I finally have happy toes! I have been searching for a trail shoe that provides ample room for my toes while running on both dirt and rocky trails.
In the past, I’ve had trouble with blistering on the sides, ends and between my toes because other shoes did not provide enough room for my toes to spread out and move around while running. I tried many different combinations of trail shoes and socks and finally resorted to using a combination of Glide and paper tape on my toes to protect my toes from blistering.
Then I read about Topo Athletic and how all of their shoes are designed with a “roomy toe box”. It sounded like the perfect solution for me so I ordered a pair in my normal size (8.5 Mens).
From the minute I put the Topo Athletic Terraventure on my feet, I knew they were going to be good. They felt snug (not sloppy) in the midfoot and heel area, and very comfortable and roomy in the toe area. I did not feel any annoying seams and the arch support felt good.
First run in the Terraventure
During my first 7 mile trail run in the Terraventure, my feet felt protected but not overly cushioned (the moderate cushioning felt similar to the Saucony Xodus). The shoes felt so good I decided to do something I’ve never done before … run a 50K race in shoes I just purchased!
50K trail race in the Terraventure
The trail race was located within a regional park in Arizona. The race was advertised as a mix of rolling single track trails with a traverse of a mountain range.
I was confident my new Terraventure would perform well on the rolling trails but was unsure how they would handle sharp rocky terrain. To be safe, I put my Brooks Cascadia in a drop bag at the first Aid Station (19 km from the race start).
I was extremely happy with the traction of the Terraventure on the single track trails. The aggressive lugs on the rubber sole gripped the sand and my feet easily pushed off without any drag. I had spring in my step due to the excellent traction and the wide toe box left my toes feeling great.
I went through the first Aid Station feeling good so did not change into my Brooks Cascadia. However, when I reached the rocky sections of the course, I regretted not changing shoes.
The rock protection plate in the Terraventure provides stability but the moderate cushioning did not protect my feet enough in rocky terrain. I need more cushioning in the front of the shoe.
I felt all the sharp rocks and the balls of my feet became tender so I had to slow down to navigate through the rocks. By comparison, when wearing my Brooks Cascadia in rocky terrain, I am able to push off sharp rocks without any problems.
I also noticed the tongue in the Terraventure is not very padded so I could feel the shoelaces pressing on the top of my foot as I navigated the rocky sections. The Terraventure needs more padding in the tongue to support uphill, downhill and side to side movement.
After navigating the rocky sections, the course returned to dirt trails so I was able to finish the race in 6 hours in the Terraventure. Near the end of trail races, I usually struggle with two issues: toe blisters and sore Achilles tendons.
Because the Terraventure is lightweight and breathable (nylon mesh), my feet remained dry for the entire race and I had no blisters on the sides or between my toes. I had some small blisters on the ends of my toes but think this could be prevented in the future by wearing double socks.
Whenever I’ve worn zero drop shoes, I’ve had problems with my Achilles tendons. However, the 3 mm drop in the Terraventure left my Achilles feeling good and provided the right amount of support for me.
- Fit (secure)
- Weight (lightweight)
- Comfort (breathable nylon mesh)
- Durability (rubber sole)
- Room in the toe box (happy toes)
- Performance on dirt trails (traction and stability)
- Support for Achilles (3 mm drop)
- Cushioning in the forefoot (needs more underfoot protection for rocky terrain)
- Tongue padding (needs more tongue padding for comfort and movement)
- Performance on rugged and rocky terrain (limit to short sections of rocky terrain
The Topo Athletic Terraventure is a very good trail shoe for dirt trails but I did not enjoy wearing them on rocky terrain.
Updates to Topo Athletic Terraventure
- The Topo Athletic Terravneture features multi-directional lugs that provide enough traction on different surfaces.
- It has a Rubber Outsole that lengthens the shoe’s durability and an ESS Rock Plate that provides protection to the runner’s foot from hard objects.
- It has a 2-Layer Abrasion Resistant Mesh that provides breathability. It also utilizes a Printed Upper Pattern that provides a more secure and comfortable fit.
- It features an Anatomical Toe Box that promotes a natural splay. Also, a Ghillie Lacing System is used for added midfoot support and security.
Size and fit
The Topo Athletic Terravneture is a reliable trail running shoe. It has a standard shoe length when it comes to sizing. This is best for runners who love and prefer rugged trail activities. D – Medium for the men’s version and B – Medium for the women’s version are the available widths.
The Topo Athletic Terraventure is made up of Multi-directional lugs. At the front of the sole, sharp and small gripping lugs are placed to provide traction, while wider lugs are placed in the heel area to aid in breaking during descents. When these two are combined together, they help maintain good ground contact and level of control over a variety of surfaces.
The outsole is made up of a Vibram Rubber that provides increased traction and durability. The platform composition of the Topo Athletic Terraventure is based on the runner’s specific performance needs. It is designed to accommodate different ranges of running activities. This material is also used in the Terraventure 2.
It has an ESS Rock Plate in the Forefoot area. It aids in protecting the runner’s foot from hazardous trail debris.
The Topo Athletic Terraventure has a Full-Length EVA Midsole foam. It has enough cushioning and rebound properties. It helps in protecting the runner’s foot from feeling sharp materials that can be found on the trails. This technology has the ability to endure the challenges in running and walking activities.
The Topo Athletic Terrventure is composed of a 2-Layer Abrasion Resistant Mesh. This material is used to provide breathability. It releases and absorbs perspiration quickly during hot seasons and keeps the runner’s foot warm in cold conditions.
It has a Printed Upper Pattern for better midfoot security. The pattern is directly printed onto the mesh to provide durability while reducing delamination on the parts of the shoe.
It utilizes the Ghillie Lacing System for added midfoot security. It contributes to the comfort level of runners who have wide and narrow foot-dimensions. It provides a snug fit throughout the running activity without minimal adjustments.
The Topo Athletic Terraventure has an Anatomical Toe Box. It allows the runner’s toes to splay out naturally and comfortably. The roomy toe box of the shoe prevents different issues like bunions, hammertoes, and bruised toenails.