What You Want To Know
- Weighs 6.9 oz. (196 g.) for a US M9
- There’s one thing… rebellious about it
- Goodbye Zipfoam, hey Pebax
- We’re thinkin’ it’s a Topo turning level
- Accessible February 2023 for $150
ROBBE: I’m gonna be sincere right here — as of late, 9 out of ten sneakers that are available for evaluate are a aspect hustle by a mattress firm. Plenty of consolation, a lot of cush, and typically they lull you to sleep in the midst of a run. We’re in all probability partially chargeable for this — for years, we decried any shoe with lower than 25 mm of stack peak as being too harsh, begging for a bit of extra underfoot safety on the roads.
It’s in all probability a web optimistic total, however that doesn’t imply we want it in each shoe. Generally it’s good to have a shoe that simply seems like operating in its easiest kind. I believe that’s the rationale why Atreyu resonated with so many individuals. There wasn’t any of the bullshit, it was only a easy shoe with a easy higher and easy midsole that made operating really feel like operating once more.
The Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 is just like the premium model of Atreyu. Its elements and development are of upper high quality, nevertheless it doesn’t masks the fun of operating. In actual fact, it enhances them. That’s a little bit of a spoiler, however let’s get into what makes the Cyclone 2 each old-fashioned and new faculty in the identical bundle.
For starters, the shoe has a full “Pebax Powered” midsole, in response to Topo Athletic. This implies it’s legit, 100% genuine Pebax. It’s additionally good that it’s not a core of Pebax wrapped in an EVA provider just like the Topo Athletic Specter, which we thought was a poor try at utilizing Pebax and a shoe that I didn’t perceive. The Cyclone 2 is obvious and easy, and it’s very good, as you’ll see.
The stack peak is cheap at 28 mm within the heel and 23 mm within the forefoot; nevertheless, by 2022 requirements, that’s virtually barefoot operating. The 5 mm drop is according to just about each Topo Athletic shoe. To name this shoe light-weight doesn’t do it justice. It’s one of many lightest sneakers on the market, coming in at 6.9 oz. for a US M9.
Based on Topo, the shoe is constructed for up-tempo every day mileage and racing as much as the half marathon distance. A type of is true, the opposite I’m nonetheless on the fence about.
Nonetheless, this shoe might be essentially the most thrilling Topo street shoe so far, and the one I most loved operating in, so let’s get into the why.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): Each time I discuss one of the best broad sneakers, there are feedback about Topo Athletic and why I haven’t included them in my favorites. The reality is, I’ve tried a number of and located the toe field to be good and spacious, however the midfoot has been too tight. I’ve received that meaty midfoot, in order that they haven’t been my cup of tea. These diehard Topo followers can be greater than happy to know that the Cyclone 2 has modified my thoughts about Topo, and I often is the latest convert.
SAM: In the event you’re like me, you’ve seen Topo round and by no means worn one (in case you’re not like me skip forward). What are these sneakers? Why are they formed like that? Who’s sporting them? What’s Topo? The reply to all these questions lies in one other query: Who’s Topo? Topo’s founder, Tony Publish (get it: To Po), is the engine behind this model’s imaginative and prescient.
Like Miley Cyrus, their purpose is to make a shoe that will get one of the best of each worlds. It permits for pure toe splay with a historically comfortable midfoot and heel. I’ve a wider foot and a midfoot touchdown, so I used to be excited to do that shoe out. Learn on to see the way it labored.
RYAN: In contrast to Jarrett and Sam, I’ve had my fair proportion of Topo encounters. Some, just like the Specter, have been spooky, whereas others left me underwhelmed. Perhaps it was the Zipfoam or the general type, however I by no means discovered the shoe for me. Then, I heard I’d be getting the Cyclone 2. A Topo Athletic shoe? With Pebax? And a New Stability Insurgent v2-style higher? Signal me up.
Just like the 2007 hit from Child Bash of the identical title, the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 has all of the fixings to be a banger. Good options (like T-Ache), a stable base (or bass), and sufficient climate references to make Al Roker spin. Am I singing within the rain? Let’s discover out.
ROBBE: I really like a superb becoming higher, and for some cause, they will usually be exhausting to seek out — particularly in light-weight sneakers that save ounces by stripping it down. Topo Athletic has all the time excelled on the higher sport, in my view. One thing about their lacing system and tongue creates an ideal wrap across the high and sides of the midfoot. The Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 is not any totally different (for essentially the most half). The mesh is ultra-breathable and light-weight and could be very harking back to the New Stability Insurgent v2, each within the design and supplies, and I undoubtedly don’t hate that.
Since we’re speaking concerning the gentle weight, we must always point out that this shoe is featherlight at 6.4 oz. for my US M7.5. A ladybug’s fart may blow this factor over in case you’re not cautious. And that’s a superb factor. The shoe seems like a slipper and utterly disappears on foot.
Underfoot, the shoe shines with the Pebax-powered midsole. It’s the proper stability of consolation combined with a responsive street really feel. Rattling, I really like a superb street really feel shoe, and this one delivers completely. Some folks will need extra stack peak, however this sort of shoe is nearly extinct, so I welcome it for the place it’s at. A conventional EVA midsole would make this shoe both too heavy or too agency, so the Pebax prescription was needed for this shoe to hit the mark.
I took this shoe for a number of six-mile runs at slower paces however actually wished to check it for quicker paces since that’s the place it exhibits its true colours as an up-tempo shoe. So I did a 9-mile exercise with a dozen 400s at 5K tempo, hoping it might carry me to my meant instances. It did all that and extra. As I stated within the intro, this shoe seems like pure operating. The sunshine weight, mixed with the bounce and rocker geometry of the midsole, permits you to simply go — and go quick — no matter your “quick” could also be. There aren’t any bells and whistles right here, no plates or rods or the most recent in propulsion expertise, and that’s okay. It’s a easy shoe that returns the straightforward joys of operating.
I discovered that on my cooldown miles, I nonetheless wished to maintain operating quick within the shoe, so I did. It was nice.
For these Altra folks on the lookout for a greater Escalante or who’re simply turned off to Altra slowly ghosting its pure toe field, you might want to transfer to the Cyclone 2. No, it’s not zero-drop, however give it up already — a 5 mm drop isn’t going to kill you.
Whereas there isn’t full rubber protection on the outsole, the rubber they used right here could be very cheesy, and it’s an honest quantity in each the forefoot and heel. It feels remarkably much like the Adidas Continental rubber used on the Adios Professional and Takumi Sen, which is likely one of the greatest outsole formulation within the sport.
Lastly, that is far and away the best-looking Topo street shoe so far.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): Topo ditched the ZipFoam foam for Pebax. Not only a twin compound midsole, however the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 includes a 100% Pebax midsole. This enables the shoe to offer a bouncy and responsive experience whereas maintaining it tremendous gentle. My US M10.5 weighs simply 7.4 oz. (209 g.). With a 5mm drop (28 mm heel and 23 mm toe), I by no means needed to wean my method in like folks counsel with 0 mm drops.
The Cyclone 2 is supposed to be an uptempo coach, and I agree completely. Certain, my slower simple miles have been nice, and I felt the softness of the Pebax, however the sneakers felt nice when choosing up the paces. I felt just like the sneakers got here alive, and I used to be shifting with relative ease.
This new tightly woven higher is gentle and skinny. My toes took a number of miles to heat up on a number of the colder days. I can see the breathable mesh being improbable when the temperatures choose again up. The midfoot had a pleasant, comfortable match, and the toe field was exceptionally spacious. I didn’t really feel like my toes have been cramped, nor have been they sliding round. That is for positive an accepted #WideFootFam match.
The tongue is padded and has two lace pass-throughs to maintain it from sliding round. The heel can also be properly padded and feels nice across the ankle. Individuals who had points with the OG Cyclone heel collar can be proud of the replace.
Beneath is a skinny rubber protecting the forefoot and heel, with uncovered Pebax midsole within the midfoot. I assumed the traction was good on the street in dry situations. On the 2 moist runs, I used to be a bit of extra hesitant when taking corners. Clearly, the uncovered midsole was to avoid wasting weight, though I ponder concerning the life expectancy. Though it’s not a priority proper now, I do have some (hopefully simply) beauty put on after 40 miles.
Lastly, I like how these look. Topo does a superb job making the roomy toe field design look glossy and quick. Nonetheless, there’s no denying these look fairly much like the New Stability Insurgent v2…
SAM: Let’s begin with the plain. This shoe is outrageously gentle. The higher is skinny, comfortable, and very comfy. I additionally was a giant fan of the lacing system, and the general match of the shoe doesn’t really feel impacted to avoid wasting weight, as my US M9.5 got here in proper round 7 oz. however feels far more luxurious than 7 oz. sneakers often do.
As soon as the shoe was on, I seen how a lot bounce and cushion the “Pebax Powered” midsole had. This shoe provides you round 28 mm of stack within the heel and 23 mm within the forefoot for a 5 mm drop. Whereas strolling round, this was comfy, nevertheless it was not as cushioned or bouncy as I’d’ve hoped whereas operating. Extra on this later.
Operating within the shoe, I additionally seen how a lot I appreciated the broad toe field whereas operating. It gave my toes sufficient room to splay however by no means felt unfastened. This is a matter I’ve had with Altras, the place the toe field is broad sufficient for my foot, however all the shoe finally ends up feeling like I borrowed it from a clown as a result of I can barely preserve my foot in. The heel and midfoot have been additionally comfortable sufficient for me to don’t have any points with heel slippage or any rubbing from unfastened becoming factors. Moreover the stable outsole rubber, that is the place the professionals cease for me. The Cyclone 2 has many nice elements, however the entire isn’t larger than the sum of them.
RYAN: Because the different guys have coated the load and Pebax midsole fairly properly, I’m simply gonna hit the appears to be like. That is a completely beautiful shoe, in my view. Simply the best-looking Topo Athletic shoe so far. Perhaps it’s simply because it appears to be like just like the New Stability Insurgent v2, however that’s certainly one of my favourite sneakers of all time. If New Stability had dropped this similar colorway, I in all probability would have purchased 5. Oh, wait, they very practically did.
Sadly, the appears to be like are all I’ve received. I put my 20 miles within the Cyclone, and I’m undecided that the shoe liked me again, so let’s transfer on.
ROBBE: Pure toe field — good, to a sure extent. I felt that the standard “quick match” of an uptempo shoe was lacking due to the broad toe field. Cornering lends to a little bit of motion up entrance, and I didn’t really feel the chunk I like from different conventional uptempo or pace sneakers. The design of the higher additionally creates a bit an excessive amount of cloth bending/bunching within the toe field, and I felt just like the broad toe field was a bit too roomy. It wasn’t an enormous deal, nevertheless it simply wasn’t an ideal match for me in that regard.
No rubber on the midfoot space of the outsole might be not one of the best, however I’m not too apprehensive about it, contemplating the forefoot and heel are completed up proper.
Partly as a consequence of Topo’s steadfast loyalty to the 5 mm drop and the shortage of a plate, the shoe doesn’t have the identical ahead propulsion as different sneakers within the vary, particularly the Saucony Endorphin Velocity or Asics Magic Velocity 2. Then once more, the Cyclone 2 is $20 lower than the Endorphin Velocity, and the Magic Velocity 2 is rubbish, so who cares.
In fact, at $150, it’s additionally a $30 enhance from the worth level of the final Cyclone, nevertheless it’s additionally a very totally different shoe. Nonetheless, for a easy shoe, which may be exhausting for some folks to swallow (although I believe it’s honest).
Some will need extra cushion underfoot, and I query racing on this shoe for a half marathon. In the event you’re on a price range, you undoubtedly may, however I’d nonetheless go for one thing with a bit extra cushion or propulsion. That’s the place it does fall wanting sneakers just like the Endorphin Velocity or Takumi Sen.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): It’s a bummer that the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 has jumped from $120 to $150, however that’s clearly due to the total Pebax midsole. I assume I’m so used to seeing costs bump about $10 (i.e., the 2022 inflation tax), so the $30 was a bit jarring. With nice Pebax comes nice prices. On this case, it’s price it.
SAM: The Cyclone 2 is gentle, comfy, and decently cushioned, however when the elements are put collectively in motion, the shoe doesn’t blow me away. I hoped for a easy and bouncy experience so gentle I forgot it was there, however each run after sporting the Cyclone 2, all I actually felt was “meh.” In contrast to Robbe and Jarrett, I discovered this shoe very troublesome to select up the tempo whereas operating, which isn’t what I anticipated for a shoe meant to be a short-distance racer.
The core of the problem for me resides within the midsole construct. The Pebax is barely bouncy by itself, however there may be not sufficient there to offer an important spring, and there’s no plate or shank to make up for the pop that the shoe is lacking. This shoe compares intently to the Skechers GoRun Razor 4. They’ve related midsole builds, stack heights, and weight, however one thing concerning the half-plate within the Razor units it aside from the Cyclone. There’s a slight pop that provides to the shoe however doesn’t get in the best way, and I felt like I used to be lacking it within the Cyclone. In an age the place each shoe is made with tremendous foams and plate applied sciences, not having both means you aren’t doing sufficient, in my view.
Whereas I appreciated the broad toe field and the match of the heel, I didn’t like the 2 of them collectively whereas operating. The Cyclone 2 was not easy going via my stride, and I may really feel the purpose the place the shoe transitioned from comfortable to broad. This transition level additionally bothered my foot into the subsequent day, which I didn’t take pleasure in. I believe this might be an important shoe with a bit of extra stack, a plate, and a smoother heel-to-toe transition. However for a racing shoe to be used as much as a half marathon? You will discover one thing extra thrilling than this.
RYAN: The Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 arrived simply earlier than New Yr’s, and I instantly took it out for 9 miles. Was that an important thought? Perhaps not. I’m positive it really works for some folks, however I appear to be coping with some tendinitis in my left foot that solely began when the Cyclone 2 confirmed up. I, after all, don’t know that the Cyclone 2 set my foot off — it might be something from touchdown humorous to dangerous luck — however the timing left me a bit of suspicious.
On a extra common word, I don’t assume pure toe packing containers are for me. Like Sam talked about, one thing didn’t all the time really feel easy, and the shortage of forefoot lockdown round corners made me slip and slide a bit. The midfoot and heel have been positive, however I like that candy, candy toe safety. It was an issue that I additionally had with the Specter, although I believe the decrease stack peak helped with the general safety at the very least.
Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 Conclusion
ROBBE: For positive, that is one of the best Topo shoe so far. It’s not as flashy as a number of the loopy shit coming from Saucony or Adidas, nevertheless it’s a rattling positive shoe (and hot-looking, too). It bridges the hole completely between the standard feeling of pure operating and the trendy feeling of racing in Pebax.
Followers of Atreyu, Altra Escalante or Rivera, or the New Stability Insurgent v2 will love this shoe and may give it an opportunity. I do know I’ll be reaching for it on these brief and fast runs or on uptempo days with intervals or fartleks. It’s a turning level for Topo Athletic, and it’s thrilling to see them keep true to their mission as they evolve, and within the course of, present worth and pleasure to their clients (one thing that Altra has fumbled over the past couple of years).
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): I’ll not have tried all of the choices from Topo, and even the current ones, however I’d nonetheless guess that the Cyclone 2 is one of the best shoe that Topo has launched. The Topo Athletic Cyclone 2’s match is good and locked down within the midfoot, and the toe field is roomy and really accommodating. The star of the shoe is the Pebax midsole which supplies a enjoyable and quick experience. Plus, at 7.4 oz. for my measurement 10.5, this is likely one of the lightest broad becoming sneakers I personal. Topo has began 2023 off with a bang with the Cyclone 2.
SAM: Like Jarrett, I undoubtedly must strive extra Topo sneakers. The concept of a roomy toebox and a comfortable midfoot/heel had my curiosity, and after operating on this shoe, it has my consideration. I’m undecided I’ll come again to this shoe specifically, but when I’m on the lookout for one thing gentle and environment friendly, I do know the place to go. If that is actually a turning level for Topo Athletic, I’m glad I received clued in as a result of, with a number of extra adjustments, this shoe is successful. Maintain pumping them out, Topo, your time is coming quickly.
RYAN: I believe the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 marks a step ahead for the model, nevertheless it stays a try-before-you-buy possibility for me. The pure toe field gained’t work for everybody, however the transfer to a Pebax foam is thrilling both method. I’m keen to miss my foot ache as a result of I believe that Topo is certainly taking strides in the precise path, and the Cyclone 2 is an indication of a shiny future. You may’t make a tiger change its stripes, so don’t anticipate Topo to maneuver away from that toe field.
You may choose up the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 in February 2023 for $150 by utilizing the store hyperlink under.
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Evaluate Supervisor for BITR. He lives in Baltimore along with his spouse and two sons and runs with the Quicker Bastards. When he’s not operating in bizarre locations or getting injured in odd methods, he might be discovered mountain climbing, tenting, bikepacking, or hanging with mates.