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Topo Athletic Specter

Several years ago I switched from running roads to running trails as I developed pain attributed to Morton’s Neuroma in my left foot. The cushioned surface of the trails made my feet a lot more comfortable, and I barely noticed the neuroma for a long time.

Fast forward to 2022 when I moved home to Northern Ontario and switched from a full time receptionist job – mainly seated – to a full time pharmacy assistant job – always standing and or walking. As for the outdoors, it is rugged and beautiful and well-forested here, but wonder of all wonders, there are NOT a lot of developed or maintained trails – and what really good trails we do have become groomed nordic ski trails in winter, therefore not available for running. Also, we get a lot of snow here. A LOT.

Not to be deterred, I’ve continued to train all winter, indoors, on my treadmill, wearing trail shoes. Needless to say, indoor training gets old fast when winter is basically October through May.

Recently, Topo Athletics released their first ever high-cushion performance trainer, the Specter.

Specs: high cushion, neutral support, moderate pliability, and a 5mm heel to toe drop.

Now don’t get me wrong, trail running is my thing – it’s where I love to spend hours and hours, alone in the forest. But sometimes the convenience of being able to gear up, step out the door, and run, would be nice.

My Specter’s arrived on Friday, just in time for Saturday’s long treadmill run. I ran for a full hour, non-stop, in road shoes, without MET pads or extra padded insoles, with ABSOLUTELY NO FOOT PAIN.

There is always the possibility that this was a one-off, just a good foot day, so on Sunday I geared up and did a local 5K road race, 2.5K uphill, 2.5K downhill, and again: NO FOOT PAIN.

Topo’s distinctive fit and feel have been my go-to for trail shoes for years now – I love a foot-shaped shoe. But this? The all new Topo Specter? Game changer! Look out roads, here I come!

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