- Great traction
- True to size
- Protective design
- Great comfort
- Massive toe room
- Excellent fit
- Price is good value
- Could use a toggle lacing
- Lacks foot-hugging stability
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Who should buy the Topo Athletic Trailventure
The Topo Athletic Trailventure is a versatile, lightweight, and affordable hiking boot. I recommend it for:
- speed hiking and easy trail running on super technical trails
- outdoor adventures and off-road escapades during the summer season
Offers sufficient ankle support
I recently tested the Topo Athletic Trailventure hiking boots over a month on the glorious trail systems of the mountains that rise above the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
I don’t think a better testing ground could be had than the rocky technical terrain and endless climbs and descents these trails afford. The Topo boots felt more like high-top running shoes yet provided the ankle support and comfort of much heavier trekking boots.
The Athletic Trailventure is impressively comfortable
From the Appalachian Trail to the Massanutten and Tuscarora trails, I hiked and fast-packed over many varying terrain types in comfort.
The bottom line is these boots are the most comfortable hiking boots I’ve ever had; more comfortable than some of the high-end German boots I’ve used in the Alps.
Prevents toes being squeezed together
From the top view looking down, it’s easy to spot the shape of the boot and see that it follows the shape of a typical human foot.
It’s snug around the midfoot but opens to a roomy toe box that has plenty of width that prevents the toes from being squeezed together, particularly on the steep descents which push the toes into the front of the boot.
Perfect balance of snug and roomy
The heel fits snugly and is cupped without the tendency of blistering by being too narrow. It’s the perfect balance of snug and roomy.
The same principle is found in the toe box which despite being super roomy still feels like the feet aren’t loosely moving around inside which could cause blistering.
Allows for a personalized fit
The ankle padding and padded tongue provide a super snug level of support that you can modulate by adjusting the lace tension.
For easy trails, it’s nice to have more freedom and maybe extra cooling, yet on really rocky, root-filled uneven trails, it’s possible to tighten the lacing and ratchet up the ankle support.
Provides a firm yet cushioned feel
Vibram! What a great shock-absorbing material. The soles of these boots with their Vibram material provide a firm yet cushioned feel.
It all adds up and if you are doing 10, 20, or more miles in these, all the shocks add up, so reducing it means a lot at the end of a long hike. It keeps you fresher for the next hike.
Protects toes from stubbing
As a trail ultra runner, I know that one of the most painful things is stubbing toes against rocks or roots. The rubber toe cap protector takes care of that inevitability.
I did the usual toe stubbing on my hikes and found it was like wearing safety boots. Still not fun, but not painful at all.
Durable rubber bumper
Technical trails often feature slanted rocks and a variety of features that can rub against the side of the feet. These boots have a high rubber bumper that surrounds the whole foot, followed by touch-to-rip material higher than the sole protection.
I found that after 40 miles of testing this type of abrasion not only didn’t affect my feet, but the boots were not damaged or worn on the sides at all.
Minimal wear of the treads after 40 miles
Hiking/running on some of the pointy, jagged rocks of the Appalachian, Massanutten, and Tuscarora trails in Virginia, I was quite happy with the protection of the rock plate underfoot. I never felt these jagged trails putting undue pressure on any points underfoot.
After 40 miles of intense trails that contained a lot of rock scrambling, there was only minimal wear on the treads. The rubber compound seems to be the right balance of softness for grip and firmness for durability. No degradation of the rubber was noted.
Zero separation and tearing
The uppers and sides of the boots became more shaped to my feet and wrinkled at the bending points. However, there was zero separation, tearing, delaminating, etc of the materials.
Also, there was no degradation in the padding surrounding the ankles. The insoles stayed in place and didn’t curl or otherwise move around inside the boot.
Lace tends to untie from time to time
The lacing system couldn’t be simpler because it remains laced up, except for the top two lacing eyes. It’s quick and easy to simply wrap the laces around these and tie them up.
If I had to critique the lacing, I would say that the round lace material has a tendency to untie from time to time. My recommendation that would make this boot perfect would be a toggle lacing system.
Fast-packing and lightweight
Let me just say that the 13-ounce weight of these boots was unexpected as they are much lighter! Compared to trail running shoes I have that weigh about 11 ounces, you get a lot more protection and comfort at the cost of only 2 ounces.
Of course, this meant that I needed to try them for a trail run. For my run test, I chose a route that features a vertical climb/descent of 2047 feet (624 metres) over its 6.84 miles (11 kilometres).
Performs well as a trail running shoe
It is an out-and-back to a prominence called Big Schloss near Mill Mountain on the border between Virginia and West Virginia. It is a true ankle-busting run with most of the trail having either loose rock or embedded jagged rock and roots.
There really are no flat or easy spots on this trail so the test would be good. The end result was that I found these boots to run as well as trail running shoes, except with a lot more ankle support.
Topo Athletic Trailventure offers an epic ankle support
I could run through these rock gardens and the occasional misstep that placed my foot on an awkwardly angled rock didn’t result in a massive bodyweight shift that kept from twisting my ankle. Instead, I felt like with the support I could land with my foot horizontally and there was no twisting action.
Epic ankle support for super technical trails is what I got. Overall my lower leg tendons and muscles were fresher. I would not run in these for less technical trails or in a race, but they totally changed my perspective. I would fast pack in these all day.