Founded by the former CEO of Vibram, Topo Athletic knows a thing or two about sticking to the trail—literally. Most of their lineup is dedicated to running shoes, with the key exception being the Trailventure here. Part trail runner, part hiking boot, the Trailventure is a nice solution for hikers who want a lightweight and well-cushioned ride along with a bit of ankle support. And importantly, Topo’s shoes are known for their comfort-first fit: This design in particular features a roomy toe box (great for foot swelling), locked-in midfoot and heel, moderate heel-to-toe drop (5mm), and unique lace lock system that allows you to customize snugness in the forefoot, midfoot, and ankle.
Upon first glance, the Trailventure looks quite similar to Altra’s Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid above, but there are some key differences that distinguish the two designs. With a lower collar, you give up some protection and support with the Topo Athletic (it’s most similar to the Lone Peak Hiker in this respect), and the boot lacks the gaiter attachment standard in Altra’s design. But a solid toe bumper and full-length rock plate add a healthy dose of stiffness and protection to the boot, which overall feels a bit tougher than the Lone Peak. Keep in mind that the non-waterproof Trailventure has a very different feel from the eVent version here, with noticeably less stiffness and protection underfoot. And it’s worth noting that Topo Athletic just released the Trailventure 2 WP, which features an improved fit at the collar, more cushioning, and a gaiter attachment.