menu

Split-Toe Athletic Shoe Corrects The Way Runners Train

Split-Toe Athletic Shoe Corrects The Way Runners Train
Design

The Topo line features a two-portioned toe box that allows the big toe to create an anchor point in the foot.

Libby Garrett
  • 21 january 2013

The Boston-based athletic shoe startup, Topo Athletic, has launched a split-toe shoe line aimed to grab a share of the swelling lightweight, minimalist shoe market.

Inspired by the traditional Japanese designs of split-toe tabi socks and jika-tabi boots, the Topo line features a two-portioned toe box that allows the big toe to create an anchor point in the foot while the remaining toes can spread naturally.

Tabi socks, jika-tabi boots and the Topo Athletic design.

Tabi socks, jika-tabi boots and the Topo Athletic design.

Contrary to conventional athletic shoes that aim to correct the way people run and train, ToPo’s designers

believe an athlete’s shoes should do nothing for them.  Instead, they should do everything with them. This is why our approach to design is something we call innate amplification.  We are in awe of the genius of human biomechanics, and to that we respectfully bring our modern constructions, fabrics and designs that optimize these amazing natural abilities.

Designed to enhance balance and stability while running and strength training, the shoes are made with lightweight materials, welded seams that reducing chafing and a zero-drop heel-to-toe platform.

Launched by Tony Post, the ex-Vibram CEO who helped bring the FiveFinger shoe to market, the Topo line echoes the ethos of minimalist and lightweight athletic shoes, while offering an alternative design, arguably, will incite less hesitancy amongst consumers.

The Topo Athletic Collection

The line has a total of six styles, three each for men and women: the RR, a lightweight racing shoe, the RX, designed for strength training (including CrossFit), and the RT, an everyday training shoe.  Of particular design interest is the RR model.  Replacing traditional laces with thin steel fibers encased in a nylon coating, the RR is cinched tight by turning a dial on the outer side of the upper shoe.

The Topo Athletic RR

The Topo Athletic RR

Athletic brands have attempted to introduce tabi-inspired shoes in decades past.  In 1996, for example, Nike launched the now defuct Air Rift.  More recently, the split-toe Born2Run shoe was introduced late last year, inspired by the seminal barefoot running title, Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.  Now that minimalist and lightweight shoes are starting to significantly drive the athletic shoes market, Topo’s timing to offer a new take on thin, supple, high tech training shoes may well be just right.

Nike Air Rift (1996), Born2Run (2012)

Nike Air Rift (1996), Born2Run (2012)

The brand will be debuting their inaugural line at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show, held 23-26 January in Salt Lake City.  Priced $100 and up, the shoes are expected to hit the market by early summer.

Ex-Vibram CEO Unveils A Split-Toe Athletic Shoe 2

For more on the science fueling the growing interest in a biomechanics approach to athletic shoes, check out our recent article featuring the chainmail minimalist shoe by Gost PaleoBarefoot.

Topo Athletic

 

Design
Trending

Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Design
Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Rachel Sterne Haot

The first Digital Officer of New York City

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.