The Runventure features a strong abrasion resistant mesh and no-sew printing techniques that protect the upper while adding structural integrity. A molded TPU midsole plate and 19 mm platform provide plating protection without sacrificing ground feel. The multi-directional lugged outsole offers traction over a variety of surfaces.
Weight: 9.0 oz (Men’s 9.5)
Offset: 2mm – 19mm heel/17mm forefoot
Introduction: Keeping the Topo Athletic theme going, I guess it’s about time I reviewed one of their trail offerings, the Runventure. I haven’t logged a ton of trail specific miles in the last 3 or 4 months, but do feel like I’m in a good position to post some decent feedback. Just like my experience with the Magnifly, the Runventure took several runs to break-in, thanks in part to the inclusion of the TPU (thermoplastic urethane) molded rock plate. The upper material is a soft, dual layer mesh that breathes and drains well, and features a gusseted tongue design that helps lock the midfoot fit down.
The Runventure reminded me somewhat of the Merrell Bare Access Trail shoes I wore a lot a couple of years back, with the main differences being the 2mm drop, snugger midfoot and rock plate inclusion on the Runventure.
- Weight – 9 oz makes the Runventure one of the lightest trail shoes in my current rotation. Anything under 10 oz and I’m pretty happy.
- Fit – just like with the Magnifly, the roomy toe box is fantastic, without feeling overly voluminous. I really wish more shoe companies would move away from the bullet-shaped forefoot. The snug fit through the midfoot is also a positive feature.
- Road-to-trail – several of my runs took in a few miles of asphalt running before hitting the softer stuff. I was pleasantly surprised how fast the shoe felt and how much energy return I received.
- Durability – no issues whatsoever with upper or outsole durability. The outsole is holding up really well, and I expect to get at least 400 miles from the shoe.
- Grip – again, pleasantly surprised by the excellent grip across a range of non-technical terrain – the Runventure performed equally well on wet, muddy grass as it did on buffed out dirt trail.
- Protection – the TPU rock plate did a great job on gravelly terrain, with the rubber bumper keeping my toes happy on the rootiest local trails.
- Price – in my opinion, $110 is a fair price for a shoe of this quality. (Note: check the Amazon.com widget below for the latest best Runventure prices.)
- Cushion – a bit of a harsh ride, especially on longer runs where my calves took a bit of a beating.
- Break-in period – not the comfiest shoe out-of-the box, but 30 or 40 miles later and the fit and feel was good.
- Tongue – I’ve found the gusseted tongue fabric can bunch slightly if the laces are tied too tight, especially when wearing a thicker sock like the Injinji TRAIL 2.0. Not a huge dealbreaker, but my personal preference would be for a traditional, lightly padded tongue.
Summary: The Runventure is a solid shoe and one I reach for on a fairly frequent basis. Forefoot flex is excellent thanks to the built-in flex grooves, but I just find myself wishing for a bit more cushion and a slightly softer ride, which I believe is what Topo Athletic’s other trail shoe offering, the MT-2, is all about. Might be another one to try when I start logging more trail miles in the Spring/Summer. All in all, a pretty decent shoe from an exciting up-and-coming player in the running shoe industry.
Disclaimer: The Runventure are a media sample provided free of charge by Topo Athletic.
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