By: Chris Corces-Zimmerman
It seems fitting that on this Thanksgiving weekend I finally find the time to sit down and write the thank you note that I have been wanting to write for months now. I have been an avid runner for most of my life and thanks to Topo I am able to say that in the present tense and not in the past as something that I was forced to give up. This is the story of how I fell in love with Topo shoes and how they were “sole”ly responsible for saving my future ability to run.
The story starts just over a year ago now when, while running on a treadmill one day, I started to feel a sharp pain in my right foot. For years up until that point I had been running exclusively with Vibram Five Fingers shoes and using other extremely minimalist shoes for walking and everyday use. I had accepted the gospel that Five Fingers helped to strengthen your feet and that they were the ideal for “dedicated” runners who wanted that long sought after “true” running feel. I also believed that they were the right shoes for me as I had been led to think that using minimalist shoes would help to strengthen my arches and reduce the need for any sort of support. Well, then came that day on the treadmill and it changed everything.
After hobbling around for a few days I went to the doctor and they said it was likely just a sprain and would heal with some rest and down time from running. After a day or two in which it only got worse, I knew that I needed a second opinion. I went to a podiatrist, and they confirmed that it was a hairline fracture of the 2nd metatarsal and explained that I actually have very high arches and that the shoes I had been wearing for all of those years were almost certainly the cause of this injury and many others that I had suffered. They instructed me to get a walking boot and let me know that I would likely be in for a prolonged healing process that required me to stay off of my feet as much as possible and certainly not run for what ended up being over 5 months.
In addition to this stressful/depressing news about my ability to run, they also said that I would have to give up all thought of ever returning to minimalist shoes and they sent me to the store with a list of shoe brands to consider, having crossed off Topo and a few other brands that they deemed to be insufficient. Fortunately for me, I don’t follow instructions well and wasn’t going to listen to their advice to go get a pair of Hokas or some other ultra-cushioned shoe.
I had heard of Topo before but had never worn a pair of your shoes, but as I did more research I realized that they were the perfect combination of what my feet needed and the type of shoe that I prefer to run in. I first tried the Phantom which was the perfect complement to the walking boot and gave me my first taste of the Topo magic. Then, after leaving the boot behind, I got my first pair of Magnifly, again, I was in love! However, I still needed a shoe that I felt I could run longer distances in and neither the Phantom nor the Magnifly felt like they were what I wanted. So, on a whim, I ordered a pair of the Cyclone 2.0 and from the first second that I laced them up my life as a runner was transformed. I describe them to others as a “cheat code” because of how enjoyable and fluid they make running. I feel like I am running on clouds in all the best ways possible. They are truly a dream come true and I am now able to run significant distances without any of the pain or discomfort that I used to feel after a long run with the Five Fingers.
So, that is my story of how Topo saved my running career and became my sole-mate in the process. I can’t thank you enough for the incredible products that you design, the amazing customer service that you provide, and the freedom and joy that your shoes have brought to my life. I now own over 10 pairs of Topos and tell everyone I meet to try them out. Thank you Topo, you are truly one foot above the rest!