MTN Racer 2
The Topo Athletic MTN Racer 2 takes on technical trails, in a lightweight, nimble, and rugged package. The second edition of these shoe for trail running and racing features a new mesh upper with increased breathability. We added an external TPU heel counter to keep the foot locked in over the platform for a stable ride. The updated 3-piece midsole offers light guidance and now features ZipFoam™ for additional response underfoot. The durable Vibram® Megagrip outsole delivers the ultimate grip on any surface, wet or dry.
- Best For:Trail Running
- Stack Height:30mm (heel) // 25mm (forefoot)
- Heel to Toe Drop: 5MM
- Weight:10 oz (M9)
- Gaiter Compatible: Yes
- Rock Plate: No
Why We Love It
Offers additional protection from dirt, rocks, and twigs on the trails
Roomy Toe Box
Anatomical toe box allows toes to spread naturally and comfortably.
Unparalleled grip and traction and durability from the leaders in technical outsoles.
More Cushioning and Resilience
Proprietary midsole compound which is springier than EVA and offers more rebound over the life of the shoe.
In The Press
This Will Be Up There As One of the Best Trail Shoes of 2021
"The midsole in the MTN Racer 2 is a new, lighter compound with varying densities. Overall, the ride is more of a moderately soft sensation, and it really rolls through the stride even when the going gets rough."
Most Liked Positive Review
8 days later
Attractive shoe that loses the side of sole water vents of the racer 1. I liked the vents on the racer 1, which were below feet, these racer 2 vent thru mesh fabric which allows water to sit below feet. I have not tested in wet hiking environments yet, so we shall see how these dry below feet on... the trail compared to Racer 1. Comfortable of course, the mega grip soles are the show here for me, I love them, they are well reviewed elsewhere. Matter of taste but I am a big fan of the thin minimalist tongue, dries fast, light and does not move around. I have never found big padded tongues to be anything but fall apart, If I reach for a complaint or 2 for the shoes it might be the "roomy toe box" feature. I find them far from roomy, sides of feet press on fabric, this toe box for me could be an inch wider overall, but hardly anything I hate so far. Lastly, the performance gaiters; Not a fan of the heel attachment. I think an extra day spent on a redesign could make wearing Topo gaiters really nice. I wear them almost 100% of my hikes and find other brands have much better function. Great shoes, with long life these will be hard to move on from ever.
Most Liked Negative Review
Foot shaped toe box is nice but not sure about the rest
I've got 32 miles on these, running on the PCT here in Tahoe. Want to love them and was bothering Topo to get my hands on a pair, but unless they do better over the next few miles they are going back. Likes, wide toe box, that is shaped like my foot. Very nice. Stable, as i have broken my ankle befo...re, I'm always concerned. This was really nice. Dislikes. Typical slippery Topo laces. Liner appears to be odd shaped and does not go back in smooth nor flat. Topo specific gatter attachment. Come on, lets get some industry uniformity. 1st run was 6 miles. Was hoping for more comfort from new shoes. The cushion was not there, better then Altra's by far but still for the stack height, and all the talk about the new mid-sole I was hoping for more. Sure Im, 195 lbs but... What i really disliked is on the bottom of both heals, it was like I was running on rails. I'll add a photo below. Its like they put too much stability control into the show or the foot bed was made out of slightly harder places in lines. 2nd run. 6 miles. They felt better. Laces are still not great and I found myself stopping a lot. My ankles and legs felt tired. 3rd run. 20 miles with 3,500 feet gain. The hardness under the heals seemed to go away totally on my left foot. It went away for about 10 miles on the right then came back. I was surprised how tired my knees, quads and ankles got. Sure the PCT is rocky but I've run this section before with others and nothing like this. No way could I have worn them for a 50k. Feet and ankles hurt the next day. Maybe Im looking for the holy grail of shoes, and I thought this one would have it. Nice toe box for my flipper feet, combined with the structure to be a stable shoe but comfort is not there. After 32 miles, I'll try them again on a shorter run but anticipate sending them back.
Reviewed by 63 customers
My favorite hiking shoe
My first time wearing them was on an intense hike in Banff that could have been deadly (everyone else was wearing climbing helmets, there was lightening and hail). I had no time to break in these shoes, but they held up perfectly. Once I made it off the mountain, I even trail ran in them so as to help prevent hypothermia from setting in. Since this initial hike in the summer, I've wore them in other hikes in Banff and Hawaii. I've gotten them very muddy, but they cleaned up well and have about 50 miles of intense hiking on them. This is my favorite hiking shoe of all time, and I'm tempted to buy several pairs as back-ups, just in case future versions of the MTN Racers don't fit my feet as well.
The contouring on this shoe fit feet so well! It's so unique
I absolutely love the wrap and fit of this shoe. The MTN Racer 2 does an exceptional job of providing incredible wrapping around the ankle pocket and forefoot area while leaving *just enough* room in the toe box where I don't feel cramped nor like I'm all sloppy. I wouldn't say that I have bony protrusions on my heals, but they're definitely a little pronounced. That being said, I don't ever feel them while running in these shoes (I do in other brands) and can vouch that the materials topo used in the heel pocket are superior... I HATE other brands' cheap materials that rip/shred after 50-100 miles. Topo took the time to make sure the the shoe (inside and out) will weather well through the miles of use and abuse. The laces are rock solid and hold a knot well. Traction is incredible - I'm a Pacific Northwest runner (cough cough rain / rocks / roots cough cough) and have been very pleased with the confident foot strikes as I'm rambling through the woods.
I'm a mountain goat
Great trail shoe. I trained and ran a 50k in these. Great fit wide toe box the only thing I would change would be to maybe add a bit more rubber right in the middle of the foot on the sole the exposed foam allows rocks to poke through once in awhile, no need for a rock plate just a bit more rubber
Hello Topo, goodbye Altra
I'm really enjoying this shoe so far. I got the mangos so I have to call them Goldilocks. I come from a long line of Altras because I like zero drop shoes. I do wish the Mt. Racer was a zero drop or no more than 3mm, but 5mm is acceptable to my legs/feet/knees. The Altras are falling apart before the soles wear out, lame! And they are not backing up their product, so I'm out. This shoe has all the goods for my style, cush, light, and nimble handling, and so far durable. I'm at 100 miles so far. The Mega grip is the industry standard and 100%. The upper is slippery, tough, and breathable. The slippery part is key, stuff doesn't catch on the shoe therefore the upper doesn't tear. Love the secure heal cup and the thin tongue. The amount of cush is perfect. Topo nailed it, and it's $40-$50 less than an Altra. One more thing; I'm a tough reviewer with very high expectations and I'm impressed with this shoe.
Topo hits that sweet spot
I was loyal to a certain company of "foot-shaped" shoes for years. Had that company stayed true to their original ideas, I'd have never discovered Topo. Topo stepped in and filled the gap that the 'other' company had -- well -- done away with. That is, Topo is truly a foot shaped shoe. Further, the cushion on this shoe is like none I have ever experienced. I've got 150 miles on these and the cushion still feel like new. The uppers are strong, the midsole is still soft, and the Vibram outsole is tough as nails and sticky as taffy. This is the best shoe I've run in - ever. So, Topo, please don't feel the pressure to change too frequently. It's ok with me if you just change the colors from year-to-year, but your formula works. Speaking of the color, this school bus orange has been my favorite color since I had my first circus peanut. So, if you keep this color, that'd be cool also. I've already purchased multiple pairs of these shoes, so I should be good for a while. Try this shoe.
Excellent shoe for normal to narrow heels and wide forefoot
I have always loved the wide toe box of the altras but the heel has always been to wide to feel secure in them. These fit great, secure with room for my toes to stretch. Midsole is cushioned yet rebounds well. I do a lot of hike, run, and scrambles in the same session. The shoes have enough feel and the mega grip rubber is nothing but excellent on low angled rock slabs. Great all round shoe for technical trails imo. Super comfortable, secure, and the grip are out of this world. I also doubt Topo will go the way of many others and substitute their own rubber for vibram as the founder has heavy ties to vibram.
Just about perfect, would love more (neutral) colors
I've put some miles on these now after also using the original Mtn Racer. The new ZipFoam really makes a huge difference, and is a great foam that is more cushy, but has a solid rebound so it doesn't feel all squishy. Durability so far has been good. While I preferred the originals upper material, this new one has been a bit more breathable, tho at the cost of allowing more trail ash as grit thru into my socks. The MegaGrip outsold is the best I've ever worn, in both wet and dry. My only wish for improvement is to add a little bit more padding at the top of the tongue. When I lace them up tight to get a snug fit, the laces there cut into the top of my instep a bit more than I would like. Other than that, I really wish Topo would offer these in a understated dark gray/black or true navy blue /gray type color way. It'd be nice to wear them on travel trips without a bunch of neon nonsense standing out. And offer the 12.5 in all colors as well.
Took a chance on these and glad I did.
I have been hiking all summer in these shoes in the Granite State of NH. I regularly hike on granite rocks and slabby slopes and the grip on these shoes is unbelievable. They are very comfortable and stable. I moved over from Altra and I have to say if these come out in a wide I will likely not buy another shoe again. Even though they have a bigger toe box I personally could use a little more room. Not a deal breaker, just wishful thinking. Ordering my second pair this week.
Maybe the perfect trail shoe!
Comments about MTN Racer 2
The Mtn Racer 2 is an amazing trail shoe. Perfect grip, fit, and ride. I love the zip foam comfort and the looks are great. Definitely my go-to shoes for all my trail running miles!
Extremely Comfortable Shoe for General Wear and Light Trail
Comments about MTN Racer 2
Great Topo fit and probably the most comfortable pair of Topo's I have ever had. I'm not planning on doing major hikes in them, but I'm confident they'll work great for whatever you throw at them.