Altra Escalante 1.5 Review Facts
The Escalante has gotten a worthy heir in the Escalante 1.5. This, newer version of the popular shoe features an updated upper with reflective details and a more secure heel cup. On top of that, the responsiveness has increased and the cushioning has decreased – but just slightly. The Escalante 1.5 is still eligible for marathons, half marathons and regular jogging around the block. The new model is better than the original in all accounts and you’re sure to be thrilled with this shoe if you were a fan of the original. That being said, the issue of longevity continues to pose a challenge to the Escalante family, but that won’t stop the 1.5 to be your running buddy for (at least) one season!
The outsole of the Altra Escalante 1.5 is practically the same as in the original shoe. Made out of a rubber compound, it’s designed to increase the longevity of the outsole and provide great traction. Whether it succeeds in both categories is something we’ll discuss in the upcoming sections. Integrated into the sole is the FootPod technology, which maps the bones and tendons of the foot in an effort to increase flexibility and encourage a natural gait cycle. The rubber areas are wider on high-impact areas in order to disperse the impact forces evenly throughout the foot.
The midsole of the Altra Escalante 1.5 is the Altra EGO dual-density midsole we’ve seen in the Escalante. The zero-drop midsole is slightly less cushioned
than with its predecessor, and the responsiveness is that much more noticeable. The midsole features the InnerFlex design that is made with grid-like grooves in order to provide flexibility and a smooth heel-to-toe transition. In addition to the bouncy and cushioned midsole, the Escalante 1.5 features a 6mm footbed which greatly increases comfort and offers underfoot protection.
The greatest changes in the Altra Escalante 1.5 have been made to the upper. The company has heard the critique it got for the Escalante and made a well-placed effort to create the perfect upper. The Escalante 1.5 features a FootShape toe-box which provides sufficient room for the toes to spread in a comfy and natural manner. This provides the foot with some additional stability during each stride. The upper itself is made of the engineered knit material that provides a snug and firm fit while also creating a breathable environment for the foot. Compared to the original, the Escalante 1.5 offers a more stable rearfoot construction that doesn’t let the heel move around and be wobbly while running. The collar is more padded than the tongue, but the padding in both of these areas is there to increase comfort and add to the already snug fit. The Escalante 1.5 features a traditional lacing system that works well with the stretchy and supportive knit upper. For those that are into details that make all the difference – you’ll be glad to know that the Escalante 1.5 features lace loops that enable you to tuck the laces away securely and avoid the risk of them getting untied.
One of the greatest selling points of the Altra Escalante 1.5 is the fact that this is a very lightweight running shoe. At 7.9 oz / 224 g for a half-pair, this is a super-light shoe that still offers a good level of cushioning, while remaining a minimalist model. The lightweight nature of the Escalante 1.5 will make your legs feel rested and energized even after a long run.
When looking at the shoe on the shelf, you might think that the knit upper of the Escalante 1.5 simply isn’t enough to provide a good level of ventilation – and you’d be wrong. This is due to the fact that the upper stretches when you put on the shoe, creating ventilation pores that will provide enough airflow throughout the entire ride, preventing overheating and sweating. However, this kind of upper will not protect you from the rain even for a single minute. On the other hand, this kind of protection isn’t something one should expect from a knit or mesh upper, to begin with, so it will hardly be an unpleasant surprise to the Escalante
fans. Overall, the breathability of this running shoe is more than satisfactory and the Escalante 1.5 will perform great even in high temperatures and high-humidity climates.
The overall impression about the comfort
of the Altra Escalante 1.5 is that it is a very comfortable shoe with satisfactory cushioning and a snug fit in the upper. Additionally, some runners have stated that the zero-drop running shoes have made their knee pain go away, so switching to this type of shoe could be very beneficial in adjusting your running form. The Escalante 1.5 is true to size and has a standard shoe length. The wide toe-box provides additional comfort as well. Compared to the previous model, the upper is a bit more narrow, but given the fact that the previous fit of the upper was deemed too wide by a number of runners, the narrower fit of the Escalante 1.5 is just right to most runners.
Compared to the previous version, the Altra Escalante 1.5 looks more uniform and elegant. The length of the shoe platform is just a little shorter, without compromising comfort. The color schemes range from vibrant to standard, evergreen options such as grey and carbon. The outsole color is paired with the logo color on the side of the shoe, which is a discreet detail that adds to the general impression of sporty elegance. There are six colorway choices for men and five for women, which is more than enough for most runners to find the colorway that suits their taste. Additionally, the Escalante 1.5 features 360-degree reflective details throughout the upper, increasing your visibility greatly on your evening runs.
The least durable part of the Altra Escalante 1.5’s construction is the outsole. The rubber compound used in its construction won’t last for a long time, especially if these are your only pair of running shoes and you’re used to long runs. This is partly due to the fact that this is a minimalist running shoe, meaning that the outsole withstands an equal amount of wear and tear throughout the shoe platform, causing this zero-drop shoe to be less durable than your average 10mm-drop trainer. Depending on your running
style, particularly if you’re a heel striker or not, this shoe will last you a season or two, but don’t expect much more than that.
The Escalante 1.5 is a moderately cushioned shoe, although there are running shoes that offer a lot more cushion. Think gel instead of foam – the midsole is still squishy and soft, it’s just not as pliable and light as most cushioned foamy midsoles are. If you’re interested in zero-drop running shoe that provides a bit more underfoot protection, a good option to start with would be the Altra Torin
. However, for those who are not after the walking-on-the-clouds feeling, the Escalante 1.5 has just enough cushioning, especially when you take into account the 6mm Contour Footbed insole. Regarding the upper design, the one thing that’s lacking is the protective toe bumper that’s hard and offers structure, because, without it, your toes might slip in the front of the shoe during a run.
While the Escalante 1.0 had more cushioning, the 1.5 has a more responsive sole that offers a satisfactory amount of bounce in your stride. The Altra EGO midsole skews stiffer and provides good energy return, all the while maintaining a soft ride. To be clear, this running shoe isn’t the most responsive of the bunch, but it doesn’t have to be, either. Some runners are searching for a balance, rather than black-and-white features, and the Escalante 1.5 delivers that balance with ease.
One of the greatest changes that differentiates the 1.5 from Altra Escalante 1.0 is the upper, which is, amongst other things, more supportive in the newer model. The upper provides a secure, stretchy fit that gives you confidence while performing lateral movements, especially given the internal support straps in the midfoot area. As far as the arch support goes, the 1.5, like the 1.0, is a neutral running shoe, made for people with normal to high arches. However, the arch is positioned a little bit lower in the Escalante 1.5, so we’d wholeheartedly recommend it to runners who have medium-high and high arches and require almost no arch support
The Altra Escalante 1.5 is a shoe made for roads, track, pavements, and light gravel, and is best used for fitness, cross-training, and competition. In short, this is a great multi-purpose shoe that will mostly eliminate the need to buy a specific type of shoe for each and every activity. Keep in mind that the Escalante 1.5 lacks the structure that would make this a good speedwork or racing
shoe, but the flexible, cushioned and responsive sole can withstand even a few marathons without an issue.
The Escalante 1.5’s retail price steps into the three-digit territory, which might be costly to some that are just looking for a reliable running shoe for their jogs and light runs three times a week. However, if you’re looking for a shoe that can be your jog, marathon and fitness buddy, this investment will suddenly make much more sense.
The sole design that imitates the bones and tendons of the foot is designed to provide good traction and grip on the ground, both on dry and wet roads alike. The slippage of the shoe is minimal, providing a confident and a relaxed ride.
The Altra Escalante 1.5 is one of the most flexible shoes on the market. With its sole being able to twist, turn and bend with ease, this running shoe will provide a smooth heel-to-toe transition and a ride that doesn’t constrain you in any way. The midsole Inner Flex grooves give you the option to go faster and faster, due to the swift toe-off phase that the flexibility of the shoe allows.
The Escalante 1.5 doesn’t have a lot of stability features, although the brand upped their game a little bit from the 1.0 model. The wider toe-box featured in the Escalante 1.5 running shoe allows for the toes to splay naturally inside the shoebox, in which way they will inherently provide more stability
through the encouragement of the natural foot positioning.
Altra is a brand known for their zero-drop shoes that promote the barefoot-running feeling and a natural stride of the foot. The Escalante 1.5 is no exception to the brand’s philosophy, with the 24mm stack height throughout the sole. This type of drop favors midfoot and forefoot strikers almost exclusively, while heel strikers need to go through a transitional period from their 10mm-drop of choice, through the 6mm and 4mm running shoe, before landing on the zero-drop shoes, in order to prevent injury and Achilles tendon irritation. There are runners who feel like the shoe could benefit from a small, 4mm drop, in order to improve the heel-to-toe transition, claiming that the 24mm stack height makes the barefoot-running hypothesis go out the window. Be that as it may, this is another minimalist, zero-drop shoe in the Altra’s line that will have a broad fan-base of zero-drop aficionados that will find the shoe’s drop perfect just the way it is.
● Rubber outsole
● FootPod technology
● Altra EGO dual-density midsole with 6mm footbed insole
● InnerFlex design
● Engineered knit upper
● Comfortable, especially if you prefer firmer shoes
● Good value for money if you enjoy various types of running
● Less durable outsole
● Road, track and treadmill shoe
● Extremely flexible
● Satisfactory responsiveness
● Good traction
● Arch is positioned a bit lower than with the Escalante 1.0
Escalante 1.5 is essentially an improved version of the original 1.0, which is somewhat obvious from its name. The outsole and the midsole have stayed the same, while most of the changes are made to the upper, which now offers a more secure, snug fit and a high-quality, durable engineered knit material. The Escalante 1.5 is a great shoe for people who like to switch it up between jogging, marathon-running, fitness and regular running, and will offer you amazing flexibility, breathability, lightweight, springy performance and a whole lot of comfort. However, no shoe is perfect, and the Escalante 1.5 is no exception to the rule; its weak spot is its durability, which leaves something to be desired – perhaps in the Escalante 2.0?