Altra Olympus 2.0 Review Facts
Altra is a fairly new running shoe company, having been around for less than ten years. They manufacture both road and trail running shoes, specializing in their “Zero Drop” design. Based in America, Altra is fairly popular and well known for making quality shoes and other outdoor equipment.
The Altra Olympus 2.0 is one of Altra’s well cushioned trail shoe models, designed to be used for extensive training. The Olympus 2.0 is not the most recent model, but it still offers some very good features that will be discussed throughout this review.
The outsole is extremely important in a trail shoe, as the terrains will be differing even more than in the city. The outsole of the Olympus 2.0 features Altra’s Vibram Megagrip. As its name implies, Megagrip is designed to increase traction on uphill and downhill areas, as well as in wet and slippery areas. It does this through its material, which is a high quality rubber that comes in varying levels of hardness. Altra claims that this Megagrip adds to the traction of the shoe while still maintaining the same cushioned feel. The use of rubber is also beneficial in aiding the lifespan of the shoe, as rubber outsoles are often very resistant to impact and long lasting. As a whole, the outsole of the Olympus 2.0 is quite solid, and well equipped to deal with trails.
The Olympus 2.0 has quite a bit to offer in its midsole. First, it features a double layer EVA foam, as well its A-Bound material on the bottom. EVA foam is springy, lightweight, and fairly durable, making its ample use an excellent choice for a midsole. The A-Bound material is Altra’s own special blend of recycled materials that is placed beneath the EVA foam to cushion and minimize impacts. Altra claims that it does this 2-3 times better than traditional running shoe foams. The midsole also features a toe box for a more comfortable stride. This is also useful in protecting the toes from random impacts and debris that can commonly occur on trails. Overall, the midsole features some really useful and strong technology, and is very well cushioned and protective.
The Olympus 2.0 uses Altra’s Quick Dry Trail Mesh, which is Altra’s own unique mesh design. Mesh is a strong choice for uppers as it inherently allows for good flexibility and breathability thanks to its design, with holes intentionally woven into it. In addition to this, Altra’s mesh is designed to dry very quickly, which is very useful in preventing prolonged discomfort when accidentally stepping in water. The upper also features a gaiter trap which can be used to secure gaiters to the shoe. Gaiters help keep debris and water from getting into the shoe when traveling on trails. Finally, the upper features a 5mm insole footbed, which is designed to provide extra cushioning and security. This piece is removable if desired. Overall, the upper of the Altra Olympus 2.0 is pretty good, and has many features that are conducive to effective trail running.
Weight is an important vector of any running shoe. Shoes on the heavier side will often offer more cushioning
, but a less minimalist stride. On the other hand, lighter shoes
will offer a more natural stride, often at the cost of less cushioning. The Altra Olympus 2.0 weighs in at at about 11 ounces. When considering the amount of cushioning the shoe has, this is pretty solid, and is basically on par with most common trainers. Overall, the weight of the Olympus 2.0 is pretty average, and shouldn’t be a major issue for most.
The upper of the Altra Olympus is made of mesh, which is probably the best material in terms of breathability. This is due to the fact that mesh has holes intentionally woven into it, which allow air to flow in accordingly. Additionally, the upper on the Olympus 2.0 is designed to dry very quickly when wet, which adds to the breathability and comfort, especially when running on trails where puddles can be common. As a whole, the breathability of the Olympus 2.0 is quite solid, mostly thanks to its upper.
The Olympus 2.0 is a very comfortable shoe, thanks to its design as a well cushioned shoe, and its upper. The midsole of the Olympus 2.0 is packed with EVA foam, in a double layer, which makes every step a bit more comfortable thanks to the shock absorption and cushioning. The midsole also features Altra’s A-Bound material on the bottom, which helps absorb even more shocks, making the stride even more cushioned and comfortable. The upper contributes to the comfort by fitting snugly, and securing the foot. This adds extra stability which in general will make for a more smooth ride. In tandem with the flexibility of the mesh, the upper is a big part of the comfort in the shoe. The midsole and the upper are the main contributors to comfort in the Olympus 2.0, and they definitely do a pretty good job.
When it comes to style, Altra shoes tend to have a pretty clean and somewhat sleek design. They are reminiscent of more traditionally styled running shoes like Brooks
, but with a bit of their own unique flair. The Olympus 2.0 is a pretty stylish shoe in its own right, and is offered in lots of silvers and dark grays, accented with brighter colors like reds and blues. The Olympus 2.0 is definitely a good looking shoe, but it might be a bit challenging to use as an everyday shoe due to its coloring and also its general appearance as a trail shoe.
The Altra Olympus 2.0 is a durable shoe, due mainly to its outsole and its midsole, though there have been some complaints about the upper. The outsole’s Megagrip material, which is a specialized rubber, is very resistant to repeated impacts, and as such will last for a long time throughout many runs. The midsole’s dual layer EVA foam plays a big part in the durability of the shoe as well. EVA foam is a fairly durable material already, as it retains its shape very well even after repeated use, and the ample amount present in the midsole only magnifies the durability of it, and the shoe as a whole. The major source of complaints regarding the durability of the Olympus 2.0 has been regarding the upper. Some users reported that the upper broke much more quickly than expected. This is definitely something to consider for those who have had issues with uppers in the past.
Protection is a strong aspect of the Altra Olympus 2.0, which is usually to be expected of a trail shoe. The main proponents of this are the upper and the midsole. The upper protects the foot with its solid construction, which helps keep dust and debris from getting into the shoe. The upper also protects the foot from common twists by being both flexible and also snug thanks to its mesh design. The midsole offers protection through its EVA foam and A-Bound layer. The EVA foam in the midsole provides cushioning from every impact, and the A-Bound layer beneath does the same, adding to the overall effect. Overall, the protection in the Olympus 2.0 is very good, and should not be an issue, even for frequent trail runners.
The Altra Olympus 2.0 is not bad in terms of responsiveness, but it is definitely one area where the shoe is not as strong as other shoe. Responsiveness usually is heavily dependent on the midsole, and this is the case here as well. The Olympus 2.0 uses EVA foam, which is a fairly responsive material in its own right, thanks to its springiness. The ample amounts of cushioning take away a bit from the responsiveness of the shoe however, and there are no other features in the shoe that help promote responsiveness. That said, the responsiveness is not bad, and is actually fairly solid for a well cushioned trail shoe. Most well cushioned shoes tend to fall on the less responsive side as it is, so the Olympus 2.0 is not terrible by any stretch.
The main aspects of the Olympus 2.0 that provide support
are the upper and the midsole. The upper contributes through its snug fit, which helps stabilize the foot while running. It does this while remaining flexible, offering good range of motion to not hinder the natural stride. The midsole provides support primarily through its dual layered EVA foam, and its A-Bound material. Once again, both of these materials provide support for the foot by cushioning and absorbing impacts from strides. Together, these features make the Olympus 2.0 a pretty supportive shoe.
Terrain is one area where the Olympus 2.0 shines. Though the Olympus is primarily geared towards trails
, and will probably find the best performance there, these shoes are very usable on more city-like terrains as well. On grass, road, or concrete, the Olympus 2.0 should still fare very well. The Olympus 2.0 is well equipped for most terrains, except perhaps the most extreme terrains. They are also usable in rain, and the quick drying upper will help aid in drying the shoes after the run.
The Olympus 2.0 is definitely on the pricier side for most trainers. When compared to trail shoes specifically, the price is a bit more reasonable. Trail shoes tend to be a bit more expensive due to their specializations, and that is the case here as well. Since the 2.0 is not the latest model however, the Olympus can be found at a cheaper price, though it still is fairly average when compared to regular trainers on the market. That said, the technology and features of the Olympus 2.0 are quite good, and the shoe is probably worth the price tag for those who don’t mind it.
The traction of the Altra Olympus 2.0 is good, which is definitely necessary for a trail shoe, as varied terrains often have different levels of grip. The main source of traction comes from the outsole, with its Megagrip rubber. As its name suggests, Megagrip does a very good job of gripping onto different surfaces by virtue of its special blend of rubber. Overall, traction on most surfaces should not be an issue for the Olympus 2.0.
The Altra Olympus 2.0 is a fairly flexible shoe, mainly due to its upper. The upper’s mesh design comes in here, as mesh allows for a good deal of movement thanks to its woven design. Apart from this, the Altra Olympus 2.0 doesn’t do too much to emphasize flexibility, but that isn’t necessarily bad. In most cases, the upper is the main proponent of flexibility anyways, so the Olympus has that department covered well.
The Altra Olympus 2.0 is pretty stable
thanks mainly to its midsole and upper. The midsole contributes to the stability of the shoe through its cushioning foam, which is very well layered and spread throughout the midsole. These foams, the EVA and A-Bound layer, add stability to the shoe by cushioning from shocks while running, making for a much smoother ride. The upper contributes through its snug and secure fit. This stabilizes the foot from above, and also contributes to a more smooth running experience.
The drop on these shoe is 0mm
which might seem a bit surprising, but is a fairly common trend among Altra shoes. For those seeking a minimalist oriented drop, this shoe might be perfect for you, whereas those seeking a high drop might want to look elsewhere. Overall however, the drop probably should be fine for most, as the shoe is well cushioned.
EVA foam and A-bound cushioning
Gaiter trap for optional use of gaiters
Overall, the Altra Olympus 2.0 has a lot to offer for a trail shoe. The ample cushioning, well tractioned outsole, and mesh upper all make the Olympus a very appealing shoe. For anyone who is seeking a trail running shoe, and does not have an issue with zero drop, the Olympus might be a great choice, so long as price is not a major concern either.