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Topo Athletic ST-3 has just been released by Topo Athletic. Our experts are working on a detailed review. Please, come back later.
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|Weight:||Men: 7.3oz | Women: 6.1oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Forefoot strike|
|Heel height:||Men: 16mm | Women: 16mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 16mm | Women: 16mm|
|Type:||Low drop | Zero drop|
|Width:||Men: Normal | Women: Normal|
|Colorways:||Black, Blue, Orange|
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87 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews
Light as a feather with ST-3 by Topo AthleticMore photos
Just when I thought Topo Athletic couldn’t possibly get any better, they released another line of shoes that keeps me coming back for more!
I’d to introduce to you the brand new ST-3 road running shoe that doubles as both a running shoe and everyday trainer. Without further ado, let’s check out this awesome kicks!
From the moment I put these shoes on my feet, I was very pleased with the ST-3! This isn’t my first rodeo with Topo Athletic, as this will be my fourth pair of Topo shoes.
I am in awe how they continually get better and better with each new model released!
Like many, I wasn’t made privy as to how phenomenal these shoes actually were until I gave them a spin for myself.
I have friends who unquestionably swear by Topo Athletic. But because I did not know much about the brand at first, I was hesitant to try. Nonetheless, I am so glad that I did!
They have become a staple in my shoe arsenal and have helped me to turn the tempo up exponentially and even PR (personal record) in races this season!
Truth be told, I did not realize how uncomfortable my previous running trainers were until I started running in Topo Athletic shoes. Naturally, the idea of trying a new shoe brand can be terrifying.
This is especially if you’re cautious and have zero time for injuries, like me. Choosing the right shoes can quite frankly make or break your training!
Fortunately for me, my husband is a physical therapist. He helps to analyze my gait to ensure that the shoes that I am running in complement my individual biomechanics and gait appropriately.
I picked a good one, huh? Haha!
Initial unboxing: Aesthetics
Functionality is, and always will be, my main focus, yet Topo Athletics hit the nail directly on the head in the aesthetics department for the ST-3 road running shoes. I'm certainly a fan of its design.
Perhaps I am a bit basic, but I love the solid color scheme. The ST-3 is very stylish and pleasing to the eye.
The ST-3 road running shoes appear to be quite simplistic and straightforward, with a no-nonsense approach. I dig ‘em!
Here is a quick break down of the ST-3 road running shoe specifications:
Weight 6.1oz (women’s) Stack Height Minimal Shoe Type Lightweight Road Running Heel-to-toe offset 0mm Cushioning Minimal Category Neutral
Through my previous experience with Topo Athletics and sizing, I had an inkling that these shoes would require a half-size increase for the ideal fit. I typically wear a 9, but the 9.5 fits phenomenally.
With at being said, I recommend ordering a half-size up.
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 On Running 9.5
Uppers & shoe shape
I love the new knit uppers of the ST-3! Other models of Topo Athletic shoes are constructed with no-sew mesh, but the ST-3 has an updated knit upper mesh pattern with far fewer printed overlays.
Just because it has less overlays does not mean that the shoes do not lock down correctly. In fact, I found it locked down on my midfoot with a comfortably snug fit better than the Fli-Lyte 2 did!
ST-3 has a signature roomy toe box allowing adequate toe splay. Though “roomier” than a traditional running shoe, I found them to be a bit narrower than other Topo models I’ve tested previously.
Furthermore, a unique aspect of the ST-3 is the unconstructed heel. The collapsible heel of the ST-3 was quite comfortable. Moreover, I had zero issues with blistering or slipping.
I feel as though the collapsible heel contributes to the overall light weight of the shoes. Initially, I was skeptical of the unconstructed heel.
However, the ST-3 continued to check off all the right boxes for me, and I remained very satisfied with the shoes.
Midsole and outsole
The midsole is comprised of a light weight exposed EVA foam cushioning. If you look at the outsole of the shoe, it is mostly comprised of EVA with rubber outsole pods.
These rubber outsole pods are strategically placed where one would need traction. This helps to drastically reduce the overall weight of the shoes, which keeps it so unbelievably light in weight.
I like these rubber pods, and I believe they’re best suited for midfoot/forefoot strikers. As a midfoot striker, I would have liked to see the rubber pods cover just a tad more under the metatarsals.
I had early signs of wear on the foam just beneath my first metatarsals on each foot as early as mile 10!
Performance & comfort
Holy Mack, prepare to PR on your next run if you’ve got the ST-3 shoes on your feet! These feather-weighted shoes helped me quite literally to fly during my normal runs.
On my “slower” runs, I found myself accidentally at race pace! The ST-3 felt so awesome to run in that my body naturally just turned the tempo way up!
They make really great gym shoes as well—I found myself wearing them for my cross-training sessions at the gym.
I am always interested to see how long of a break-in period is required for different running shoes. To my surprise, unlike the Fli-Lyte 2, the ST-3 shoes required no break-in period whatsoever.
My first run was intended to be a short 5K to see what the shoes were made of. But, I ended up doubling the distance because I felt as though I had wings!
I thought it might have been the copious amounts of carbohydrates I ate. But, that wasn’t the case because the shoes felt comfortable time and time again with each run.
The ST-3 is astoundingly responsive on the treadmill, the road, and light packed gravel. I have trained in these shoes at various distances.
But, I believe they are best suited for shorter tempo runs due to how light they are. At longer distances, the firmness of the shoe becomes pretty apparent.
Hence, I was wishing just for a little more forefoot cushioning. Otherwise, in my opinion, the ST-3 is a great shoe for speed work and would even make a fantastic 5K-10K road race shoe.
As far as comfort, I have found that the ST-3 was far more comfortable than the Fli-Lyte 2 in regards to the new knit upper and minimal overlays.
I had a tiny bit of irritation on my 5th metatarsal right where the overlay is which bothered me when wearing the ST-3 shoes for prolonged periods.
The cushioning is very minimal, so if you’re an individual who desires more cushioning, you might find these shoes to be too firm for your individual desired level of cushioning.
Where I live is incredibly flat, so unless I drive a few hours to the mountains, I utilize the treadmill for incline training. The ST-3 performed like a champ during my hill runs on the treadmill.
I loved how light they felt on my feet as I really felt as though I could turn my legs over much quicker without my shoes weighing me down.
I wasn’t sure how the collapsible heel would perform during hill training, but I had zero issues with hot spots or blisters while training in these shoes. I am exceptionally pleased with the ST-3!
Just like the Fli-Lyte 2 and 3, the ST-3 is outfitted with flat laces. I’m a fan of the flat laces because this certainly distributes pressure more evenly across the top of the foot.
Thus, it makes the shoe far more comfortable. Moreover, in the past, I’ve found Topo laces tend to be on the longer side.
However, the ST-3 lace length was perfect, and I never had any issues with untied shoes during any of my runs.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Shoe locks down really well
- Responsive ride on both road and treadmill
- Love the specific type of knit upper
- Just a tad pricey
- Very minimal cushioning—best for short runs or perhaps cross-training at the gym
- More firm than I would have preferred for longer distances
- Not ideal for all distances
- Best for shorter distances or everyday/gym wear
- Premature wearing of outsole under 1st metatarsal
- Needs just a touch more rubber under the metatarsals
- Wide toe box, but not as wide as other Topo Models
- Some irritation with the overlay on lateral aspects of my feet
- Runs small, so order at least a half size up
It is easy to fall in love with shoes that feel amazing directly out of the box. I love the ST-3 shoes so much that, in addition to my runs,
I found myself wearing them to the gym, to work, and even out-and-about. Topo Athletics certainly listens to the feedback from their predecessors and creates newer models with amazing updates.
Topo Athletic may be a newer shoe company, but their shoes sure are mighty!
The ST-3 is a phenomenal running shoe, and I highly recommend that you try them for yourself. In my opinion, Topo Athletic is heading in the right direction with the ST-3 shoes.
I absolutely applaud the ST-3’s for their comfortability and responsiveness for any speed work and tempo training.
If you’re looking to dial up the pace with a responsive ride, the ST-3 should be your next go-to shoe!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Topo Athletic ST-3: Showing the benefits of knit design and zero dropMore photos
The ST-3 is a versatile, zero-drop running shoe designed to let users go fast. By utilizing a knit-like upper material, the ST-3 is able to achieve a low weight while enabling a flexible fit for different foot shapes.
Those who are looking for a running shoe that can be used for both speed work and regular training should consider the ST-3. Those who prefer minimalist running may also find pleasure in these shoes.
Fit & Comfort
Having relatively wide feet, I tend to go with EE width shoes in order to get the most comfortable fit.
However, seeing that the ST-3 deployed a knit-like upper (here I refer to knit shoes as those that resemble the feel of a sock, more so than a conventional shoe).
I figured there might be a chance that a pair in D-width (the only width offered) would still fit my foot. The elastic band that encircles the ankle region of the shoe made it easy for me to slip my foot into the shoe.
The midsection of the shoe immediately felt very snug (although not painful), meanwhile, I felt like there was plenty of room in the toe box to splay.
At first, the snugness around the middle of my foot felt a bit uncomfortable, but after a few runs, the shoes soon broke in and began to fit and stretch better around my feet.
Because of the smooth texture of the knit upper, the inside material felt comfortable against the top of my toes and sides of my feet. The shoes also make use of a plush tongue and sit cozily on the top of the foot.
I typically wouldn’t dedicate an entire section to shoelaces, but with the ST-3 I feel that it’s necessary. This is because I believe the default lacing system was the poorest feature of the shoe.
I felt the replacement was necessary because the ST-3’s laces are both short and stiff. This led to the shoes frequently becoming untied during runs, and in addition, because the laces were too short, I wasn’t able to double-knot them.
If by the end of this review you consider a pair of ST-3 for its other benefits (there are many!), then I strongly recommend you be prepared with different shoelaces or lock laces.
One of my favorite features of the ST-3 was that it felt incredibly easy to pick up the pace in them.
They are extremely lightweight and the zero-drop (heel is stacked at the same height as the toe) feature of the shoe promotes quick turnover combined with efficient midfoot or toe landings.
I found that the ST-3 has worked exceptionally for 5K-10K distances and speed work on the track (sprinting included).
Despite being a zero-drop lightweight shoe, the ST-3 is still offered moderate cushion and support to comfortably hit the road for long runs as well, making it a good multipurpose shoe.
However, I believe the cushioning is still not ideal for those who have a tendency to strike with the heel, as it is thin enough such that I was able to feel aching in my heel on some landings.
On that note, wearers could also use the ST-3 as a way to help move away from heel striking and toward midfoot and toe striking!
True to its lightweight and minimalist nature, the ST-3 seem to use as little material as possible (the shoe’s upper is actually very thin throughout).
This is especially true for the outsole. In addition, the rubber of the outsole felt softer to me than the outsoles of most other running shoes.
Because of this, I found that the ST-3 began to wear down pretty quickly.
The photo shown below was taken at around 30 miles of running in the shoes, but you can already see the fraying rubber, although the outsoles’ black treads still seemed mostly intact.
Fans of lightweight shoes and minimalist running will find joy in these shoes. The knit-like design helps the shoe be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable while offering a flexible fit even for wider feet.
The shoe works well for speed work and longer road runs, but the zero-drop specifically favors those with midfoot or toe strike landings.
The lacing system is a shortcoming of the shoe and I advise wearers to be prepared to replace the laces to save themselves from the inconvenience of worrying about untied laces.
The ST-3 is a really fun shoe to wear, but because they have soft rubber outsoles and show proneness to wear and tear, I would recommend wearers include the ST-3 as part of a set of shoes they can cycle through in order to prolong the useful life of the shoes. Those looking for a good 5K or 10K race and training shoe should consider the ST-3.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
- Designed for short and uptempo runs, the Topo Athletic ST-3 features several updates in the upper section. One major enhancement is the use of the knit mesh material, replacing the woven mesh found in the older version. The knit mesh aims to provide the foot a flexible and breathable coverage.
- The newest version also comes with lesser overlays. These printed overlays are strategically placed in the upper for a more secure foot lockdown.
- The collapsible heel is another notable update of the Topo Athletic ST-3. This collapsible heel comes in handy when traveling since the shoe can easily be packed for convenience.
Based on the standard running shoe length, this running shoe runs true to size. The heel and the forefoot sections have medium measurements. And due to the shoe’s anatomical toe-box, the toes are allowed to spread comfortably whenever necessary.
The ST-3 is available in men’s and women’s versions and it is available in a medium width option for both version.
In the outsole of the Topo Athletic ST-3 is the exposed EVA foam. But there are rubber pods strategically placed in the forefoot and heel sections for durability. The rubber pods provide protection to high-wear areas while delivering grip for road running.
This zero-drop running shoe makes use of a lightweight EVA foam. It extends from the heel to forefoot for durable cushioning. The EVA foam delivers responsiveness and bounce without compromising ground feel.
In the upper of the Topo Athletic ST-3 is the new knit mesh material that is designed to provide the foot a breathable coverage. This knit mesh is slightly flexible and adapts to the natural shape of the foot.
It also comes with minimal overlays printed specifically within the midfoot area. These overlays aim to provide midfoot security while increasing structural integrity.
In the heel is the stretch lycra construction that is specifically designed to facilitate the easy entry and removal of the foot.
Lastly, the ST-3 running shoe has a collapsible heel. It is designed to help runners pack the shoe easily when traveling. The collapsible heel made the shoe a truly versatile shoe for travel.