Topo Athletic Hydroventure Review – Waterproof Shoes for Trail and OCR

Topo Athletic Hydroventure
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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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Spartan and CRAFT Sportswear Partner to Create OCR-Specific Apparel

Press Release

Spartan and CRAFT Sportswear Partner to Create High-Performance Apparel
Specifically Designed for Obstacle Course Racing

CRAFT Sportswear Named “Official Performance Apparel and Footwear” of Spartan

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY VIDEO

BOSTON (March 29, 2018) – Spartan and CRAFT Sportswear have entered a global partnership, naming the leader in technical performance apparel as “official performance apparel and footwear” of the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. The multi-year partnership will see the two brands developing the first high-performance technical apparel for the rising sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). CRAFT will be applying the same scientific techniques and sport-specific knowledge it uses in developing Olympic-caliber performance apparel for World Tour cycling teams and Olympic cross-country skiers as well as runners and athletes at all levels. CRAFT is currently available in more than 39 countries, while Spartan has more than 200 races across more than 30 countries around the world.

“The growth of Spartan has created a competitive field of elite OCR athletes who require technical apparel that allows for maximum performance,” said CRAFT Sportswear North America CEO Eric Schenker. “For decades, CRAFT has engineered ergonomically superior products for some of the best athletes in the world, and we’re excited to be the first company to apply that same sport-specific knowledge and research towards developing the first-of-its-kind performance apparel for Spartan athletes. CRAFT is for Olympic Champions and everyday heroes and anyone that finishes a Spartan race has certainly earned that title!”

The OCR-specific “Powered By” CRAFT line of Spartan apparel and footwear is currently under development at the company’s sports science laboratory in Sweden. Spartan athletes face elements that require full functional movement and, at times, extreme temperatures. With just milliseconds on the line between elite finishers, CRAFT’s team of designers and technicians pay strict attention to detail, with every stitch and seam
meticulously placed to address the ergonomic and thermal needs of obstacle racers.

Having recently introduced the brand’s performance footwear in Europe, CRAFT’s all-terrain shoe for Spartan athletes will be its US footwear debut. The first-of-its-kind shoe will be designed specifically for the obstacles and natural elements athletes face on the OCR trail. The “Powered By” line will roll out in early 2019, with cobranded apparel from CRAFT’s existing training line launching in Summer of 2018.

Spartan events focus on sport and athleticism, pushing the bodies and minds of competitors to the limit across miles of unforgiving terrain while they conquer signature obstacles such as the Spear Throw, Inverted Wall, Monkey Bars and Barbed Wire Crawl.

“CRAFT has a proven track record for engineering the best functional apparel for endurance sports, and we’re excited to team up with a global brand that shares our passion for performance and competition to develop the first Olympic-caliber OCR-specific apparel and footwear,” said Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena. “With intense competition unfolding at each race, and athletes pushing themselves to the limit, the CRAFT
‘Powered By’ line is a much-needed addition and step forward for the sport as we continue to attract global brands developing products specifically for our race and fan community.”

Most recently, CRAFT apparel was worn by Team USA Olympians Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall when they took home the gold in cross country skiing during the 2018 Winter Games. In addition, CRAFT sponsors a number of other elite athletes and professional teams across the globe in Cross Country Skiing, Cycling, Triathlon, Soccer and Track & Field. Spartan has more than one million annual participants and has seen more than 5 million athletes cross the finish line since it was founded in 2010.

About CRAFT

CRAFT is a Swedish brand specializing in clothing for endurance sports where performance and comfort are crucial for a good result. Combining a true love for endurance sports with a genuine textile heritage and a dedicated organization that dares to think big, we design, develop and manufacture cutting-edge apparel and accessories for Olympic champions and everyday heroes. Visit www.craftsports.us.

About Spartan

Spartan Race is the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, and the first in-sport to feature timing and global rankings. With more than 200 events across more than 30 countries in 2018, Spartan will attract more than one million global participants offering open heats for all fitness levels, along with competitive and elite heats. The Spartan Race lifestyle boasts a community of more than five million passionate social media
followers, health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and a popular NBC television series, which has made obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan Race events feature races at three distances, 3+Mile/20+ Obstacle “Sprint,” 8+ Mile/25+ Obstacle “Super” and 12+ Mile/30+Obstacle “Beast,” culminating in the Spartan World Championship in North Lake Tahoe, CA. Visit spartan.com for more information and registration.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Fine, 781.248.3963, jonathanf@spartan.com