Topo Athletic Hydroventure Review – Waterproof Shoes for Trail and OCR

Topo Athletic Hydroventure
4 / 5 Overall
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Durability
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Water Draining
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We recently got in touch with Topo Athletics to review the Top Athletic Hydroventure shoes. They were rated Gear of the Year by National Geographic Adventure, so we needed to find out if they lived up to the hype! 

They certainly live up to their waterproof claim, as discovered on some wet and muddy trails as winter turned into spring in Georgia! They are also, without a doubt, the lightest pair of trail shoes I’ve had the pleasure of beating to death on Kennesaw Mountain. While more geared toward trail running than OCR, these would certainly be great for certain courses that don’t require the deep lugs.

Topo Hydroventure Features

The Topo Hydroventures boast not only their lightweight waterproof membranes but also a full-length, flexible rock plate to prevent stone bruising. This is extremely important since you expect a shoe that protects your soles from stone-bruising to also be heavy laden. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Hydroventures. I found myself feeling that these were simultaneously delicate (so lightweight and comfortable) and unyielding. It’s much rarer to find applicable shoe reviews geared toward women, so when I found these shoes, I knew I needed to let all of our female readers know about these powerhouse shoes!

Other notable features are:

  • The Roomy Toe Box: These are noticeably boxier and wider in the toe box than other trail and OCR shoes like the All Out Crushes or Reebok All Terrains. This allows for your feet to freely form their proper strike position during a run.
  • Lug Rubber Outsole: The high-traction outsoles made the transition from sand to gravel to thick mud to puddles seamless with the design that allows the shoe to release the “crud” you would normally pick up from the trail which weighs down the shoes.

Topo Hydroventure Usage

I used the Hydroventures on some pretty technical trails around Georgia. The hills and mountains, covered in mud, sand, and rocks, provided a well-rounded picture of how these shoes hold up on various terrain. They also made their OCR debut during the Atlanta Warrior Dash!

I really enjoyed running in these due to their low drop. While they aren’t zero drop, they do have a low, 3 mm heel to toe drop which is important to me, and many other runners who prefer as minimal of a shoe as possible, while still being protective. The Hydroventures also have the lower stack height of Topo’s other trail shoes and is the only women’s trail shoe from Topo with a full-length rock plate.

These have taken a beating for weeks, being the only shoes I want to wear on the trails due to their extreme comfort. While they are the lowest cushioned of the Topo trail shoes, I can’t imagine needing any more cushion or support than the Hydroventures give. I would wear these around town if I wasn’t worried about wearing down the soles on concrete!

I didn’t have to “break them in” by doing those weird things we all do to break in trail shoes – wearing wet socks or bending them back and forth for hours. They felt extremely comfortable right out of the box, slipped on over thin, synthetic ankle running socks, and taken immediately out to the trails. I found them extremely flexible, and it was easy to forget I was wearing brand new shoes at all.

Topo Hydroventure Durability

Once I’m no longer carrying this extra weight in the front (I’m now far enough along in pregnancy to be front-heavy), I’ll be taking these on the bigger OCR courses to see how they do at races like Spartan, Savage, and Tough Mudder.

I have no doubts about the future durability of the Hydroventures, however, due to how well they’ve held up thus far through my long runs on technical terrain. They’ve already gone about 50 miles and still look brand new, in spite of all that I’ve put them through. Even the laces are holding up well compared to other trail shoes I’ve run in! The uppers feel very durable, and not thin like many of the other shoes on the market, with the waterproof coating helping to seal the durability of the upper material.

Topo Hydroventure Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Roomy toe box
  • Comfort and cushion
  • Mud-release outsole lugs
  • Low heel to toe drop (3 mm)
  • Waterproof
  • Fit true to size
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • I could do with more color options!
  • They could be a little more flexible from left to right, straight out of the box, but that will get better as they loosen up during continued use.
  • If only they had deeper lugs to make these the perfectly rounded OCR shoe – allowing for better grip on obstacles!
  • The drainage could be improved, for when you really need to submerge – they are very waterproof, but there are sometimes when the water is just going to get in the shoe, and the drainage took a little longer than I preferred.

 

Topo Hydroventure  Verdict

I will definitely be looking into more Topo shoes and if these ever happen to burn out on me, they will be replaced immediately. I would recommend these to the runners who spend most of their time training and running on trails over recommending using them for obstacle races. The Topo Hydroventures could certainly hold their own on some of the courses I’ve run in past seasons but are more suited for trail running.

The waterproof feature is also going to be appealing to other runners in wet climates such as the northwestern U.S. and our readers across the pond who put in hundreds of miles in the rainy climate of the U.K.

Should you add Topo Hydroventure to your collection of trail shoes? Without a doubt! You will find these to be lightweight, comfortable, and durable, nearly all that we can ask for from a trail/OCR shoe.



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Kayla Coons

Editor and Race Relations Liaison at ORM
Kayla is the content editor and race relations liaison for ORM. Fancy ways of saying that she gets runners to the races and then cleans up their typos when they write a recap.

Her first race was the Georgia Warrior Dash in 2011 and she still enjoys racing local events and meeting the awesome runners who stop by the ORM tent when she's working.
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Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Review

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0
2.5 / 5 Overall
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The Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 is a huge update from the mostly unused and unseen All-Terrain Thunder 1.0. This provides an intriguing route that Reebok is exploring by adding cushion to their already fast draining All-Terrain Super 2.0. In theory you can using a shoe like this for the longer races in obstacle course racing that get your feet wet but also keep you on your feet for over 15 miles. Or it could also be a great option for someone who is used to running in a shoe that has a heel to toe drop greater than the 5mm that the Reebok All-Terrain Super 2.0’s have. If you don’t know, changing to shoes with a drastically different drop can cause you quite a bit of leg and back pain on race day.

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Features

Terrain Skin – This is what Reebok is calling the rubber like material that they coat and inject into the material cover the outer of the shoe. They have started using this in most of their shoes for the All-Terrain line. It provides a good water repellency while also adding more durability. The only draw back I’ve found is that it causes that fabric to be a little more stiff than normal when bending.

Speed Laces – These are those types of laces that don’t require tying. All you need to do is slide on the shoes and tighten down on the quick tie mechanism. This is a step forward and backward all at the same time. One of the common complaints with the Super’s is the laces are thin and come untied all the time. While these won’t untie it is harder to get them to stay at the right tightness like you can with a standard pair of laces. Some like them, some don’t, it’s a personal thing.

Drainage Ports – A now standard feature in the Reebok All-Terrain line up. This allows water to flow right out of your shoes after a swim, river crossing, or rope climb. Works great just like on the other models.

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Usage

I was surprised by the lack of lugs on the bottom of these “trail/ocr” shoes. So, I first tested these around a park on mostly concrete. Within the first mile, I felt a heavy rubbing on the top of my foot by the tongue. It even left a small blister after that first run.  I later ran some trail miles in them and had similar issues. I immediately relegated these to “walking around” shoes. This means I would throw them on to go to the store, but never actually wear them for race.

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Durability

These are perhaps the least durable shoes I have ever worn. Even though, these became my “walk around” shoes, they began to fall apart after a few months. You won’t see the “standard holes in the sides” that usually come in this Reebok line. This could be because I never actually ran an obstacle race in them. Several other parts of the shoe denigrated pretty quickly, however.  See the photos below.

All Terrain Thunder Review

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Speed lacing is great, all running shoes to adopt this model.
  • Holes for draining also great. At this point, a no-brainer for all shoes made for obstacle racing.
  • Impress your friends who know nothing about OCR.
  • Step aside old “lawn mowing shoes”, there is a new sheriff in town.

Cons

  • Tongue gives blisters, even when rest of the shoe is proper fit.
  • Lugs not very aggressive, not ideal for trail.
  • Like most in the Reebok OCR shoe line, they fall apart easily.

Similar Shoes

Reebok All Terrain Thunder 2.0Reebok All Terrain ThrillReebok All Terrain Super ORSalomon Speedcross 3
Weight310 g320g219g310g
Heel Drop7mm13mm5mm9mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"3/16"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$124.99$125.00$90.00$80.00
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyAmazon AmazonAmazonAmazon

 

Reebok All-Terrain Thunder 2.0 Conclusion

Do not buy this shoe. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.00.

 

**March 2016 Update: Luckily for you, Reebok has left this horrible shoe, and those like it, in it’s ugly past.

Click here to read about, possibly the best shoe in OCR.

 



Follow Me:

Kayla Coons

Editor and Race Relations Liaison at ORM
Kayla is the content editor and race relations liaison for ORM. Fancy ways of saying that she gets runners to the races and then cleans up their typos when they write a recap.

Her first race was the Georgia Warrior Dash in 2011 and she still enjoys racing local events and meeting the awesome runners who stop by the ORM tent when she's working.
Follow Me:

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