ALTRA Olympus 4

9.8
9.8 score
[Editors rating (9.8)] = Runnerclick score (9.8)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 9.8 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Say hello to the holy grail of trail running shoes. Altra has also been one of the best brands for trail running based upon the overall design of the foot-friendly frame and the materials used in the midsole. The newest addition to the Olympus lineup kept all of the things that users loved and improved upon some of the things that users didn’t love.

This shoe boasts a wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe, while the midsole provides plenty of support and cushioning to help conquer long distances with ease. One of the things that runners love most about this design is that it has a zero-drop build.

With zero-drop and a highly cushioned midsole, you gain the support and responsiveness needed to tackle any trail without losing ground feel. The design of the Altra Olympus 4 does it all: it’s great for speed, distance, provides ample support and cushioning without the big and bulky frame that sometimes can slow you down.

If you are looking for the best of the best and willing to spare no expense, it’s worth checking out.
ALTRA Olympus 4 Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Sleek and stylish design

Zero drop

Vibram MegaGrip outsole with deep lugs

Incredibly durable

Lightweight for a max-cushioned trail runner

Cons

Very expensive

Key Features

Key Features

MIDSOLE

The midsole of this design boasts Altra’s A-Bound compressed EVA materials, which is like the Goldilocks of Altra’s midsole options. It’s not quite as plush as their Godzilla EVA foam, but it is much more cushioned than their Quantic midsole material. Overall, it finds that sweet spot between springy responsiveness and plush cushioning. It’s great to help shave a few seconds off of your lap times, but it’s also built for long-haul distance runs.

It’s also important to note that this shoe boasts a zero-drop build. Many runners often shy away from zero-drop because they are worried that this type of build is reserved for a veteran or minimalist runners. However, the impressive 33 mm stack height provides you with just enough cushioning to feel supportive, while the zero drop allows for an unmatched ground feel to keep you light and nimble on your feet.

UPPER

The upper of this shoe is designed to keep your feet protected while enhancing breathability at the same time. It is composed of an engineered mesh upper that helps to lift hot air up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry. It’s the perfect shoe for those hot summer runs, but also provides you with a good deal of protection and lockdown as well.

The stability features in this shoe are found in the gusseted tongue as well as the synthetic overlays. The gusseted tongue helps to securely hold the laces in place so that the shoe doesn’t shift around on your feet as you tackle steep uphill climbs or fast downhill descents. The synthetic overlays are placed in key areas of the foot (such as the toe box and along the sides) to protect your feet from the trails as well as boost stability.

OUTSOLE

The outsole of this design is composed of a tacky Vibram MegaGrip outsole that really grips into the trails. It has exposed rubber near the center of the foot that provides heightened flexibility and movement and reinforced edges that boost durability as well as traction. Compared to other shoes in the Altra lineup, the lugs are slightly thicker and are made to really grip the ground under your feet. The lugs are tightly spaced near the toe box for confident toe-offs, and more loosely spaced at the heel to cut down on the overall weight and bulk of the shoe.

A common misconception about the Olympus 4 is that it isn’t actually built with a rocker, even though it feels like it! What I love most about this shoe is that the build of the outsole hosts Innerflex grooves to make your gait cycle easy and effortless. It may feel like there is a rocker built into the outsole, but it’s actually the Innerflex grooves at work!

PERFORMANCE

If this shoe was a high school student, it would be that annoying classmate that is the student council president as well as the captain of the football team. It can do just about anything. The zero-drop build, Innerflex groves on the outsole, and lightweight design make it great for speed. While it’s super cushioned, it is also quite lightweight and nimble to help make quick work of even the most difficult trails.

While it’s made for speed, it’s also designed for long distances as well. The A-Bound midsole comes in at a stack height of 33 mm, which makes it insanely comfortable and cushioned. It provides runners with that nice and springy gait cycle that helps to take pressure off of your knees and joints, which makes it an ideal shoe for long distances as well.

FIT

One of the things that Altra is famous for is its super-wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe. This wide frame helps to prevent your toes from jamming at the ends of the shoe, which is super important when running long distances. For some runners, this wide frame doesn’t allow for that super-snug fit that they are accustomed to, but it isn’t a deal-breaker.

Overall, this shoe fits true to size. If you have the option, be sure to head down to your local shoe store to give them a test run before you land on a size. If this isn’t an option for you, simply take ample measurements of your feet and compare them to the Altra sizing chart to ensure that you get the right size for your foot.

STYLE

One of the things that I love most about the new and improved Olympus 4 is that it comes in a wide variety of sleek color options. Compared to previous versions, this shoe has gone on a bit of a diet. It is less chunky in the heel counter and the upper, which makes it look more sleek and sporty.

Personally, I love the color options that are available in this shoe. My favorite is the black and white upper with sharp red accents on the outsole and upper. It’s a shoe that screams ‘I’m ready to race'.

PRICE

Altra struck gold when they designed the Olympus 4, and they know it. One of the biggest downsides of this shoe is that it is one of the most expensive trail runners out there on the market. It’s a shoe that is highly regarded in the running community due to its overall performance, style, and fit, which means that the price tag is pretty steep. However, when you compare the price point to the overall durability of this shoe, it suddenly doesn’t seem so expensive.

This is a shoe that is able to conquer hundreds and hundreds of miles of difficult terrain without batting an eye. If you can swing the higher price point, you won’t be disappointed.
Comparisons to Previous Versions

Comparisons to Previous Versions

If you were thinking that you could opt for the Olympus 3.5 to save a little bit of money, you may want to reconsider. While the 3.5 was a great running shoe at its launch, it suffered from a few missteps, so to speak. Altra listened to many of the complaints from the Olympus 3.5 and worked to fix them for the launch of this newest design. While many of the performance features remain the same, there are a few changes that are worth looking into.

The biggest change made between the Olympus 4 and previous versions is the overall size and bulk. This newest model has gone on a diet and shaved off a few grams of weight and bulk in the midsole. This allows for more fast and speedy movements and makes the shoe just feel better and less clunky. It also improved the construction of the upper by utilizing more breathable materials and only using synthetic overlays where absolutely necessary.
Verdict

Verdict

If you are in the market for the best of the best and are willing to spare no expense, the Olympus 4 from Altra is one of the best trail running shoes that money can buy. It is considered to be a highly cushioned trail runner while maintaining a zero-drop build for overall better ground feel and mobility. I love this zero drop shoe because it really grips the trail under your feet without feeling overly bulky or heavy. Whether you need a good pair of shoes for race day, or you just need something that helps to protect your joints for a nice and easy run for long distances, this shoe does a little bit of everything.

Like I mentioned before, this shoe is the overachiever from high school. It’s built for running long distances, but subtle design features such as zero-drop and Innerflex grooves in the outsole make it ideal for speed as well. For a highly cushioned shoe, it is surprisingly lightweight, and the lightweight materials used for the upper are great for those hot summer days out on the trails.