Waterproof is for wusses.
Waterproof means sweaty feet.
Waterproof means no water drainage.
FALSE, thanks to Topo Athletic's Hydroventures. I adore this shoe, and not just because I can run in the snow without freezing my toes off. The Hydro is a great shoe for rainy days, post rain puddles, and iffy trails. I admit I was skeptical at first, but now that I've had these bad boys for half a year, I can soundly say I believe Topo must have magic elves making this shoe because I simply don't know how they did it.
Note the stack heights are the exact same at the Topo Athletic MT-2s. That makes this shoe and easy swap with that one. If you like one, you'll like the other. The main difference between the two is the added weight of the Hydroventure and a little stiffness in the midsole from the rock plate mentioned below.
FULLY WATERPROOF PPA?!
Yes. A wonderfully breathable material that is NOT Gortex, so that sweating in your shoe doesn't happen.
I cannot WAIT for snow to hurry up and arrive here in the PNW. This is my favorite shoe for snow runs and snowshoeing, which often end up both happening on the same trip for me.
Let's get down to the technical stuff.
The Hydroventure is built with eVent, a technology different from Gortex in
that it still allowed for breathability. This means that the shoe can still drain
somewhat, and your feel won’t be sweating up a storm. Other than that, it’s
similar to the other shoes with its details to protect from abrasions.
The rock plate put into the midsole means a more motion controlled shoe than
the others in the trail line. It does still have some flexibility, but will be much
more of a stabilizer. The heel has extra padding around the Achilles to lock your
foot in place and avoid rubbing, which is wonderful but may have you
considering a half size up from your normal Topo size. (I didn’t, but I already
wear shoes a full size up.)
The outsole is identical to the Runventure and MT-2. Multi-directional lugs =
flexibility. This shoe moves and bends with you a little less than its partners
because of the TPU rock plate, but we won’t complain about extra protection for
the feet. While the lugs aren’t super prominent at 4.5mm, it means this is an
easy shoe to take out on the road when you REALLY don’t want wet feet on
your road run.
It’s difficult to call this a con, but the shoe doesn’t feel AS responsive as others in the Topo line. That’s not to say that it’s not, but I think the rock plate takes away that little “bounce” in the shoe. I will happily take away a little bounce for extra rocky protection from time to time, though.
While the Hydroventure is a tad heavier than the MT-2, we’re talking less than an ounce, It’s truly impressive that this shoe could have a rock plate AND be waterproof and be as light as it is.
When in doubt of my trail conditions, this is my go-to shoe.
Lace up and use TOPOSOLOMON20 for a discount at topoathletic.com !