Specter: speed comes to the home of Topo Athletic

The Specter is the latest offering from Topo Athletic that combines the features of fast shoes and those with maximum cushioning in one model, in line with other super trainers found on the market. It is a shoe that weighs just 252 grams (men 42.5) in which cushioning is provided by the EVA midsole coupled with PEBAX, both materials that give the shoe lightness and strength and the feeling of a shoe with an interposed plate, even if it’s not there. The heel-to-toe differential is a bit unusual for a Topo Athletic shoe (5 mm), with the front being quite wide and where the foot, although well wrapped by the upper, is not too constricted and the toes can move laterally without problems. This solution, which allows lateral movement of the foot within the shoe, could also be the cause of some problems during the first few uses, with blistering especially on the little toes, which move inside the upper and rub on the mesh, but this ends itself after a few runs. Specter are designed for runners with neutral footing and who have a strong heel. In fact, the shell rests firmly on the back of the foot thanks to a small raised padding, a factor that contributes to the stability of the shoe and also allows you to keep a less tight lacing in case you decide to go for relaxed stride runs without too many technical difficulties on the course.

The feeling

The Topo Spectre is a fun shoe to use and one that makes running a pleasure from the first step, whether you use it to go (relatively) slow or take full advantage of its qualities and wear it at a sustained pace, when it gives its best while always ensuring full comfort. It provides a fast transition from heel to forefoot, and the roll from outside to inside is well balanced. The shoe remains soft and responsive all the time, at whatever pace you try to run. The feeling is that of a stable shoe underfoot, although the weight and behavior put it more on the level of fast, non-cushioned shoes. The particular structure and the drop lean toward the use of the middle forefoot, and this can be easily seen from the tread wear, which is almost completely spared on the sides. This feature helps provide guidance during stance and smooth pushing even during turns and sudden movements on the sides, with lateral adhesion provided by the non-worn tread.

Suitable for

The Topo Specter are neutral shoes, suitable for those who already run forefoot and have good running technique, and is a good option for those who want a fast shoe without a carbon plate (because they find it too stiff or simply don’t want carbon). Although you can also go for relaxed rides and have fun without pushing too hard, the Topo Specter have a fast soul and are definitely to be considered fast training and cross-country race shoes at a fast pace. Best used on flat surfaces, they should also be considered for races from ten kilometers to the Marathon, but they could also be used for more sprint races, for which, however, you need to have a really textbook running technique, especially on very technical courses with lots of changes of direction.

You can find the Specter on Topo Athletic’s website for €200 at this link, or in the best sporting stores.


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