Altra Superior 3.0
The Altra Superior 3.0 is an award-winning, versatile trail shoe. Altra is a unique brand in that is believes that too much plush cushioning to our shoes, especially in the heel, cripples runners and keeps them from fully developing the muscles in their feet and legs.
They are a zero drop shoe brand that includes just enough cushioning in the midsole to protect the runner and help them go further on their runs. The Altra Superior 3.0 is the newest iteration of the Superior line. The folks over at Altra listened to the feedback given by their runners and improved the Superior 2.0 in fit, protection, and added traction.
This is a lightweight, zero drop shoe that is tough enough for the trails but responsiveness enough for the roads. The upper of the shoe is where you can expect to see some of the key updates. Altra added in some more durability to address the issues that the 2.0 was having in this area. Another key improvement is the size.
Some folks commented that the sizing of the last version was way off, but in this version, the sizing is spot on. Overall, the Altra Superior 3.0 is a highly protective, highly durable trail running shoe that is designed for your most extreme off-road adventure. The price point on this shoe is amazing, and runners loved that this shoe provided such high quality at such a reasonable price. T
No stability features
- All around positive feedback with regards to traction in general. The tread works exceptionally well with muddy, wet ground, as well as dusty uneven trails. The tread is also aggressive enough to add a little confidence going downhill.
- The removable stoneguard is a good add-on for rockier trails.
- The ability to have wider toe splay gives more off-road stability
- Altra's FootShape design is ideal for people with a wider forefoot
- The majority of users had no real issues with blistering, even when running through wet areas
- Overall, there seems to be many issues that have been remedied from the Superior 2
- Being a bit more minimalistic when compared to many of the brand's other models, the Superior still has a thick enough sole that gives some decent rebound, without being mushy.
- If you tend to run with gaiters on, the gaiter trap retention point in the heel is more than a gimmick, and actually works
- The tread doesn't show quick wear down, as long as the shoe is used on the right terrain, medium to light technical trails. Although, the shoe performs well on hilly and rocky terrain as well
- In all, version 3 has been received well, with most buyers liking the subtle improvements over the the Superior 2
- These have a good mix of cushioning and responsiveness. The ground feel is actually really decent
- The sizing seems inconsistent overall, when compared to the Superior 2. the majority of the issues seem to focus around the midfoot part of the shoe.
- There are some, even though very few, reports of durability issues with the shoe's upper
- The fit at midfoot is a little narrow for those with really wide feet. The big concern, is that the fit seems to be noticeable different from the last version.
- There are a few reports of the stoneguard not being included in the box as promised. But, errors do happen.
- We ran across reports of issues with the rubber of the sole coming apart from the shoe in the toe
- The shoe should drain water a little better when running through damp to wet terrain. So, something to be aware of if you're into OCR, Spartan Races, Mud Runner, or something like that.
- The removable StoneGuard made the shoe stiffer for some people, so they opt to keep it out.
- These are not ideal for people who have long, narrow feet. For many with that type of foot, the shoes seem to fit loosely where they shouldn't. This is mostly due to the wider design of the toe box.
This outsole not only protects the rest of the foot from the trail, but it also protects the shoe from premature wear and tear. Runners love the TrailClaw technology which does exactly as its name suggests.
It grabs onto the trail, digs in, and protects the runner from slipping and tripping. This element is especially useful on steep uphill climbs and downhill descents.
This midsole foam also does an excellent job of absorbing the shock from each footfall and returning that energy to the runner. Runners reported that this shoe helped them stay energized on the trails and protected them against premature fatigue.
This midsole also features Altra's patented InnerFlex technology. This technology can be found inside the midsole and gives an extra flexible feel to the runner, allowing the foot to move naturally.
Altra listened to its runners and updated the upper of the shoe to include reinforced, elastic overlays to make the upper super strong and durable. The overlays work to keep debris out of the shoe and also keep the shoe from wearing down prematurely.
The overlays combined with an air mesh material keep the foot dry and comfortable by allowing for maximum airflow to reach the foot. Additionally, this material is quick drying. Since Altra thought of the larger and smaller design elements to create a superior upper, they also made sure to include a lacing system that would stay secure.
The laces on these shoes feature an asymmetrical design that helps lock the foot in place and create a secure fit. The shoe is equipped with a Velcro gaiter trap. Runners love this gaiter trap and its ability to keep trail debris from getting into the shoe. This removes unwanted distractions and potential injury on the trail.
The Altra Superior 3.0 is able to be both lightweight and durable. Altra works hard to create minimalist shoes that still offer enough cushioning to keep their runners protected.
A signature design element of the Altra line is that they have a zero drop but still provide the runner with just enough cushioning in the midsole to help them go longer and stay protected. Additionally, the upper is made from a durable mesh material that is highly breathable.
Runners love that the air flow keeps their feet dry and reduces irritation and friction. This shoe is especially comfortable for the runner who has a wider forefoot. The design of the Altra Superior 3.0 allows for a natural toe splay and this keeps the foot from feeling too confined to claustrophobic.
These combinations are more subdued and aren't for the runner looking for an extremely vivid color combination.
Aesthetically, the shoe looks more like a road running shoe than the extreme off-road adventure shoe that it is.
The high durability of these shoes makes these a very smart purchase because they last longer than the average trail running shoe.
The upper comes with a built-in gaiter trap to keep the runner safe from trail debris that can infiltrate the shoe during the run. Another protective element is the removable Stone Guard that comes with the shoe. This is an added protection against rocks and roots along the trail.
Because of the zero drop and the thinner midsole, these shoes maintain a very responsive feel. For trail runners, this is key because it allows them to effectively respond to the changes of the trail.
Runners love the Altra Superior 3.0 for adventure races like a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race.
This material helps the foot move freely. It gives the midsole an extra stretchy, bendable feel. The upper is made from a breathable mesh, and while it does feature overlays for added support and structure, runners reported that overall, the upper moves freely with the foot.
The features on this shoe are unique in that while the shoe maintains the minimalist feel, it also features some light cushioning through the midsole to absorb shock and reduce the risk of injury.
Some reviewers commented that a zero drop is best used on the trail. The trail is the place where it is best to able to feel the ground below them, and because it is so uneven often times, it is great to have a flat foot.
- Built-in gaiter trap
- InnerFlex technology
- TrailClaw technology
- EVA midsole provides light cushioning
Runners responded the best to the traction provided from this shoe as well as the lightness. This is a zero drop shoe. Runners who like zero drop will love this shoe. It is a versatile shoe that can take the runner on long or short runs that are fast or slow.
The price is right too. It comes in under the average trail shoe price by a sizeable amount and runners loved the overall value.