Topo Athletic Terraventure 2 - Women's Review
Cons: Poor and unspecific fit, unstable
Manufacturer: Topo Athletic
Our Analysis and Test Results
A wide and low profile trail runner built to take on the miles, the Topo Terraventure 2 competes with Altra but offers a more durable construction and outsole. While it is protective and supportive, the fit is non-specific, causing instability with super technical terrain. While some people out there love this shoe, it certainly is not our favorite. However, if you want a wider shoe, and Altra models don't work for you, this brand is worth considering.
The Terraventure offers decent foot protection and earns an average score in this category. It is loaded with a dual-density EVA foam that is not as squishy or as bouncy as the Altra Lone Peak 4.0. It is also outfitted with a thin rock plate to disperse the impact from direct hits with sharp rocks on the trail.
The toe cap is relatively squishy, providing protection from low impact stubs, but not high impact hits. The overlay mesh is breathable, but it, along with the nonspecific fit, allows some pesky trail debris inside the shoe. Overall, it offers a decent amount of foot protection that will take you on most trails and is commonly used for both long and short distances.
Given that the underfoot cushioning is ample and harder, it's a little more difficult to feel the trail under your foot. While it does offer sensitivity and the ability to feel roots and rocks underfoot, the Vibram outsole (that offers additional protection) prevents you from having a truly intimate experience. That said, it's an adequate trail runner and performs on most trails where sensitivity is required.
We love the durability and construction of this outsole. The lugs are relatively deep and oriented, which helps provide traction while tackling steep slopes. The Vibram rubber is super sticky and offers great "grabby" support. While it performs well on hard-packed surfaces, it does struggle on wet or slippery surfaces, not shedding mud well.
In comparison to the Altra Lone Peak 4, the Terraventure has a more durable outsole. It's an excellent option for cross-over terrain, dirt roads, hard-packed single track, and rocky trails. We wouldn't wear it in deep snow or muddy conditions where you'll experience sticky mud (like clay). When hiking up steeps, we noticed that this shoe grabs the terrain beautifully; however, due to a lack of lugs (which increase the surface area on the downhill), we found ourselves slipping down slopes with kitty litter over dry dirt. Overall, it provides a good level of traction, but does have its limitations.
While this shoe does offer a wider fit (but not as wide as the Altra options) in the forefoot to promote toe splay, the cushioning is harder, which makes you feel like you're sitting higher in the shoe. The collar doesn't completely wrap around the back of the foot, causing some slip and instability on rocky, unstable trails. The lacing system doesn't promote a super precise fit, which can cause some feet to move around quite a bit; this leads to instability inherently. While it does perform decently on rocky surfaces, we'd trade this in for a more stable competitor like the Scarpa Spin Ultra, our Top Pick for Stability.
Comfort & Fit
The Terraventure does not particularly shine in this metric. It has everything it needs to be a truly competitive trail runner, but the fit is not precise; in turn, the comfort level is lower. Starting with the overall fit, the toe box is a little wider but not as wide as the Altra Lone Peak 4 - its main competitor in this review. The upper is flexible, which allows you to splay your toes, but some of our testers mentioned that they got hot spots from areas of friction, as the material is not very smooth.
There is no real constriction around the arch, and this continues to the heel. The shoe feels like wearing boats on your feet, with a lot of movement. Normally this would be fixed by a fantastic lacing system, but the system utilized in this design is limited. While pulling the laces as tight as we could, we simply could not tighten it enough, even with different lacing patterns. This system would be heaps better if it took a lesson from the Saucony Peregrine ISO, which offers a wing-tipped design that completely wraps and encompasses the foot.
Since this lacing system doesn't pull the whole toe together efficiently, you're left with a fit that feels imprecise and bulky. While this is our experience (and the feedback from over ten different testers), there are people out there that completely favor the fit and comfort elements of the Topo Terraventure 2 over the Altra Lone Peak 4, potentially due to the more responsive cushioning and less precise fit that it offers.
While the fit does feel bulky, it's not very heavy. Weighing an average 9.6 oz, it offers the affinity to be worn all day for longer trails because of its lightweight design.
If you love this brand, it's a fair price. It fulfills the niche of fitting those with a wider toe box best and a low profile design (3 mm drop). While it certainly is not our favorite in the fleet, it sure seems to be durable after our 60+ mile testing period. There are no real signs of wear and tear, and the outsole is bomber.
This trail runner is built for those who appreciate a wider toe box and low-profile design (3 mm drop). It mainly competes with the Altra Lone Peak 4, offering a firmer level of cushioning underfoot and a bomber outsole that'll tackle more surfaces. While these are all pluses, we are not psyched on its sloppy fit, which makes it less stable on super technical terrain.
If you're not a fan of the Altra's durability or the fit simply isn't right, you should try the Topo Terraventure 2. It's a great option for longer days, offers a wider fit, and features minimal cushioning in the heel. If the fit works for you and you prefer a harder foam underfoot (that is responsive and protective), this is a great option. It dries quickly and drains effectively, making it a decent option for water crossings (though it is not water-resistant).
— Amber King