The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Topo Aquaventure 2 trail shoe 200km review.

Way back in 2019, well November 24th to be exact, I purchased pair of the Topo trail shoes. (click Here).
It was my first pair of these and reviews were a bit thin on the ground so I took a bit of a chance buying them 'cos they weren't cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

Well the 200km came and just went. Its took me a while but I got there eventually.

Most of the walks I have done in them are short walks with nothing over 15km and not carrying a backpack. I have carried quite a weighty daypack though but I haven't run in them.
The walking has been very mixed and so has the weather. The majority of terrains has been coastal paths, land rover type tracks and canal towpaths. A couple of walks were over moorland with rough tussocks, boggy in parts.

Weather wise, apart from deep snow I have been out in everything but. The performance of the tread pattern has been exceptional except where rocks are smooth and wet. Under these conditions they do slip, but I guess no worse than any other trail shoe would, on any other terrain, excellent.

For me, the important thing was dry feet and I have no complaints here. The eVent liner has been brilliant in keeping my feet dry but they can cause a little damp with condensation. It wasn't a problem though. It's wise to wear a short gaiter with the trail shoes for obvious reasons. Water ingress cannot get out and also small stones and rough or sharp grasses can damage the liner.
On the down side, the shoe has designed into the heel a pair of lugs for attaching Topo gaiter clips. On my shoes the "plastic" around the lug is starting to detach. I haven't even used Topo gaiters so I would expect the heel cup would probably start to pull away with regular use of them.

Photo showing plastic lug (above the red logo) starting to detach.

With the outer having no stitching the shoes are fantastically easy to clean after your hike, they don't stain in peaty ground either and they dry very very fast. They are perfect in this respect.

The laces grip very well and I have had no faffing about having to stop and re-fasten the shoe.

After only a couple of walks I changed the insole for a better quality one, a little firmer. Not the type like Superfeet but just a scholl one. However, I was starting to dislike the amount of room in the toe box. Even though I have wide feet I was finding the support around my toes was lacking and I felt my foot slipping inside the shoe on occasions.

Eventually, I changed the insole again, to a Gel type which reduced the amount of space in the toe box and I found this better but not perfect. In hindsight I wished I had tried a shoe half a size smaller. It might or might not resolve the issue. I haven't come across a half size shoe as yet to try it out.

The heel and top of the foot support is very good and I had no problems here. When walking on gravel tracks you don't feel any stones through the mid sole.

There is some wear showing on the heel cuff material which I must say is disappointing but apart from that no significant wear on the shoe itself, in fact after 200km they don't look very much different from Day 1.

Really unacceptable wear on the heel cuff material for a shoe in this price range and the most disappointing quality in my opinion.. The worst part of the shoe. These are only 2 months old.

above 3 photo's showing very little wear on the heel, toe or outer fabric, excellent.
Although these shoes are not perfect I'm sure I will get quite a few miles out of them. 
I give them 7/10.
Would I buy them again? Well only if the heel cuff material is changed to be more durable, for example on Keen shoes.

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