Altra OlympusReview Facts
Altra is a somewhat newer shoe company that produces running shoes and equipment, and has focused their line of shoes on the zero-drop style. Altra is based in America and is decently well known for their high quality shoes. The Altra Olympus is one of Altra’s trail models with a heavy emphasis on good cushioning. The Olympus is not the most recent model, and is actually fairly old, as the Olympus 1.5 and 2.0 have already been released. That said, the original Olympus is still a very respectable shoe in its own right, and still is a very viable shoe for trail use.
The Altra Olympus has an outsole that is composed of a special rubber that Altra claims is sticky and trail specific. Sticky here just means that the shoe grips very well on trails especially. This rubber is also very durable by virtue of being a carbon rubber blend. Carbon rubber tends to be very resistant to impacts, and is able to withstand a good amount of impacts. There are also lugs present on the outsole, which give some extra traction. These lugs are especially handy when climbing up and down hills. Overall, the outsole is well optimized for trails and has both good grip and lifespan.
The Altra Olympus has a midsole that is made of a special multi-layered EVA foam, with Altra’s A-Bound layer added as well. This material is a frequent choice in midsoles because it is springy and responsive, it retains its shape well, and it is lightweight. The midsole of the Olympus is jam packed with this foam, in a double layer, making it extremely cushioned and responsive. They are almost reminiscent of Hoka’s shoes in this sense. The A-bound layer is Altra’s own blend of foam that is made of various materials. Altra claims that this foam reduces impacts several times more effectively than EVA. In addition to this, it has a box to keep the toes comfortable and in place. The Olympus' midsole is definitely one of its strongest traits, and it does a very good job of cushioning and responding.
The Altra Olympus uses a special mesh which Altra has dubbed “Quick-Dry Trail Mesh”. Mesh is a type of design in which the upper is woven with very small holes in it. The main advantages of this are flexibility and breathability, which both contribute to a better upper overall. This design is also designed to dry very quickly, which can be very useful when running after it has rained, or when a puddle is accidentally stepped in. In addition to the mesh, in the upper is a Contour Footbed. This is designed to make the inside of the shoe, and area around the foot in general, a bit more comfortable. The upper is overall pretty good as well, and definitely provides security with breathability and flexibility.
Weight is an important facet of running shoes, though it might not immediately be apparent. Heavier shoes generally tend to favor more cushioning, whereas shoe that weigh less
usually sacrifice cushioning to achieve a minimalist feel and stride. The Olympus is pretty impressive, because despite its massive amounts of cushioning, it still remains pretty average in terms of weight. Most shoes with this much cushioning would be fairly heavy, but the Olympus weighs in at just 12 oz. 12 oz would be pretty close to average for regular trainers, and pretty low for a trail focused shoe in general, let alone one with this much cushioning.
As mentioned above, the Olympus features an upper composed of mesh, which is quite breathable due to its holes and woven design. The special quick dry mechanism added by Altra contributes to the effect even more. The end result is a very breathable upper, and an overall breathable shoe in the Altra Olympus.
The Olympus is very comfortable, thanks mainly to the components that make up the upper and midsole. The upper of the Olympus contributes with its very flexible and breathable design. These two features are very conducive to comfort, and the upper offers good amounts of both with its Quick-Dry Trail Mesh. The midsole contributes to comfort primarily through great cushioning. The key elements in this are the dual-layered EVA foam and the A-Bound layer. Both of these do a great job of mitigating impacts while striding. This overall makes a much smoother and more comfortable ride . The Altra Olympus is a very comfortable shoe as a whole, thanks in particular to its upper and midsole.
When it comes to fashion, Altra shoes tend be similar to the more traditionally styled running shoes offered by companies like Brooks
. They tend to offer a bit of their own flair however, often with their colors. The Olympus is pretty stylish, and is offered in a wide range of colors meaning that there is likely a color for everyone. It would probably be difficult to use the Olympus as an everyday shoe however.
The Olympus is solidly durable, with the main contributing factors being the midsole and the outsole. The special sticky rubber blend that makes up the outsole is very resistant to impacts, and can withstand many miles on a multitude of terrains. The midsole is durable thanks to the ability of the midsole to retain its shape. The EVA foam dual layer, and the A-Bound layer are both very good at absorbing impacts and returning energy, while not altering their original shapes. This means that after many runs and many miles, the midsole will still be pretty effective, leading to a longer overall lifespan of the shoe. The Olympus is pretty durable due to its outsole and midsole.
Protection of the Altra Olympus is definitely solid, which certainly should be no surprise, as the Olympus is trail focused. The main sources of protection are the midsole and also the upper. The upper protects the foot from outside elements like dirt and debris, and also protects the foot through its secure and snug fit, and stability. The midsole provides a huge amount of protection with its dual layer EVA foam and A-bound layer. As explained above, both of these compounds absorb shock extremely well, and in tandem make the run very cushioned. This protects the foot a great deal, while making for a very comfortable ride too. Overall, protection of the Olympus is good, due to the midsole primarily, and the upper to a lesser extent.
The midsole of the Altra Olympus does a pretty good job of returning energy thanks to its Ethylene Vinyl Acetate foam. This foam is a quite responsive on its own and is very springy, and this translates pretty well into the responsiveness of the Olympus. Apart from this, the Olympus doesn’t do too much that emphasizes responsiveness. That said, the overall responsiveness of the Olympus is pretty solid, if not amazing.
Support in the Altra Olympus is mainly influenced by the upper and midsole. The midsole supports the foot once again with its large amounts of cushioning. This cushioning supports the foot while running, and helps to stabilize as well. The midsole has a toe-box that helps secure the foot and add some support to the toes. Support from the upper stems mainly from its special mesh design. The mesh secures the foot quite comfortably, which is beneficial in supporting the foot from above. Together, these two parts are the main sources of support in the shoe, and they do a fairly good job of making sure they foot is supported.
Terrain is an area where the Altra Olympus is pretty good. Though optimized primarily for trails, the Olympus still fares really well on city terrain. On most runnable terrains there shouldn’t be any issues for the Olympus, as they are pretty well equipped in terms of traction. Because of this they are also fine to use in rain with caution.
is a somewhat interesting point for the Altra Olympus. Because it was released so long ago, the cost has dipped a fair bit, though for some sizes it can still be a bit expensive. Initially the price of the Olympus was pretty expensive, as many of Altra’s main shoes tend to be. For the features they have and their quality, the Olympus is definitely a good value despite being old.
The Olympus is pretty good at this thanks to its outsole, whose material is designed to be extremely gripping. The added lugs on the bottom of the shoe also add some grip for up and down hill running. The traction of the Olympus should be suitable for most runnable terrains, but once again is optimized specifically for trails.
The mesh of the upper plays a big part in its flexibility, as mesh is very flexible naturally, thanks to the way that it is intentionally woven with holes. Apart from this, the Olympus doesn’t do too much to promote flexibility, but the mesh upper is very adequate and makes the Olympus quite flexible.
The Altra Olympus’ main sources of stability
are the upper and midsole. As mentioned before, the upper’s mesh design and snug fit go a long way in stabilizing the foot from above. It does this while maintaining flexibility, making for a very good ride overall. The midsole contributes with its cushioning once again. The cushioning in the A-Bound layer and the dual layer EVA midsole do a great job of reducing impacts and shocks to the foot, which in turn makes the stride more stable and less affected by various bumps. The Olympus is pretty stable overall thanks to the upper and the midsole.
The drop on the Atra Olympus is 0mm, as it is a zero-drop
shoe. Though this might seem strange, it works very well for the Olympus, and falls in line with the design of many of Altra’s shoes. This drop is a bit uncommon and may not be for everyone, but generally still should not be an issue.
Dual Layered EVA foam with A-bound layer
Lugs for good traction
The Altra Olympus is a pretty good trail shoe, despite being a bit on the older end. This shoe offers a great amount of cushioning with a low drop, and decent weight and flexibility. If found for a low price, they are definitely a great bargain. For anyone who is seeking a trail shoe
with great cushioning , and does not mind if it is outdated, the Altra Olympus is a great shoe.