Summer hiking season is upon us, and now is the perfect time to upgrade your footwear. We sat down with Topo Athletic Product Manager Russ Stevens to discuss the relaunch of the Trailventure 2 WP hiking boot. Made with eVent waterproof technology in a full bootie construction, the Trailventure 2 WP locks out water and keeps your feet dry and comfortable in the widest range of temperatures and conditions. Are you looking for a new waterproof hiker? See what makes the Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 WP a great option for your next purchase.
Q: Tell us about Topo and what differentiates your footwear?
Topo Athletic was founded in 2013 by our founder and CEO, Tony Post. Tony created the brand name using his college nickname, taking the first two letters of his first and last name to create Topo. When Topo Athletic started, we set out to be a company that didn’t offer just minimalist or just maximalist shoes. We wanted to offer a variety of product at different stack heights to suit different customer’s needs.
There are three main characteristics that differentiate Topo Athletic products from other footwear on the market:
- Our shoes have a wide toe box, with a wide anatomical fit to allow your toes to spread and splay naturally, helping aid with balance and comfort.
- Maintain a secure fit through the midfoot and heel, so even with a wide toe box, you are still secure through the midfoot and heel. This prevents your foot from sliding out all over the platform which can create discomfort on the trail or on a run.
- All Topo Athletic shoes are low-drop (the relative offset between the heel and the forefoot) but aren’t necessarily zero-drop. We offer shoes in the 5mm, 3mm, and zero-drop category. These offset options allow users different options when starting their natural running journey.
Q: With a history in running footwear, what led you into the hiking market?
Before introducing hiking footwear, we started in trail running and found we had a committed base of runners that were using Topo Athletic products for trail running and hiking. It was a seamless transition to introduce a line of hiking products to meet the demands from the trail and outdoor market who love Topo Athletic products. By providing footwear with additional ankle support and protection around the ankle, it allows wearers to experience the comfort they come to expect with Topo Athletic with the protection they need from a hiking boot.
Q: Congrats on the relaunch of your Trailventure 2 boot. What enhancements did you make to the boot?
We had a good starting point with the original Trailventure boot but added additional enhancements on the Trailventure 2 WP to continue to meet the needs of our users. To differentiate our boot from our trail running shoes, we increased the stack height by 3mm, making it the highest stack height in our trail line. We kept the 5mm drop like in the first edition—we wanted to keep the boot at our highest drop to help take stress off the Achilles and lower legs.
We also designed an entire new outsole for the boot, now there is more rubber coverage offering more durability and better traction for hiking. We added an additional lace hook along the top of the collar so you can get a tight and secure fit around the ankle.
Finally, we lowered the top line of the collar on the back of the shoe, allowing a tight, locked in fit around the ankle, without losing dorsal flection. That way, you still have full ankle mobility walking up or down hill, keeping your ankle locked in and preventing the collar from opening. We really upped the fit of the boot to be more in-line with the rest of our product offerings and enhance the secure fit which Topo Athletic is known for.
Q: Why does Topo use eVent waterproof technology?
There were three main factors that went into our decision to use eVent as our waterproof technology. First, it was important to us to use a branded technology that had a long-standing and good reputation within the industry to better help us position our product. We also wanted to make sure our footwear still had good breathability, and eVent offers high breathability letting sweat escape from the shoe, while still being waterproof. Finally, we have had a great amount of success with using eVent in past Topo Athletic designs. The first edition of the Trailventure WP boot used eVent technology, and we received a lot of positive feedback from users related to the comfort and protection eVent offers.
Q: What tips do you have for people who are shopping for waterproof hiking footwear?
With hiking footwear, you want to make sure you pick something that is going to be comfortable on your foot, and has the technology and features that matches the environment you are going to be in. When shopping for waterproof footwear, look for a product that has breathability while still offering waterproof protection. By allowing excess heat and sweat the evaporate off the foot, it creates a more comfortable environment especially when hiking longer distances.
A high-quality outsole is also important when looking for waterproof breathable footwear, especially when hiking in wet environments. Our boots use Vibram® Megagrip, which stays tacky even in wet conditions. By making sure the footwear you purchase matches the conditions you’ll be facing, you will have a more enjoyable time on the trail without having to worry about being uncomfortable.