosmetic (for now), it is discouraging to see a shoe built and priced (at $120 MSRP) for the long haul begin to show signs of deterioration so quickly.

 

 

In terms of feel in the heel collar and through the lacing system, a new foam layered upper creates additional support and a lockdown point for the foot (filling the void left by the welded overlays).

These do not limit tarsal mobility by the grace of a flattened lacing system and flexibility of the foam that also extends to the heel counter, which is supple and yet mildly supportive and unrestrictive.

Even after 70+ miles of training, cross-training, and speed work, no blistering or wear to the foot is evident.

The lacing system is light and does not seem to be losing its elasticity due to the slick nature of the materials used in its construction. However, I have noticed that knotting the shoes to stay tied has been more troublesome than usual.

This is despite using the trusty double knotting during gym workouts or when used as an all-day shoe working in my physical therapy clinic, where the shoe is subjected to various multiplanar activities and exercises beyond the straight plane running motion.

In terms of feel in the cold and heat, the shoe performs admirably for its class. Given wool socks in the cold and more breathable, thin synthetic socks in the heat, moisture management is adequate.

But, at 10 ounces per shoe seems a touch hefty in class when competitor models such as the Fresh Foam Zante (8.8 oz) the Kinvara (7.8 oz) and even the recently beefed up Escalante 2.0 (9.2 oz) all are well under the 10 oz barrier.

Most of my runs have been at or below marathon pace threshold, and that weight has not been appreciably noticeable. However, during T:20 cross-training sessions and when demonstrating athletic training subsets and plyometric jumping activities, the shoe feels a little less than nimble.

Unlike the trio mentioned above, a saving grace of the Magnifly is the seamless upper design and soft inner lining materials that eschew unnecessary stitching and chafing mesh points that score well with workouts done without socks.

Overall Grade: C

Insole and midsole cushioning systems

Although I have certain claims about the upper, the midsole cushioning system, though simple and less forgiving than most, is exactly the type of transitional material that I usually recommend for my patients.

In particular, these are patients seeking to either transition back into training following a layoff and returning to work on their efficiency or those beginning to dip their toe into the world of more minimally restrictive yet supportive trainers.

 

 

The Magnifly has a dual-density EVA foam midsole. This has a comparatively more supple top layer and a more responsive and textured lower layer to provide dampening to the contact points directly under the ball of the foot and heel while allowing feedback from the ground through the more responsive foam below.

The combination makes for a terrifically responsive and springy toe-off as well as a welcome companion to fatigued knees and hips returning to the tarmac, concrete, or cinder trail.

The insole is produced in partnership with Ortholite and (much like its big brothers the MTN Racer and Hydroventure) has a Urethane base treated with an anti-odor system.

This insole will prevent microbes from causing breakdown and malodorous bacterial cultures from invading the inside of your best training buddy. As someone who sweats early and often (bordering on hyperhidrosis), this feature is indispensable for the overall longevity of the shoe.

 

 

In terms of feel underfoot, the insole/midsole combo shine when performing box jumps and Beach Body workouts alike.

As much as I enjoyed the firm ride when on the run, the soft top attenuated shock better than anticipated with workouts like P90X and during functional pattern demonstrations on a day to day basis in my role as a Physical Therapy Assistant.

In sum, Topo has done the best at keeping a good thing going while adding useful and well-tuned tech to this crucial piece of the shoe to greatly impact the overall experience on the road, the gym, and in the clinic.

Overall Grade: A+

Outsole and durability

In terms of the outsole for the Magnifly 3, the overall theme is “less is more.”

Some shoes are going in various directions with their outsole pattern like the Hoka One One Mach 2, which has almost no true outsole to the waffle style, near full coverage outsole of the Adidas Adios series. The Magnifly shares a similar, yet more robust set of small pads of abrasion-resistant rubber at the forefoot and the heel.

 

 

This rubber wears only at the most vulnerable places on the bottom of the sole while leaving the EVA foam midsole exposed and sporting key flex grooves under the metatarsal heads. These heads are required to allow your toes to properly flex following initial contact with the ground and during the toe-off phase of the running gait cycle.

For those looking to have an efficient stride and avoid having their feet locked in, this is a great and welcome feeling.

If however, you prefer stiffer midfoot support, the flexibility may be undesirable (especially for fans of models such as the Altra Vanish R or the vaunted Nike Vaporfly series).

In short, high marks are given for durability after the first 72 miles in this shoe (see picture wear pattern below) as well as for a brilliantly simple and consistent design.

Given this high standard for materials between upper and mid/outsole, the only shame is that they were not able to stay connected better as mentioned above.

Overall Grade: A

Style

As a fashion statement, the Magnifly 3 falls toward the conservative end of the spectrum. Despite the company’s reputation for carving new territory in the running shoe landscape, this model has the look of a very traditional trainer.

One head-scratching design cue is the bevelled and protruding heel foam at the back of the shoe. The Magnifly is left looking a little more clunky on foot despite its smooth feeling ride.

Other low-drop or zero drop models such as the Brooks PureFlow, Mizuno Wave Sonic, and even the more minimal ST-3 have saved some weight and are more sleek-looking from a sculpted heel. 

The mesh upper is sleek and generally aesthetically neutral in the black offering for professional dress.

However, those looking to stand out at the local track club or on race morning will find the lack of overall color variance more drab than other recent offerings from Topo such as the Phantom and the Zephyr.

Also, on a note of safety, most shoes have gone to offering some form of fluorescence or reflective patterns on the upper or side of the midsole.

However, a very little outside of the model swatch at the back of the Magnifly will stand out to oncoming or trailing vehicles as we enter the darker months of the year, especially as daylight savings time looms.

 

 

Finally, this model has only two colorways currently ready to release (blue as pictured and an all-black iteration).

Those who log serious miles and look forward to varying up their wardrobe (see the ever-changing Escalante Racer, Brooks Launch series et al.) may tire of the same old, same old patterns from this particular model.

 

 

In sum, what the shoe gains in function and flexibility at work and at play it cedes in overall wow factor as a mid to high-end price point shoe.

Overall Grade: C-

Pros

  • Responsive but cushioned dual-density midsole accommodating to a wide array of runners
  • Upper comfort and breathability admirable when worn with or without socks
  • Double woven upper feels supportive yet supple
  • Low odor noted with an anti-microbial feature, even with intense gym work

Cons

  • Toe cap separation from upper was disheartening after low mileage input
  • Weight over 10 ounces seems excessive for a modern, low drop trainer
  • Flat laces are light but do not grip as well as most
  • Bevelled heel and less eye-popping design detract from a very solid performing shoe

Overall take

The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 has a delightful combination of support and flexibility for a road shoe.

Despite a few structural issues and an unsure lockdown through the laces, this offering will become a trusty favorite of those looking for a consistently responsive yet pliable trainer.

Justin Helbing | Level 3 expert Verified
Justin has been a distance athlete since 1999. A two-time IIAC JV All-Conference runner at D-3 Wartburg, Justin currently enjoys training for marathons and has run both Boston and NYC. In addition to coaching beginning adult endurance athletes & high school athletes, he has 4 years of experience rehabilitating endurance athletes as a physical therapist assistant.

94
/100 by Mordechai Sopher, posted on .

For the past two years, I have been mainly running in zero drop shoes, and have reviewed minimal and zero drop shoes from Vivobarefoot, Vibram FiveFingers, and Altra.

I am totally on board with the zero drop concept and what it stands for—or should I say, runs for. The concept is centered around running shoes that are impressively lightweight, wide in the front (toe box), and "zero drop" (equal stack height) in the midsole.

With these three ingredients together, the goal is to enable a more "natural" running experience that encourages proper running form and feels closer to running barefoot.

Still, on my search for the ultimate zero drop shoes, I was introduced to this new company (founded in 2013), Topo Athletic, thanks to RunRepeat!

The new Topo Athletic Magnifly 3, just released in October 2019, is my first Topo Athletic shoe, and wow, I am impressed so far. Even the packaging is cool!

I also like how the shoebox lists the main highlights of the shoe: Roomy Toe Box, Low Drop, and Light Weight to allow you to Move Better Naturally.

 

 

These are the main elements that I look for in running shoes, so I was excited to start running before I even put them on (and so was my daughter, as seen in the picture)!

 

 

Since purchasing them two months ago for 120 dollars, I have enjoyed running in them. I have gotten in some good mileage, including running the spectacular Dead Sea Marathon (the lowest elevation race in the world at 450 meters below sea level).

 

The shape

I am very impressed by the wide toe box yet sleek appearance of the Magnifly 3's. The shoe appears narrow to the eye, but the toe box is roomy and has enough wiggle room for all of my toes.

I have had no blisters in them since my toes can splay out and don't rub together. Some zero drop shoes have an extra-wide looking appearance in the toe box, which is fine for added comfort but makes you feel less fast and athletic.

 

 

These Magnifly 3's don't have this wide looking forefoot shape, and it seems that most experts prefer the shape of Topos over their similar style competitor, Altra.

However, something that doesn't appeal to me as much in the shape is the back of the shoe, which makes the heel appear a bit wide. I wish it was slimmed down slightly.

These are road running shoes that grip the roads nicely, so no complaints with their traction. I found the outsole design to work well for light trails excluding the one drawback that mud can collect in the indentation where "Topo Athletic" is written on the outer sole.

 

Comfort

As mentioned, the forefoot shape is nice and roomy and allows for ample toe splay, even when wearing a thicker sock. The sizing is true to size and I comfortably wear my usual size 11 in them.

The Magnifly 3's are very comfortable while running, but a bit less for wearing long hours for sport and leisure. This is because of its stiffer midsole, which can be less comfortable for all-day use.

While I did not get any blisters from them after a marathon, I did have a bit of foot pain on the side of my foot by the heel collar. This was attributed to the padding in the ankle collar pressing up against my foot.

When I first put them on, the molded foam ankle collar, was one of the first things that I noticed. I was curious as to how this would affect the comfort.

 

 

On one hand, I understand how this feature is intended to lock down the foot and improve stability. But, unfortunately, the puffy collar has given me some pain in my lower ankle.

For two weeks following the marathon, I was running in different shoes with less rubbing in that area, to let my foot heal.

The look

I am not a big fan of the direction that many running shoes are going in, with lots of colors and materials, so I like the Magnifly's simple look! An all-black, well ventilated, upper made from one mesh material with an all-white midsole. There are no extra colors or fabrics, and they look sharp!

 

 

The stack height is nice and low at 25 mm in the midsole, which is a typical "low stack height" zero drop shoe feature. This low midsole allows you to feel the ground better and provides a more natural running sensation.

The Fly factor

Something that I love about this shoe is its responsiveness. They are quite stiff but also manage to have sufficient cushion, and my legs felt great after running a marathon in them.

They are a fast shoe that really propels you along, and that is why I chose to race in them, even though I had more training mileage in other shoes. With their pop and speed, and especially for a zero drop, it was an obvious choice for me to select them on race day.

In comparison to similar Altra shoes that I've worn, these Magniflys have been more responsive and provide better energy return. I will give Altras a bit of an edge in the comfort department.

However, these Topo Magnifly 3's are speedier, which is better for racing and speed training. They feel slightly heavier than most Altras, listed at 10 oz in a men's size 9, but the pop of the "multi-density" midsole makes the slight extra weight worth it.

 

 

This Topo engineered, EVA multi-density midsole means that the upper midsole has a top layer of cushion for absorbing shock. At the same time, underneath is a firmer midsole, which propels you forward as you run. It is a great combo—stiff but also cushioned!

Durability

After two months of intensive use, the shoes still seem totally brand new! I have run on roads, trails, middle distances, sprints, and a 42.2-kilometer marathon. But still, I see very little wear and tear in them.

The Magnifly is still going strong, and from what I hear, Topos are known to be solid in the durability department.

Overall summary

Across the board, I give the Magnifly 3's high scores in comfort, support, design, and durability. I ran my 7th marathon in them and ran my PR and felt minimal leg soreness after the run.

Again, the only main drawback was one painful area on the outer side of my foot, which I attribute to the molded foam ankle collar.

Sometimes, when I go out on "cruising" run, I prefer to go with a bit more cushion in the midsole, so keep in mind that this Magnifly 3 has a stiffer midsole, but still provides enough cushion for long distances.

These are versatile shoes that stay nice and cool with their supportive mesh upper and are suitable for running any distance. They secure the foot nicely, which is assisted by a unique lacing system.

The insole, called an Ortholite foam footbed, could be improved by adding a bit more traction, as the current insole is a bit slick with my main running socks.

All in all, TOPO is currently at the TOP of my running shoe list!

Mordechai Sopher | Level 3 expert Verified
Hi, I'm Mordechai! I work as a professional fitness trainer and high school Physical Education teacher. I have been a runner since childhood, however after serving in the military at age 23, my love for running developed into more of a focused passion for distance running, as I was previously more of a middle distance runner in track and field. I live in Israel and have run all of Israel's 5 full marathon courses at least once.

94
/100 by Scott Roman, posted on .

Disclaimer: I have received these shoes at no cost through runrepeat.com for an unbiased and objective review based on my expertise and usage of these shoes.

I have worn and reviewed both the Runventure 2 and the MTN Racer trail shoes from Topo Athletic, and both shoes impressed me. The build quality, neutral ride, low heel-toe drop, responsiveness, and roomy toe box are all things that I love about Topo Athletic.

And. I’m happy to say that these traits are all present in the Magnifly 3’s! Topo has an excellent road shoe that will help you devour distances of any length.

 

Magnifly 3’s right out of the box!

 

Magnifly 3’s after 50 miles

Design

Overall, it’s a pretty sleek and minimal looking design. These shoes are simple but well made. It doesn’t feel like Topo was cutting any corners when they put these shoes together!

Upper

The upper is amazing—very comfortable. I love that they decided to go all mesh, which makes for a cooler ride when it’s warm out.

There is a sturdier covering over the toes to stop your big toe from poking a hole through the upper. Also, there are no plasticky decals on the sides which can peel off.

There also isn’t any fancy lacing system, which I’m personally a fan of in a road shoe. When you’re running on the road, you don’t typically need to take a lot of sharp turns, so you don’t need to have the foot incredibly secure in the shoe.

You just need a shoe that keeps the sole against your foot as you move in a mostly straight line forward and doesn’t move around too much—both things this shoe does well.

I did, however, notice that these shoes are very easy to overtighten. In other shoes, the laces seem to redistribute the pressure as you run a bit, but these laces stay right where you left them. So, I had to retie them once or twice during my initial runs with them.

 

The all-mesh upper and substantial heel cup of the Magnifly 3’s after 50 miles of use

Midsole

Topo boasts a 2-density midsole as a new feature on the Magnifly 3’s. I haven't run in the Magnifly 2’s, so I can’t compare this midsole to the previous version, but these shoes have a pretty stellar cushioning system.

I didn’t love the cushioning right out of the box, especially compared to the three pairs of Altra’s Escalante’s I run through this year (Altra’s superb EGO midsole foam is their response to the Adidas Boost foam that started the “Foam Wars” for running shoes).

But, after about 10 steps, the cushioning felt great. It’s not bouncy or plush, but it’s substantial.

I did about 8 miles in these shoes, then raced a marathon in them. A few more longer runs followed this, and at no point in time during any of those runs did my feet feel like they needed more or better cushioning.

It’s stiffer than other running shoes, but I still found them comfortable and enjoyable.

Outsole

The main thing that matters on the outsole of a road shoe to me is durability. The outsoles here seem to be holding up very well after 50 miles.

Thus, I have no concerns about the outsole. It grips, it protects, and it works well.

 

Brand new Magnifly 3’s

Performance

These shoes don’t seem like they’d be really fast out of the box, but they are. The mildly stiff midsole allows for quite a lot of responsiveness and seems capable of capturing each and every step’s full potential.

If you’re a heel striker, these might not be a great shoe for you, as the stiffer sole and zero heel-toe drop would make for a more jarring ride. On the other hand, midfoot and forefoot strikers will be pleased!

Durability

I typically like to get about 400–500 miles out of my shoes before retiring them. A lot of that is based on how well the midsole foam holds up.

I only have 50 miles on these shoes, but they look like new and still feel incredibly responsive. I don’t foresee having any durability issues with these guys and expect to get 500 miles out of them.

 

Outsole after 50 miles

Fit & comfort

These are not the most comfortable running shoe you’ll when you first slip them on, but they shine when you start adding on the miles. The heel cup is sturdy and well-shaped to fit my heel and not allow for any slippage.

The big toe box isn’t clown-shoe sized like some Altra shoes, but it’s wide enough to give my foot a ton of comfort during a run of any length. I’m a big fan of the larger toe boxes in road shoes, and Topo did this one very well.

I wear a size 12 in most shoes, and these in size 12 fit me perfectly.

Most Adidas shoes 12
Saucony Kinvara 5,6, and 7 12.5
Brooks Pureflow 6 and 7 12.5
Altra Escalante 12
Saucony Freedom ISO 2 12
Timberland GT Scramble Boot 12
Topo Athletic shoes 12

Best use

The Magnifly 3’s are on the slightly heavier side of running shoes, but they really don’t feel too heavy, especially considering how sturdy they are! They feel surprisingly quick for the weight, so I’d be fine with pacing marathons and half marathons in them.

However, I think these shoes will be best put to use as a trusted daily runner to have in your shoe quiver. If you have transitioned to a neutral, low-drop shoe for your road runs, then these are a great shoe for you!

Value

The Magnifly 3 retails for $120, which puts them in the middle range of new shoe prices. If you’re especially thrifty like me and usually shop the deals, then these are nearly twice the cost I typically pay for shoes.

Are they that good? I don’t think so, but they are very good. Topo is an extremely reputable company creating neutral, natural, and ethically made shoes, which are all things that I like to support. By purchasing these shoes over a deal, you are voicing your opinion for more shoes like this.

All that said, if it were my money, I’d probably get the now discounted and still excellent Magnifly 2’s. If you can find the 3’s at a discount, then snatch them up immediately.

Score & conclusion

These are excellent shoes. They shine as a daily runner, but they also feel fast enough that you wouldn’t mind racing in them!

They are sturdy, well made, and seem to be very durable so you’ll get all the miles you’d expect out of these shoes.

One final tidbit about these shoes: they aren’t that common amongst road runners, so if you like to go against the grain a bit with your style choices, these could be a good option.

A brief anecdote: I ran the Chicago Marathon in October, and I’m constantly looking to see what shoes people are wearing.

I saw so many Nike VaporFly’s, that if I had a penny for each pair I saw, I might actually have enough to buy a pair. I saw exactly one pair of Topo Athletic shoes.

 

Brand new Magnifly 3’s

Scott Roman | Level 3 expert Verified
I’ve been a dedicated amateur runner since 2015 and run anywhere from 25 - 60 miles a week. I also do a bit of cycling, Ultimate Frisbee, and rock climbing as a mild supplement to running. My focus is road running, but I do enjoy me some good ol’ trail running as well.

  • The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 is a well-cushioned road running shoe with a zero-drop platform. It uses the same midsole and outsole technology as the previous models. 
  • This everyday running shoe features a brand new engineered mesh coverage that offers a more comfortable and breathable ride. A molded foam collar is also incorporated into the upper for added comfort and security. 
  • Another update integrated into the shoe is the Ortholite footbed. This material possessed anti-microbial properties that help prevent the growth of microorganisms that cause an unwanted smell.

The third edition of the Topo Athletic Magnifly is manufactured using the standard shoe measurement. Consumers are welcome to get a pair using their usual expectations. However, it is advisable to fit the shoe first or utilize the general feedback to ensure a comfortable fit. 

The technical components affecting the shoe’s fit include the wide toe box and lacing system. The anatomical toe box allows for a natural toe splay, while the lacing system offers a personalized fit. 

The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 utilizes a rubber outsole that runs the length of the shoe. This component enhances the shoe’s durability and provides reliable protection against sharp rocks and rough surfaces. The outsole features a toe rocker design, which helps create propulsion through the gait cycle. 

The zero-drop platform allows the foot to sit level to the ground. It makes it easier for the user to run more efficiently. The zero-drop platform also provides a safer way to emulate barefoot-style running. Other popular running shoes that feature the zero-drop platform are the Altra Superior 4.0 and Altra Olympus 3.0.

Responsible for providing a soft and cushioned ride is the Dual Density EVA Midsole. This midsole material has two different densities. The softer layer close to the foot provides maximum comfort, while the firmer bottom layer helps improve the shoe’s propulsion. 

Providing long-lasting comfort is the Ortholite footbed included in this neutral running shoe. This anti-compression footbed has anti-microbial properties that prevent unwanted smells and protect the foot from all adverse effects such as infection.

The updated engineered mesh upper offers a breathable and comfortable in-shoe wrap. This material is also lightweight and durable. The molded foam collar included in the upper also provides added security and comfort.  

This lightweight running shoe utilizes an anatomical toe box for better balance, comfort, and stability. The extra-wide toe box provides enough room to promote a more natural toe splay. 

The Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 uses the lace-up system to provide a secure and customized fit every time. 

Size and fit

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How Magnifly 3 compares

This shoe: 93
All shoes average: 86
58 99
This shoe: $120
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 9.7oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
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