Wednesday 27 March 2024

Topo Athletic Pursuit shoes first day

Even though I run quite a modest weekly total, alongside some hiking in my trail shoes, the mileage and wear soon develops. Two months after moving onto a new pair of Lone Peak shoes I saw the internet traffic praising the Topo Athletic Pursuit shoes as an alternative to the long running Lone Peak standard. You can do your own search... As I like to have a new pair of shoes being worn-in alongside a pair that are wearing-out I decided to try out the relative newcomer.

I called a shop I've bought from a few times and asked about the sizing of the Topos compared to the Altras. They thought that sizing was comparable so I ordered the same size that I'm used to. I wore the shoes around the house and felt that the size was slightly smaller but not so much that I wanted to size-up. Going into summer I'm more likely to wear thinner socks anyway, that is if the rain stops and I put the Sealskinz socks to one side. I was conscious of the greater stack height oddly enough.

Today I took them out for a 10km trial trail run near home.

My initial impression is that even with the thicker sole unit the Topo are harder on tarmac. On wet grass and slimy mud there is a little more grip, perhaps due to the more widely spaced lugs. One of the supposed advantages of the Pursuit over the Lone Peak is better longevity of the sole, due to Topo using a sole produced by Vibram. I wonder if in my use I'll see this as, to me, a sparse tread is inherently more prone to wear on hard surfaces? Living in an urban area my trail runs generally start on tarmac suburban paths, then move to hard-packed trails with some grass and loose rocks. Although internet reviewers have complained about excessive wear to uppers of recent Altra shoes I've mostly found the uppers to outlast the soles, although as noted previously, I aim for over 1000km from Lone Peaks which many don't seem to find.

The Topo and Altra shoes have similar list prices but many UK suppliers discount Altra, and even the Altra online shop reduces prices for last season's colour. This makes the Topo considerably more expensive for me at the moment, as I'm writing the Lone Peak 7 (the old model but readily available) is £80 and the Pursuit £140. I'm sceptical of achieving twice the mileage from the Topo Athletic Pursuit and will report back in a few months.