Topo Athletic’s Hydroventure shoe has a roomy toe box, a neutral low-drop platform, and light weight construction. Couple this with a waterproof lower and breathable upper and you have some good shoes for those cold and wet days on the trail. Sounds good on paper, but how do they perform?
For the detail/data nerd here are the stats…
Specifications (from Topo):
4.5 mm rubber outsole
13.5 mm (heel) 10.5 mm (ball) midsole
5 mm footbed
Total stack height 23 mm x 20 mm (3 mm drop)
Weight: 9.7 oz. (size 9)
Lightest fully waterproof trail running shoe on the market
EVA midsole with rock plate for foot protection
For a first spin I took these out for a 10 miler on trail in the rain and I stayed on the east side of the park which is notorious for poor drainage. I splished. I splashed. My feet stayed dry. It was awesome. The traction was good in the mud. There were only a few spots with deep mud where I felt unsteady.
Since that first run I have taken these shoes out on numerous runs totaling over 200 miles. They are particularly good in the snow on those sub-zero days. I had traction and warmth. My go-to shoes of choice are minimal, preferring huaraches-style sandals. These shoes had a low enough drop and thin enough platform I didn’t feel I was giving up an excessive amount of ground feel. The Hydroventure comfortably met my needs for those occasions where I wanted more protection from the elements than a sandal can provide.
I had some issues with them early on, but they had cleared up after some break-in miles were put on them. I found my feet mashing up in the front of the toe box on steep descents. On one particular trail run in a heavy rainstorm I had to cut my run distance by 6 miles due to pain from toe smash, however after 50 or so miles the issue resolved itself.
Once broken in the Topo Hydroventure quickly became my go to for running in the snow in temperatures under 20 degrees. Staying warm and dry made for a much more enjoyable winter running season. The rock plate provided foot protection but also gave it a firmer feel on push off.
After 200+ miles there are no signs of wear. Overall I am pleased with Topos design and the feel of the Hydroventure, though I won’t be trading in my Lunas anytime soon.
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