ToPo Runduro Review
The ToPo Runduro is a distance running shoe from ToPo Athletics. It has a thicker sole, which probably takes it out of the "minimalist” running shoe category and is geared towards transitioning and long-distance runners. It features a beefed up upper compared to the Topo ST I recently reviewed, which increases the weight (9.10 oz) and diminishes the breathability of the shoe. It also features the BOA lace system is incredibly easy to use and stable.
With a thicker stack height and more inflexible sole, they may be more suitable for new runners looking for comfort in having a shoe that is very similar to traditional running shoes, but with a slightly lower stack height. I'd call the Runduro a true "transitioning” shoe.
Read on for my full review!
About the Topo Runduro
Engineered for medium and long distance running, the Runduro is designed with a 3 mm drop and mid-stack height platform for natural load and force distribution during the gait cycle. The PU printed upper and Boa® closure system deliver comfort and a micro adjustable fit for the long haul. Click here to watch our Boa® closure system video.
Weight — 9.10 oz (size 9 US/41 Euro)
Total Stack Height (Note: (3mm heel drop)
- 22mm heel – 19mm forefoot with the 3mm foot bed
- 19mm heel – 16mm forefoot without the 3mm foot bed
Barefoot Scale — 19-22mm. Transitioning and long-distance runners only. Experienced barefooters need not apply.
- Comfortable uppers
- Very familiar feel for transitioning runners, but with a slightly lower stack height
- Excellent BOA lace system
- Wide toe box
- Very thick soles
- Poor ground feel
- Not zero-drop
- Lack of flexibility in the sole
Testing Background — This review was written about running about 75 miles in the Topo Runduro in the mountains of Colorado, trails of Vermont, and bike paths around Boston.
Here are some photos of the Runduro!
The ToPo Runduro features a thick sole by minimalist standards that should appeal to a very specific set of transitioning runners looking for a casual and easy transition into a slightly more minimalist shoe.
Unlike the previously reviewed ToPo ST, the sole is nearly twice as thick and, for me, feels like a traditional running shoe. It was only after I checked the stack height of traditional running shoes that I realized that the Runduro is actually a fair bit thinner and with less of a heel drop difference over other runners.
For this reason, I would say that the Runduro should be considered a true middle-point between minimalist shoes and traditional running shoes.
The typical running shoe can have a stack height as high as 30mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot, while most minimalist running shoes are in the 6mm-10mm territory with a zero drop.
With a 22mm heel and 19mm forefoot (including the 3mm foot bed), the Runduro parts the sea between the two worlds of running shoes. Perhaps too thick to be considered minimalist but definitely on the thinner side of regular shoes, the Runduro is something in between and is marketed as such.
The sole is not very flexible and provide little twist and downflex. The forefoot area does have some groves that allow for some upflex, but I wish that ToPo gave the Runduro more flex grooves to enhance the movement and dexterity of the Runduro.
Most barefooters would say that this show is too thick and inflexible, but I believe that new runners will definitely appreciate them after ditching their old shoes—perhaps moving onto something with a bit more flex and a bit less sole after running in these shoes for a while.
Fit and Materials
The ToPo Runduro has the same upper material as the ST, which I consider to be has one of the best uppers I have tested with a transitioning shoe. They are not quite as soft as the fabric uppers in lighter running shoes, but they are comfortable and very breathable.
However, unlike the ST, there Runduro has a lot more structural material around the heel and the lace area to support the BOA lace system. All of this extra material adds weight and decreases the breathability, but you can still run in the Runduro without socks and not have to worry too much about sweating or getting too smelly, they just aren’t quite as breathable as the ST, which I considered to be the best shoe in the ToPo line.
The toebox is nice and wide! They should fit most feet comfortably.
The Runduro uses ToPo’s BOA lace system, which is a cable that runs through a spool on the outside of the shore. The BOA system is very secure, quick, and easy to use and I greatly prefer them over traditional laces.
Push in the little spool, turn the wheel clockwise to tighten your laces, and you are good to go!
Pull out on the spool to release the cables and you can quickly remove your shoes.
Compared to Vibram’s Lace System bungees, I prefer the LS laces over the cables of the BOA system as they are a bit lighter and simpler in design, but the BOA system is an excellent alternative to normal laces.
The ToPo Runduro has the same well-designed materials as the ST and I expect them to last a very long time—perhaps even longer because of the thicker sole.
After about 75 miles on roads, trails, and mountains, the shoes show little wear and nothing feels like it’s loosening up or falling apart.
One of my complaints about the shoe (as a barefoot enthusiast) is the lack of flexibility in the sole, but this has increased a tiny bit a bit as I ran in them a little more. There is still a lot to be desired, but new runners should appreciate the thinner soles over their old shoes.
The extra materials in the uppers make the Runduros a little more appropriate for rain running than the ToPo ST, but water will still get in eventually.
The ToPo Runduro is a thick-soled minimalist shoe that is geared towards newbies and long-distance runners. The uppers are very breathable and the BOA lace system is fantastic.
As a transitioning shoe, it features some of the benefits of a minimalist shoe, but lacks in some other categories.
It’s thinner than most running shoes, but not as thin as a true minimalist shoe.
It has less of a drop between the heel and forefoot, but is not truly a zero drop shoe.
I would bill this shoe as a first transitional shoe or for new runners looking to run long distances.
The shoe is not really designed for the experienced minimalist runner, but may be an excellent choice for those looking to eventually become experienced runners.
Overall, I am both apprehensive and appreciative of the Runduro. It provides many advantages over a standard running shoe and would be a good choice for those looking for a much slower transition into barefoot running. If you're looking for that kind of shoe, you can grab them off the Topo website!
A huge thanks goes to ToPo Athletics for sending me the Runduro for review. We are looking forward to seeing what else is in the pipeline!