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Topo Athletic's Ultrafly 4 received a nice update to not only to improve the light stability that the shoe offers while improving the running experience by having their signature ZipFoam™ for the midsole. The upper features a recycled engineered mesh and their signature roomy toe box. See what our wear tester Joe had to say about this update.
SUPPORT: Light Stability
HEEL TO TOE OFFSET: 5mm
WEIGHT: 9.6 oz
USE: Everyday running, walking
Joe: I found the toebox of the Ultrafly 4 to be roomy and spacious, while the midfoot and heel cup snugged up against my foot to provide a secure fit for both runs and casual wear at work. The length of the Ultrafly 4 is true to size, my toes didn't feel cramped or like they were swimming in the foot-shaped toebox. I found the upper and tongue to be extremely comfortable; the recycled engineered mesh (bonus points for sustainability!) is breathable, allowing my feet to not overheat in the hot and humid Michigan summer air.
The ZipFoam midsole provides a lightweight, firm cushion. My preference is for lower drop shoes, and I found the 5mm heel drop to provide the right amount of added cushion.
Joe: I primarily run in neutral shoes, so I wasn't sure how my feet and ankles would respond to the light stability offered by the Ultrafly 4, but after 50+ miles, I'm finding I appreciate the slight guidance the TPU heel counter and EVA medial posting offer for my feet. Because of this, the Ultrafly 4 has become one of my regular go-to shoes for recovery day runs or wearing at work after a long run or long workout the day before.
ON THE RUN
Joe:I was pleasantly surprised throughout my running experience in the Topo Ultrafly 4 (50+ miles currently). Before trying it on, I thought it would feel heavy and over corrective, but the more I wear it both running, and as a casual work shoe, I’m finding the light stability offering the little bit of extra support I’m looking for throughout the day.
Joe: While I am primarily using the Ultrafly 4 for shorter, recovery runs, I do believe it has the versatility to be used for easy runs, tempo runs, and longer speed workouts. While I have found it doesn't have the smoothest toeoff, the ligthweight, responsive nature of the ZipFoam makes it feel like you don't even have a shoe on your foot.
Joe: The closest comparisons to the Ultrafly 4 would be the Altra Provision and Altra Paradigm. Compared to the Altra models, the Ultrafly 4 offers the slight added cushion of a 5mm heel drop, while the ZipFoamTM midsole is slightly more firm and less flexible.
Joe: I have not run in previous versions of the Ultrafly.
WHAT WE THINK
Joe: I would recommend this shoe for individuals who slightly pronate, as the TPU heel counter and EVA medial posting the Ultrafly provides some support, but are not overbearing. I would also recommend this shoe for runners with a neutral gait who are looking for a good recovery day shoe that can provide a little extra support for their feet throughout a run or day at work.
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