Altra Superior 2.0 Review Facts
Designers at Altra focused on streamlining their trail running shoes, updating the Superior by reducing weight and adding more grip compared to its predecessor: some say the Superior 2.0 is their best creation yet. With a new midsole, outsole, upper, and altered stack height, it is practically a completely new shoe. However, the most successful features were not discarded. The Altra Superior 2.0 is a flexible and zero-drop shoe with a good protection level overall: excellent for demanding and unpredictable terrains, whether it is running on trails or hiking with a backpack.
The real strong point of the Altra Superior 2.0 is the updated Trail Claw sticky rubber outsole. It is an excellent combination of a durable and a softer rubber, providing great traction and control on rugged terrain. The outsole being split into separate seams makes it very flexible, and yet, somewhat surprisingly, does not reduce durability.
The amount of negative space in the design also reduces weight while providing dirt-displacement, a very welcome feature when conquering harsh terrain. It also keeps the Trail Rudder away from the heel of your foot unlike its previous versions, this provides aid in steep downhill
The midsole is a dual layer EVA with A-Bound™ top layer technology, which is a very well received design providing excellent comfort and protection with good energy-return at every step. It is very important for running shoe midsoles to not develop wrinkles and creasing, and the Superior 2.0 does very well in this regard, even after high demand and mileage. The InnerFlex technology provides higher responsiveness and a generally more stable shoe
Trail running shoes always have to balance between weight and protection, and the Superior 2.0 does an excellent job. The shoe features a seamless upper design with a dual-density mesh. This layer, being as thick as it is, prevents dirt from entering the shoe while also keeping the feet warm.
This air mash also has a quick-dry feature and has a very high level of water resistance
– but even if water does get inside, the Superior 2.0 lets it leave through the mash, which is a very important feature. It is therefore a very good design for a trail running shoe, with sufficient toe- and heel-protection.
The reduced weight (8.7 ounces) of the Superior 2.0 is one of the most welcome updates on the series. It is always of paramount importance that you don’t feel like you are wearing a brick while running or hiking on the trails – the challenge should be the rocks and dirt, not carrying your own shoes!
Altra has done a great job in reducing weight compared to the Superior 1.5 even though there are still some, rarely used features that are just adding weight to most runners (like the heel rudder).
Trail running shoes always have to sacrifice some breathability for increased protection against the elements of nature, and this is not different for the Superior 2.0 either. It is however a relatively minimalist design and feels very comfortable to wear.
One of the highest rated features of the Superior 2.0 is its high level of comfort with extra padding and cushion which helps on the rugged terrain it was designed for. Even after long hikes and runs it remains extremely comfortable, which is essential for those who take advantage of it. The wide Foot Shape toe-box lets the toes to spread out on steep up- or downhill tracks, and the shoe is well cushioned even though it has a really lightweight design.
Therefore the Superior 2.0 is perfect for hiking and mountain-biking too. The only thing that might need improving is the toe-guard, which is somewhat stiff compared to other trail running shoes
. Also, pay attention to the sizing, as there have been reports of it being too short (buying a size ½ larger generally does the trick though).
The Superior 2.0 has a wide variety of colors to choose from. The upper layers of the shoe feature a minimalist design with the Altra logo, and a slightly asymmetric lacing. It is an improved look compared to its predecessors, and has had a generally positive reception by the buyers. It is without a doubt a stylish choice for trail running.
Trail running shoes need very high durability, and the Superior 2.0 has not led to disappointments. The outsole (despite its non-single rubber block design), the midsole and the materials in general have proven to be trustworthy even for long trails on very demanding terrains. Reports of unusual wear and tear seem to be scarce, which leads to the conclusion that the Superior is a reliable companion for both the leisure hiker and the trail runner
Protection on rugged terrains and in unpredictable conditions is of utmost importance for a trail running shoe like the Superior 2.0 and it does not disappoint. The dual layer mesh on the upper part of the shoe proves sufficient against the cold, sand, mud and dust. The toe and heel guard helps on heavy terrain and in extreme conditions.
One of the nicest features of the Superior 2.0 is the removable StoneGuard rock-plate: this plastic piece slips right under the insole and provides the right amount of protection, while not sacrificing ground feel. If you are going on a less demanding trail, you can remove them to decrease weight. The Superior 2.0 also features a GaiterTrap with a velcro design on the heel of the shoe so it is easy to attach a gaiter. They are very lightweight additions and help keeping water and mud outside the shoe.
Having control over your shoes on technical trails is very important. The asymmetric lacing on the Superior 2.0 lets you secure your foot without constricting blood flow, contributing to the heavy comfort-level of the shoe. While the Superior 2.0 has an excellent lock on your fore- and midfoot, Altra shoes always had a heavily cushioned heel padding which sometimes runs short on providing the necessary grip. However, lacing
through the last eye hole seems to solve this problem!
The cushioned inside and the asymmetric lacing provides a good overall support for the foot, and the widened toe-box brings increased stability. The Superior 2.0 was especially designed (among other things) to improve the running form and stability of the runner, therefore there was a great amount of focus that went into the overall support of the shoe.
The Superior 2.0 was designed for rough terrain without a doubt. While it has no problem on roads, its primary purpose is to conquer the trails and mountains with tracks covered in gravel, mud and rocks. Its balance of protection and flexibility with the specially designed outsole all make the Superior 2.0 an excellent choice for the off road runner. For the competitive runner however, these shoes are not for road running
The Altra Superior 2.0 is a very affordable shoe, and you get the value you paid for. They come as an average price for trail running shoes of the brand, being cheaper than the Lone Peak, and just above the Golden Spike. As of the writing of this article, you can get the Superior 2.0 for 110 USD or less from some sellers.
The Trail Claw technology on the Superior 2.0 provides excellent traction on muddy terrain with its strategically placed ‘claws’ – canted lugs on the outsole, positioned beneath the metatarsals. Offering more grip than its predecessors with a reduced weight creates a good balance. This has proven to be an excellent design and makes this shoe a great choice for the adventurer.
The separated, seamed design of the outsole and the minimalistic upper layers keep the Superior 2.0 a flexible and lightweight shoe whilst offering great protection. The material of the upper keeps it from wrinkling. The toe-guard keeps the front secure, but does not go back too far to reduce flexibility. All in all, the Superior 2.0 is a very flexible shoe which is of great importance on the trails.
The wide toe-box not only makes the Superior 2.0 more comfortable, but adds extra stability to the shoe. The flat design with the addition of the cushions keeps the foot steady and in the place, while the seamed outsole helps to balance on rocky and/or slippery terrain. The heel rudder is designed to create extra aid in steep terrain, however, this has proven to be of not much help to most users. It is a nice feature overall for those who wish to take the Superior 2.0 for trails with high changes in elevation nevertheless.
Just like every Altra shoe, the Superior 2.0 features a Zero Drop platform, which means that the forefoot and heel are at the same elevation from the ground. This encourages better posture, form, a healthier back and body position, and a low-impact landing. All of these contribute to healthier joints, which should be of concern to anyone going off road. The Superior 2.0 also has no arch-support so if you are a beginner, pay attention to avoid injuries!
▪Foot Shape toe box which enhances stability and increases comfort
▪ZeroDrop platform which aligns the foot, body and back in a healthy position and promotes better form
▪Trail Claw outsole technology gives extra traction in muddy terrain while not reducing flexibility
▪Reduced weight and improved grip
▪EVA midsole with InnerFlex technology
▪Removable StoneGuard rock-plate
▪GaiterTrap to attach gaiters easily
The Altra Superior 2.0 is a definite step forward from its predecessors and a perfect and affordable choice for the adventurer. The abundance of features is justified and they work very well together. The shoe has reliable durability even on heavy demand trails and long mileage tracks. Having the grip of a tiger thanks to the ‘claws’ on the outsole while still wearing a very lightweight shoe is an excellent combination for any trail runner, hiker, or mountain climber.