Staff Picks
May 10, 2017 | Natalie Riley, Vice President of Finance & Operations

Staff Picks

Our VP of Finance shares why the ST-2 is her "renaissance" shoe

The powers that be have asked me to write about my love for the ST-2. Let’s start by saying that I am an accountant. I can deliver a top-notch spreadsheet or analysis at a moment’s notice, but writing a blog isn’t really my jam. That being said, I like to think that I’m funnier than the average CPA – but my husband assures me I’m only slightly witty. So, let’s give this a go and see what happens….

I started working at Topo 5 years ago as a newbie runner -- my athletic background was mainly in rugby. I had just cracked into the 5K/10K circuit after never having run more than 3 miles at once (and that felt soooo long at the time). Like many new runners, I used to pick my shoes based on look and brand. So, I ended up in Brooks, because I was a “serious runner” (being on the circuit and all). At the time, I couldn’t tell you what “drop” meant or why shoe shape, platforms or construction even mattered. (For the record, the “drop” of a shoe is the difference between the heel platform height and forefoot platform height. So, if the heel is 23mm and the forefoot is 20mm, you are in a 3mm drop shoe. You’re welcome.) At Topo, I was introduced to low-drop shoes with a wide toe box and I was hooked. Soon, I was a low-drop convert: the lower, the better. And, I loved the natural shape and wide toe box that let my toes spread out on my runs and feel more in control of my movement.

Since then, I’ve cycled through a variety of favorite Topos. I’ve also gone from a newbie runner to a nine-time half marathoner and CrossFitter. And, without a doubt, my perfect shoe is the ST-2. I use it for literally everything and have now coined it my "renaissance shoe." Going for a short run? ST-2. Going to CrossFit? ST-2. Going for a long run? ST-2. Going to the grocery store? ST-2. Going to do speed intervals? ST-2. Just kidding, I don’t do speed intervals. Those are hard.

Why do I think these are the best? First, they are ridiculously comfortable. They are slipper-like when you put them on and, unlike slippers, they are appropriate to wear to work. Speaking of work, I travel for business A LOT and these are a snap to pack down flat (thanks to the completely collapsible heel cup) into the crevices of my suitcase so I never have to miss a workout or worry about comfortable shoes on the road. Second and most importantly, they are incredibly versatile. Like I said, I wear these for everything from my lifting workouts at CrossFit to my imaginary speed workouts. The 0-drop, 16 mm platform encourages natural running and is great for functional movement – think box jumps, burpees, kettlebell swings, even Olympic lifting.  

Also lending to ST-2’s versatility is the flexibility and lightweight construction. This allows for speedy footwork and good ground feel while lifting, jumping, and running. All-in-all, no matter your workout regimen, the ST-2 can deliver.

Now, to be completely honest, if you like a little more underfoot protection for your long runs, you may want to switch to something like the Ultrafly. But for your gym work, short runs, or, at the very least, that summer cookout, the ST-2 is it.  

If you would like to read more about ST-2 or check out our new colors for Spring, click here.

Or, if you’re feeling social, follow me on Instagram (@natalieriley). Thanks for reading! 

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Staff Picks
Natalie Riley, Vice President of Finance & Operations


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Brad Cox Lic.Ac. is a Movement Specialist, ACU-Running Coach and Licensed Acupuncturist specializing in Orthopedic Acupuncture and Sports Medicine.  He is the co-Founder and CEO of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running.  ACU-Mobility is an educational and mobility products company, dedicated to the development of unique sport specific corrective exercise programs and innovative product design.  Brad has treated hundreds of athletes including: Olympic and world class Runners, Triathletes, Power Lifters, Elite Crossfitters and Professional Strong Men.  He is a consultant and running mechanics expert for TOPO Athletic.  He teaches workshops and seminars on running mechanics, mobility and movement analysis around the U.S.


Dr. Sonia Pasquale D.C., Lic.Ac. is a Chiropractor, Sports Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist, Movement Specialist, Nutrition Counselor and Co-Founder of ACU-Mobility and ACU-Running systems.  She has specialties in Orthopedics, Functional Movement Analysis, Functional Medicine and Women's Health.  She incorporates advanced Chiropractic and Acupuncture manual techniques to create a unique integrative approach to treatment.  She works with both Elite and Novice athletes to help them achieve their individual physical goals.  She is the Director and co-Owner of Wakefield Wellness Center outside of Boston MA.


Chris Lehman , Lic.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Movement Specialist and ACU-Running Coach.  Chris Specializes in Orthopedic Acupuncture and functional movement analysis working with all kinds of Athletes.  He focuses on balancing the body through Acupuncture and manual therapies to enhance proper biomechanics with an emphasis in sports medicine and injury prevention.


Kaitlin graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  After graduation she worked for a short time in the Med/Neuro ICU at Moore County Regional Hospital in NC.  Kaitlin has been an avid runner for many years, having completed several road races at both the half marathon and marathon distance, before switching to trail running.  Her love for trail running came from the many long distance hiking trails she has completed, such as the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail.  She is excited to share her love for running by being part of the ACU-Mobility team!

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