Recovery is always a hot topic for runners and most of us are always on the lookout for what we can throw on after a run to help improve our ability to perform next time. Most of these “recovery” shoes are a lot less than shoes and more a sandal or clog. To that end, Topo Athletic filled a real gap with their last release, the Vibe, as we loved its blend of everyday wear with solid support. They have followed this up with the new Rekovr 2 which layers in some of the same great features along with a little more warmth which is perfect for this time of year.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Drastically improves on the original Rekovr with a new Vibram outsole and an all-new upper.
- Same amazing Wave Sense footbed we loved on the Vibe.
- Weighs in at 8oz or 227g for a US Men’s 9, 6.5oz or 184g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 23mm of cushion and has a 3mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $115.00 USD and comes in 1 color for Men and 2 for Women.
Recovery & Everyday Test
The Topo Athletic Vibe was a big winner from our perspective. It mixed all of the great things that their running shoes offer from a midsole and foot shape perspective and put it into a recovery-oriented shoe that you can actually wear every day. The original Rekovr was definitely not a shoe we were a fan of given the design more than anything. The Rekovr 2 however seems to have changed all that and we definitely like it more, but still a bit split.
First off, they have fixed the upper and by that we mean and they removed that strap and went with the simple merino wool design that is meant to be worn without socks. The shoe is hyper comfortable in the upper, it feels like a slipper and it keeps your foot nice and toasty at least in some spots. The strange part is that the deep slit at the mid-foot exposes a lot of skin and in colder climates when you aren’t wearing socks, it’s just a little chilly. If you are then asking, well why would you wear them outside in the cold, the answer is found on the outsole. Topo Athletic for some reason put a massive trail-style Vibram outsole on the shoe and then left a good portion of the upper material exposed meaning yes, you should wear it outside, but your foot might be a little chilly.
Bottom line we are split into two camps, those that will take the Vibe to their graves and can’t let go and others who enjoy the Rekovr 2 especially outdoors when it’s a little crisp, BUT they may pair them with socks even though that’s a no-no. Either are a great choice, but it is clear the Rekovr 2 is much improved from the original.
The upper on the Rekovr 2 has been fully updated from the original. Mainly, they removed the velcro strap which makes on and off that much easier. The blended wool upper is very comfortable and given these are meant to be worn without socks makes total sense. The only negative here is the deep split at the mid-foot.
The midsole uses the same great implementation of EVA you will find on their normal road shoes. With the Rekovr 2, you get 23mm of cushion and a minimal 3mm drop. The Wave Sense footbed we found prior on the Vibe does all the recovery work helping to stimulate the bottom of your foot.
The craziest part of the Rekovr 2 is the addition of a Vibram outsole which while it does reduce slippage and provides traction on various surfaces, also feels like it is better put on a trail shoe. They honestly just went a little too aggressive with it in our mind, just unnecessary.
Style & Aesthetics
The styling on the Rekovr 2 feels really apropos for winter. That wool exterior gives them a hanging by the fire in the snow type of look and we are here for it. We definitely favor darker colors which mitigates visible wear and tear so while women get two colors, we recommend the black.
The team was a bit split on the Rekovr 2 primarily due to the cutaway at the mid-foot. Some of the team preferred the much more pliable Vibe which extended higher and provided better overall foot coverage. However, others preferred that new wool-based upper especially without socks as it definitely feels better and does seem to wear better over time.