An Inside Look at the Terraventure with Topo CEO and Founder, Tony Post

December 30, 2016 | georgiashaw

An Inside Look at the Terraventure with Topo CEO and Founder, Tony Post

Inspired by the extreme demands of the Leadville Trail 100 ultra, learn what makes the new Terraventure perform like a beauty on the beastiest of trails.

The Terraventure features our classic Topo fit, roomy in the toes but snug in the waist and heel. Like the MT-2 and Runventure, it also features a fully gusseted tongue and a 3mm heel-to-toe drop. However, the Terraventure was designed as a more rugged evolution of the Runventure: it offers more protection and cushioning, we isolated the rock plate to the forefoot, and it features a more aggressive outsole with deeper lugs and a wider base platform to insure stability and durability. It’s the most rugged Topo we’ve ever built, but a real value at just $110.

Why does the Terraventure have a 3mm drop?

All Topo shoes feature 0-5mm of drop; we like a more neutral underfoot platform that can encourage better posture and a midfoot strike during running. Making shoes between 0-5mm of drop with different levels of cushioning allows the user to find the Topo model that feels right for them.

How do you balance light weight and durability?

It’s really a combination of design, material selection, and shoe making techniques that prioritize those benefits. We tried many different upper materials, optimizing for abrasion resistance, breathability, comfort, and weight before settling on the mesh material we selected. The shoe was designed without overlays and features only one seam (in the heel under the TPU protective cover). The simplicity of this construction means fewer threads that can break and fewer parts to delaminate or fail. The upper pattern is printed directly onto the mesh, giving the shoe more body, reinforcement, and durability where it’s needed.

The sole is where we really put our work in. As the former president of Vibram USA, I learned a lot about making performance footwear soles over the years. Terraventure features aggressive, wide-breaking lugs for tricky downhills, stability lugs through the midfoot, and smaller sharper lugs with flex grooves in the forefoot to optimize uphill and sidehill traction. Each lug edge is chambered for mud/snow release and/or traction while maximizing rubber-to-ground surface contact. Our rubber compound is also critical, balancing the need for durability, slip resistance over a variety of conditions, and lightweight.

What type of testing was involved with the development of the Terraventure?

A small team at Topo and ‘friends of Topo’ who are passionate about trail running and hiking all tested the product (women and men). We went through four generations of sole development before settling on the final design and compounds. We tested prototypes in all different conditions and across different surfaces. We also tested our products against other top brands we respect before settling in on the final fit, upper, and sole specifications. The fine tuning, collecting feedback (good and bad), is really the exciting part for me – that’s when you start to know if you really have something, and with the Terraventure I think we do!

What’s your favorite part about running in the Terraventure?

This shoe was designed to tackle rugged conditions. Years ago, I was associated with the Leadville Trail 100 and learned a lot about the gear needed for tough Ultras (Editor’s note: Tony is a Colorado native and the co-founder of the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race). I always wanted to build a shoe like this, it’s like having the perfect tool to do the job — there are other good durable trail shoes out there, but fine tuning our fit while perfecting the product for all those extreme conditions is what I find satisfying. I hope others will have as much fun testing their Terraventures as I have! There’s always more we can learn and improve, so let us know what you think, good or bad – we love any and all feedback!

How do you balance light weight and durability?

It’s really a combination of design, material selection, and shoe making techniques that prioritize those benefits. We tried many different upper materials, optimizing for abrasion resistance, breathability, comfort, and weight before settling on the mesh material we selected. The shoe was designed without overlays and features only one seam (in the heel under the TPU protective cover). The simplicity of this construction means fewer threads that can break and fewer parts to delaminate or fail. The upper pattern is printed directly onto the mesh, giving the shoe more body, reinforcement, and durability where it’s needed.

The sole is where we really put our work in. As the former president of Vibram USA, I learned a lot about making performance footwear soles over the years. Terraventure features aggressive, wide-breaking lugs for tricky downhills, stability lugs through the midfoot, and smaller sharper lugs with flex grooves in the forefoot to optimize uphill and sidehill traction. Each lug edge is chambered for mud/snow release and/or traction while maximizing rubber-to-ground surface contact. Our rubber compound is also critical, balancing the need for durability, slip resistance over a variety of conditions, and lightweight.

Content adapted from an interview by Running Warehouse with Tony Post, which posted to their blog on Dec. 2. Click here for the full article. 
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Team ACU-Running

BRAD COX

Brad Cox Lic.Ac. is a Movement Specialist, ACU-Running Coach and Licensed Acupuncturist specializing in Orthopedic Acupuncture and Sports Medicine.  He is the co-Founder and CEO of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running.  ACU-Mobility is an educational and mobility products company, dedicated to the development of unique sport specific corrective exercise programs and innovative product design.  Brad has treated hundreds of athletes including: Olympic and world class Runners, Triathletes, Power Lifters, Elite Crossfitters and Professional Strong Men.  He is a consultant and running mechanics expert for TOPO Athletic.  He teaches workshops and seminars on running mechanics, mobility and movement analysis around the U.S.

DR. SONIA PASQUALE

Dr. Sonia Pasquale D.C., Lic.Ac. is a Chiropractor, Sports Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist, Movement Specialist, Nutrition Counselor and Co-Founder of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running systems.  She has specialties in Orthopedics, Functional Movement Analysis, Functional Medicine and Women's Health.  She incorporates advanced Chiropractic and Acupuncture manual techniques to create a unique integrative approach to treatment.  She works with both Elite and Novice athletes to help them achieve their individual physical goals.  She is the Director and co-Owner of Wakefield Wellness Center outside of Boston MA.

CHRIS LEHMAN

Chris Lehman , Lic.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Movement Specialist and ACU-Running Coach.  Chris Specializes in Orthopedic Acupuncture and functional movement analysis working with all kinds of Athletes.  He focuses on balancing the body through Acupuncture and manual therapies to enhance proper biomechanics with an emphasis in sports medicine and injury prevention.

KAITLIN ALLEN

Kaitlin graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  After graduation she worked for a short time in the Med/Neuro ICU at Moore County Regional Hospital in NC.  Kaitlin has been an avid runner for many years, having completed several road races at both the half marathon and marathon distance, before switching to trail running.  Her love for trail running came from the many long distance hiking trails she has completed, such as the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail.  She is excited to share her love for running by being part of the ACU-Mobility team!

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