These shoes are a true work of art. Which may sound too generous, however these shoes are durable, tough, gritty, and of course well made. They are my go to shoes, when I'm not wearing my Luna Sandals of course.
I had been running in the Topo Oterro (which they sadly no longer make), but with my father and I's John Muir Trail trek approaching we needed to look for a shoe to fit the terrain better, specifically with a rock plate. These shoes were the obvious choice. Topo made a logical progression from their MT shoes to these Runventures by adding a rock plate. As we trained in them and eventually did the John Muir Trail we saw how great and versatile these shoes are.
The outer sole of these shoes provide extreme traction and durability for any terrain. I have used them in varied terrain, from rocky and rooty trails to flat, sandy surfaces and at a 4.5 mm outsole the lugs are big enough for anything. The ultimate test of these shoes for me was in the Sierras on the JMT. They handled supurbly, the tread carrying me up the climbs and across the mountains. But, more than the tread, what makes these shoes one of the best trailrunning shoes (in my opinion) is their rock plate. This was a magnificent and brilliant decision, whereby now I can take these shoes almost anywhere. If you've ever been to the Sierras you'll now that its terrain is extremely technical and with the rock plate the rocks are shot down to nothing. They feel as though they're not there and like I said before the outer sole of this shoe can take you anywhere. From the beach to the mountains.
The mid sole of the Runventures creates a supportive, minimalist, and effective bed for your foot. It allows for the natural flex and flow of your foot to give your body the best form possible. Coming from a minimalist background, I run in Luna Sandals, this shoe is just a bigger sandal! It allows my foot to do its job and not the other way around like some many other conventional shoes on the market today. With a 5 mm foot bed and only a 2 mm drop, also at only 8.9 oz (size 9) this truly is a minimalist shoe of quality.
The upper of this shoe is the topping of the cake. It's dual-layer, but overlayed design keeps the weight down and as every single trail shoe should have it has a fully gussetted tongue. The mesh is tight knit and with the tongue hardly anything gets in. After a long run I can take them off and there will probably be nothing inside. However, because of its tight knit material your feet can heat up if you are prone to that. The other complaint is a simple one, where the upper connects with the midsole (where the forefoot bends) the material tends to split. The Topo customer service however is so great that when I complained they sent a brand new pair asking only for a picture of the problem and not asking for the old pair back, which is very rare in the shoe industry.
In conclusion, with only two complaints that I have and an amazingly built shoe this is quite honestly my favorite, not sandal, piece of footwear. It has held up through challenges and has taken me very far. Thanks Topo for such an amzing piece of hardwear!