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Discussion: Wide foot shoes?

in: Adventure Racing; Gear & Toys

Aug 31, 2022 8:02 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I enjoyed the comfort of my Topo Athletic Ultraventures, but two pairs fell apart before 125 miles (uppers getting holes and tread falling off), and I was previously spoiled by some INOV-8s, of course a discontinued model, that got to 500 miles a pair (RIP Roclite 319s, I wish I had bought a dozen of you!)

Is there anything with a wider toe box that can take getting wet and have some (not even great) grip while bashing off trail? Nod to cushiness, we have no rocks so no stiffness soles or rock plates needed.

Or maybe my expectations are just misaligned with modern shoes...

Thanks for any insight!
Aug 31, 2022 11:51 PM # 
This is not the answer you want, but...

Were they the Ultraventure Pro? Or the regular Ultraventure? I've been through a number of pairs of Topos, and currently have the Ultraventure and the Terraventure 3 and the Terraventure 3 is significantly more sturdy in the areas that you mentioned. The Ultraventure Pro is much sturdier than the regular Ultraventure.

Just a thought; I haven't found shoes more comfy than Topos.
Sep 1, 2022 11:36 AM # 
I have a pair of Ultraventure Pros and they are more durable for sure.
What size Topo do you wear? I decided my nearly new M10 were too big for me, although I usually take a 10. I got a pair of 9.5s that are perfect.

The UVPro also has better wet grip than the UVs, or anything else out there.
Sep 1, 2022 1:29 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
That may be exactly the answer I want! They were regular Ultraventures, so happy to hear I can perhaps retain comfiness and extend lifespan.

I should have asked this question a month ago! I could have used some more wet grip on some recent portages!

US Size 12, 'Bent.

Thank you!
Sep 1, 2022 2:05 PM # 
I've also been a bit disappointed with the durability of my Topos, having lost a newer pair at ITERA to a tear across a wide stretch of the upper that eventually dislodged the entire sole of the shoe.

I also have a wide foot and have struggled to find shoes that fit well. Hoka recently launched a wide version of its Speedgoat and I've been impressed with how durable they have been, having gone through long trekking stages in both Expedition Canada and ITERA without showing any wear.

But since glewis is annoyingly persusaive, maybe I'll give Topo another chance to win me back by trying the Ultraventure Pro.
Sep 1, 2022 3:40 PM # 
FYI, because I'm not sure whether he pays attention to the discussion threads: Garrison mentioned recently that he's had a couple pairs of topos fall apart, and the company has replaced them without issue.
Sep 1, 2022 4:56 PM # 
Put annoyingly persuasive on my tombstone.

FWIW, Topo also seems incredibly interested in improving the literal weak-points of their shoes. The difference between the Terraventure 1 and Terraventure 2 fixed the 3 exact areas where I took issue with the shoe. The 3 fixed the biggest issue with the 2. I've put 200-300 miles into my current pair and they still feel like new.

And the new Topo gaiters seem to have fixed some issues with the old ones too!

I do have a pair of Speedgoats (not the wide ones) that I race with and I've been very happy with them.
Sep 3, 2022 3:40 PM # 
I got a lot of miles out of my Topos. The MTNracer 2s and Ultraventure Pros are both tougher than their predecessor. They fit me like nothing else, and have incredible grip.

If anyone wants a pair of lightly used UltraventurePro 10, let me know.
Sep 4, 2022 7:08 PM # 
My current Altras have the largest toe box I have ever worn.
Sep 5, 2022 1:26 AM # 
Too skinny though! They don't fit my bear claws.
Jul 22, 2023 5:11 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Well trying the Topo pros did not help, as I wish I had logged the mileage better but it was not that many miles (around 100?) and the sole is leaving the upper. Let's hope the spare pair breaks in this week well and makes it through WRC.

On to a new manufacturer after :(
Jul 24, 2023 12:00 PM # 
Sorry to hear that - it sounds like this is becoming too common a problem with Topo, though I've never been able to recreate the problem myself through ~10 pairs of them. FYI - a reputable running shoe store should take them back the faulty pairs and replace them for you after so few miles on the shoes.
Jul 24, 2023 1:28 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I chose wet foot routes often, wondering if that is a factor.

Jul 25, 2023 10:39 AM # 
Sorry to hear it. I’ve never had that issue either, and am on pair 6. Benoit did suggest a bead of shoe goo between sole and upper in the front on the MTNracer1- he used them for a 240km ultra.
I bet Topo will replace yours.
Jul 25, 2023 3:00 PM # 
I've been wearing the Speedland GS:TAM for a few months and have been super pleased. I did have some issues with the insoles wearing down in the heel, but that hasn't effected the fit. I wore them through out a few staged in Expedition Canada and was shocked when I pulled them out of my bike box after the race and they were already dry. The major cons are that they are spendy and that Speedland is a pretty small brand so they don't have a huge inventory.
Aug 14, 2023 9:17 AM # 
Try La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. Wide forefoot and my "go to" AR shoe.
Feb 7, 2024 11:14 PM # 
Informative thread... thanks for the information.
I was just diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma in my left foot and need to consider a wider shoe.

It's disappointing because I LOVE my inov-8's and I just bought a new pair. However, my oldest pair I still use has 350 miles and they are wide from use, so maybe I just need to figure our how to stretch the ones I have.
Feb 8, 2024 3:38 PM # 
Regarding Morton's neuroma: I used to lace my shoes too tight up front and developed MN. Now i always keep the laces looser in the front part of the shoe (MTP joint region) and use tighter upper laces (arch/instep) to get the secure fit you need for off-trail travel.

Len, unless the shoe itself is so tight that it's squeezing your forefoot, this might allow you to keep your Inov-8s.
Feb 8, 2024 8:48 PM # 
Thanks MHtrailvet, I was planning to open up my laces but your suggestion about snugging up the top should help keep my foot in place....
Running a 72 hr AR in a few weeks so we'll see how it goes. At least now I understand the situation and can work to keep it in check.

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