First Look: 2014 Topo Shoes Have No 'Toes'

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The Topo Women’s ST, on left, Women’s MT, Men’s MT and Men’s ST

Tony Post is known for some funky looking shoes. The former Vibram President and CEO is the man behind Vibram FiveFingers and, more recently, a split-toe design at his new company Topo Athletic. (See our article, “‘Split-Toe’ shoe launched by former CEO of Vibram.”)

But the newest iterations of the Topo Athletic line, the Mountain Trainer and Speed Trainer, abandon the separated-toe design. They look all the world like simple running shoes.

“We didn’t want to be pigeon-holed,” Post said, explaining that his company’s philosophy focuses on light weight, accurate last shape, and near zero-drop, low stack platform.

Both new models have a wide toe-box to allow for foot splay, welded seams, and co-molded rubber-EVA midsoles.

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Original Topo shoe line, announced in early 2013, included esoteric designs with “split toe” uppers

I had a quick look at the to-be-released MT and ST shoes during a meeting with Post last week. While I haven’t run in them, the designs look good, well thought out, and the shoes feel really light in the hand.

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2014 models: Topo women’s and men’s MT model

The Mountain Trainer (MT, $100) weighs a scant 6.9 ounces for a women’s size 7. The men’s shoe is 8.6 ounces (size 9). It has a 3mm drop, from 19mm in the heel to 16mm in the forefoot.

A 3D printed PU upper eliminates stitching and helps achieve the light weight of this trail shoe.

The MT will be available with an exclusive REI launch in January. It will be more widely available in February.

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Men’s and Women’s ST

On the road side, the Speed Trainer (ST, $90) is specifically designed for training speedwork and racing. It also has the 3D printed PU uppers and 3mm heel to toe drop.

A 3mm removable EVA footbed coupled with a 3mm rubber outsole and 6mm EVA insole provide thin cushioning. The ST weighs in at 4.9 ounces for a women’s size 7, 6.6 ounces for a men’s size 9. Fast and light!

The ST is available for pre-order today at Topo Athletic and will ship to stores on Dec. 1.

I look forward to giving these a test on a trail or road soon.

—Sean McCoy

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