I typically wear a neutral running shoe, so I was curious to try the Fli-Lyte 2 due to the fact that it is light, has a minimal drop, and promised a more natural feel without being a neutral shoe. At first look, these shoes appeared to be closer to a stability shoe, but they didn’t feel that way when I tried them on. It was a comfortable, natural feel. As promised, the topo’s truly have a roomy toe box. That did make them look much wider than my usual shoe, so I felt like they made my feet look big. Despite the wider toe box, the Fli-Lyte 2 still had a snug fit around my ankle – which is fairly narrow. The laces had a good secure grab and I was able to tie them tightly and they stayed put. I didn’t even need to double knot them to keep them tied during my run.
During my first run, I noticed the softer interior. I liked feeling like there was a little extra cushion under my feet. The more natural interior felt comfortable, but my feet definitely had to adjust. It took about a mile and a half for the muscles in the bottom of my foot to relax and adjust to a different fit. Something overall felt different about these shoes, but I couldn’t quite place what it was.Test run #2 also required about the same adjustment period for the bottoms of my feet, but again, they eventually settled in. What I found was that the interior of the shoe felt like a neutral shoe, while the sole felt more supportive than I was used to. I appreciate the good traction for road running, but the sole is not as flexible as I would prefer. It made me feel like my feet and legs had to work a little harder to toe off. I also figured out what that “something different” was in the shoe. Even though there is a 3mm drop between heel and toe, it felt like there was a small amount of elevation at my forefoot. I kept feeling like I was almost gripping my toes right before toeing off to keep my momentum moving forward. I was baffled by what I was feeling, so I took my shoe off after my run and felt inside. Everything felt normal. Next I pulled out the insole, but it didn’t look any different than most shoes either. After much inspection and wearing the shoe more I realized that it was the sole that made me feel like my forefoot was higher than both my heel and my toes. If you look at the shoes from the side (see photo above), you can see that the sole is made for the forward motion of running that keeps the toe of the shoe slightly elevated. Strangely, my foot seemed to be ultra-sensitive to that design. While not necessarily uncomfortable, it just caused an unusual sensation while I ran. I also noticed that after just a few runs, my shoes were developing an unusual (for me) wear pattern on the sole near the toes. I was surprised to notice wear after such a short time. I’m not sure if this is due to the material in the soles, or if my gait was significantly altered by these shoes putting a high amount of forward pressure on the soles when I toe off.
Subsequent runs allowed me to forget about the shoe and just run. After running in these shoes for awhile, my overall impression is that the topo Fli-Lyte 2 is a comfortable, slightly cushy running shoe. It feels like a neutral shoe on the inside, but a stability shoe on the outside. If you wish to move to a more neutral shoe, but like the stability of your current shoes, this may be a good middle ground for you. This shoe is also great if you are looking for more room in the toe box without going to a wider shoe overall. The light weight and breathable construction make these a shoe to consider during the hot summer and fall running season. The price on these shoes is definitely reasonable ($100), making the topo Fli-Lyte 2’s a more affordable option than many other brands out there.
The Fli-Lyte 2 offers a soft, highly responsive and flexible ride, suitable for a variety of distances and speeds. An updated upper mesh offers additional structure and durability without sacrificing weight or breathability. The new platform is slightly softer and more flexible than our original, delivering a more natural feel.
Topo Fli-Lyte 2 Specs
Best for: Road Running
Stack Height: 23mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)
Weight: 6.9 oz
The Topo Fit promises to be lightweight (ultralight materials and seam reducing construction), have a roomy toe box (with a secure fit in the heel and midfoot), and a low drop (0-5mm.)
Thank you to Topo Athletic for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.