Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shoe Review: Topo Hydroventure waterproof trail shoe

I had never heard of Topo Athletic until coming across their posts on Instagram recently. They are a newer company based out of Massachusetts, "with a mission to develop footwear that honors the shape and biomechanics of the human foot". 

Always on the look out for the best trail running gear, I was intrigued by their design, as well as their claim to being waterproof.  Here, in the Pacific Northwest, that last part could be useful!

Having a shoe sent that you have only seen on the Internet can be like rolling the dice. I requested a ladies 10, though I normally wear a 10.5. I didn't see an option for my usual size. Surprisingly, they fit very well right out of the box! 

I love these colors! 
My first goal with any waterproof shoes is to see if I can get my feet wet. Solely for the love of product testing, I went to the wettest place I could think of with trails: Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park in Oakland, Oregon.

It turned out conditions were perfect for trying out the Hydroventures. Not only was there weeks worth of rain on the ground with the soil completely saturated, but there had been numerous cattle and horses winding their way through the park churning up the trails into a soggy muddy mess.

I might have got in a little over the top here...
The shoes were fantastic! Comfortable and light, very flexible, my feet felt right at home from the beginning. The shoes don't have super deep lugs on them, but what they lack in lugs, they make up for in protection from water. Through the wet grass and mud my feet stayed dry! 

Please note: the industry standard for waterproof shoes is that the upper is impenetrable from water. With their eVent DVdryLT material, these certainly are! However, like any rain boot, the Hydroventures will fill up if you decide to go for a swim. So, I don't suggest doing that. 

For another test I took them out to the logging roads. I was quite at home in them! Their combination of cushion, foot shape, and ground feel made a comfortable ride that wasn't clumsy the way some other shoes with a roomy toebox are. 

I can't think of too many drawbacks to the shoes. They are on a low platform (3mm drop), which I really like, but could take some easing into from most traditional running shoe styles. The colors are fantastic in the women's choices! I do wish there was a 10.5 available.. But maybe with more demand.?

Overall, I'm quite impressed, to the point that I wore them in a race (next post!) after only having them for a few days. 

I'm looking forward to trying some of Topo Athletic's other models, though I plan to wear these even when it's dry outside.  No need to save a shoe this good for a rainy day!

Topo Athletic Hydroventure: 
Specs (from
Retail :  $130
13.5 MM (HEEL) // 10.5 MM (BALL) MIDSOLE
WEIGHT: 8.1 OZ. (SIZE 7)

Have you ever tried a Topo Athletic shoe? What did you think?


  1. I've never heard of them! Our local Runners Shop now stocks what were once obscure brands (Hoka, Altra, Newton etc) so I expect they'll get them eventually. It hardly ever rains where I live, so not something I have to think about :)

    1. Eventually, Ewen, everything makes it to AU! Enjoy the rain free running :)

  2. Great review thank you!

    Living in the Pacific Northwest myself, Vancouver,BC so Pacific Northwest of NA, these would have likely have been handy.

    The only issue would be the traction. Have you tried anything technical to see what the traction is like, do they grip well? (I mean not caked in mud, as no shoe has much traction in that case).

    Also, 3mm is a bit much for me right now, still adjusting to 5mm. But maybe in another year.

    1. The shoes have felt so great I forgot about the adjustment period. They're extremely flexible too, which is something that you need to take in account if you're not used to wearing a very flexible shoe. The grip is actually pretty good and there's good toe protection. You are right though, in deep mud nothing really works! I think these are good as an all-around trail shoe, with an added bonus that if it is raining or snowing, my feet will stay dry.

    2. thanks for the comments. Have a wonderful day!

  3. I could use some waterproof shoes here in Texas. The trails can get really wet and muddy. Good to see you don't mind getting your brand new shoes dirty!

    1. Ha! I never mind getting outside for a run.. muddy research makes it more fun :)

  4. I have never heard of them until you shared them on IG. I have new orthotics and have been having a rough time finding shoes that work well with them. I ordered the road model and have my fingers crossed. I like the lower drop feel typically.
    Our trails here seem to stay soggy so that is good to know your feet stayed dry ;) If they fit I may end up with two pairs.

    1. I hope these work with your inserts, Karen! I'm really liking mine. Let me know how it goes! I'm sure Topo will work with you until you get the right size and fit.

  5. Hi Raina!
    Loved this review! As you know I'm shopping for trail shoes and these sound great. Thank you!

    1. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy mine! Happy running!

  6. I totally want to try this! I love the waterproof concept


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