Our verdict


When talking about traditionally posted shoes, visions of drugging and uninspiring runs usually come to mind. Not so with the Ultrafly 4. As the only stability option in the Topo lineup, this daily trainer offers unobtrusive mild-to-moderate guidance in a decidedly firm but comfortable package. It’s a far cry from today’s uber plush and responsive foams, and those not on board that bandwagon would like to keep their Ultraflys that way.


  • 10/10 upper
  • Comfortably wraps around the foot
  • Roomy toe box
  • Stability elements do not affect comfort
  • Grippy even on wet roads and light trails
  • Protective cushioning
  • Durable
  • Good for easy runs and recovery days
  • Great as a supportive walking shoe


  • Laces occasionally come undone
  • Uninspiring ride
  • Too firm for longer efforts

Who should buy the Ultrafly 4

This light stability shoe from Topo is a great fit for:

  • Mild pronators who want a low heel-toe drop daily trainer.
  • Those who enjoyed running in their Ultrafly 3s.
  • Runners who aren’t fans of the recent soft-and-bouncy foam trend.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-upper-logo

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a stable daily trainer that you can comfortably take on longer runs, check out the Altra Provision 7. For one that will make your runs more exciting, try the Hoka Arahi 6.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-heel-upper

An already great upper made even better

With the Ultrafly 3’s upper already being lauded as “incredible,” “transcendent,” and “nearly perfect” by testers, the v4 had its work cut out in trying to match that energy. Much to the delight of Topo fans everywhere, the shoe manages to do that and more.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-upper-midfoot

Reviewers were extremely pleased with how well the v4’s mesh upper manages to provide an extremely secure lockdown, all while maintaining a comfortable and amply padded experience that isn’t sullied by rigid overlays. 

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-upper-forefoot

As one critic put it, it’s “one of the most comfortable uppers around, with virtually zero drawbacks or flaws.” 

This is a Topo, so you already know

In true Topo fashion, the Ultrafly 4 features an anatomical (i.e. broad and rounded) toe box that allows “full unrestricted movement” of the toes. Towards the back, the fit tapers down to a snugger midfoot and even more secure heel. One tester added that the fit is also an improvement over the v3’s after noticing that his toes were no longer pressed against the shoe.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-toebox-top

Lockdown in the Ultrafly 4 is flawless, if it weren’t for the laces

Lockdown is further solidified by the v4’s slightly thicker and more padded tongue. Though non-gusseted, testers haven’t experienced any slippage because of the two lace loops attached to it.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-laces-front

However, some had complaints about the laces themselves—saying that they were a bit thin and that they occasionally came loose during their runs.

The Ultrafly 4’s midsole feels like a relic of years past

The midsole—which is pretty much identical to the one in the 2020 UltraFly 3—was where reviewers had differing opinions.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-midsole-midfoot

While all of them did concede that the firm ZipFoam cushioning is perfectly serviceable in terms of comfort, protection, durability, and responsiveness, some felt that it was a bit dated for the year it was released.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-midsole-heel

“Compared to the incredible options out there, just coming in as ‘okay’ is underwhelming,” remarked one shoe expert. He further contended that even against more pedestrian cushioned trainers such as the Brooks Glycerin 20 or the Adidas Adistar, “Zipfoam pales in comparison.”

A lackluster ride

Although there were some reviewers who found that the v4’s firm, low-drop ride worked for them, the majority felt that it was nothing special. “It’s not bad or offensive in any way, but it’s not memorable, either,” shared one expert.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-toebox-pair

As a result, some runners say that they’ve relegated this daily trainer to mostly slower and shorter efforts, opting instead for a more plush pair for logging bigger miles.

Also works for non-pronators

The main stability element in the Ultrafly 4 is the medial post sitting in the bottom half of its midsole. This, in conjunction with its broad base and external heel counter, offers a moderate level of pronation support that’s “noticeable while walking, but fades away on the run.”

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-medial-post

Plenty of rubber, but not in the areas that need it

There’s a substantial amount of rubber lining the outsole of the UF4, giving the shoe good durability and grip for dry/wet pavements, gravel, and tamer trails.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 4 topo-athletic-ultrafly-4-outsole

One curious thing a runner noticed, though, is that “the middle of the toe-off area hasn’t got any rubber,” which made for a more difficult push-off.