The Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3 is constructed as a mild stability shoe to accommodate your feet on daily training days, long runs, and medium days when you want to pick up the pace.
Topo Athletic is a lesser-known running shoe company with the mission to provide athletes with a shoe that promotes natural and practical movement.
The key features they include in all shoes are a low heel-to-toe drop, a roomy toe box, and a secure lockdown in the midfoot and heel. These features come with a very high build quality and offer a safe way to ease your foot into a more natural movement pattern.
The Ultrafly 3 features a low heel-to-toe drop and an ultra-wide toe box to give your feet room to splay out in a more natural motion, but with plenty of protection to go along with it.
Featuring an innovative and original midsole design and a hearty TPU heel counter for greater guidance, you’re going to get a lot out of this shoe as a daily training and snappy option for days when you want to pick up the pace.
- Stack Height: 28 mm (Heel), 23 mm (Forefoot)
- OFFSET: 5mm drop from heel to toe
- Weight: 9.6 oz / 272g (M 9) --- 8.4 oz / 238g (W8)
- FIT: True to size (Wide Toe Box)
- Category: Mild Stability
The Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3 promises to bring a lot to the table in terms of comfort, performance, and stability, but does it hold up to snuff? Let’s take a look to find out!
UPPER - Materials and Lockdown
Let’s start by getting the elephant out of the room, yes the toe box is super wide. Topo is calling this an Anatomical Toe Box, which provides an extra-wide toe box shape to promote a more natural toe splay.
Additionally, if you have a wide foot you can rejoice because you have found a perfect shoe brand!
To enhance comfort, the Ultrafly 3 features an Engineered Mesh upper, which will keep weight to a minimum while providing a breathable, foot-friendly wrap.
The mesh topo uses for the Ultrafly 3 is super comfortable inside and out. You can get a lot in the way of breathability and lockdown, and it complements the space you have in the toe box.
The wide toe box does not mean you’ll be swimming around in the shoe, as the Molded Foam Collar will keep you locked in across the midfoot and heel area which helps break them in faster.
This collar works in tandem with a TPU Heel Counter stabilize your foot upon initial impact with the ground as an added stability feature.
The lacing system will take a second to get situated correctly when you first get the shoe, but after that, it shouldn’t be a problem.
POSITIVE: Great lockdown and wide toe box
DRAWBACK: Not ideal for narrow feet.
Sole Unit - Snappy Foam, Stable Base
The midsole does not disappoint if you are seeking a shoe that can offer snappy energy return, but also a soft ground contact on impact.
Featuring a Full-Length Zipfoam Midsole, this is Topo Athletics completely original foam that offers lightweight cushioning with more rebound than traditional EVA foam.
This runs across the entirety of the shoe and enhances the wide tow box by offering better force-displacement than traditional running shoes as well.
To enhance stability for those who overpronate, there is a Medial Post incorporated to help to reduce the inward rolling of the foot, which of course is also known as overpronation.
Because the shoe is so wide in the forefoot, the wider platform you have also increases the stability you are going to get out of this shoe, but that part can be considered as a more “inherent” stability feature.
To enhance the durability of the shoe, there is a nearly comprehensive Rubber Outsole placed strategically in high generally wear areas for increased durability and traction.
This works exactly as promised, there are no extra frills here, but it does not get in the way and will offer some solid durability.
POSITIVE: Responsive midsole and stable design
DRAWBACK: If you are a super overpronator, then this will not be enough.
DURABILITY PREDICTION - 400 to 500 miles (645-805km)
For a shoe that generally comes off as pretty lightweight and simple, it is going to get you plenty of comfortable miles before wearing down.
A conservative estimate would be 400-500 miles (645-805km) before breaking down too much, but many runners will see the Ultrafly 3 get far more miles than that before breaking down.
Combining a healthy portion of outsole rubber with a firmer midsole foam will almost always yield positive results in terms of durability, pair that with a wider forefoot base to displace force and the Ultrafly 3 should be offering plenty of comfort and stability for miles and miles.
BEST USES - Daily Training, Steady Miles, and Long Runs
Considering the snappy nature of the ZipFoam midsole and the comfortable lockdown in the midfoot and heel collar, you’ll find this shoe is a great option for daily training when you want to pick up the pace a little bit.
It is not quite a workout shoe, but it will definitely grant enough energy return to get you moving faster naturally.
Because of the extra space in the toe box and subtle yet effective stability features the Ultrafly 3 will be a great option for your long runs as well.If you like to finish your medium and long runs at a quicker pace, then this is a great option to grab from your collection.
Finally, that stability feature and wide toe box will manage your gait cycle well and it may even help you feel less fatigued the next day with a more natural motion.
A good price for what you’re getting in terms of reliability and comfort. Considering all the upside of this shoe including the natural toe splay, effective support, snappy midsole, and brilliant lockdown then you’re looking at a pretty good deal.Also, it is nice to give business to a lesser-known shoe company that is doing really cool things for the industry, so maybe check out Topo Athletic if you want to learn more.
CONCLUSION - A fun and innovative option to shake things up
The Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3 offers a snappy and accommodating ride for comfort that will last miles and miles. It delivers on its mission to safely provide a more natural way to run with a low drop, wide toe box, and secure lockdown.
The bouncy ZipFoam midsole, breathable upper, and grippy outsole will provide everything you need to get some fun training in over the days, weeks, and months you’re running in this shoe!
Should you get the Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3?
If you are looking for a shoe that accommodates a wide foot while also delivering a more responsive ride with a hint of stability then this is going to be a great shoe for you.
As someone with a narrow foot, I was very skeptical of this shoe brand because I did not think it would serve me well, but I am so glad that I gave it a try because the extra space in the toe box pairs very well with the reliable lockdown across the midfoot and heel so I was not “swimming” in the shoe.The bottom line is if you are curious about trying something new and innovative to shake things up in your running shoe rotation, then this would be a fun option to try out.
Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API