Altra Olympus 2.5

The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a neutral trail shoe made for light duty in off-road conditions. It doesn’t skimp when it comes to traction, but it’s best used on fairly well-groomed trails. It can also be used for road running making it quite versatile. A few updates help to bring the shoe up a notch. The upper features a more resistant construction meaning it’s less likely to rip under pressure. The upper also fits better and is thus more supportive.

The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a favorite of wide footed runners who really like the wide forefoot area and overall larger design. The shoe might also please minimalist runners who may want to try a transition to a zero-drop shoe. Hold up, though. There’s plenty of cushioning in the midsole of the 2.5. It’s a whopping 32mm of A-Bound cushion that delivers not only a protective platform but plenty of rebound.

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Pros & Cons
  • Wide toe box

  • Feels fast and lightweight

  • Very responsive

  • Flexible and breathable upper

  • Great ground feel

  • Extra durable
  • Cons
    • Some found the shoe felt too wide

    • Lacks stability

    • Some found the shoe too heavy
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Altra Olympus 2.5 is made of Vibram mega grip material. This type of outsole construction is very durable and provides traction for wearers. It’s virtually unchanged since the last version. The outsole also happens to be fairly wideset which helps with overall traction. Reviewers liked the amount of grip they got from the outsole and were especially impressed with its durability.
      The midsole of the Altra Olympus 2.5 is also unchanged. It’s made up of an EVA material that contains a compound called A-Bound. It’s meant to cushion and provide a bit of extra bounce for wearers. The midsole is pretty chunky taking up 32mm of height to deliver a nice amount of cushioning. Reviewers liked the feel of the cushion and were quick to point out that even with a thick midsole, they were able to feel the ground underfoot. Reviewers also liked that the cushion didn’t stop at the heel. It runs the length of the shoe meaning forefoot, midfoot, and heel strikers could get a comfy ride.
      The upper has received the most changes since the original Altra Olympus. In the Altra Olympus 2.5, the upper is a bit more resistant than before making it a lot more durable. The new construction makes the overall fit more supportive, too. Also present is the same Gaiter Trap system as before with a slight adjustment that secures gaiters a lot better. The shoe has a relatively large toe box, and the upper is covered in what’s called Trail Mesh which, as mentioned, provides more support than before and helps the shoe to fit better overall. The shoe also features a thick insole inside. It provides even more of that generously bouncy A-Bound material for comfort and even more energy-return. The shoe also features traditional laces that help users customize the fit. Reviewers liked the new fit of the Altra Olympus 2.5 and particularly appreciated that the upper dried quickly after encountering water.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a fairly lightweight shoe. Weighing in at about 9.6 oz for women and 11.5 oz for men. A few reviewers did mention that they felt it was too heavy or heavier than expected. Still, runners felt comfortable enough in the Altra Olympus 2.5 to use it for speedwork. Reviewers who found the shoe a little bulky were in the minority. Most athletes liked the lightweight construction of the Olympus 2.5, saying that they felt it ran fast and smooth.

      The new and improved upper of the Altra Olympus 2.5 fixes any breathability issues from before with a new Trail Mesh upper construction. The toe box is wide enough so that feet can splay naturally. The upper is made of flexible material that allows for proper air circulation. The upper also dries fast thanks to excellent air flow. The fit will be particularly comfortable for wide footed runners, who liked the roomier fit because it helped with breathability. Some narrow footed runners may find the wide fit feels a bit too sloppy, though. A few reviewers pointed out that although they appreciated the exceptional breathability of the 2.5, in colder weather, the shoe simply lets in too much air resulting in a frosty interior temperature. In winter, wearing thicker socks will be required in the Altra Olympus 2.5.
      Reviewers liked how comfortable the Altra Olympus 2.5 was. Thanks to a roomy toe box and an improved upper fit, the shoe fits exceptionally well, especially for those with wider feet. The A-Bound cushioning feels nice upon impact with the ground without producing an overly padded feel seen in some similarly designed shoes. The cushioning feels plush underfoot and makes for a smooth ride. Runners will also appreciate that the cushion goes from heel to toe for an evenly padded ride. Some runners did run into sizing issues. A few found the sizing ran small while narrow footed runners felt the width of the shoe was too big.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a nicely designed shoe that comes with a fresh look. The colors are attractive and won’t show mud or dirt easily which is perfect for trail running. For men, the shoe comes in a blue coloring, a grey, and red option, and a grey and yellow accented version. For women, there’s a grey and pink option, a blue version and a dark blue and black.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a pretty tough shoe all around. It’s meant for off-road running, so the sole needs to be able to stand up to rigorous conditions. Altra has kept the Vibram Megagrip outsole for a good reason. It’s not only grippy, but it’s also very durable. An update to the upper has ensured it won’t rip easily when put under some strain and the result is a shoe that’s a great deal more durable than before. The shoe is definitely able to handle well-above average wear and tear.
      There’s enough protection in the Altra Olympus 2.5 so that it can be taken off-road. First, the outsole protects from slips and falls and ensures runners stay firmly planted on the ground even when things underfoot are uneven. The midsole’s EVA cushioning protects runners from the shock of such an activity. There’s no rock plate in this shoe, but the outsole and midsole materials do a good job at protecting wearers all the same. The midsole, after all, is a nice thick 32mm.
      Reviewers found the Altra Olympus 2.5 quite responsive. The A-Bound midsole material helps to ensure wearers get a responsive ride from the Altra Olympus 2.5. The shoe is not the lightest available in its category, but it certainly feels fast. The wide toe box area helps with toe-ing off and aids in delivering an energy-filled ride for wearers.
      While the Altra Olympus 2.5 is a neutral trail shoe, it does manage to deliver when it comes to support. The wide outsole helps and thick midsole help to provide a supportive base. But the most supportive area of the shoe, by far, is the upper. The new and improved Trail Mesh material is highly resistant and secure without sacrificing comfort. The upper wraps the foot a lot better than before helping to improve the overall support of the shoe. Reviewers agreed that the fit was much better than with the previous version.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 can work for both road running and trail running although it’s primarily an off-road shoe. It’s not particularly good at handling technical trails, though. The outsole’s Vibram material provides excellent traction, but some reviewers mentioned that they had trouble feeling agile on rocky terrain. Reviewers preferred to take the Altra Olympus 2.5 out on hard packed non-technical trails, pavement, and gravel, avoiding technical terrain altogether.

      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is priced fairly high, but it does deliver on what it promises. It’s a very durable shoe that’s suitable for light trail running. It offers a comfortable, breathable design, and a great fit. There’s very little the shoe doesn’t do well. With the right match for your foot and running conditions, the Altra Olympus 2.5 offers great value.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 features a Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides grip underfoot. The outsole happens to be quite wide which helps with traction, as well. Runners felt the shoe worked well on varied surfaces, gripping most of them extremely well.
      The upper of the Altra Olympus 2.5 has been changed up a bit since the last version. The upper is more durable and fits a lot better. Part of the reason the fit has improved so much is that the upper is now much more flexible. Reviewers really liked the fit of the shoe and flexibility plays a large part in this. The shoe is meant to fit snugly without suffocating the wearer’s foot, and this is definitely achieved with the 2.5.
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a neutral shoe, so there are no traditional stability components to be found. Runners are meant to get stability from a secure fit, stable midsole platform, and grippy outsole. Some reviewers did find a few problems in this domain, though. The wide fit is great unless you have an unusually narrow foot. In which case, the ride is going to feel sloppy, and stability will certainly suffer. Some reviewers also felt that the wide toe box compromised stability. Others didn’t like the wobbly feel of the Altra Olympus 2.5 when it came to rocky terrain. It’s safe to assume that most of the runners experiencing problems with stability in the Altra Olympus 2.5 either need more correction and require a different shoe altogether or have feet that are too narrow for this model.

      The Altra Olympus 2.5 features a zero drop construction. That means that there’s no angle to be found measuring heel to toe. Some reviewers found this type of zero drop design took a bit of getting used to. Others found it made the ride feel natural. Even with such a thick midsole, reviewers added that ground feel was not at all sacrificed.

      Key Features
      - Vibram MegaGrip outsole
      - EVA midsole with A-Bound
      - Natural Foot Design
      - Improved Trail Mesh Upper
      - Gaiter Attachment Area
      - Zero drop construction
      Bottom Line
      The Altra Olympus 2.5 is a good option for runners who are planning on doing the bulk of their training on hard packed well-groomed trails, on the pavement, on gravel, or a mix of all three. This isn’t your hardcore trail running shoe that can handle a particularly rocky terrain, but it’s still a pretty impressive shoe. It’s very durable, ultra-breathable, quick-drying, and comfortable to wear. The new upper design improves the shoe’s ability to wick away moisture, dry, and fit securely. The wider footprint of the Altra Olympus 2.5 makes it a shoe primarily geared towards wide footed runners. If you’ve ever had trouble finding a shoe that accommodates your larger foot, you may find that the 2.5 helps solve that problem. The toe box is roomy, and the flexible upper fits tightly without resulting in uncomfortable pressure points.

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      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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