Altra Escalante Racer Review

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Our Conclusion
Altra makes higher-end running shoes that do things a little bit differently. The Altra Escalante Racer is simple and easy to wear, and it is made from some high-quality materials. The EGO midsole gives runners excellent bounce and energy feedback, making it perfect for running on hard surfaces.

These shoes are meant to travel. The patented ZeroDrop keeps your heels on the same level as the ball of your foot. This design promotes a more natural range of motion, which means you can run for longer distances. Users find these shoes are up for about 150 miles before the squishy sole begins to wear down.

At first glance, this running shoe looks like a long-distance shoe, but the minimal outsole means that you can also pick up the speed. Well-placed rubber traction means it grips very well to sidewalks and roads.

It may come in at a slightly higher price point, but if you are serious about training, the Altra Escalante Racer is a great choice. Plus, it looks great with your favorite running shorts or just a pair of jeans.
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
Incredibly lightweight
Zero drop
Very thin and easy mesh knit upper
Springy midsole
Ideal for paved roads
Minimal lockdown
Not for high arches
Key Features
The Altra Escalante Racer has a rubber outsole with shallow tread on the base. It has a nice spring to it that gives you excellent energy feedback when traveling on hard surfaces. With each and every step, you can really feel the springiness beneath your feet.

From the launch from the balls of your feet to the landing on your heel, the thick rubber sole absorbs much of the impact on hard surfaces to protect your knees, hips, and lower back from long-distance running on hard surfaces.
The Altra EGO InnerFlex midsole is what makes this design stand out from the pack. This midsole provides an excellent cushioned shoe unlike many designs out there on the market, but it doesn’t strangle your foot. Plus, it isn’t too stiff and rigid. While it provides excellent support, it will not hinder the full range of motion of your gait.

The EGO midsole offers a supportive landing without weighing you down. This midsole is thick and cushioned, but it is made from incredibly lightweight materials which means it is not something that will slow you down.
One of the most notable features of this design is that it has an insanely thin upper. When compared to other knit mesh uppers out there, this design is much thinner than the rest. It has breathable vents in the toe box to keep your feet cool on hot days.

One downside about this lightweight and non-structured upper is that for some, your heel may slip around when making turns or picking up the pace. The easy and structureless heel won’t rub your skin raw, but it means it may slip around on your foot as you travel.

If you want an upper that sits low on your foot and has virtually no points that will rub your foot, this type is an excellent and comfortable design.
If you love the idea of running barefoot but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, this design is a great transition. The average running shoe weighs about 9.5 ounces, and this design is much lighter. Weighing in at just over 8 ounces, it is one of the lightest running shoes out there on the market.

The lightweight upper feels easy on your foot as if you are wearing another pair of socks. Plus, the EGO midsole is made from an incredibly lightweight material that lends support without extra bulk and weight.
If your feet turn into a furnace before you even hit mile one, you will love the feel of this upper. It is constructed from one of the thinnest knit materials, and it doesn’t offer a lot of padded structure (that traps and holds heat against your foot).

The knit mesh has added vents that run along the top of the toe box, but also along the sides of the foot. Plus, the heel has no added structure or padding, which means that your heels have room to breathe as well.
For long-distance running, comfort is key and this shoe hits all of the boxes. It has an easy and lightweight upper that hugs your foot without cutting off circulation. You also don’t need to worry about a still heel digging into your Achilles because this design doesn’t provide any additional structure.

The springiness of the midsole in conjunction with the lightweight material found on the upper means your foot is free to really move while still being supported by a durable midsole.
The traction along the bottom is shallow and designed for flat and even surfaces. It sports the classic barefoot traction design that provides additional grip on all points of the foot where you need it most.

It is important to note that the shallow treads make the Altra Escalante Racer perfect for road, but not the trails. When looking for trail running shoes, deeper treads are ideal to ensure you don’t lose your footing on uneven surfaces.
Throughout the entire Altra line, mist designs have a lifespan of about 150 miles, and the Altra Escalante Racer is no exception to this rule. Once you hit 150 miles, the outsole doesn’t completely fall off and leave you stranded, but you may notice it just doesn’t have the same springiness as mile one.

As you rack up the miles, the midsole begins to flatten out over time. Most runners find that at 150 miles, the sole is flat and worn down, and just doesn’t have the same energy feedback as it did when it was fresh out of the box.
As with most urban running shoes, this design doesn’t offer runners a whole lot of protection. The upper doesn’t provide any padding or structure to the top of your foot, and the ZeroDrop design doesn’t give support for high arches.

However, the soft and easy heel prevents stiff materials from rubbing your Achilles raw on long runs. Plus, the soft treading on the sole keeps you from slipping on wet sidewalks.

One thing that users really liked about this design is that it has a wide toe box that doesn’t taper at the ends. If you find that your toes often jam up at the end of your stride, this wider design allows your foot to fully flex at the end of your gait.

Read more about the best running shoes for wide feet.
Where the Altra Escalante Racer really shines is in its flexibility. This is a shoe that is designed to mimic the natural motion of your gait as you take each and every step. The lightweight mesh knit upper lightly hugs your foot so you don’t feel restrained.

The rubber sole and the EGO InnerFlex midsole cushions your joints and gives you excellent energy feedback while mimicking your natural range of motion. Where this design lacks in support it makes up for with its heightened flexibility.
The stability in this design is slightly lacking. The mesh knit upper is made to feel lightweight and easy on your foot. However, due to the fact that the upper has very little structure, it means it shifts around on your foot as your move.

The midsole, on the other hand, hugs your foot and absorbs the impact of each and every stride. It is lightweight and returns much of the energy you exert with each and every step.
One thing we are really excited to talk about is the drop in the Altra Escalante Racer. This is a zero drop running shoe, which means there is no distance between your heel and the ball of your foot.

What makes this model ideal is that it promotes a natural range of motion. This design gives you the feeling that you are running without shoes (which improves strength and balance) while providing users with energy return and midsole support.
The rubber sole in conjunction with the lightweight EGO midsole gives runners a bounce that you can feel with each step. From the launch to landing on your heel, your knees, hips, and joints are protected from unforgiving hard surfaces.

If you are a long-distance runner and need something that has a lot of bounce without a lot of weight, this is one of your best options. If you simply stand and press your weight into the sole of this shoe, you can really really feel your weight sink into the sole.
One of the downsides of this option is that it does not offer your foot a lot of additional support. While the upper is light and easy, it has a tendency to slip around on your foot as you move. Tightening the laces help to reduce the shift of the upper, but it doesn’t eliminate it completely.

The construction of the sole does not provide the arches of your foot any support. The style of this shoe is designed to feel as natural as possible. Your foot has freedom, but little structured support.

While some squishy soles only give in the heel, this model provides energy feedback in the heel, midsole, and toe box as well.
The Altra Escalante Racer is made solely for running on flat, hard surfaces. It is the perfect companion for running on sidewalks, paved roadways, or even on the treadmill at the gym.

The traction on the rubber sole is designed to really grip flat surfaces for a secure footing. Plus, it is perfect for gripping wet sidewalks for a safe and secure ride in the rain.
Simplicity is the name of the game with the styling of the Altra Escalante Racer. It has a very simple low-profile design that is a little more versatile than some of the other more utilitarian models out there on the market. It is a great companion with your favorite pair of running shorts, but it also transitions as a stylish option with a pair of jeans.

Color options are unique, although a bit muted. If you love bright and colorful kicks, you may find the options in this design to be a bit lacking. Color options include gray, maroon, teal, and basic black.
Key Features
EGO InnerFlex midsole
Zero drop
Incredibly lightweight: 8.4 ounces
Removable 5 mm footbed
Traction on slippery surfaces
Lightly padded tongue
The Altra Escalante Racer packs an expensive price tag, but it isn’t the most expensive running shoe out there on the market. In the Altra line, it is considered to be one of the more expensive models.

However, we feel that the design, materials, and fit of this shoe makes it well worth the higher price point. It is rare to find a running shoe that provides this level of energy feedback and comfort while being incredibly lightweight.

Bottom Line
Long-distance runners absolutely love this shoe due to its springy EGO InnerFLex midsole, simple low profile design, and quality of materials used. Weighing in at just over 8 ounces, it is considered to be one of the lightest running shoes out there on the market.

The ZeroDrop design is something that also makes this shoe stand out from the rest. With no drop, the Altra Escalante Racer mimics the feeling of running in bare feet. The EGO midsole protects joints from strain by absorbing much of the impact from each and every step.

For those in the market for something with a simple and low profile design that helps support your feet while offering a full range of motion in a lightweight frame, this option is well worth the slightly higher price tag.
Where to Buy
By Tara Summerville
Last updated:
Pablo Hernandez
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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