Altra Running is a brand known for perfecting the zero drop platform. Many runners believe that the typical heel height is too high and find that this particular design allows them to achieve better balance and posture. This is just one of many reasons why their Provision stability line is so effective. Its latest model, the Altra Provision 3.5, still contains the same features that buyers have come to know and love along with some new upgrades.
The outsole's FootPod design still promotes a natural gait, while StabiliPod technology continues to prevent collapsed arches. A-Bound technology is added to the midsole of the Altra Provision 3.5 for more durable cushioning, and the Quick Dry Air Mesh is engineered to be long-lasting. However, reviewers have noticed that the colors of the inner liner do bleed out and that they can feel one of the stability features underneath their foot.
-Very lightweight feel
-Appealing color schemes
-Ample toe room
-Inner sleeve color tends to bleed
-Uncomfortable stability unit
Reviewers state that, when combined with the shoe’s corrective features, this enables them to have better control over their gait cycle. StabiliPod technology, comprised of three areas marked by a different color, acts as a tripod that prevents pronation and collapsed arches. For greater traction, and protection against wear and tear, a rubber compound is placed over the outsole.
An A-Bound, made from recycled materials, provides more resilience to the underfoot cushioning. Guide Rails form a wall around the top of the midsole to prevent wobbling. The StabiliPod, which can be seen on the shoe’s outsole, forms a tripod that keeps the arches from collapsing.
Finally, a Varus Stability wedge slopes from the medial to the lateral side of the shoe to keep the foot from turning inward. Though reviewers state that all of these features work just as well as they have on other models, some claim that the stability wedge is uncomfortable. A few runners can feel this feature underneath the medial side of their foot.
Though the outsole and midsole perform most of the stabilizing work, a printed heel strap is still in place around the back to better ensure that the foot stays inside the shoe. One of this shoe’s better-received features is the FootShape toe box, which allows the toes to splay out and keeps the big toe straightened out. Reviewers note the incredible difference this makes in their levels of comfort and stability.
Despite this, buyers say that this shoe’s corrective features work as well as they have before. Though most in need of corrective footwear are used to some extra ounces, as it indicates greater protection and stability, that is obviously not the case with this particular model.
These features greatly reduce the amount of foot odor and infections caused by excessive wetness within the foot chamber and also make it an excellent option for warm weather runs.
However, some reviewers have stated that this model does not always fit true to size and that it has a longer-than-average break-in period. Furthermore, several consumers say that they can feel the Varus Stability wedge underneath their foot which makes for annoyingly uncomfortable wear.
They are also incredibly pleased with the different color options that are available to them. Though neutral colors are always popular, there are also several hues of blue, green, pink, and purple available.
However, buyers should be aware that the colors of the inner sleeve tend to bleed out and transfer. Several reviewers have reported stained socks after the first few wears.
Though its EVA foam midsole isn’t as durable as most newer materials, A-Bound technology is put in place to strengthen this feature and provide better cushioning for much longer. Even the Quick Dry Air Mesh upper is more resistant to damage than it has been on this line’s earlier versions.
Though reviewers are satisfied with how well it holds up to usage on roads and light trail runs, a few consumers have reported that the sole of this shoe will wear down and tear when used too frequently or on heavier trails.
This line has even been recommended by specialists for those living with tendonitis and other foot conditions. Its durable rubber outsole’s traction performs just as well as its level of protection against wear and tear.
The combination of the Ultralight EVA foam midsole and A-Bound technology creates a midsole that fully safeguards the runner from impact even during long distance runs. And, in addition to eliminating foot odor and infections, the Quick Dry Mesh Upper also wicks off rain water to keep the foot drier even during light showers.
StabiliPod technology enhances this quality even further by keeping the arches fully supported, while the outsole’s FootPod design maps out each tendon within the foot to encourage a completely natural gait. Furthermore, the shoe’s tread pattern and durable rubber outsole enable it to transition easily between light trails and everyday surfaces.
The midsole’s combination of Ultralight EVA foam and A-Bound technology ensures comfortable cushioning and impact absorption that can endure multiple long-distance runs. Of course, its most supportive feature is its StabiliPod, which actively works to support arches and correct overpronation.
Not only is this model fit for many levels of running, but they are excellent shoes for jobs that require many hours of standing.
The outsole has been known to wear down much quicker when used on rough terrains and therefore is not intended for heavy trails. Those who are just starting out with trail running will get a great deal of use out of this shoe, as it does transition well from lighter trails onto road surfaces.
The StabiliPod encourages natural movement as it prevents collapsed arches, while the FootPod design maps out every single muscle and tendon of the foot and promotes the most stable and unrestricted movement possible.
The FoodPod design of the outsole also remains, mapping out each section of the foot to encourage completely natural yet secure movement. A newer feature is a set of Guide Rails that surround the top of the midsole, keeping the foot from wobbling around. In addition, a Varus Stability feature actively corrects pronation by preventing the foot from turning inward.
Though effective, this feature has been known to rub against the sole and make for uncomfortable wear. Finally, for added measure, a synthetic heel strap is wrapped around the back of the upper for more secure wear. Across a number of online platforms, reviewers say that these features work just as well as they did in previous versions.
Many runners in need of corrective stability prefer low or zero-drop platforms because they encourage better balance and posture, allowing them greater control over their strides. Unfortunately, those who prefer added heel cushioning in their footwear would not be happy with anything this brand has to offer and would be better served by looking elsewhere.
-Rubber outsole with FootPod design
-Ultralight EVA foam midsole for shock absorption
-StabiliPod technology to prevent collapsed arches
-A-Bound for more durable cushioning
-Guide Rails to keep the foot in place
-Varus Stability to keep the foot straight
-FootShape toe box allows ample toe room
-Available in a wide range of colors
It’s not without its downsides, however, as the color of the inner sleeve is known to bleed out and stain the runners’ socks. Furthermore, some have noticed that they can clearly feel the stability features underneath their feet, which makes for slightly uncomfortable wear. In conclusion, it is best to try these particular shoes inside a store first before making a purchase.