Topo Athletic strongly believes that an athletic shoe or any other equipment won’t make you better. You are the only one that can make you better, and their role is to help you constantly improve through bio-mechanically optimal innovation. Founded in 2012 by former Vibram CEO Tony Post, Topo Athletic based its products on the Japanese tabi split-toe design, which is meant to improve balance and stability by creating a unique anchor point between the first and second toes. If the look of Vibram’s FiveFingers (see our Vibram Blog here) is too “out-there” for you, but you are interested in the advantages of an anatomically crafted minimal shoe, Topo may be the way to go.
The shoes are crafted with the human body in mind. One of these features is an anatomic toe box that allows your toes to splay as they would while running without traditional shoes. Another is the split-toe design, which is highlighted by some of the colorways, and made more subtle by others. The split-toe allows for the shoes to stay secure, despite the roomy fit. The shoes are made of light, quick-drying and breathable materials. Topo does not use either latex or animal products when creating their shoes. All Topo’s shoes are perforated and aegis lined to allow your feet to breathe and resist odor.
These are zero drop shoes, made for the midfoot or forefoot landing of natural running. If you are not used to a natural, barefoot, or minimalist running style, we encourage that you ease into Topo shoes and research these running styles first. To get started, you can check out our Pinterest Board on the subject.
Topo currently offers three styles, the RR, RT, and RX:
RT / RUN
The RT is Topo’s every-day running trainer. It offers a bit more cushion than most barefoot shoes, but still gives a natural running feel.
RR / RACE
The RR is Topo’s racing shoe. Compared to the RT, it is lighter and offers a more natural, less cushioned feel. It is still a bit more of a shoe than FiveFingers, offering your feet just enough protection from rocks and debris.
The coolest part about the RR is hands-down the BOA Technology closure system. This micro-adjustable cable closure system allows you to put your shoes on with one hand. It is weather resistant and guaranteed for the life of the shoe by Boa’s Dialed In For Life Guarantee. To see an exclusive video of us trying out the BOA system, follow us on Instagram, @TheShoeMart and stay tuned.
RX / TRAIN
The RX is Topo’s CrossFit shoe, designed for training and weight lifting. It features a hook and loop forefront closure system and a strap over the top of the foot, which both help to ensure that your foot moves within the shoe as little as possible, giving you more stability.
Heat-welded uppers with few seams and breathable mesh material mean that you can wear the shoes barefoot, but Topo Athletic has partnered with Injinji to create socks with a split-toe. Socks are recommended to control odor and moisture buildup and to prevent chafing.
Our intern Liz tried out both the RT and RR when she was looking at minimalist shoes, and found both extremely comfortable. She found that the RR’s closure system was very effective, and the shoes felt snug and secure on her feet. The closure system does make a bit of noise when putting the shoes on, but once secured, the shoes don’t make a peep.
Topo believes that “Better, Stronger, Faster is a choice.” Are you ready to make yours?