Thursday, June 1, 2017

Unboxing - Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2 first thoughts, some comparison to the Ultrafly

I liked the Topo Ultrafly's so much over the first 30 miles or so, I decided to try the newest model from Topo: the Fli-Lyte 2.

I didn't own the first version of the Fli-Lyte, so I can't compare them in terms of an upgrade. But a few thoughts compared to some other shoes I've worn recently.

They are 3mm drop and fairly light at 8.2 oz in Mens 9s. They seem light as feather's compared to the Ultrafly's 9.2 and 5mm drop.

They have a nice breathable upper, especially compared to the Ultrafly which has a pretty tight knit upper.

And they are a looser fit - bigger in the toe box, looser in the midfoot, about the same in the heel compared to the Ultrafly. Part of the toe box improvement is shape, as you can see. But they also benefit from a much thinner toe bumper.

On the road, the Fli-Lyte 2s have a nice feel - a little soft and mushy but still a bit responsive, definitely not a rubbery/bouncy feel like the Ultraflys. On the first run I had them laced pretty loose but didn't feel sloppy even at that low tension. I'll definitely give them a pull tighter on my next run.

On my first run in the Fli-Lytes, I immediately was reminded the Ultrafly has some slight motion control while the Fli-Lyte 2s are purely a neutral shoe. 

With both shoes, I feel pretty comfortable midfoot landing. There's no rocker effect on either shoe that I can tell.

The rubber areas gave me plenty of traction on slick pavement, and those areas look pretty reinforced so I'm hopeful they will hold up to striking and scuffing for longer than 100 miles, which seems to be the limit for Altras.

Fly-Lyte 2 on top, Ultrafly on the bottom: 

Fly-Lyte 2 corner heel rubber overlay:

Ultrafly corner heel after 40 miles showing very little wear:

I can see using the Fli-Lyte 2s as a racing and tempo shoe and for shorter daily running, and the Ultrafly for longer runs and easy trail running.

I'll come back with more thoughts on both shoes once I hit 100 miles on each.

Edit: see 100 mile review of the Ultrafly here.
Edit: see 100 mile review of the Fli-Lyte 2 here.


  1. I just received my pair of Fly Lyte2s ordered online. The shoe fit is good for me, but the overlays all across the top of the shoe at the base of the laces dig into my foot when I flex it just walking (as well as some real easy in-home test running)...from one side of my foot to the other, so it's not just a tongue issue for me. I think it's a design issue as that is not typically a problem for me in other shoes.

  2. SoFL Runner - I've read that on other reviews - Road Trail Run - but I didn't have the problem. Sometimes these companies make shoes in different batches so one colorway has a seam issue and the other doesn't.

  3. Hi SoFL Runner - I am the customer service manager at Topo. On some of our first production Fli-lyte 2's there was an excess of material at the break in the shoe ware you are describing which for some people depending on their foot shape caused some irritation. We have corrected this issue in all of our production and have not had comments about this same issue with the new production. If you would like you can write into, with the issue you are describing in your Fli-Lyte 2 and we can see what we will be able to do for you from there. Thanks!

    1. Very cool Topo is standing by its product!