Altra Superior 3.0

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Altra Superior 3.0 Review Facts
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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 design 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.

Pros

- Highly durable

-Trail Claw gives extra traction to the shoe

- Affordable

-Lightweight

Cons

- No stability features

Upper
Upper

Upper

One of the issues that runners had with the Superior 2.0 was that the upper was not durable enough for the conditions found on trails. 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.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Runners loved the springy, responsive feel of the Superior 3.0 midsole. Altra uses a standard EVA midsole foam to provide superior cushioning and protection to the runner. While most zero drop shoes feature no added cushioning, this shoe does add some cushioning through the midsole. 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.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of this shoe is designed with features that add superior grip, traction and durability. The Dura Tread material is made from a high abrasion resistant rubber that is designed to stand up against the most extreme elements of the trail. This outsole not only protects the rest of the foot from the trail, it also protects the shoe from premature wear and tear. Runners love the TrailClaw technology which does exactly as its name suggestions. 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.

Weight
Weight

Weight

Altra is known for their lightweight, minimalist design. This shoe follows suit at 9.5 ounces. It is very rare for a trail shoe to be this light because they need to offer superior protection durability to stand up to the conditions of 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.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The upper of this shoe is designed using a breathable mesh material. This allows for maximum airflow which keeps the foot cool and dry. Runners appreciated that this shoe was super fast drying which reduced odor. Trail runners know that a breathable upper is key to a successful trial run or race, and the Altra Superior 3.0 delivers.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Comfort for this shoe translates to a minimalist ride with a zero drop. Runners who define comfort as plush cushioning will not find that element in these shoes. However, for runners who love the fit and feel of a zero drop shoe, this one is very comfortable. 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 shoe allows for a natural toe splay and this keeps the foot from feeling too confined to claustrophobic.
Style
Style

Style

Altra is a line of shoes that has a unique look to it. It combines the elements of a minimalist shoe with the elements of a trail shoe. Both the men and women's models come in three separate color combination. 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.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Altra Superior 3.0 is a highly durable shoe. The outsole is lined with aggressive lugs that keep the shoe from breaking down. Not only is the shoe lined with aggressive lugs that keep the shape of the shoe, the upper is also covered in durable overlays that protect the shoe from wear and tear. The high durability of these shoes makes these a very smart purchase because they last longer than the average trail running shoe.
Protection
Protection

Protection

This shoe offers superior protection to the runner against the elements of the trail. First, the lug system along the underfoot of the shoe, called the Trail Claw, is designed to keep the runner safe as they traverse steep up hills and down hills. 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.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Runners love the high level of responsiveness offered from these trail shoes. Reviewers of the shoe loved that they could easily feel the trail below them. One of the issues runners face with trail running shoes is that due to their added cushioning and protection they tend to lose some of their responsiveness. 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.
Support
Support

Support

These shoes offer the runner support through the EVA midsole foam. This foam supports the midfoot and provides the runner with added spring. The upper is wrapped in durable overlays to support the foot and give the runner a snug fit that keeps the foot from moving around inside the shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is specifically designed to tackle the most extreme outdoor terrain. Runners love this shoe for mountain and trail hiking, running, and even racing. They even say that this is a great option for wet conditions. This shoe can easily traverse a groomed trail, but it shines on the more intense terrains.
Price
Price

Price

This shoe is very affordable. The Altra brand is known for their high quality and low cost. Add to this the high level of durability and runners rave about the all around value of the shoe.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The outsole of this shoe offers the runner superior traction and features Altra's patented Trail Claw. The Trail Claw features a lug system that lines the underfoot including the heel area to provide superior traction for the runner especially on steep uphill and downhill. Runners even felt supported and secure on wet, slippery terrain.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Runners found this shoe to be very flexible. A key reason for the Superior 3.0's flexibility is the InnerFlex technology found in the midsole. 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.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Altra brand is not a stability running shoe. Since it is designed in with a minimalist feel, runners should not expect to experience any stability features for issues with pronation. There are lots of quality stability shoes on the market, but this is not one of them.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe features a zero drop. For runners who want added cushioning and plush ride, this is not a great shoe for you. Altra is known for their zero drop technology. 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.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-InnerFlex technology in the midsole promotes a natural movement and provides superior flexibility.
-TrailClaw technology on the outsole of the shoe provides a lugged system in the front and back of the foot for added protection on hills
- Zero Drop
- EVA midsole provides light cushioning and shock absorption.
- Built in gaitor trap keeps the foot safe from debris.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This shoe is the perfect lightweight trail shoe. It is able to combine durability, protection, and traction, but still be responsive and lightweight. The outsole is covered in aggressive lugs that keep the runner safe and protected even on uneven or slippery terrains. 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.