Meet our first-ever high-cushion performance trainer, featuring Topo’s distinctive fit and feel. The single-layer engineered mesh upper features recycled materials for a lightweight, secure, and sustainable fit. The 35 x 30 mm platform features a Pebax Powered® core wrapped in an EVA frame to deliver soft cushioning and high energy return with a stable and responsive ride. The aggressive heel and forefoot rocker design aids in a fast transition, propelling you forward with each stride, while the lightweight die cut rubber outsole provides traction and durability.
Why We Love It
Lightweight Breathable Materials
For a '2nd Skin' fit and feel.
Comfortable insoles with long-term resilience and anti-microbial properties.
World Leading High Tech Polymers
Delivering lightweight high performance and superior energy return.
Roomy Toe Box
Anatomical toe box allows toes to spread naturally and comfortably.
Most Liked Positive Review
I have been wearing Topo shoes for years and own at least 10-15 pairs at any given time including the spares I buy in advance. I was heartbroken when my Zephyr's were discontinued and not thrilled to find the only new pavement shoe added into the rotation was the Specter with a whole lot of cushion.... I've never had luck with cushioned shoes as they cause shin splints, muscle soreness, slowed pace and the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis but I need my Topo toebox and 4mm-5mm drops so I took the plunge and ordered the Specters. I was sure I would end up returning them. I wore them on a 2 mile run while injured and in PT for a strained hamstring tendon. They felt fabulous. Honestly, it seemed like I could run forever so I wore them a week later to an event where I was running 10 5K's spaced to start every 2.5 hours for 24 hours. The first 3 5K's felt amazing but then, on the 4th 5K, I started feeling the blisters forming on the bony area on the inside of both forefoots (the bunion spot but I don't have bunions according to the doc!). By the time I finished that 4th 5K, I had a full blister on the left foot and a partial blister on the right. I bandaged up, abandoned the Specters and switched between my Zephyr's and my Ultraflys (not my preferred running shoes) for the remaining 6 5K's of the event. So when I say almost perfect, I truly mean ALMOST perfect. The cushioning on the bottom is springy and shock absorbing for heavy steppers like myself without being obnoxiously marshmallow-y like other leading cushioned brands. The overall design propels you forward (even uphill) instead of bogging you down in all the extra foam so you don't have to give up speed for distance. They provide arch support and stability in the most subtle ways and somehow it really works. They are even kind to bad knees! Unfortunately, the design on the toebox for the Specters doesn't live up to the usual Topo standards and that is the disappointing part. The outside of the toebox is as great as always but these are cut too straight and narrow on the inside so the fabric rubs against the foot. This isn't bad for a few miles at a time but isn't distance training friendly. I am a size 8 but always go with 8.5 on all my Topo running shoes so it wasn't a sizing issue (any bigger and the heel would flop). I've re-laced them to take some of the lace tightness away from that area and worn them a few times since. I do plan to continue keeping them in the rotation for now but even with bandages over the affected area, I can still feel the painful friction after a few miles so I'm sticking with short runs in them. I am honestly hoping I can build up callouses or a stronger pain tolerance so that I can train in these for my next marathon since they really do feel that comfy other than those pesky blisters. With any luck, there will be a Specter 2 with a more wearer friendly Topo quality toebox - and more colors!!!
Most Liked Negative Review
Growing on me, but taking time
I've been having foot numbness for a while and was reading the great reviews for this new style. I have some other Topos for shorter runs (Phantoms for 3-8 milers) and have really needed and liked their wider toe box. Figured I'd give these new more cushioned shoes a try. First - WHY the ugly colors... for women? Only 2 and… Brown for a running shoe??? I like the black and blue mens', but thought 'fine'. Some noted great energy return in reviews. After my first couple runs my legs were really tired! That's now resolved itself or I would have sent back. My numbness is a bit better in my feet - so that's a great plus. But right after switching, my high hamstrings/glutes have started up so not sure if coincidence or not. I'm continuing to try these because of the positives I have seen and my fall racing season is closing in. Fingers cross I don't end up truly injured. I'm recommending, but with caution.
Comments about Specter
Best running shoes ever! Better than brooks and hukas… and way better looking.
Comments about Specter
I have psoriatic arthritis and, ironically, keeping moving is the best medicine but not always easy to do. These shoes, this design, allows me to walk at nearly the pace of a nonarthritis sufferer. I'll never buy another brand. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Comments about Specter
Roomy tow box allows for all my toes to lay flat in the shoes rather than other running that squish my pinky toe while still feeling secure around the mid foot and heel. The shape of the shoes heels propel you forward and is very light and cushioned so feels like you're wearing nothing. Highly recommend especially if you're like me and your wore vapourflys that squished your toes and felt uncomfortable but you want a shoes just as high performance.
Was a Hoka fan, but now obsessed with these! LOVE the toe box and cushioning. Please add more colors!
Comments about Specter
They are perfect. Room for my toes, perfect cushion for my arthritic 65 year old feet, perfect stability!
My original review pointed out the fact that I was getting small blisters on the ball/bunion area of my foot. I loved everything else about these shoes, but returned them because of the blisters. I went back to my Magnifly 4 and after a couple of weeks, they were giving me blisters as well. Hmm. Could it be my feet and not the shoes?? I contacted Topo and they suggested that I try the Ultrafly since they have more 'volume' to them. And they do, and the blistering stopped. But I wasn't super happy with the Ultrafly. They were fine but there was no "wow" to them. I couldn't stop thinking about the Specter. So I ordered them in a 1/2 size larger than before. Lo and behold, no blisters. They are a little roomy length-wise, but I think I'm going to be Ok with that because these shoes are just a-mazing. Springy, cushy, light. I will probably buy a second pair as a back up :)
I train for and run marathons and ultras. All my road runs, both pavement and gravel/dirt, are in these shoes. As a small woman with a high arch, I am prone to supination, but the foot shape/wide tie box helps me correct that, preventing injury. Additionally, these are the perfect match of high cushion and bouncy responsiveness. I have literally never owned a better shoe. Now… please just make one just as cushy with good tread for the trails!
I'll preface this by saying I'm not a big fan of foam (really dislike Hokas)… I use Topo trail shoes for hiking and absolutely love them. So I figured I'd give these new shoes a try for road running, not expecting to like them. I was really surprised at the comfort and nice cushion without losing the "snap" and responsiveness of a lower shoe. These are super light and fast. The typical wide toe box adds comfort. I usually go up a full size for running shoes and these fit TTS. Good job Topo!
I've loved my Phantom 2s for a long time. The shoe guy at my local shop encouraged me to try these on and they won me over for the springy feel and cushion. Did a short brick workout in them today and they felt great… looking forward to getting out for a longer run in them later this week! Topo shoes fit my foot so well. The toe box is dreamy yet the heel is nice and snug.
Incredibly comfortable and lightweight, great support in the arch area and I love the wider toe box and how they narrow towards the heel for a more snug fit. I use them for light trail running and walking. My feet and legs feel great and no more foot pain. These check all the boxes and I am thrilled with my purchase. I will definitely be purchasing these again & again!! I bought the expresso/peach and they are so cute : ) LOVE!!!!