Altra Provision 3.0 Review Facts
Altra is back with a new and many believe to be improved entry in the running shoe market. Having made some notable alterations to its existing Provision line, Altra introduced the 3.0. Suitable as a daily trainer designated for use on roads and light trails, this newest incarnation represents some larger scale changes to the two previous versions of its namesake – most notably, the new version contains a GuideRail system in the midsole for better stability and a larger presence of Stabilipod pods to better meet the needs of overpronators with its added arch support. As a well-respected brand in the running arena, many long-time wearers have come to expect the same comfort to which they’ve become accustomed. And while it is true that some are left feeling less enthusiastic about the changes, many notice them but find them to be a worthwhile venture.
Altra aims to help you "run the way you were born to" with the technologies it employs in its shoes. This is evident in the outsole for the Provision 3.0 as it takes advantage of the FootPod system and StabiliPod™ Technology. The Footpod technology implements firmer foam pods in a pattern that serves to map the bones and tendons of the foot for as close to natural flexibility as possible. With the Stabilipod system, three zones in a tripod formation provide additional stability for arch support and to keep a smooth, natural running gait less likely to induce pain or injury
The Provision 3.0's midsole is chock full of features designed to create a natural feel on the run. Comprised of ultralight EVA foam with an A-Bound
™ Top Layer and utilizing both StabiliPod™ Technology and Varus Stability Wedge Technology, the midsole is moderately cushioned with an even stack height of 22mm across the shoe. The A-Bound system is the centerpiece of the midsole with its already lightweight EVA foam paired with Altra's own rubber compound designed to absorb shock and return the rebound to the shoe increasing springiness and reducing leg fatigue. The StabiliPod technology's specially designed tripod foam formation helps promote a natural running movement on each groundstroke. And the Varus Stability Wedge is tucked in the length of the midsole to aid in preventing foot roll and creating a healthier step for overpronators.
The upper of Provision 3.0 aims for comfort, breathability, and stability with its quick-drying mesh and the A wrap feature that strategically covers parts of the foot to allow room where the foot needs it most. The heel cup helps anchor the foot in place for a more secure ride and the thickly cushioned removable insole provides arch support
. Some find this to be a little too much padding citing that the shoe now feels even snugger than it did, given its new more narrow fit. Yet, overall, many are pleased with the stability and breathability.
While the Altra Provision 3.0 appears to be a bulkier shoe
than some due to its wider, more natural footprint, it is deceptively light. Benefitting from the use of EVA foam paired with the compound used in Altra's A-Bound technology, this shoe boasts a lighter weight of 10.5 oz for men and 8.2 oz for women. This sets the shoe in a small niche of kicks that are not heavily enhanced designed for overpronators
. The feedback on this shoe's weight has been positive.
Many Altra shoes incorporate a breathable fabric mesh upper. The Provision 3.0 is no exception. With its Quik-Dry mesh designed to allow for better airflow around the foot and to ventilate for quicker dry time, this shoe seems to have performed well, pleasing many wearers. The synthetic overlays that are strategically placed on the shoe do not seem to interfere. Cool, dry feet
make for a more confident run and a shoe free of moisture and trapped heat lends itself to a longer lifespan.
This shoe is rated to be quite comfortable aside from the snug fit due to improper sizing and the narrower fit of this newer version. The mesh fabric upper allows for air movement in the shoe so that each step stays ventilated and cool and dry. While narrower, most are still pleased with the toebox
size as it creates a roomier option for natural straightening of the toes. The arch support is impressive and, together with the heel grip, creates a secure fit for maximum confidence on the roads
or light trails. On top of this, female runners will be pleasantly surprised at Altra's premiere inclusion of FitForHer technology that incorporates a set of components that aim to address the specific need of women as they take off to kick it up.
This update in the Altra Provision series offers sleeker styling
which can be tricky but is well done on this wide shoe. The 3.0 retains the same lowcut heel and mesh fabric with overlays in the upper as its predecessors. Many are pleased with the look but find the colors to be a little more basic. Men's shoes are offered in the following color combinations: Black/Red, Charcoal/Blue, and Red. Women can kick some asphalt in Black/teal, Silver/Blue, and Gray/Purple.
Made of ultralight EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam cushioning, the sole unit of the Altra Provision 3.0 aims to be soft yet durable. The crash pad at the heel and its wider footprint provide added cushion and support on each footstrike. The upper's mesh and overlays tend to withstand traditional wear and tear. While there were a handful of reviews that did not feel durability was a strongsuit in this shoe, there is no definitive explanation on where the shortcomings are.
The Provision 3.0 offers protection from wet elements with its breathable, quick, drying mesh upper. The overlays of the upper also help to provide protection from debris. But as this is a road and light trail shoe
, it is not designed to withstand more than standard daily wear. It does protect the body from pain and inflammation with its sole unit's foam cushioning that is comprised of EVA. The unit is soft and springy providing shock absorption and transferring energy back to the foot to provide a responsive shoe and reduce fatigue and the potential for injury
The Provision 3.0 is considered a fairly responsive shoe. Between its sole unit, made up of Altra's A-Bound technology blended with EVA foam, and the Stabilipod system and foot pods on the outsole, this shoe provides a smooth natural transition during the running motion and create a soft rebound with each step that seems to please most runners. As a lighter weight shoe
, it receives the added benefit of this and can help put some added spring in your step.
One of the key revisions to previous installments of the Provision is its inclusion of GuideRail technology. This serves to imbend the support directly into the midsole to keep feet on track and in proper alignment for a natural rolling gait. And as a shoe intended for overpronators, motion control is also offered in the form of increased arch support along the sole unit and in the removable insole liner that grips the heel for a secure fit. With a decent amount of cushioning, this foot feels comfortable and supported for its daily jaunts.
Altra is revered for its quality shoes for both road and trails. The Provision 3.0 is a little of a crossover that is best suited for road
, light, non-technical trails
, cinder, and gravel. Runners were overwhelmingly pleased with its ability to stick to the road but yet still feel light and responsive.
With a premium price tag, Altra shoes
are up there with some of the higher priced trainers. The Provision 3.0 falls in line with many of its competitors but has one standout feature in that it is zero drop. It also provides a refreshing lightweight alternative for overpronators. So while many agree this shoe represents a more expensive way to get your kicks in, most do not balk at the cost.
The StabiliPod technology in the outsole and midsole is a unique feature on Altra shoes. The tripod placement of three zones on the sole of the shoe guides foot placement as it strikes the ground. This supports a little more variety of running surface but not so much that one would feel confident on trails. The compound used in the sole is a lighter foam but one that seems able to handle relatively reasonable conditions like wet roads but not prepared for ice or slickness.
Altra's unique Footpod system in the outsole works in conjunction with a flexible mesh upper to provide what many consider to be an agile daily stability trainer. The Footpod technology essentially recreates a map of the foot's bones and tendons in the outsole allowing more natural freedom of movement and enhanced flexibility creating a more enjoyable ride for runners.
The Provision 3.0 is a stability shoe that is well suited for overpronators
and for those needing more arch support. It is important to note the use of the Varus wedge that runs the length of the shoe preventing inward foot roll to the relief of those who tend to overpronate. And one other significant feature is the installion of GuideRails in the midsole to keep the foot rolling forward only. The insole liner fits the foot, and specifically the arch, well adding to the overall stability. With its impressive snug fit and a transition period to zero drop shoes
, runners can toe the line feeling secure and stable.
With an even stack height from forefoot to heel at 22mm, this shoe, as is Altra's standard, showcases a zero drop. Thought to promote a more natural running motion, when done properly this shoe can help with improved gait efficiency. But jumping down to a zero drop from a higher drop shoe takes some adjustment and Altra knows this as it advises care be taken by runners as they do. Without the gradual break-in period, wearers could suffer pain or injury
in the Achilles or calf.
- Zero-drop provides a natural foot motion
- Added stability features and arch support make it a lightweight motion control option for overpronators
- Removable insole (at 6 mm) provides a snug fit at the arch
- Available with the "Fit4Her" components to please female runners
- Comparatively more narrow than previous versions, although still considered wide
- Upper has a quick-dry air mesh that keeps the foot dry and cool
With a drastically changed shoe, Altra
rebooted the Provision with its 3.0. providing a stable, lightweight, well-cushioned shoe. Though most find it to be snug, the arch support and good ventilation earn high marks from reviewers. Topping it off, despite less brilliant color combinations, most are pleased with its sleeker style upgrade from its predecessors. If you are an overpronator looking for some neighborhood miles or time on non-technical trails and can part with a few extra bills, this might be the shoe for you. Definitely worth a try.