My story with the Topo Pursuit is an upsetting one with many unexpected twists and turns. After the cushioning in the Xero shoes wasn’t good enough for me, the Terraventure 3 got a hole in the first 200 km and I just didn’t feel any support in any of Altra’s shoes, I decided on the Pursuit as my hiking shoe for the Arizona Trail. However, I encountered a few small problems with the shoe, and the airline had some difficulties with my luggage, which meant that everything went a little differently than expected.

Unfortunately, like almost everything else, my shoes were not in my hand luggage, but in my suitcase. I therefore had to get new shoes and also new trekking poles before I started my hike. Fortunately, my lost items were later found and delivered to me. I decided to send the shoes to Pine to pick them up when my other pair had gone through.

Technical data

  • Stack height: 28/28 mm
  • Drop: 0mm (drop)
  • Sole: Vibram Megagrip
  • Weight: 306g (US9/Men)
  • Attachment for gaiters (own system)
  • Antimicrobial Ortholite® footbed

Test scope

I used the Topo Pursuit while running on forest trails and roads with longer distances (15 km), several times on the way to work (10 km) and on the Arizona Trail from Pine to Flagstaff (196 km)

What I like about the Topo Athletic Pursuit

  • The Vibram Megagrip sole
  • The cushioning
  • No drop and wide toe box
  • Topo’s own gaiters can be easily attached

The stand on Vibram soles after all I have done in the shoes you can already see the wear. But they haven’t lost their grip yet. This happens much faster with other materials. The cushioning of the shoes is so good that even without the rock plate of the Terraventure 3 you don’t feel any sharp stones trying to drill into your foot.

Apart from that, the attachment for gaiters is practical. As a big fan of gaiters, I don’t want to do without them on long distances. Nor do I want to have to stick Velcro strips on other shoes to be able to use gaiters.

What I don’t like about the Topo Athletic Pursuit

  • different fit to the Terraventure 3
  • Special system to which you can only attach Topo’s own gaiters

I can’t put it into words exactly, but somehow the fit is different from the Terraventure 3. Before my trekking tour, the shoes were a bit too big for me (in the same size as the Terraventure 3), and during my hike my feet were so swollen that they seemed a bit too small. In the USA, the shoes started to rub over my heel and I had to tape the area.

Even before my vacation, I had problems with blisters in a very unusual place for me (see photo). However, I was able to get this under control by replacing the insole of the shoes. I was now on my fourth pair of shoes, which I had bought and paid for myself. I was more than a little over budget for shoes. All this meant that after only 196 km, I swapped the shoes in Flagstaff for a pair of a different brand.

I can take one of the points of criticism directly from my Terraventure 3 test:

It’s unfortunate that Topo limits itself to its own gaiters for its system. Personally, I would prefer to use the Dirty Girl Gaiters with a Velcro strap on the back of the boot, which are widely available in the USA, rather than the plain black gaiters from Topo. Even if this isn’t a problem for someone, it could still be awkward on a long distance hike as you may not find a store with Topo shoes that sells the matching gaiter.

Topo Terraventure 3 Test

As you can see from the photos, I decided against Topo’s gaiters for the Arizona Trail and opted for my own system.

My conclusion on the Pursuit

I wanted to like them because they met almost all the criteria. No drop, plenty of cushioning and the Vibram sole – everything seemed perfect. Unfortunately, the fit doesn’t work for me at all. Although I even brought them home from the US, I now only use them for short walks or runs (~5 km). For longer distances, I realize again that the fit on my feet is not optimal.

Nevertheless, I would like to encourage you to give the shoe a try. Alternatives with a wide toe box, no drop and lots of cushioning are unfortunately not easy to find.


I bought the featured products myself. This article was not sponsored by anyone, and although I try to be as objective as possible, this is only my subjective opinion of the products presented.

Video about the Topo Pursuit

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