Altra Olympus 3.5 Running Shoe Review

Just like its predecessors, the Altra Olympus 3.5 is designed for trail runners who prefer a zero-drop platform along with substantial amounts of cushioning. Several of the brand's most well-known trademarked features are put to use to ensure that the buyer is protected, stabilized, and comfortable.

A Vibram Megagrip outsole is created using Altra's FootShape tread pattern, which is meant to provide durability and a strong grip on all types of rugged surfaces, and Trailclaw gripping lugs are included for a more secure toe-off. Even though the brand uses basic EVA foam to create the midsole, it's able to give substantial amounts of cushioning and impact absorption along with its 33mm-high zero-drop platform.

A durable reinforced mesh upper is given quick-drying properties in order to make it more suited for different types of weather. And its overlays wrap around the back of the foot and integrate with the lacing system for greater security. All of these features work together to create a shoe that will safely carry the runner through all types of trails while still reducing pain and fatigue.

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Pros & Cons
-Highly stabilizing wear
-Very comfortable
-Provides great traction
-Relieves foot and leg pain
-Encourages a natural stride
-Does not fit true to size
-Can feel heavy and bulky
-Lacks overall durability
Key Features
Many brands have relied on Vibram to create outsoles for their hiking and trail running shoes, and Altra did the same when they created the Olympus 3.5 and all of its predecessors. With a tread pattern that completely maps out the shape of a human foot, it's designed to withstand rugged terrains and keep them moving along safely in different types of weather.

This shoe also features the brand's trademarked Trailclaw, which is a set of gripping lugs located underneath the metatarsals, to provide a more stable toe-off. The tread pattern also provides proper drainage to keep the runner from slipping at any point during their run.

Although buyers are happy with the traction that it gives them, many have claimed that the outsole is not nearly as durable as it should be. They've noticed that it will start to wear down, or even come loose, after only a few runs.
Just like all of its predecessors, the Olympus 3.5 utilizes standard EVA foam for its midsole. Although it's not as sturdy as more recent materials that are used today, it still provides a substantial amount of shock absorption and energy transfer. An environmentally friendly compound known as A-Bound is also added for increased durability.

Altra's trademarked Balanced Cushioning consists of its standard zero-drop platform, and its stack height of 33mm ensures a great deal of underfoot cushioning. The FootShape design also helps by completely mapping out the shape of the foot to provide more accurate and continuous cushioning.
The Olympus 3.5 uses Quick-Dry Trail Mesh to form its upper, which proves to be equal parts breathable and durable. Stitched-on overlays wrap around the heel and integrate with the lacing system for a more secure and are placed across the front to form a toe bumper.

Altra's 4-point GaiterTrap, which features a hook-and-loop tab at the back, is available for those who want extra protection from debris during trail runs. And the FootShape toe box follows the natural curve of a person's toes to provide sufficient room and extra stability.
The Olympus 3.5 is within the standard weight range for a running shoe, with men's sizes averaging out at 10.7 oz. and women's sizes coming in at 8.9 oz. While it's definitely substantial, it's still designed to provide a lightweight and easy wear as buyers run across rugged terrains. Although most seem to be satisfied with this feature, there are some who have complained that it feels too bulky or heavy for their liking.
Despite its durable construction, most buyers seem to be satisfied with the Olympus 3.5's level of breathability. Its mesh upper is most exposed along the forefoot and sides, where hotspots tend to occur most often, which allows runners to feel cooler and dryer throughout the day. Some reviewers have complained that it doesn't offer proper drainage for when they run through puddles, yet most feel that its quick-drying properties make it fit for wear during intense runs in heavy rain and hot weather.
Reviewers have widely praised the Olympus 3.5 for its comfortable wear, and several features have greatly contributed to this quality. Its 33mm EVA midsole gives the runner substantial amounts of cushioning, which is made even more enjoyable and natural by the FootShape design. The upper's quick-drying mesh enables plenty of breathability and moisture-wicking, while the toe box follows the natural curve of the toes to give the runner plenty of room.

However, this shoe doesn't come without its downsides, as some have complained that it fits smaller and narrower than average. Others have also claimed that it feels unusually bulky or heavy, despite that fact that it's within the average weight range of a running shoe.
Although it's not exactly a stylish running shoe, the Olympos 3.5's sporty and rugged look lets buyers know that they'll be given optimal support and protection. Both size ranges are also available in three different colorways each, which still satisfy a wide range of consumers. Men can choose between green/orange, blue/yellow, and gray/lime, while women are given gray/rose, blue/beige, and blue/green.
The Olympus 3.5's overall durability is extremely mixed, as not all of its features are on the same level. Its reinforced mesh upper is can hold up remarkably well against wear and tear caused by constant use in rugged environments, and its midsole can maintain its shape for a surprisingly long time.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the shoe's outsole. A large number of reviewers have complained that it either wears down too easily or starts to come loose after only a few wears.
The Olympus 3.5 is designed to protect the runner against everything from rough terrains and harsh weather to improper posture and potential injuries. The outsole's Trailclaw design promotes a stable and secure run across different types of trails. As the midsole cushions and provides decent amounts of shock absorption, the 33mm platform keeps runners safe from sharp and jagged surfaces.

Its zero-drop platform promotes better balance and posture to reduce the risk of potential injuries. And while its drainage might not always be up to par, it's quick-drying mesh upper is reinforced to resist tear and keep the foot supported and locked into place. Extra protection can be added with help from the 4-Point Gaitertrap, which allow buyers to easily attach and wear a set of gaiter for heavy-duty trail running.
While reviews don't give a lot of detail about the Olympus 3.5's responsiveness, it does seem to be decent enough for a trail running model. Its EVA midsole provides the runner with adequate amounts of shock absorption and energy transfer to reduce impact and keep them powering forward for longer. And the inclusion of Innerflex technology further strengthens the toe-off phase of the gait cycle to encourage greater speed.
Reviewers greatly enjoy the amount of support that they get from the Olympus 3.5. Its EVA foam midsole forms a platform that's 33mm high and features the brand's Balanced Cushioning, or zero-drop platform, to ensure greater balance and stability. And its FootShape construction follows the natural curves and outline for more accurate and continuous support.

Even the upper contributes to this quality to some extent. Its reinforced stitched-on overlays wrap around the back and integrate with the lacing system to support the top of the foot, while the padded tongue and collar focus on the ankles.
As a trail running shoe, the Olympus 3.5 is designed to be used in rugged terrains. This includes everything from thick forests to rocky terrains in both wet and dry weather. Its quick-drying mesh upper and advanced traction ensure that it's fit to wear during heavy rainfall, as does the drainage provided by its tread pattern.

There's no indication of how well this shoe can perform on paved road surfaces since some trailing models aren't meant for everyday use. But given the reviews that criticize its bulky wear, it's probably best to put these aside when it comes to road running.
Reviewers agree that the Olympus 3.5 is definitely pricey, yet not everyone can agree if it's worth the money spent. It's listed on the Altra Running website, and on several other online retailers such as Moose Jaw and Running Warehouse, for $150. Slightly lower prices can also be found at discount sites such as Runnerinn and eBay.

Most of this model's reviews are positive, indicating that buyers are happy with their decision to purchase it. They enjoy the amount of cushioning that it provides, as well as its traction and versatility.

However, many reviewers have complained that this shoe fits much smaller than average. To make matters worse, they've also noticed that it lacks overall durability and starts to come apart after only a few weeks.
All trail running shoes are required to have incredible traction, and the Olympus 3.5 is no different. Aside from having a tread pattern that completely maps out the shape of a human foot, it also includes the brand's trademarked Trailclaw. Located beneath the metatarsals, it ensures a stronger grasp onto the ground below and provides a stronger toe-off.

Unfortunately, the outsole's tendency to lack overall durability does put a damper on how this shoe performs. Gradual wear and tear can lessen its grip and, in turn, make running on uneven trails incredibly dangerous.
Just a couple of modifications have given the Olympus 3.5 a surprisingly flexible wear, allowing it to stand apart from its predecessors. Although its platform height comes in at 33mm, it's actually be reduced by 3mm from the previous model in order to make it more pliable and easier to wear. An Innerflex is also included for both a more natural gait cycle and a stronger toe-off.
Although it does not come with an abundance of stability features, many still consider the Olympus 3.5 to be a very stabilizing running shoe. This thanks primarily to the balanced cushioning that's provided by its zero-drop platform, which balances out the runner's posture to encourage more natural and controlled movements. The shoe's tread pattern and EVA midsole also help by providing a secure grip and responsive cushioning that can steady the runner.

The upper's overlays further stabilize by forming an aggressive midfoot cage that wraps around the heel and integrates with the traditional lacing system. And a padded tongue and collar work together to further ensure that the foot stays in place throughout the day.
The Olympus 3.5 features the same zero-drop platform that's found on all of Altra's other running shoes. Many buyers prefer this design as it promotes better balance and posture, a more natural gait cycle, and greater control over their movements. This, of course, makes the shoe an excellent choice for trail running.

Buyers are also happy that it's platform height measures in at 33mm, as it means that they're offered plenty of underfoot cushioning. And, even better, this feature doesn't sacrifice flexibility in any way.
Key Features
-Zero drop platform
-Vibram Megagrip outsole
-Natural Ride System
-Trailclaw gripping lugs
-Responsive EVA midsole
-Innerflex for natural movement
-Reinforced mesh upper
-Foot shape toe box
-4-Point Gaitertrap
Bottom Line
Those who are familiar with the brand, and this particular line, should consider purchasing Altra's Olympus 3.5 running shoe. Not only does it promote a more natural and controlled run while on the trail, but buyers are also afforded substantial amounts of cushioning, incredible traction, and very secure wear.

Of course, are still a few downsides that buyers should take into consideration. Aside from its expensive price tag, it is known to have inconsistent sizing and can occasionally feel heavy and bulky even for stability model. Furthermore, multiple reviewers have complained that this shoe lacks overall durability.

Still, considering that it's garnered mostly positive reactions, it's more likely that this particular running shoe will be well worth the money spent.
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Backcountry Link
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Moosejaw Link
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By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
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Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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