Altra Intuition 4.5 Review Facts
Altra presents the Intuition/Instinct 4.5, a slight modification to the previously released Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.0. The Intuition/Instinct 4.5 is a zero drop running shoe that is said to provide its wearer a more natural stride. It is being touted as a shoe with extensive applicability. An “all-purpose,” shoe is how it is being regarded. The running shoe is presented with dual names because Altra prides itself on making sure that each model of their running shoes has specific features to account for the anatomical differences in men and women. The Intuition, for instance, is the women’s running shoe, while Instinct is the men’s running shoe. The difference between the male and female models is important but slight, so for the majority of the following review, they will be discussed as a singular entity.
The outsole of the running shoe incorporates the FootPod
design. This means that the shape of the outsole better aligns with the contours of the foot. It features a decoupled heel as well. The outsole has to it a fair amount of rigidity.
The midsole of the running shoe is essentially an amalgamation of Altra’s A-bound technology and the more commonly used EVA foam. Most in the running community are familiar with EVA foam, but for some the perks of A-bound
cushioning may need elucidation. A-bound is a patented technology from Altra. This cushioning extends from the toe to the heel. It evenly distributes its own weight across the length of the running shoe in an effort to facilitate better running technique, one in which less impact energies are channeled into the foot.
The upper of the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 differs from its predecessors
because it is made from a soft mesh-like textile. This material allows the upper to better enwrap the foot and, because it is a little bit more malleable, better move in accordance with the runner’s foot. This mesh, it should be noted, is not exceptionally elastic. This is good as too stretchy a mesh can result in the upper feeling too slack. The upper also incorporates an inner sleeve. The ankle-collar reaches higher here than on previous incarnations of Altra Intuition/Instinct. The running shoe adopts a traditional lacing system, and the eyelets have added stitching.
The Altra Instinct is, in the average men’s shoe size, approximately 9.8 ounces in weight. For the Intuition, in the average women’s shoe size, that weight is closer to 7.2 ounces. The insole seems to add a considerable amount of weight to the shoe. The insole, itself, weighs 1.3 ounces which are about two times the weight of a traditional insole. Many runners have noted, though, that this excess weight is not quite felt when the running shoe is in use. Some attribute this almost lightweight
feel to the flexibility of the running shoe.
The upper of the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 features a porous fabric that allows for the sufficient flow of air
into the running shoe. Runners have deemed it as being well ventilated and a great deal more so than its predecessors. The toe box of the running shoe, however, was not considered to be very well ventilated, and this, for some will be a disappointment.
The toe box of the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 is one that grants the wearer sufficient room for toe splay. This interior does not provide room in one dimension. No, both in terms of height and weight, it can be considered spacious. This allows the running shoe to better serve those with wider feet. The extra room will also do well to serve those with Morton’s neuroma, bunions
or other ailments. Those with narrow ankles may deem the heel lose, and be turned off by the running shoe’s extra volume. The cushioning is more or less evenly dispersed about the running shoe, but a select few have criticized it for being too rigid. The tongue is adequately cushioned. There is considerable padding about the heel collar. The interior bootie, or sock liner, is made from a sponge-like material that some have described as being similar in texture to that of a yoga mat. The midsole is quite snug, and a traditional lacing system allows the wearer to get the most comfortable fit. The designers of the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 also took into consideration customers’ complaints about the toe bumper on previous models. This time around, they’ve presented a much softer toe bumper that is sure to alleviate many of the pains, such as abrasions, that afflicted wearers of previous models.
The women’s version of the shoe runs a bit small, so interested buyers are encouraged to try a half-size up. The women’s version of the shoe is equipped with more cushioning than the men’s. This is because the designers of this running shoe wished to better address the minute differences in men and women’s feet. To add a bit of clarity here, a woman will typically have a more narrow heel than a man, but a larger ball and ball girth than man. In her research study, biomechanist Kate Bednarski, M.A. found evidence to suggest that women who run competitively have higher arches than women who don’t. Altra made sure to pay attention and respect to these anatomical differences when constructing this shoe, and it shows.
The Intuition/Instinct 4.5 is of a shape more in keeping with the Altra Intuition/Instinct 1.5 and 4
. Unlike those releases after the Altra Intuition/Instinct 1.5, and leading up to the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4, the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 does not have an overly aggressive curvature. It has what many runners consider to be a more streamlined look than its predecessors as well. It employs a stack height of 25 millimeters. The tongue of the shoe has less foam inside of it, allowing it to eschew the rotund look of the tongues of earlier models. The upper also incorporates a neat color-blocked design that is sure to turn heads. Coupled with this are 3D printed directional lines as well as a dye-sublimated print pattern. The Intuition is available in the following colors: black, predominately pink with some black and predominantly light blue with some gray. For the Instinct a different set of color options are presented. They are as follows: black, predominantly blue with some lime green and predominantly red with a bit of black.
It has been claimed that because the outsole of the Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 has to it a considerable thickness, it is well equipped to deal with the stressors of the road without breaking down. This claim has some merit but it may not be wholly true. Some runners claim to have noticed ripping between the midsole and outsole of the shoe after extended use. Another runner said that, in conjunction with the usual heel wear, he noticed a scraping way of the outer patterns of the forefoot after 12 miles of use.
There is a protective patch at the forefront of the running shoe that acts as a toe bumper
. Some runners have expressed their doubts about the effectiveness of this bumper, though. The outsole of the running shoe provides very little protection against those items one might encounter when traversing a rugged trail.
Some runners did note that, after extended use, they did register some forefoot pains, but these were slight. The amount of propulsion, or spring
, lent to toe-off did leave a lot to be desired.
The Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 is best suited for those runners who employ a more midfoot dependent stride. Heel strikers will find the responsivity to be lacking considerably. These shoes are equipped to handle 20 mile stints rather than multiple kilometer treks. Those seeking an Altra shoe with more propulsive qualities might want to consider looking at the Altra Escalante
The running shoe employs a neutral arch support. The supportive insole has a thickness of about 6 millimeters. The expansive coverage of this insole allows it to better bolster areas of the sole of the feet that are typically without the shoe’s adequate support. The insole is also removable so those who need to insert orthotics
can easily make the necessary accommodations.
The running shoe is designed to function best on traditional roadways. Some runners were even satisfied when using this shoe in the gym
, citing its lock-down as one of its principle benefits. Those who have tested the shoes on rugged trail ways noted that the ride was a considerably unstable one. The shoes may fair better on smoother trails, but it would be a bit ill-advised to recommend these shoes for such application. The shoe may also struggle to optimally serve its runner at high speeds, therefore it would be ill-advised to use these shoes for race day.
The Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 occupies a pretty attractive price range as it is considerably less expensive than other competing models.
The wide foundational platform on which the running shoe rests allows it to excel during climbs. Runners have found it allowed for successful descents, as well. The outsole performed well on wet surfaces and gravel filled pathways.
Incorporated into the outsole of the shoe are Inner Flex grooves. The Inner Flex grooves
form a unique cross hatch pattern. The positioning of the flex grooves is anatomically sound. They adorn the outsole at the specific locations where the foot is want to bend. While they don’t have any great springiness to them, they do grant the runner a more natural stride. The recoil on a taut portion of the shoe is also a very slow one. This is ideal for ascending an incline or performing a slow paced linear exercise.
In terms of stability, the shoe will best serve those with wider feet and ankles. Those runners with more narrow features can definitely still enjoy the wear but may need to make adjustments to the lacing before feeling stable. The high-reaching ankle collar grants the wearer greater stability. Several overlays present in the heel and forefoot give more security to the upper. Still, a spacious collar opening can become a source of instability for runners with a smaller build and this should not be overlooked. An inner sleeve grants the runner a greater midfoot hold.
The Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 has the unusual characteristic of sporting a zero drop. This design is supposed to grant runners a more natural gait and body position. The health benefits of this are many. The typical running shoe has a drop of 12 millimeters, give or take, so one can clearly see that these shoes, with their zero drop construction, are the outliers. Some runners depending on their amount of experience with shoes of this design may find it to be too flat.
- Inner Flex grooves
- FootPod design
- EVA foam
- A-bound technology
The Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 is a fairly priced running shoe with adequate stability, and a level of flexibility that betrays its heft. It makes for some pretty comfortable footwear to wear on light treks across roadways. It also functions well on inclines and declines. Some have even touted its reliability as a piece of gym-centered footwear. It can not be considered the perfect all-purpose running shoe because of its limited functionality on those more rugged trails. Still though, those things that those Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 gets right are done very well. It has what some may consider too-large of a heel and too-spacious an interior, but other than that, it does well to accommodate runners of varying body types.