Woman standing on grass in trainers

Review: Topo Athletic Terraventure Trail Running Shoes

Mega comfortable and lightweight trail running shoes that encourage natural and instinctive movement

The Topo Athletic Terraventure trail runners are the ideal shoe for those wanting to move towards barefoot style shoes, but without taking the scary leap into that unknown territory. With only a 3mm heel to toe drop, the relatively flat footbed encourages natural movement without taking away stability. And with a super wide toe box you can really let those toes spread out, helping you to grip and balance your way along the tricky trails.

Topo Athletic Terraventure: The stats

Heel height:25mm
Heel to toe drop:3mm
Weight:232g (8.2oz) per shoe (size 5 UK)
Waterproof:No

Design features of the Topo Athletic Terraventure

Outsole

Sole of trainersThe medium depth, yet aggressive lug pattern provides multidirectional traction and heel braking on the down hills. The outsoles are tough and durable and can deal with harder surfaces as well as loose trails.

Lacing system

Laces of shoesThe ghillie lacing system (webbed loops instead of holes) ensures that the laces are kept on top of the shoes rather than feeding inside the shoes. This really helps to eliminate any uncomfortable spots on the tops of your feet. The laces themselves stay done up nicely and the positioning of the loops helps to customise the fit.

Cushioning

Internal shoe paddingThe cushioning at the heel is soft and mildly supportive without putting pressure on the achilles. And the arch of the inner sole supports the foot almost perfectly in its natural position, acting as a support to prevent your foot collapsing at the arch, rather than attempting to lift it up.

Toe box

Toe of trainers in grassThe toe box is wonderfully wide – obvious just from looking at the shape of the shoe. But if you get the right fit this roominess shouldn’t feel too spacious. It gives just enough room to let the toes splay naturally but not so much to compromise the stability of your feet inside the shoes.


Topo Athletic Terraventure review

Having spent the last few years trail running in the Salomon Speedcross 3 runners, stepping into a flatter shoe was a bit of a change! For starters there was no initial wow factor that grabbed me like the Speedcross runners did, which were exceptionally bouncy from the get go. That said, the Terraventure aren’t designed to put a spring in your step and do all the work for you. They’re designed to help you find your natural and instinctive movement, which initially felt a bit like hard work!

A few outings in my new running partners, however, soon opened my eyes to the numerous benefits of the Terraventures that weren’t immediately obvious when I first tried them on.

The fit

The Speedcross run narrow. So the wonderfully wide and roomy toe box of the Terraventures has been a dream. I’m using the balls of my feet and toes more when I run, and really enjoy that I don’t have to worry about my toes hitting the fronts of my shoes on the downhills. This is also down to the secure lacing system that allows me to lace up tight in the places where I want tightness. And the overall fit is true to size in both width and length.

Comfort

I’m a big fan of not noticing the outdoor clothing that I’m wearing! That may sound like a bit of a backward way of looking at it, but I really feel that true comfort in the outdoors should go unnoticed. Topo Athletic call it “a ‘2nd Skin’ fit and feel.” And I’m inclined to very much agree with this. Anything that’s positively noticed then becomes luxury, right?! The Terraventure aren’t luxurious! But, I don’t notice them when I’m wearing them. They become part of my feet – protecting me from discomfort and providing just the right amount of stability so as not to be felt, one way or the other! Which is why I think that the Terraventures are such a good stepping stone towards zero support barefoot style running shoes.

Running uphill in trainers

The grip

In dry and moderately wet conditions the outsoles perform brilliantly, providing a super grippy and stable base to run on. Loose trail descents can be attacked with confidence due to the wide braking lugs in the heel. And the close thread pattern of the smaller, sharper lugs in the forefoot really helps you keep upward momentum on the steep ascents.

Versatility

Although designed as trail running shoes, the Terraventures are also great if you’re moving towards to the light side when it comes to hiking shoes. Their “unnoticed” comfort lasts all day long on dry hiking routes, and their lightweight, nimble status makes them ideal for a bit a scrambling and rock hopping.

They’re also OK for a wee bit of road running (if you have to!). They lack the cushioning that you some might prefer when running on concrete, but the soles are certainly robust enough to deal with the odd few miles here and there without worrying about wearing them down and shortening their lifespan.

What I love the most about the Topo Athletic Terraventure

For lightweight running shoes the Terraventures are super durable. The uppers get a battering and show no sign of weakness so far. And although the lugs are really grippy in most conditions, they’re not wearing down anywhere near as quickly as my Salomon Speedcross runners. A big plus for me as I hate having to upgrade gear I love.

I also really like how secure the lacing system is. As much as the speed lacing of my Salomons was quick and convenient, I struggled to get a really specific fit through the laces. However, the Terraventures are really easy to adjust through the ghillie lacing system, and the laces themselves actually stay tied!

What I don’t love so much about the Topo Athletic Terraventure

Compared with my old Speedcross runners they don’t drain water through quite as well leaving my toes soggier for longer once they have become saturated. Also, in wet and muddy conditions the grip on the outsole doesn’t perform as well as the spaced out lugs of the Speedcross.

Woman running on beach cliffs

Verdict

The Topo Athletic Terraventure trail running shoes are a highly versatile option for hiking and road running, as well as long trail running routes. They are ideal for those who prefer to rely on their natural and instinctive movement when running, rather than a running position dictated by their shoes. And their spacious toe box, highly grippy outsole, and supportive lacing system provide comfort and reliability that is backed up by their durable construction, which is exceptional for such a lightweight trail runner.

I’m looking forward to getting a good few hundred miles of running out of them!

Find the latest price at:
Topo Athletic

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Joey

Woman wearing wooly hat

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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