Topo’s path working and climbing footwear are a wholesome steadiness of innovation, reliability, performance, and predictability. I really feel assured that with any tried-and-true mannequin, and even with a brand new shoe idea, Topo is not going to stray removed from what works for out of doors movers who gravitate towards Topo’s mission and engineering. Enter the Topo Traverse ($150) — an thrilling new efficiency hybrid that may adequately sort out the technical and the tarmac.
I don’t sweat traversing the pavement with this recent work horse as a result of it integrates Expanded Thermal Polyurethane (E-TPU) know-how into the extremely sturdy and waterproof insoles, and it additionally works effectively as a long-haul climbing and working shoe.
The Topo Traverse debuted in October, 2023. I obtained my advance pair within the mail simply previous to sweeping the primary 28 miles of the Pine to Palm 100 Mile held in Southern Oregon. I laced them up early on race morning, and over a protracted day of volunteering, I didn’t take into consideration my footwear or toes as soon as — solely to acknowledge that after seven hours of exhausting work they excelled throughout the board.
The Traverse is designed with a forefoot TPU rock plate, has a 5-millimeter drop, has claimed 30-millimeter heel and 25-millimeter stack heights, and comes gaiter-ready. It has an precise weight of 10.5 ounces (298 grams) for a U.S. males’s dimension 9, and nonetheless permits for ample technical working when wanted, in addition to safety and safety for longer outings.
In comparison with the Topo Pursuit and Topo Terraventure 4, the Traverse has a barely narrower toebox, a degree of concern for some. You’ll be able to learn our Topo Pursuit overview and Topo Terraventure 4 overview to check for your self.
Topo Traverse Higher
The Topo Traverse higher is a tightly woven mesh extending from the toebox again to the beginning of a properly padded heel cup. The designers opted for micro-stitched underlays as an alternative of any exterior aesthetic and structural elements. This offers the Traverse an built-in look.
A notable function of the Traverse higher is the bolstering of the welded rubber toe safety, which extends significantly down the size of either side of the shoe. To not fear, there are drain holes within the double layered rubber on the medial aspect to permit for fast water launch. The holes work.
The rubber fortification additionally replaces the standard stitched cloth for the eyelets of the Ghillie lacing system. In addition — one other skinny rubber layer guards the highest of the low profile and unshifting tongue. You could not suppose you want it, however the Traverse tongue boasts further padding down the midline. If in case you have ever soccer-kicked a stone or a department on a protracted a run, maybe that little cushion will prevent some metatarsal ache.
The low profile heel cup is properly padded and comparable in really feel to many different Topo path footwear. It locks within the foot by way of the gait cycle with out fear of abrasion or undo slippage.
Designers once more use skinny rubber, which extends from the highest of the laces and connects to a thickly stitched piece of cloth, pulling the heel collectively. The material features a liberal pull tab — an amenity I infrequently use on any kind of shoe. It seems to be good on the Traverse, and if you wish to dangle your footwear on hooks, you would. To make sure additional structural assist and roll management, a skinny piece of TPU anchors the heel higher to the midsole.
Topo Traverse Midsole
The Topo Traverse midsole is the unique dual-density injected Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) known as ZipFoam. The twin-density design gives a mushy layer of froth straight beneath the foot, however is barely stiffened with firmer foam beneath it — driving above the outsole. The double layer gives a reasonable cushion whereas the second layer confidently tackles the bottom — affording the runner assist and stability on harder terrains.
What Topo uniquely does with the Traverse, as I commented about above, is that they added the E-TPU beads into their insole, which can be water-resistant. The beaded insole provides softness and elasticity to the midsole, with out compromising weight or vitality return. I’ve a sense shoe corporations will likely be integrating this know-how into midsole designs extra continuously over the subsequent couple of years.
Importantly, the combination of a TPU rock plate on the forefoot bolsters the protecting assist for runners and hikers looking for extra technical adventures. Among the finest issues concerning the rock plate is that almost all runners don’t even know it’s there, however it will increase the sturdiness of the shoe.
Topo Traverse Outsole
The Topo Traverse has the usual and reliable Vibram Megagrip outsole, like most fashions now within the Topo path working shoe line up. Topo has totally embraced this full-length outsole building with a well-spaced and multi-directional lug format. It permits for distinctive grip and suppleness over technical terrain and throughout climate laden substrates.
I’ve been persistently working in Topos for the final 5 years — particularly on this outsole design — and it has confirmed itself time and time once more to work throughout the spectrum of climate and path circumstances. If you’re frightened about weight from the outsole whereas working technical terrain, and whereas in maddening releases from the heavens, the safety and grip the place the rubber hits the paths issues far more.
Notably, I like the truth that it’s a design that understands how a foot lands, rolls by way of mid-stance, after which toes off. It’s merely reliable. The corporate’s shoe designers found one thing that works, so they’re sticking to it, as a result of it sticks while you want it essentially the most.
Topo Traverse General Impressions
In the event you can’t inform, I’m an enormous proponent and supporter of Topo trainers. I’m at all times looking out for a reliable, comfy, and most significantly a flexible hybrid path working shoe. The Topo Traverse really is a outstanding and unremarkable shoe to have in my rotation.
For clarification on the latter, it’s seldom that I slip on a shoe for the primary time and instantly run almost 30 miles with out fascinated by my toes, ankles, or footwear for that matter. That I used to be in a position to do that with the Traverse instantly made them my dependable sidekicks.
The Traverse is meant for each lengthy sluggish path working and via climbing, and so they functionally carry out for these functions. With that being mentioned, the mix of the additional stack top, forefoot rock plate, insole, Vibram Megagrip outsole, and protecting layers on the higher pushes the Traverse over technical trails with confidence when vital.
The Traverse might lose a bit floor really feel and velocity with this mix, whereas additionally not catering to the maximally cushioned crew. Since I’m additionally an enormous fan and each day wearer of Topo’s restoration footwear with OrthoLite 3D Wave Sense restoration foam, the brand new embedded TPU beads underfoot within the Traverse add a breath of recent air. Thanks — it’s time to Traverse.
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