In September of 2023, I looked over the Topo Ultraventure 2 shoes and found them nearly perfect for my use.
After about three months of use, I put the Topo Ultraventure 3 shoes through the paces over mountains, desert, off-designated trail hiking, scrambling, and even packrafting.
The specs are more or less the same –
They are almost as wide as Altra Lonepeaks, have a 5mm drop vs. a zero drop, weigh an impressively light 11oz/300 grams for a men’s size 10 US, and have a grippy and durable Vibram sole. They are also highly breathable.
I found a slightly more cushioned shoe with different mesh that worked better through the brush, continued to let in less sand vs. the Salomons X Ultra 3s I used for quite a few years, were extremely comfortable, breathed well, and packed out before any noticeable damage to the mesh.
The Ultraventure 2s vs the 3s?
The shoes have a very similar fit and feel. The 3s feel slightly more “spongy” with a slightly less aggressive tread and perhaps not quite as responsive on more technical terrain. I found that the 2s worked marginally better for scrambling but not so much that the 3s make for different shoes vs the 2s.
The trade-off works well with letting in less “prickly” things into the front mesh area (gaiters would not help) vs. the 2s.
I don’t like the Kool-Aid color scheme. Runners seem to like garish colors vs hikers (visibility?). Luckily, all my shoes get pretty dull in color quickly!
I don’t think it’s any coincidence the more backcountry-oriented Terraventure 4s have more subdued colors. They also have a slightly lower heel drop and more aggressive soles, and I think it will be my next shoe purchase to see how they compare to the Ultraventure shoes.
I enjoy the wider fit and how well the UltraVenture 3s work for scrambling and off-the-beaten-path hiking, and I found them to be excellent all-purpose trail shoes for my use and hiking style. If the 3s are a smidge less effective for scrambling vs. the 2s, they seem to work better in brushier trail conditions for me.
I wish I could purchase them in more subdued colors, but their more backcountry Terraventure 4 siblings seem interesting partially for this reason.
(Edit – looks like more subdued colors avail via direct purchase from the Topo site)
Disclosure – I purchased the shoes with my funds.