Topo Athletics updates there MT trail line up with the new MT-3. This is really your everyday trail runner that sits at a comfortable spot in the lineup against their Terraventure and new MTN Racer models. It is not a highly technical shoe by any means, but as a shoe you can just throw on and drop into any trail it is pretty successful. We gave it the his and hers treatment to get some thoughts.
The upper is composed of a ripstop mesh which does the job really well. It is also paired with drainage holes to expel water. All Topo Athletic shoes feature a foot-shaped toe box, much like Altra, but tend to be just a little narrower so as not to have you feeling like you are swimming in there. The bottom of the lacing area can cause issues on wider feet, but we will tackle that in the run test.
The midsole is all EVA and does not feature a rock plate and has it has a 25mm stack height you can get ample ground feel depending on terrain.
The outsole is designed to be high traction and features multidirectional lugs, but let’s be clear… this is not a technical shoe. It is better suited for dryer trails, fire roads, etc than super technical ups and downs.
Style & Aesthetics
The shoe comes in 3 colors for men and women all with this pseudo-two-tone design which actually look pretty cool from our vantage.
The MT-3 has a nice open toebox, the tongue and color padding is just the right amount where it feels comfortable, but not pushing it on your foot too much. I can see that the lower part of the lacing system would be troublesome for some people because it might feel a little snug, but for my foot shape, it actually worked okay. I struggled with I think more than anything did I want to give up some of the technologies you find in other trail shoes like a rock plate, a gaiter trap, and more in favor of a simple and comfortable design. My actual time spent running in the shoe was enjoyable and actually every time, I didn’t really have a lot of complaints. They function well across multiple distances, but when it got a little technical or a little nasty out I would probably switch to the MTN Racer. The lack of the gaiter trap means on really nasty days you just don’t even have an option. So while I loved every minute in the shoe and can’t recommend it enough, I would say it more to people who live in warmer climates and dryer areas and who like nice big open trails.
This shoe definitely runs narrow even for the most average foot especially in the bottom of the lacing box. I would frequently stop and try to loosen these on the trail and I think it’s because of the lacing system. That lower loop definitely bothers me as it just stays too snug over the top of my foot and while some may appreciate this, to me it’s just too much. I would take the MTN Racer every time given the option.
Overall, it was a mixed bag between are to testers and in the end, it is really going to matter the shape of your foot. The shoe is a nice just throw it on and go without being super complicated and will be great for many runners, but it will be an interesting battle with their other models.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 9.9oz (size 9)
- Drop: 3mm heel/toe
- Cushion: 25mm
- Type: Neutral Trail
- MSRP: $110.00
- Available: Now