TOPO Phantom ReviewJanuary 26, 2020
- Mesh upper wraps foot nicely
- Wide toe box
- Not super responsive
- Too soft
The Phantom was a shoe that was comfortable from the moment it was out of the box and slipped on to the foot. Topo does a great job combining a snug midfoot and heel with an open toe-box. The fit was very good as it employs a foot shape that allowed maximum toe splay and comfortability. Additionally, there was a lot of forefoot roominess and comfort. The mesh was nice in that it wrapped the foot to secure it and not allow excess movement. The heel is beefy and was effective.
The Phantom was very comfortable and is engineered to give the runner a well-cushioned midfoot strike. I felt at times that this landing was a bit awkward. There is a pretty high stack height in the shoe which made it lack any significant road feel. For those looking for a wide toe-box this definitely provided some extra space for your foot to sit comfortably inside the shoe.
The shoe flexed nicely and responded to speed changes, hills, and turns adequately. There is a lot of cushioning in this shoe, but it didn’t quite stack up with the Flylyte and Ultrafly shoes in this same category. The extra cushioning seemed to get in the way of spring-back feeling and therefore several reviewers commented that this led to a sinking feeling.
The Phantom was not a go-to speed shoe. It was a bit cumbersome and it felt like a lot of extra work to get this shoe into faster gears. Additionally, while there are shoes that have a wide toe-box that can be speedy, this was not one of them. The toe-box width seemed to limit the ability to really get up on the front of the stride and push forward. One reviewer commented that this is “not a nimble shoe.”
This shoe provided a very soft, comfortable ride. The cushioning was spongy and delivered on shock absorption and joint protection. It employs somewhat of an exaggerated rocker that helped to propel the runner forward.
Dr. Matthew Klein PT DPT OCS is a doctor of physical therapy and Kaiser SoCal Sport Fellow. He is a long time competitive runner over a variety of distances. He has a keen interest in running shoes and has been researching and reviewing them for almost a decade.