The Fli-lyte offers a comfortable, neutral ride. The foot-friendly shape allows toes to spread and splay, and the lightest mesh and printing techniques are used to eliminate seams and reduce weight. Two different laces are provided to allow you to change the look of your shoe.
Weight: 9.1 oz (Men’s 9.5)
Offset: 3mm – 22mm heel/19mm forefoot
Introduction: With the Topo Athletic Magnifly turning out to be a somewhat surprising favorite shoe of mine this year, I guess it was only a matter of time before I took the plunge and shelled out for another of Topo’s offerings – the moderately cushioned, 3mm-drop road shoe named the Fli-lyte. Similar to the Magnifly, it took a good few runs for the Fli-Lyte to come into their own, which I imagine is due to the rather firm midsole material Topo use. Once broken in, however, the ride is smooth, and it’s easy to get up to speed and enjoy some fast-paced running.
The Fli-lyte has been just as effective on mid-week 6-10 mile runs as it has on longer weekend efforts, where I’ve banged out a couple of 20 milers at between 7:15 and 7:20/mile pace. Both long runs included some off-road running at the local State Park, and thanks to the slightly luggy outsole, the Fli-lyte performed very well.
- Fit – snug through the midfoot, and plenty secure around the heel.
- Durability – no issues whatsoever after 200+ miles. The outsole is holding up really well, and the upper, despite some creasing at the front of the shoe, is still looking good.
- Upper – the breathable outer mesh is lightweight and keeps the foot pleasantly cool. There’s also an even finer mesh on the inside of the shoe, which does a great job of keeping out dirt and dust.
- Price – $100 is a great price for a quality shoe, especially when I expect to log at least 400 miles in them. (Note: check the Amazon.com widget below for the most current Fli-lyte prices.)
- Weight – just the wrong side of 9 oz for my size 9.5, although Topo Athletic claim a Men’s 9 should weigh in at 8.2 oz.
- Looks – not the sexiest shoe in my closet, but I do love the Spring Green colorway, and to be honest fit and function is far more important than looks.
- Break-in period – just like the Magnifly, it took several runs to break in the Fli-lyte. Don’t expect a fantastic out-of-the-box experience.
Summary: Another reliable shoe from Topo Athletic which is just as happy on the roads as it is on the trails. The Fli-lyte could be a bit more responsive, however, as I’ve found myself having to work quite hard to maintain pace on some of my faster tempo efforts. For the future, I’d like to see a slightly lighter, softer Fli-lyte 2, but for now, I’m quite happy logging regular miles in this no-frills, well balanced shoe. Recommended!
Disclaimer: I paid full price for the Fli-lyte at Amazon.com on 2/16/16
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