This post was created in partnership with Topo Athletic. They provided the shoes for review, but the views expressed here are my own.
I’ve been running in a variety of Topo Athletic shoes for several years now and have grown to really like their line-up. Some of my favorites have been the MT-2 Trail/Road crossover and the Fli-Lyte. I’ve also put quite a few miles on the original Magnify (Topo Athletics Road shoe workhorse) which I’ve had for about a year, so I was excited to see what the latest iteration of the shoe would be like, especially when I heard they had beefed up the cushion on the shoe.
Over the last several months I’ve had a chance to put 40+ miles on the Magnifly 2 and feel like I can give an honest opinion on every aspect of the shoe from my time wearing it.
The color on the shoe is vibrant and I loved the bright raspberry and icey blue. The Topo Athletic signature, foot-shaped toe box is a distinctive feature on this shoe and something I find incredibly comfortable about the whole lineup from Topo.
The shoe doesn’t necessarily appear more cushioned until you compare the original Magnify to it. Upon comparison, the heel stack of the original Magnifly is noticeably higher than the Magnify 2. For this iteration of the shoe Topo dropped the stack height from 5mm to 0mm (I’ll share my opinion on that later.) But the forefoot stack height of the Magnify 2 does appear to be slightly more than the original, denoting more cushion.
Topo has stuck with the same materials and bonded seem construction for this shoe and it seems to be working. I’ve never had any issues with the fabric upper of any of my shoes and they seem to hold up on both the road and trail. The fabric of the Magnify 2 has stood up well to the road miles I’ve put it through. The sole of the shoe has more exposed EVA midsole foam and less rubber than the original version, however it has held up well so far.
The sole of the shoe has more exposed EVA midsole foam and less rubber than the original version, however it has held up well so far.
- Stack Height: 25mm
- Heel Drop: 0mm
- Weight: 8.3 oz (size 7)
I love the fit of Topo Athletic shoes. The heel cup is well cushioned and positions well around the bones in the ankle so that there is no rubbing or discomfort and I’ve never had any issues with heel slippage.
I also really like the density of the tongue; it is neither too thick or to thin. I’ve tried out a few trail shoes lately that have an extremely padded tongue and I very much dislike it and find it cumbersome and awkward, but the construction of the upper on the Topo Magnifly 2 is fantastic and well suited to my taste in minimal upper construction. The laces tighten nicely and stay tied.
Out on the road, the shoe performed nicely. For someone who likes a bit of road feel in a shoe, this shoe provides a nice amount of cushion that is not too soft. You still feel like you’re in contact with the road, but don’t feel like you’re pounding the pavement too hard. The shoe feels responsive and grippy on the pavement and due to its lightweight materials feels “fast” despite it’s “cushioned” moniker. My initial run in the shoe felt extremely comfortable, each stride felt cushioned and soft but not too plush. It strikes a nice balance for those who like to race and sometimes train in a more minimal shoe, but want a little more cushion on easy and recovery runs.
At $110 the Magnify 2 is commensurate with the industry average for a road shoe (if not slightly less).
Now here is where I have to get brutally honest. I’m actually really disappointed that Topo took this shoe from a 5mm to a 0mm. The Magnifly was my go-to every-day road shoe throughout my training last winter and at 5mm, it’s a drop that is sustainable for my body. I’ve found that if I do too much running in 0mm drop shoes my calves tighten up like a rock and it takes copious amounts of foam rolling and several appointments with my massage therapist to work the tightness out. I’ve been running in lower drop shoes for about 7 years now, but there’s something about dipping below that 3mm mark for extended periods of time that can cause problems for me. At 5mm I could wear the Magnifly on long runs with no problem, but with the new Magnifly 2 at 0mm I have to limit the number of miles I can do in these shoes at one time to only 3 or 4 miles. So I’ve been wearing them on short runs and at the gym for strength training (I think lifting in a zero drop is a great idea!). But because I LOVE the cushioned aspect of them, I’m really sad that they don’t have a drop that is more comfortable for me; if they did I’m pretty sure the Magnify 2 would be an everyday trainer for me.
I feel like Topo filled a really nice niche for people who wanted a wider toe box, but didn’t want to go the zero drop route of an Altra (I had a pair of Altras for a time and got rid of them shortly after trying them). I hope that Topo Athletic sticks with the niche of low, but not zero drop shoes because I really like what they’ve had going on with the 3-5mm drop and I think there are many more people out there who like the idea of a lower heel stack height, but don’t want the calf tightness or issues that can arise from switching to a zero drop shoe without a transition.
However, if you love zero drop shoes and are looking for a comfortable road shoe that has both cushion and road feel with a lightweight construction, then the Magnifly 2 is a great pick!
What drop do you run in? How “cushioned” do you like your shoes? Do you like a little road feel or a plush ride?