Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Topo Athletic Trailventure WP 2 Multi Tester Review: now more boot than trail runner and that is a good thing!

Article by Dominique Winebaum and Alex Tilsley

Topo Trailventure 2 WP ($180)


Dominique: Familiar with the Topo brand, mainly for trail running and hiking, I am excited to test the Trailventure 2 WP as this latest iteration comes with welcome updates. My prior testing reviews include the MTN Racer 1 (RTR Review), which I ran into the ground, and the Trailventure’s first edition – Topo’s first lightweight trail boot (RTR Review).  Rye, New Hampshire, might not offer the best terrain for testing hiking/trail boots, yet winter weather provided plenty of opportunities to wear my Trailventure 2 WP prior to hitting the trails in Utah.

In between short hikes on snowy trails, Mt Agamenticus, Maine, and walks on wintery roadsides, they quickly became my go-to winter low boots – and so fitting for town and grocery outings!  (I am not wearing the compatible Topo performance gaiters.) 

A winter hike in the White Mountains did not materialize due to a short window of opportunities for “fair” conditions, however, the Trailventure 2 WP would have been a great choice – waterproof, sturdy, stable, cushiony, comfortable, and lightweight.  

After one month of wearing my Trailventure 2 WP and in the midst of planning an 11-day trek - the Tour du Mont-Blanc -  in late June, I am contemplating wearing the Trailventure 2 on the TMB.  While the WP version would come handy as trails might still be covered in snow in late June (some years are better than others), the “regular” Trailventure 2 is lighter by 2 ounces and the upper is notably more breathable and better suited for hot weather conditions, in addition to being less expensive ($160).  The real test would be hiking the TMB, 100 miles in 11 days with about a 20 lbs pack, (not at an overly strenuous pace), however, plenty challenging for more “senior” feet.  

The compatible Topo Performance Gaiters ($30) are designed to keep dirt and rock out of the shoes and provide added protection on snow pack trails underneath my long pants.  

They have 2 rear hooks which slide into heel slots and a front hook which clips to a small front metal piece. Below is a front view of Sam’s men’s version with the gaiters in place. What a toe box!

Alex: A fan of both the Topo fit and long-distance hiking , I was excited to see the Trailventure 2 WP land at my doorstep, and just in time for a weekend trip to Corbin Cabin in Shenandoah National Park! Having worn a couple of Topo’s road shoes, but never ventured into their trail offerings, I was curious to see if the fit would still feel accommodating-yet-secure after a few days of hiking.

Before committing to the overnight, I took the Trailventure 2 WP out for a spin at Scott’s Run, a small nature preserve next to the Potomac River. Scott’s Run is not the hardest hiking, but had enough rocks and climbs for me to be sure there were no immediate issues, and no reason not to take them out for a few days. 

Having passed the first test, I threw the Trailventure 2 WPs in the car as we made our way down to a cold and foggy Shenandoah National Park. Maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Corbin Cabin is one of only a few structures left from before the area became a national park. Our plan was to hike in from Skyline Drive – a short but steep descent – Friday night and prepare for a big hike on Saturday, before hiking back out of the valley on Sunday. 

Saturday’s goal was Robertson Mountain, and though it was biting cold, the sun was out and the conditions were good. Parts of the trail were covered in a layer of crunchy snow, less than a foot deep, while the sunny portions of the trail were completely clear, and most mud was frozen solid. It was the sort of day where you’d put your microspikes on (they work great with the Trailventure 2 WP, by the way), only to take them off 3 minutes later. Like much of Shenandoah, the hike involved a fair amount of up-and-down, but with some extended climbs and downhills, ultimately totalling just shy of 4,000 ft of climbing (a big number for the mid-Atlantic!). All to say – it was an ideal set-up to test the boots in a variety of conditions, and I was excited to see how they’d perform.



This new edition of the Trailventure (2 WP) comes with significant updates making this Topo model a serious contender among other brands. 

Extremely comfortable and lightweight with a snug and secure fit. + Alex

3 piece midsole featuring ZipFoam™ for optimal cushioning and resilience on a now wider and higher platform. 

Well crafted upper with solid toe protection. + Alex

Wide toe box, so wide feet welcome, without being overly wide or in secure for not so wide feet. + Alex

Rocker heel enhances forward motion of the foot.

eVent waterproof upper keeps the foot dry and has a soft feel to the touch. +Alex

Compatible with the Topo Athletic performance gaiter.

Vibram MegaGrip outsole providing great traction.  +Alex

Well padded ankle collar and tongue.

Attractive looking – fun colors.

APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance and Seal of Approval.  


The grommets on the inside of the collar are exposed which could create friction around the ankle if the tongue is not lined up and securely in place. 

Padded ankle collar can cause pressure on the ankle – Alex

Tester Profiles

Dominique has run and hiked for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening. 

Alex Tilsley is a displaced trail runner, currently living in DC and finding dirt wherever she can. Alex discovered running in college and was a happy 3-miles-a-day hobby jogger until her mom tricked her into running a 10k and it was all downhill from there. She has since run several marathons (PR 3:38) and dabbled in triathlons, but her true love is the trails, whether running, mountain biking, orienteering, or long-distance backpacking. When she’s not running or riding, Alex works full-time in education policy and part-time putting on trail races with EX2 Adventures


Official Weight: women’s 13.9 oz / 394g :: men’s 16.9 oz / 479g

  Samples women’s 14.69 oz / 416gg  (US9),  men’s 15.9 oz  / 451g  (US8.5)

Stack Height: men’s & women’s  33mm heel / 28mm forefoot, 5mm drop

Expected February 2022. $180

First Impressions and Fit

Dominique: The Trailventure 2WP is much improved in comparison to the first Trailventure edition, which admittedly I rapidly retired after my testing period. This feels much different!  First, the fit is snuggier around the ankle and the overall feel is extremely comfortable.  True to size, the toe box is generous with wiggle room for my toes, yet the foot is securely held in place.  The midsole with the addition of more  stack of ZipFoam™ (already existing in the 1WP), enhances the cushiony feel of the boot and its stability.  This edition has a 3mm higher stack height and wider platform than its predecessor for a more comfortable and stable ride. This additional stack height and more robust upper of course adds to the weight in comparison to v1. 

As soon as I walked in them, I could feel the rocker bottom platform enhancing the heel to toe motion; a feature that is part of the new Vibram Megagrip outsole design.  Extremely comfortable with a colorful and attractive upper, especially so  in comparison to its pale predecessor.  

Alex: Slipping these on out of the box, it was immediately clear this was a boot. The last hiking shoe I tested was the inov-8 Rocfly G 390, which is almost a trail runner-boot hybrid. The Trailventure 2 WP, in contrast, comes down firmly on the boot side of the line – but that’s not a bad thing. While the inov-8s inspired me to run up and down the hallway, the Trailventure 2 WP felt secure around my foot and ankle, with a comfortable footbed and a sturdy midsole. They aren’t heavy or bulky, but the fit of the Trailventure 2 WP, particularly with the high ankle collar, lets you know these boots are ready for some serious adventure. 

The fit was exactly what I had expected from Topo. The forefoot was plenty forgiving for my wide foot, but my foot felt secure. The women’s 6.5 fit perfectly, and though I usually go up an additional half size for hiking boots, I was glad I didn’t in these, as I think the toe would have been too long. The 6.5 left me with a little breathing room without feeling like I was going to trip over the length of the shoe. (Were I to take these on a long thru-hike I might size up, but for weekend adventures my normal running shoe size is perfect.)


Dominique: We have a waterproof upper, which is not Gore-Tex, but is a full eVent® inner bootie, to keep feet dry and comfortable. The outer upper is a lightweight abrasion-resistant rip-stop mesh, that is protective, yet supple, with lateral laminated overlays helping keep the foot securely in place.  

The layout of the laminated overlays differs from its predecessor creating a better hold of the foot.  

What is significantly different is that the collar wraps around the ankle and stoutly so, resulting in a snugger more secure and ultimately stable fit.  See below (Trailventure 1 in blue and Trailventure 2 in raspberry black).  

In prior editions of the Trailventure, the collar was much narrower in height and the top hook was attached to the upper itself and not to the collar. The grommet behind the hook was not exposed as is the case with the 2 WP.  Here, a second hook has been added with both hooks embedded in the collar providing a more secure and comfortable fit around the lateral sides of the ankle. 

Another welcome improvement are the metal eyelets, in lieu of the miniature webbing eyelets, allowing for a better glide of the shoelaces when tying them. The collar is slanted towards the back which I find quite freeing when walking and hiking.  Let’s not forget the wide toe box, which is sized just right, with plenty of wiggle room for my toes.  

Alex : Dominique describes the upper’s key features well. The mesh is tightly woven and bends without creating pressure on the toes. The overlays add some protection to the toe and reinforce the fit across the midfoot. The waterproof eVent bootie does its job well – I marveled as I walked through streams and didn’t even notice. I don’t typically opt for waterproof boots, because I prefer boots that dry quickly, so the excellent waterproofing of the Trailventure 2 WP was a real treat as we trekked through snow and icy streams on a 20 degree day. The downside, of course, is that the boots did get a little wet from my sweaty feet, but nothing that some time by the fire couldn’t fix. 

The ankle collar turned out to be a real mixed bag for me. As Dominique points out, the grommets of the hooks are exposed, but the heel collar seems to be structured in such a way that they won’t rub against your foot – the grommet sits in a sort of indentation in the collar. The downside, however, is instead of the grommet digging into my ankle, the collar put pressure on the inside of the ankle. At various points throughout the weekend of hiking, I had to adjust the lacing because of pressure on either side of my ankle, or on my achilles. I thought at first this might just be a problem with my ankle, but I felt it on both sides, and adjusting laces always seemed to do the trick. The problem was I couldn’t figure out exactly what made the lacing work or not, and sometimes it would feel fine for an hour or two and then suddenly feel like I couldn’t move my achilles. I do like the support the collar provides, but I think slightly less structure around the front of the ankle by the grommets and a slightly more rounded heel counter might make me more inclined to take these out for days or weeks at a time.


Dominique: The stack height for the WP2 is higher, 33 mm x 28 mm, versus 30 mm x 25 mm for the WP1, and getting close to the stack height of the HOKA Anacapa (RTR Review), 34 mm x 29 mm.  I truly appreciate a higher stack height especially if stability is not compromised, which is not an issue with the Trailventure 2 WP.  

The 3-piece midsole features ZipFoam™ and which is more cushioned and wider than in the 1 WP, creating a very pleasant cushioned and stable underfoot experience.  As with  the Trailventure 1 WP, a full-length ESS rock plate provides added protection from rocks whereas the non waterproof WP 2 will not have one.  It’s a  midsole with a high comfort level without being overly plush, unstable, or mushy and that is responsive and tailored to both fast moving and senior feet. 

Alex: I’m a ZipFoam fan and it works very well here. There’s nothing mushy about ZipFoam, but you can tell there’s cushion protecting you from the rocks and roots. Neither bouncy nor soft, the midsole here just works. Though the Trailventure 2 WP is definitely not a running shoe , I ran a few hundred yards on the trail and the midsole still felt good. Supportive, protective, and responsive, I could walk on this midsole for many days in a row and be very happy about it. 


Dominique: The Vibram MegaGrip outsole has been redesigned to optimize traction and minimize slipping.  During a 7 mile round trip hike with 1800 feet of vertical  to Meridian Peak from Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City, we tested all kinds of terrain conditions: pavement, dry dirt, slightly rocky, heavy mud, and snow, especially during our descent. 

The outsole is sturdy and protective with plenty of traction – no issues, yet we were glad for the “boot cleaning station” at the bottom of the trail to clean off the mud underfoot.  

Alex: This is my first experience with the Vibram Megagrip outsole and honestly, I was blown away. Though I didn’t get a chance to test every possible slippery situation – all the good mud pits were frozen – I couldn’t find anything the Megagrip couldn’t handle. It was particularly impressive on wet rocks, giving me a feeling of security and confidence on stream crossings that I rarely experience. (I even opted to walk across a downed, wet log to cross a stream, rather than doing my usual sit-and-scoot.) 

The outsole also held up to the crunchy Shenandoah snowpack, and I never had issues with snow balling up in the tread. As someone who once averaged more than one fall per day on a 3-week hike, the Megagrip honestly feels game-changing for me. 


Dominique: A hiking boot designed to handle rugged terrains with a comfortable platform and tailored for fast hiking.  Cushioned and responsive midsole for an enjoyable ride .  By all means, it is a versatile hiking boot that I like to wear when walking my three-mile loop on the road, hiking on easy and moderate trails, and it is plenty sturdy for rougher conditions and longer hikes.  


Besides the heel collar, I honestly didn’t notice these boots much, which is a true compliment to the Trailventure 2 WP. The ride doesn’t necessarily feel innovative or new, but, and I know I keep saying this, it works. The boots are just flexible enough to roll through your normal stride while remaining supportive enough to feel good with 35+ pounds on your back (we don’t pack light for winter cabin trips). My foot felt secure on downhills, and I didn’t notice any slipping or jamming into the front of the boot. On uphills, the midsole was flexible enough that I could hike on my toes where I needed to, and on the flats I felt like I could cruise without noticing every rock or root. The ride might not provide an energy return or make you feel like you’re bouncing down the trails, but it is comfortable and consistent, which is what I want in a hiking boot. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Dominique: I am truly impressed by all the improvements of the Trailventure 2 WP and anticipate getting plenty of wear throughout the winter season and spring, whether I am hiking or walking.  In the summertime, I would definitely opt for the “regular” Trailventure 2, as the upper is notably more breathable and better adapted to hiking in warm and hot weather conditions.  Last year I tested the HOKA Anacapa, which is a super cushioned and low top hiking shoe. However, it lacked stability and was too soft.  The Trailventure 2 WP, with its rugged outsole and wide platform, provides great stability for a boot with a high stack height and cushioned midsole.  It is supportive for a fast hiking shoe, as well as protective, and versatile.  My only concern is the fact that the grommets are exposed on the inside of the collar; however, this has not been a problem for me by properly aligning the tongue, which is quite wide, when tying the shoelaces.  This said, I have not hiked a full-day with a heavy backpack wearing the Trailventure WP 2 yet. 

In the planning phase of the TMB, a 100 mile in 11 days trek in the Alps, staying in huts along the way and carrying packs of approximately 20 lbs, I am contemplating the Trailventure 2 for our trio of lady hikers, however, I remain a bit concerned my potential issues with the ankle collar, as Alex experienced on her backpacking trip.  Other types of boots, more built-up, with the downside of being heavier, would provide better  ankle support, something to consider on a fairly long trek with a heavy load on our back.  To be continued…

Dominique’s Score: 9.6/10   

Ride: 9.8; Fit: 9.4; Value; 9.2/10; Style: 9,5/10; Traction 10/10; Rock protection 10/10. 

Alex: If it weren’t for my issues with the ankle collar, I’d be considering the non-waterproof version of these boots as my new thru-hiking shoe. The midsole and outsole are just that good, and I genuinely want to walk in them every day. As it is, I will definitely keep these in my rotation for cold or wet days when I’d prefer to keep my feet dry. If you do a lot of backpacking in wet places, I’d give the Trailventure 2 WP a look. It provides a lot of support for its relatively light weight (for a boot), is fully waterproof, and will grip just about anything you can throw at it, all while providing a comfortable and stable ride. 

Alex’s Score: 9.5/10

Ride: 9.75/10 (love it, but no “wow” factor)

Fit: 9/10 (perfect fit around the forefoot, but couldn’t get the ankle to feel comfortable consistently)

Value: 9/10 

Style: 9/10 (I’m not sure why all women’s boots are raspberry this year) 

Traction: 10/10 (wish I could give them an 11)

Rock protection: 10/10

Expected February 2022

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

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Unknown said...

Thank you for this review! Very helpful.

I can't seem to find the Trailventure 2 sold anywhere (as of 3 weeks after your review), so I assume it is not "out" yet. Do you know when it will be coming out?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review! I did not know a 2 was already released (I have not seen Trailventure 2 on any retail site yet) BUT, I would like to know a few things:

1. Did Topo fix the “crease” issue that was hurting peoples toe box area?

2. Is the 2 that much better than the first gen? The first gen is on a “final sale” right now and anywhere from $20-40 off, but the creasing toe box has me concerned.

For reference I am 6’4” @ 178 lbs