Topo Athletic Magnifly 5 Review: Short, Simple and Sweet!

Topo are rapidly becoming a favourite of the Meta Endurance review team. How did this low slung daily change my mind on my shoe preferences? Let's find out!

Topo Athletic Magnifly 5: Simplicity in Action

Andy: If you had told me a little while ago that a 0 drop, 25mm soled shoe would be one of my favourites of the year, I would probably have laughed at you. However, the Topo Athletic Magnifly 5 landed on my doorstep and here we are! Whilst it retains Topo’s anatomically shaped last which allows the foot to spread naturally, the Magnifly 5 is the opposite end of the scale from their max-cushioned Atmos

 

With very few changes from previous iterations, the Magnifly 5 retains the rockered forefoot for a snappy toe off experience while having a decent width for stability. This was also a very interesting counterpoint to the HOKA Skyward X which I was testing at the same time. Two very different shoes, one which is far more my regular preference and the other which is about as opposite as it could be. How did the Topo Magnifly change my mind on low slung daily trainers? Let’s find out!

Topo Magnifly 5 (8 of 15)
Topo Magnifly 5 (5 of 15)

Specs: 

All specs from Topo

 

Stack Height: 25mm heel and forefoot

 

Drop: 0mm

 

Weight in Topo’s sample size: 247g | 8.7oz

 

Price: $135 | £130 | €174.95

Topo Magnifly 5 (7 of 15)
Topo Magnifly 5 (2 of 15)

Magnifly 5 Upper: Soft Comfort

Andy: Firstly, the Topo Magnifly 5 is (for me) not a real looker of a shoe. You won’t be turning heads at your local run club like those in their candy-floss pink Nikes or fresh white adidas. However, the step in comfort is brilliant. With the very secure midfoot and heel fit, the flare towards the toes allows an extra layer of comfort without, for me, sacrificing the hold of the shoe. The upper is padded but not plushly so. There is a relatively stout heel collar which has a layer of foam around the inside which helps ensure the foot stays in place. There is also a foamy heel clip which adds to the rigidity of the upper.

 

The upper is made of recycled material so you can be happy that you are saving plastics from landfill. So far, breathability has not been an issue even when the temperatures have been on the higher side of things. To further add to the comfort, Topo have used an Ortholite insole which adds to the softness and comfort of the fit. This is a real plus point of all the Topo trainers I have tried.

 

Overall, Topo make a really good upper. It is simple and designed to do just the right things in the right places. Other than an aesthetic overhaul to make it look a little more sporty, there isn’t much I would change about the upper of the Magnifly 5. Good work Topo!

Topo Magnifly 5 (9 of 15)
Topo Magnifly 5 (3 of 15)

Midsole: A Short Stack Surprise

Andy: This is the bit which surprised me the most about the Topo 5. As I said in the introduction, I was running in these alongside the HOKA Skyward X and they are about as different as can be. The Skyward X has everything and the kitchen sink thrown at it. The Magnifly 5 is simplicity in action. A 25mm layer of their TPU/EVA blended ZipFoam and, well, that’s it. It works so well. It is a shoe which, unlike the Skyward X, doesn’t really want me to land in a specific place, I can just put it on and run. In addition to that, the rocker really promotes a very enjoyable toe off experience. 

 

My first run out of the box was a 12 kilometre run around London’s parks with Alex. I was genuinely expecting to be turning back early with sore feet and ruptured achilles tendons. However, 55 minutes later, I got back to the door with a gigantic smile on my face. Now, that’s not only from the company and the chat, but the ease of the Topo Magnifly 5 to run in. Starting at a fairly sedate pace, the Magnifly’s smooth roll made it feel easy and the depth of cushion felt much greater than the stated 25mm. It never felt like it was bottoming out although it did have a good amount of road feel. As the run continued, the pace increased and we ended, surprisingly, just outside my marathon pace. 

 

At no stage did it feel like I was putting extra effort into the shoe to get the rewards in pace. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to be replacing my Alphafly with this on race day. I’m old, slow and need as much help as possible. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with the versatility that the misdole showed. As a very forefoot striker, I am not sure I am well qualified to talk about the effects of 0 drop, however, I do love a good toe-spring and the Magnifly 5 has that.

Topo Magnifly 5 (13 of 15)

Topo Athletic Magnifly 5 Outsole: Sparse and Flexible

Andy: For a daily trainer, the outsole of the Magnifly 5 is pretty sparse. 6 strips of Topo’s outsole rubber are all that they provide. However, they are well placed and have protected the midsole foam well. Two strips take care of the heel while the front portion of the shoe is covered by 4 more segments. There are plenty of flex grooves which ensure that the foam bends naturally and, I agree with Silke, feels a little like the Nike Free (except a lot more runnable). 

 

After over 50 km in them so far, there is very little visible wear and the only marking has come from general road muck. Having run in the wild weather which we are having at the moment, I have no complaints about the grip on offer. From pavements to light gravel paths, the rubber takes it all.

Topo Magnifly 5 (6 of 15)
Topo Magnifly 5 (11 of 15)

Topo Magnifly 5 Conclusion: The Joy of Simplicity

Andy: Whilst we all applaud technical innovation and the advancement which we see every year in shoes which help us all push our limits, sometimes simplicity is the best. The Topo Magnifly 5 is one of those times. A fuss free shoe which is just a joy to head out and run in. When something is done well, it doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, it just works! The Magnifly 5 will stay in my rotation for a good time to come, whenever I want to just get out and run, I know I can put it on and go. 

 

Whilst I don’t think I’ll be trading in all my skyscraper stacked, super foamed marvels of technology just yet, the Magnifly 5 has opened my eyes to a simpler, thinner world of joy. Thanks Topo!

Andy

Andy

45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner

@discobob

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