TAYLOR: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I actually despise that saying, but the Topo Athletic Ultraventure 2 is one of the prime examples of a trail shoe that has it all without the fluff: incredible fit, durable, and is confident over various terrain. The second edition holds close to many of the same components as the original. You’re getting the same foot-shaped design, low drop, stack height, etc. However, there are some major changes to the mesh upper and three-piece injected-EVA midsole.
MATT: Fresh off the glowing reviews of Topo Athletic’s MTN Racer 2, it was the Ultraventure 2’s turn to hit the trailhead and rack up some mileage. If Topo tweaked things in the right spots they could have another winner in their stable.
TAYLOR: The Ultraventure 2 is ready to rumble with the best of them. Distance trail runners, especially those who traverse a variety of terrain, will need to give this one a shot.
The biggest difference from the original is the density of the foam. I loved the firm midsole of the first Ultraventure, but the sequel provides a little more cushion for those long days in the mountains. There’s apparently no difference in stack height, but I think the Ultraventure 2 feels a little taller. The three-piece EVA midsole paired with an Ortholite insole is super comfortable.
The upper on this trail beast is damn light. A soft abrasion-resistant mesh provides comfort and a locked-in fit and is more breathable and lighter than the previous model. Just a few overlays around the toe bumper prove crucial in terms of protection and durability. Topo increases security by adding an internal micro-fiber belt that connects the heel counter and midfoot to lock in the foot. It’s like a cushioned bear trap.
The Vibram XS Trek EVO outsole is almost identical to that of the previous model. It’s an environmentally conscious compound, which I always respect Topo Athletic for its sustainability efforts. It offers great confidence on a variety of terrain without the same weight as its cousin, Megagrip. I’m talking about wet rock, mud, snow, steep terrain, etc.
The new Ultraventure was able to shed a little bit of weight. My men’s 10.5 came in at 10.8 ounces, a pretty impressive number for such a highly cushioned trail runner.
MATT: The Ultraventure 2 is built to go long while keeping you comfortable and upright.
The midsole provides a soft and forgiving ride, straddling the line between too soft and just soft enough. Underneath the midsole is another key feature of the Ultraventure, the XS Trek EVO outsole. Sticky, tacky, multi-directional lugs are great at shedding debris.
The shoe provides a locked-in fit while being light for how much cushion is provided (my men’s size 10s came in at 10.5 oz).
Over the past month, I‘ve taken the Ultraventure 2 on runs through the snow, ice, rain, and mud pits. I even cruised through a 50K that contained a ton of rocky ascending/descending and some knee-deep water crossings. This shoe passed all tests with flying colors.Shop Ultraventure 2 – Men Shop Ultraventure 2 – Women
TAYLOR: Performance-wise, there really isn’t anything to complain about. Looks, on the other hand… eeeessshhh. Usually, all-black looks pretty awesome. This shoe looks more like a pair of cheap-grade nursing shoes. Luckily, it does come in another blue colorway for men and a berry red colorway for women.
MATT: This shoe could look a lot better. I don’t know what it is, but the all-back colorway combined with the shoe’s styling just doesn’t seem as cool as it might on paper.Shop Ultraventure 2 – Men Shop Ultraventure 2 – Women
TAYLOR: If you’re looking for a well-cushioned trail runner that won’t snap your ankles, check out the Topo Athletic Ultraventure 2. If you loved the first Ultraventure, you’ll love this one too.
MATT: For a comfortable and reliable shoe that you can put in big miles on and not worry about changing terrain, the Topo Ultraventure 2 is going to be a top choice this year. It’s a lightweight yet cushioned runner that’s ready to shred.
You can pick up the Topo Athletic Ultraventure 2 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Ultraventure 2 – Men Shop Ultraventure 2 – Women