Boy has the spring been awesome for trail running. Cool conditions and tacky trails have been the staple so far and the new Topo Terraventure trail runners have been my exclusive shoes for the whole of it.

Topo Terraventure Features:

  • Flexible ESS forefoot rock plate
  • Ghillie lacing system
  • 3mm drop heel-to-toe
  • Mesh uppers with gusseted tongue
  • Weight: 21.4 oz (actual, size 11)
  • MSRP: $110
Topo Terraventure Review

The Terraventure delivers a smooth ride.

Low Drop, High Comfort

The hallmarks of Topo’s shoe design include a squared toe box and minimal drop. The new Terraventure’s feature an all-new design and are built around a low 3mm drop. That minimal drop puts these shoes into a spot where you can easily transition from higher-drop models without feeling it. I’d go so far as calling it the Goldilocks of shoe drop and absolutely love these shoes right out of the box.

Topo Terraventure Review

Running in the red dirt of Southern Utah.

Last year, I tested the Hydroventure and found it to be a fantastic cold and wet-weather trail runner. The new Terraventure is meant to be a long-distance trainer or even a race-day shoe for those who appreciate just the right amount of cushioning. They are not maximalist shoes, but do offer more cushioning than a standard midsole. The result is, again, that perfect balance between comfort, trail feel and protection all rolled into one.

The more I run in low and zero-drop shoes the more I like them. When running in shoes with a traditional heel/toe ramp, it now feels as if I’m wearing heels (not that I know that that feels like). Topo’s approach with just 3mm drop is really the sweet spot and put the Terraventure’s into a easy-to-love territory.

Topo Terraventure Review

Equally awesome running in the high-elevation trails in the Wasatch.

You’ll notice that the uppers are quite porous and get nippy when running in cold, windy weather. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve run comfortably up to 80-degrees and the breathability remains excellent. Durability is also stellar as the uppers have withstood months of abuse and remain like new.

Topo Terraventure Outsole

The versatile outsoles deliver traction everywhere.

Let’s talk traction. The outsoles are an excellent design with mid-sized lugs that provide excellent traction uphill, downhill, wet, dry and even on pavement. Sometimes trail runners are wonky as all get-out on the pavement, but these are excellent crossover shoes that excel on the dirt as well as the tarmac approach.

I’ve found the Terraventure’s to deliver a smooth stride on all terrain. Transitions are effortless and each step is met with a consistent feel from initial strike to push-off. I’ll also add that toe-off traction is great with all those squared lugs digging into everything but loose, rocky stuff where nearly all shoes struggle.

The Good

  • Superb combination of cushioning and trail feel
  • Stable design
  • Great traction in all conditions
  • Does well on pavement when needed
  • Foot-cradling uppers
  • 3mm drop is easy to love
  • Nice, smooth stride

The Bad

  • Mesh uppers are chilly in cold temps

The Bottom Line: Topo Terraventure

The honest truth is I’ve put these in the back of the Pathfinder in February and haven’t thought about grabbing another pair since. Every mile has been comfortable and smooth and met with excellent traction and trail feel.

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About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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