Thursday, March 24, 2016

Topo Athletic Hydroventure Review

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I really like Topo Athletic shoes.  They offer shoes with a low heel drop and wide toe box.  This allows your toes to spread out instead of feeling claustrophobic like in most shoes.  The durability of the materials that they use is excellent as well.  The MT is one of the first shoes that I tested out on my blog.  It is still one of my favorite trail shoes because it is so light, comfortable, and really flexes with your foot. 

If you are not familiar with Topo Athletic shoes, they fit snug in the heel and midfoot, while it they are loose in the toebox.  The wide toe box allows your toes to spread out, which has several benefits.  This will not only help you be more stable, but will also reduce foot injuries commonly caused by shoes that compress your toes. 

I have tested 8 shoes from Topo Athletic and have been impressed with every one.  Here are some of my past reviews.

Topo Athletic just released the Hydroventure, which is its first waterproof trail shoe.  Topo Athletic uses a single layer of eVent material that will keep your feet dry while still remaining breathable and durable.  When I first heard about this waterproof shoe, I knew I had to test it out.  I am not a big fan of wet feet and am always afraid that it will promote blisters, so I was excited to give the Hydroventure a try. 

The Hydroventure is the lightest weight, fully waterproof trail shoe on the market at only 9.7 ounces for a men’s size 9.  It features a 3mm heel drop, which is low enough to still allow your body to remain in a neutral alignment. 

I was also impressed by the EVA midsole that has a flexible rock plate to protect your feet against those jagged rocks or tree roots that can end up bruising your foot.  That is never fun and can take quite a while to recover from.  I found that the flexibility and construction allow for a very smooth, but responsive experience.

The front of the shoe has a nice toe cap that will protect you when your legs are tired and you accidentally kick a rock because you didn’t pick your foot up high enough.  I know that has happened on more than one occasion for me (and again during my testing, but more on that in a bit).  Like the rest of the Topo Athletic trail shoe lineup, I was really pleased with the fit and that these shoes run true to size.  The snug heel and wide toe box make for a very pleasurable run and lets your toes spread out.

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the waterproofing.  This is my first experience with a waterproof shoe and I had to put it to the test, even before I hit the trails.  I first filled up my kitchen sink, put the Hydroventure on my hand, and into the water it went.  Low and behold, my hand stayed completely dry.  The picture didn’t turn out so I took a picture of the front of the shoe in a clear bowl filled with water.  I was more than please with the test.  Now onto the trail testing.

I took the Hydroventure out for a 6.5 mile trail run with streams and plenty of technical single track fun.  The fit was awesome and my feet didn’t slip around at all.  I ran through streams, stood in them, and other than my feet feeling cold from the water, they were dry as a bone.  The eVent material worked flawlessly.  My favorite part about the waterproofing though is that my shoes were completely covered in mud.  I just stood in the creek about a mile before I got to the car and washed them off.  It was great. 

I also am grateful for the reinforced rubber toe cap.  I got overconfident when I was running down the hill and had my first trail running fall.  My toe got caught on a rock and I probably would have broken my toe (or at least jammed it really bad) but the toe cap worked so well, the only pain I felt was to my knee, shoulder and ego.  No major injuries, just some minor scrapes and swelling. 

Light weight (9.7 ounces)
Wide toe box allows toes to spread out
3mm drop allows for better form and posture
Great price ($130 at the Topo Athletic website)
Fully gusseted tongue
Completely waterproof
Flexible rock plate protects feet
Easy to clean

Topo Athletic’s Social Media Links:

Topo Athletic has really stepped up the game with the Hydroventure.  Not only is the Hydroventure the lightest waterproof trail shoe on the market, but it cost less than most waterproof trail shoes.  This feather light shoe comes with a low heel drop, breathable mesh upper, flexible outsole, and a rock plate.  The list of features makes the Hydroventure a steal at $130.  You can get a pair at the Topo Athletic website, or check the Topo Athletic Store Locator for a store near you.  Now I can only hope that Topo Athletic makes a waterproof road shoe later this year.

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very impressed with almost everything about these shoes. Comfortable, flexible, grippy (at least on snow thus far), roomy in the toe box (the main reason I was drawn to them), *but* the one fault is their waterproofing, which I'm hoping is just faulty in my shoes and not the whole line. You lab tested that feature; I field tested it--twice in slushy conditions over about nine runs so far--and both times my toes in both shoes were sopping. My ankles weren't wet, nor the top of the tongues, so the water didn't enter there.

    I'm hoping to exchange them at the one store here in Toronto that sells them. I bought them, though, at another store a few thousand kilometers away near Vancouver. Hopefully I won't have to exchange them the slow way direct to Topo.