Topo Athletic MTN Racer

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The Topo Athletic MTN Racer is good high-stack trail running shoe with a comfortable fit and effective grip.


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Analysis of reviews

8.8Overall score
A good and sturdy trail running shoe that offers great grip on the most technical terrains
A durable and sturdy mountain shoe for all-day use on the trails, the Topo Athletic MTN Racer is TA Ultraventure's sibling, but half an ounce lighter and more versatile. A true mountain shoe, the MTN Racer boasts excellent grip and sturdiness on the most technical of terrains. There seems to be no limit for how much ground it can cover! The MTN Racer's midsole features tri-density EVA, which means the shoe is both soft and firm in the appropriate areas. The foam is dense and stable for cradling the foot on technical terrains. However, it lacks the type of propulsion you would get from the average road shoe. For some runners, this was a deal-breaker: they felt that the missing "pop" of the shoe makes for a dull ride. Trailers described the MTN Racer's upper as "roomy" if lacking breathability with its nylon mesh fabric. The Vibram Megagrip outsole of the shoe aggressively handles all rocks, sharp turns, and debris that one might encounter on a technical trail. While the MTN Racer is undoubtedly great for regular (and long-distance) trail running, there are some pitfalls of the design. Testers listed the lack of upper breathability as a unanimous downside of the shoe and also remarked that the toe box curls up slightly. This means that the shoe is more likely to catch on roots and other protruding terrains, especially when runners get tired. Also, runners felt that the shoe didn't always protect effectively the foot from sharp obstacles despite its high stack cushioning. Lastly, the overall "pop" of the shoe was simply too lacking, even though the MTN Racer is a trail shoe designed to grip and protect rather than propel. Overall, the Topo Athletic MTN Racer is a good and reasonably priced trail shoe that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. However, its dull ride and the lack of breathability of its upper prevent it from being outstanding.
Value for money
  • Ample and secure foothold
  • Outstanding grip
  • Not that heavy despite its bulky look
  • Sturdy model
  • Upper is not breathable enough
  • Dull cushioning, not really fun
  • The sole does not offer sufficient protection against rocks despite its thickness


Model: Topo Athletic MTN Racer

Terrain Trail
Heel to toe drop 5 mm
Heel stack height 30 mm
Forefoot stack height 25 mm
Weight (men) 281 g/9.9 oz
Weight (women) 235 g/8.3 oz
Release year 2020
Bounce (1-5) 2 - Low
Softness (1-5) 2 - Firm
Distance Ultramarathon, Mid distance, Long distance, Half marathon, Marathon
Speed Slow, Moderate
Workout Daily running

Price History



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  • First, the outsole of the Topo Athletic MTN Racer uses the Vibram Megagrip technology. It consists of a resistant rubber that offers impeccable traction on trail routes. Thus, the athlete can confidently tackle the toughest trails thanks to the platform’s impressive grip.
  • Besides Vibram Megagrip, the outsole of this trail shoe also features aggressive multi-directional rubber lugs to improve traction on the most demanding terrains.


  • The midsole features EVA foam. Ethylene-vinyl acetate is a material reputed for its lightness and comfortable cushioning that is used in many sports shoes. It’s designed to protect the foot from stones and other sharp obstacles. Also, this technology aims to energize the ride by maximizing the energy return while running.
  • Moreover, the Ortholite removable insole supports comfortably the underfoot by adapting and complements the foam of the midsole. Also, it wicks away moisture which favors better breathability inside the shoe.


  • The upper of the Topo Athletic MTN Racer features an engineered mesh with a double layer of abrasion resistant fabric. Its purpose is to support the foot effectively during training for ideal comfort. Also, ventilation holes are scattered throughout the mesh to ensure good airflow and prevent the foot from becoming too hot while running.
  • Then, printed overlays improve foot lockdown besides making the shoe more sturdy.
  • Drainage ports help get rid of the water to keep your feet dry longer on trails.
  • The gusseted tongue prevents dirt and pebbles from getting inside the shoe. Also, unlike traditional tongues, gusseted tongues don’t move laterally, which is one less thing to worry about while running.
  • The anatomical toe box allows you to splay your toes more easily for added comfort. Athletes with wider feet will be particularly pleased with this configuration.
  • Finally, the gaiter attachments make it easier to adjust gaiters for enhanced protection from debris and water on trails. Let’s note, however, that gaiters are usually sold separately.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How does the Topo Athletic MTN Racer fit?

These trail running shoes use a standard sizing system. Testers confirm that they are neither too big nor too small. So you can order your regular size for running shoes. That said, if this is your first Topo Athletic model, a visit to the store may be wise to be 100% sure.

Is this model suitable for heavy athletes (80 kg/176 lbs or more)?

Only one study at the moment has looked at the relationship between weight, risk of injury, and the stack height of the shoe. According to the conclusions of this study, minimalist footwear may increase the risk of injury for athletes weighing more than 71 kg/157 lbs. The MTN Racer has a 30 mm stack height under the heel and, therefore, is not a minimalist shoe. Thus, it should be suitable for runners of all shapes and sizes.

Can you run an ultramarathon with these shoes?

This Topo Athletic model features a very effective grip and high-stack cushioning, which makes it suitable for all types of trail terrains and distances. As far as ultramarathon is concerned, it mainly depends on your preferences. If you find this shoe comfortable while running long distances on a variety of terrains, then it should be a good option for your race.

Is this shoe waterproof?

This shoe does not have a Gore-Tex insulation layer. However, without being completely waterproof, the shoe effectively drains small amounts of water, such as light rain and splashes, and dries quickly. This configuration has the advantage of letting the foot breathe and to be more flexible and lighter compared to models with an insulation membrane.

Topo Athletic MTN Racer review trail running shoes
Topo Athletic MTN Racer outsole rubber lugs

Reviews (1)

1 review for Topo Athletic MTN Racer

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  1. Runner’s Lab

    A good and sturdy trail running shoe that offers great grip on the most technical terrains.

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