Altra Paradigm 1.5

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = Runnerclick score (8.0)/10

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Altra Paradigm 1.5 Review Facts
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Altra has made a name for itself in the running shoe world, notable for its zero drop platform and wide toe box.  The Paradigm line is a popular model for the Altra Paradigm 1.5 shoe is a lightweight shoe with a maximum amount of cushioning.  It was specifically designed to give runners a high level of comfort.  With plenty of room in the toe box for natural toe splay and a strong grip underfoot from the sticky rubber outsole, the Paradigm 1.5 provides both security and comfort for the wearer. Users have reported putting up to 300 miles and more in the Paradigm 1.5 and still getting the same out of the box comfort and traction. The shoe has a springy, responsive cushioning and good arch support thanks to the removable insoles.  Since the release of the Paradigm 1.5, the Paradigm line had undergone some changes with the latest version being the Paradigm 3.0.  Though limited in availability, the Paradigm 1.5 is still a good choice providing support and comfort as well as durability for everyday running on both roads and light trails.

Pros
  •  Rubber sole and cushioning  provide maximum comfort while on the run
  • Cushioned zero drop platform
  • Spacious toe box
  • Mesh upper layer allows for water drainage and ventilation
Cons
  •  Tends to run small. Altra recommends ordering a half size larger than your average size.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 has a FootPod outsole pattern. This design maps the bones and tendons in the foot, allowing for more pliability. The outsole is made of a sticky rubber that provides good traction on smooth surfaces such as the road and pavement. The shoe works well on light, well maintained trails, but will not provide enough traction on technical trails due to the lack of lugs.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Altra Paradigm 1.5 also has the FootPod pattern that the outsole has. This again allows for a more pliable midsole and more flexibility while running. The midsole is also padded to add to the comfort of the shoe. From the midsole to the outsole, the stack height is 34mm. This lightweight midsole will provide stability while also providing comfort and flexibility. The midsole is made a dual layer EVA with A-Bound material which is a recycled, environmentally friendly compound that provides resilient underfoot protection.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Altra Paradigm 1.5 features a reflective overlay that not only increases visibility in low light, but also holds the foot in place. The Quick Dry mesh upper is breathable and will let any water that may enter the shoe escape easily. The upper layer also features an asymmetrical lacing design that will follow the shape of the runner's foot to improve the fit of the shoe. There is also an additional 5mm thick removable insoles that come with the shoe to add additional support if needed. Like other Altra shoes, the upper features a wide toe box that allows for natural toe splay.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 weighs 8 oz for women and 11oz for men, making it a pretty lightweight shoe especially considering the amount of cushioning the shoe has. Both the rubber outsole and EVA midsole are light in terms of weight. The Quick Dry mesh upper also ensures that no excess water will be trapped inside the shoe thanks to its ability to shed water, which can potentially add weight to the shoe.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 features a Quick Dry mesh upper which provides good ventilation as well as allows for water drainage. The toe box is also very spacious which allows additional air flow in that particular area. Reviewers appreciated that there foot stayed cool and dry in the shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Paradigm 1.5 is a very cushioned, comfortable shoe. The EVA midsole with A bound material provides a maximum amount of underfoot cushioning. The wide toe box is another feature that adds comfort, allowing for natural toe splay. The midsole also provides additional arch support for those who may need it. The Quick Dry air mesh upper keeps feet cool and dry. There is a good amount of padding in the collar of the shoe as well. Reviewers did mention that the shoe ran small and suggest that others should size up a half or even a full size more than usual.
Style
Style

Style

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 has a very distinct style. The upper layer of the shoe features a reflective overlay that provide visibility in low light conditions, but also contribute to the unique style. Some runners may not like the look of the higher stack height. Altra offers the shoe in both flashy, bright colors and more neutral options for both men and women. Since availability is limited now that newer models have been released, not all color choices are available for every size. Overall, the shoe has a sleek, but unusual look that sets it apart from other running shoes.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Reviewers were pleased at how durable this shoe was. The Paradigm 1.5 is designed to withstand daily running. Many reviewers report putting 300 plus miles on the shoe and still not needing to replace it. Reviewers noted that the Quick Mesh upper is very durable. The rubber outsole is durable enough for long distance road running and provided good traction even after a few hundred miles of use. The midsole also provides long lasting cushioning underfoot without prematurely wearing down.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 may be a lightweight shoe, but it still provides a maximum protection for your foot. The thick rubber outsole and cushioned midsole protect the foot from the shock of impact. The durable mesh upper protects the top of the foot. The reflective overlay also protects runners when running in low light conditions. This shoe may not provide enough protection for technical trail runs and should be kept on the surface it was designed for. Overall, this shoe will protect the foot from daily road running as well as use on light trails.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The overall lightweight of the shoe and its flexible features make this a responsive shoe. The upper and its overlays hug your foot for a secure fit, while still providing ample amount of toe room. You will not find your foot sliding in this shoe. The asymmetrical lacing design hugs the mid section of your foot adding to the overall fit, allowing the foot to naturally. The overall responsiveness of the shoe is good as it will respond to the natural movement of your foot.
Support
Support

Support

This Altra Paradigm 1.5 comes with 5mm inserts that fit in the midsole of the shoe. These provide extra arch support. The asymmetrical lacing system provides a customizable, secure fit. The rubber outsole with wide toe box make for a stable platform. This shoe provides enough support for neutral runners. Runners who need extra arch support would be able to remove the insoles and replace them with a custom orthotic or insole of their choice.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 is best suited for the road. The outsole provides good traction on smooth surfaces such as pavement, asphalt and track. The sticky rubber the outsole is composed of grips the terrain underneath, even in wet conditions. Reviewers were able to use the shoe on light trails. However, the Paradigm 1.5 does not have lugs in order to provide good enough traction on technical trail running surfaces. It is recommended to keep them on the road or light trails in order to get the best life out of the shoe.
Price
Price

Price

The original MSRP of the Paradigm 1.5 was $130. Currently, the Altra Paradigm 1.5's price varies depending on availability and size. Even with the release of the 2.0 and 3.0, the price hasn't seen to much of a drop, except in select sizes. However, the overall consensus is that the Paradigm 1.5 is a solid shoe and is worth the investment.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 shoe provides good traction on the road thanks to the durable sticky rubber outsole. Though the shoe will work fine on light, maintained trails, it does not provide adequate traction on technical terrain. Reviewers noted that the traction did not diminish much even after prolonged use.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This shoe is very flexible. The light weight material this shoe is made of allows it to bend and move as your foot needs. The top of the shoe is a mesh material which also lends itself to extreme flexibility. The shoe itself can be folded back in order to prove the flexibility. This type of flexibility allows for a more natural, responsive ride.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This shoe is designed for neutral runners and will not provide enough stability for runners looking to correct their pronation issues. However, it does provide good support and stability for neutral runners thanks to the stable rubber outsole, the secure fit of the mesh upper with asymmetrical lacing system as well as the removable insoles with arch support. Runners who are looking for motion control or additional stability for correcting their over or under pronation should look elsewhere.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Like all Altra shoes, the Altra Paradigm 1.5 features a zero drop platform. It is strongly recommended for runners who are not used to a zero drop platform should slowly adjust as to prevent possible injuries. A zero drop platform provides runners with a more natural run.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Zero drop platform
- FootPod outsole
- Lightweight
- Quick dry mesh upper layer
- A-bound material and EVA midsole
- Natural Ride System
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Altra Paradigm 1.5 was designed to provide maximum comfort and a natural running feel. The dual EVA midsole with A-bound material provides the soft, cushioned feel that many runners love. This road running shoe is lightweight, yet very durable. Runners were pleased to be able to put on a few hundred miles and still not see signs of significant wear and tear. Like all Altra shoes, the Paradigm 1.5 features a zero drop platform. Runners who are not used to a zero drop platform should proceed with caution and slowly acclimate to the lower drop. The Altra Paradigm 1.5 has a mesh upper that provides excellent breathability and allows for water to drain in the event it enters the shoe. Since its release, Altra has released the Paradigm 3.0. Quantities of the Paradigm 1.5 is limited. However, the 1.5 has proven to still be a solid choice.