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15 Best Altra Running Shoes Reviewed

last updated: Sep 06, 2020
If you are on the hunt for some of the best zero drop running shoes, then you will love our list of the top 15 best Altra running shoes featured below.

Whether you have been running for a long time or not, Altra is one of the best running shoe brands to consider if you have never tried them out before. If you want to improve your form and encourage your natural running stride, then you definitely need to take a look at the shoes on this list. The best Altra running shoes are lightweight, have a wide toe box, provide excellent stability and support, and offer a great deal of traction and grip so you can hit all of your favorite terrains.

To learn more about the best Altra running shoes take a list at our reviews below!

This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:

icon
Lone Peak 4.5
93/100 our score
Terrain
93
Durability
93
Support
92
Use
94
Value
93
Lone Peak 4.5
Why is it better?

Lightweight and breathable

Quick-drying

Dual Layer EVA

MaxTrac Rubber with TrailClaw

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Lone Peak 4.5
Test Winner: Lone Peak 4.5
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Researched Sources
3
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.3K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
14
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Terrain Durability Support Use Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Terrain
90 %
Durability
95 %
Support
95 %
Use
96 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Terrain
93 %
Durability
93 %
Support
92 %
Use
94 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Terrain
90 %
Durability
93 %
Support
85 %
Use
92 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Terrain
89 %
Durability
89 %
Support
89 %
Use
89 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
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#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Terrain
90 %
Durability
85 %
Support
86 %
Use
88 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Terrain
87 %
Durability
88 %
Support
87 %
Use
87 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Terrain
82 %
Durability
85 %
Support
85 %
Use
85 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Terrain
84 %
Durability
85 %
Support
85 %
Use
86 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Terrain
81 %
Durability
90 %
Support
82 %
Use
80 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Terrain
80 %
Durability
85 %
Support
85 %
Use
75 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#11
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
Terrain
82 %
Durability
83 %
Support
82 %
Use
82 %
Value
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#12
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Terrain
91 %
Durability
65 %
Support
85 %
Use
75 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#13
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Terrain
80 %
Durability
81 %
Support
79 %
Use
80 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#14
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Terrain
80 %
Durability
79 %
Support
79 %
Use
78 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link
#15
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.2
Terrain
77 %
Durability
76 %
Support
79 %
Use
77 %
Value
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.10.20)
Amazon Link

15 Best Altra Running Shoes

1. One 2.5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Altra One 2.5
Amazon Link
Terrain
90
Durability
95
Support
95
Use
96
Value
95
best offer for today
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Pros:

Very lightweight

Built for speed

Very good cushioning

Flexible range of motion

Adapts to the natural movement of the foot

Cons:

These seem to have some sizing problems on occasion

Small pieces of stone and gravel can often get stuck in the soles

These are built for speed and are great for road running. From the start to the finish line, you’ll be able to keep up a good speed and experience fantastic comfort. The cushioning in these shoes is particularly noticeable, which results in a very powerful toe-off with a good spring. The midsole has omnidirectional movement and great flexibility, which respond to the natural shape and movement of your feet. They are particularly lightweight at only 6.8 ounces, which makes all the difference if you’re looking for speed, particularly over long distances.

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If you are a road runner you will love these shoes! They are well-cushioned and supportive--and perfect for those of you training for your next road race! However, make sure you don't take these on trails and technical terrains to ensure that you get the most out of your shoes.

They have about average durability for an Altra shoe and are of very good quality. You will not have to worry about them getting worn out any time soon and this would save on your money.

Generally, these are very comfortable and offer a lot of spring and bounce. They are very stable and provide good consistency for long-distance running, so you should experience no pain or foot fatigue. However, it is worth noting that a small number of users have reported problems with comfort, which is unusual for Altra shoes.

Regardless of what type of runner you are, if you are a road runner you will love these shoes. They provide excellent shock absorption and flexible and comfortable enough for races and training.

Again, these are fairly pricey, but the unique design and comfort do justify the cost. Moreover, the fact that they are highly durable is a plus to save you any extra cost incurred.

2. Lone Peak 4.5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Lone Peak 4.5
Amazon Link
Terrain
93
Durability
93
Support
92
Use
94
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Lightweight and breathable

Quick-drying

Dual Layer EVA

MaxTrac Rubber with TrailClaw

Cons:

No arch support

Runs small

If you need something that is lighter and promotes ease of movement, you will want to check out the Lone Peak 4.5. This design is lighter than previous iterations, and it is made from a material that allows your feet to really breathe when the heat is up. Users love this design because it really grips the trail ahead without being too stiff and cumbersome.

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The very first thing that we noticed about this design lies in the midsole and outsole. The outsole is composed of MaxTrac Rubber with TrailClaw that offers deep treads that are ideal for a wide variety of uneven surfaces. It even has a slightly tacky feel that is ideal for slick surfaces as well. The midsole is composed of a soft Dual Layer EVA foam that contours to the shape of your foot, and it also has A-Bound with StoneGuard that offers ease of movement as well.

The upper of this design isn’t waterproof, but it will help water quickly dry on the surface. It is composed of super lightweight mesh material with draining spots at the end of the toe box to ensure that your feet stay dry. It also comes with a Gater Trap strap to affix a separate attachment to keep your ankles dry (sold separately).

If you are on the market for something that is lightweight and easy to take on rocky trails, we think the Lone Peak 4.5 is a great choice. It is composed of easy and lightweight materials to provide you a full range of motion while keeping your footing and providing modest stability. Users love that it has a wide toe box to allow your feet to really spread out and a 5 mm drop for added support.

3. Torin 3.0

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Altra Torin 3.0
Amazon Link
Terrain
90
Durability
93
Support
85
Use
92
Value
90
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Pros:

Comfortable

Lightweight

Fairly priced

Quite an affordable shoe

Cons:

Some users had problems with choosing the appropriate size

If you're looking for shoes from Altra and you need a lot of cushioning, this product may appeal to you. It's hard to find zero drop shoes with such a large amount of cushioning. This is the third version of this product and there have been some updates. One of them is boosting the breathability of the shoes, which was a problem in previous versions. the outsole was also a little bit redesigned and now it's much more flexible. These shoes are neutral and will work best while running on the road.

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These running shoes are designed for road running and they are perfect for races or training--or both. When it comes to this model, the Torin is known for being very durable. Many users praised the shoes for being very durable even on moderate trails. Some users also said that the upper is much thicker and more durable than in the previous model and it doesn't affect the weight of the shoes, which remain lightweight.

All the Torin shoes were reviewed as very comfortable and the 3.0 version is no exception. They have great shock absorption thanks to the thick cushioning in the midsole. Like in many other Altra models, their bound cushioning combined with EVA cushioning provides a comfortable ride. The shoes provide a lot of stability, with a stable platform and the upper along with lacing make your feet more stable.

If you are a neutral runner you will love these shoes. They provide you with great stability and support to ensure that you are comfortable no matter how far you run.

These shoes were released in 2017 so now their price is a little bit lower. The price for this very versatile shoes is really fair. According to the reviewers, the shoes will last for a long time so the price is even more attractive. The price also depends on the size as users reported.

4. King MT 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
ALTRA Men's King MT 2 Trail Running Shoe
Amazon Link
Terrain
89
Durability
89
Support
89
Use
89
Value
88
best offer for today
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Pros:

Vibram Mega Grip Litebase

Altra Ego midsole

Very flexible

Excellent drainage system

Cons:

Very firm

Short laces

The King MT 2 takes all of the supportive and protective features from the entire Altra line and wraps it up in one sleek pair of trail trainers. What we love most about this design is that it has a low profile that makes you feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all, but you are still protected with a grippy outsole and cushioned midsole.

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The most notable feature of the King MT 2 is found in the midsole and the outsole. The midsole offers users a modest level of energy feedback using the Altra Ego midsole. The provides users with a thin and flexible midsole that helps to absorb throughout your entire gait. The outsole is composed of Vibram MegaGrip Grip Litebase that has a tacky finish to stick to even slippery surfaces as well.

We also wanted to talk about the upper of this design. It is composed of paper-thin material that is incredibly breathable and helps to wick away dirt, water, and even mud. While it isn’t water-resistant, it boasts a slick drainage system to prevent water and mud sloshing around inside of your trainers!

If your travels take you far off the beaten path and need footwear that keeps your feet happy and supportive, this is a great option. It is made from super-lightweight materials that allow your feet to breathe and spread out inside of the shoe while still providing excellent support.

5. Instinct 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Altra Instinct 4
Amazon Link
Terrain
90
Durability
85
Support
86
Use
88
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Multifaceted: Can be used for long miles on the road as well as gym workouts

They look better than previous versions

Has a larger toe box, more suitable for wide feet

More bang for the buck: a good all-around shoe at a reasonable price

Cons:

Moderate cushioning makes for a slightly heavier shoe

Tends to run a half size too small

Altra returns to its original last on the Altra Instinct 4 while maintaining the new stack height of 25mm. This means the shoe will still feel like the original model with the way it fits but is tailored for comfort on long distance runs. It's versatile in its use and can be used for gym workouts as well.

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These running shoes are designed for those of you who like to run long distances--so whether you are training for your next marathon or just want to push yourself to the limit, these are a great way to go!

The durability is not the best, they tend to wear out in the heel quickly. However, for the price, they are of relatively good quality.

These shoes provide great support and are designed for road running and treadmill running. With a wider running shoe model than most brands, those who have wider feet find the Instinct to be very comfortable. The Zero Drop and Foot Shape technology encourage natural positioning of the foot to increase stability.

For what the shoe has to offer, the cost is reasonable. The Instinct is advertised as having moderate cushioning, and with that in mind, is not the lightest shoe, weighing in at 10 ounces. Despite this, due to the qualities this shoe offers, the price is not bad. Consumers enjoy the look of the shoe as well, stating that Altra has upped their game on this front.

6. Timp 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe
Amazon Link
Terrain
87
Durability
88
Support
87
Use
87
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Great lockdown

Quantic midsole with InnerFlex

MaxTrac with TrailClaw outsole

Cons:

Bulky

Looking for something with a little bit more support? The Timp 2 is packed with some of Altra’s best cushioning materials to keep your feet supported and protected from running out on the trails. It boasts a wide design that allows your feet to behave naturally and a lightweight upper that promotes air circulation. They may be slightly heavier than your standard pair of trainers, but we feel that it is well worth the extra bulk.

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The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it provides users with a good deal of padding and cushioning where they need it most. The midsole provides users with excellent energy feedback that you can feel through all stages of your gait. It is composed of Quantic with InnerFlex that cushions without hindering your full range of motion. When compared to other designs in the Altra line, the level of cushioning is classified as high.

The upper is stiffer and more structured than other designs that we have seen so are. It offers users a little extra cushioning and support in the heel and also along the top of the foot. It boasts a wide frame that allows the toes to naturally splay, and a set of laces to promote excellent lockdown.

The Timp 2 weighs in at 9.9 ounces, which makes them slightly heavier than your standard pair of trainers. However, if you need a design with a high level of cushioning and support, it is well worth it. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of fun colors and design choices.

7. One V3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Altra One V3
Amazon Link
Terrain
82
Durability
85
Support
85
Use
85
Value
93
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Pros:

Surprisingly lightweight

FootShape forefoot allows room for proper toe splay

Zero drop platform

No-sew overlay on upper adds to the shoe's durability

Cons:

Not good for trail running

As some of you may remember, Altra is one of the brands that launched the zero drop shoe revolution. These kinds of shoes are designed to be mostly dedicated to those runners who want to increase their speed and push their limits. The outsole feels very lightweight but it's still sturdy enough. The A-bound midsole material is extremely comfortable and is also combined with traditional EVA foam. Thanks to the open design, runners appreciated the breathability of the shoes.

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When it comes to the responsiveness, runners can really feel the ground. While many other zero drop running shoes don't provide any cushioning, these are quite extraordinary for how much cushioning they provide. These shoes are the perfect choice if you're looking for something for the road but the trail is a bad idea.

There are many elements in these shoes that make them very durable. Starting from the blown rubber material in the outsole that provides a very durable ride. The foam is also very firm and the TPU overlays are not only breathable but durable as well.

These shoes offer great support for neutral runners--that being said, f you have serious arch issues these shoes won't work for you.

If you're a big fan of cushioning, this model may not be for you but it still provides some cushioning. The midsole is well cushioned for absorbing the shock more effectively. These are zero drop running shoes so they don't have any additional stability features.

If we had to describe the price of these shoes in one word, excellent would be it.

8. Lone Peak 4 Mid Mesh

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
ALTRA Men's ALM1855H Lone Peak 4
Amazon Link
Terrain
84
Durability
85
Support
85
Use
86
Value
85
best offer for today
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Pros:

High profile

Breathable mesh upper

DuraTread Rubber with TrailClaw

Cons:

Heavier than expected

Runs small

While the Lone Peak 4 may look like a basic pair of hiking boots, looks can be deceiving. In fact, this design is lightweight and breathable and is the perfect companion to take without out on the uneven trails. It has a higher profile when compared to other trainers in the Altra line, but this higher fit makes it ideal for all types of messy trails and unsavory weather conditions.

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What features used liked most about this design is that there is little that slows it down. The upper runs high on the foot, which protects it from dirt, mud, dust, and stray rocks from creeping inside. It’s important to note that unlike some of the other designs in the Altra line, the Lone Peak 4 isn’t water-resistant. The lightweight mesh material is, however, very quick to dry if it becomes wet.

The outsole of this design is also something that really shines. It is composed of Altra’s proprietary DuraTread Rubber with TrailClaw that has deep treads that are ideal for uneven surfaces. While it’s great at gripping the trail ahead, users also love that it has a good deal of movement that doesn’t feel restricting to too heavy.

Weighing in at just over 12 ounces, these aren’t the most lightweight designs in the Altra line. However, this design has much of the functionality of a hiking boot without the extra weight and bulk holding your back. If you are on the market for something to take off of the sidewalks, the Lone Peak 4 Mid mesh is a great option.

9. Intuition 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Altra Intuition 4
Amazon Link
Terrain
81
Durability
90
Support
82
Use
80
Value
90
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Pros:

Decoupled heel distributes weight evenly

Better breathability in the upper mesh

Extra protection from rubber toe cap

Quite Affordable

Cons:

Like most of Altra’s shoes, the Intuition runs small. Make sure to purchase a half size larger

The Altra Intuition 4 provides similar qualities to its male counterpart the Instinct 4, in terms of comfort, stability, and cost. The decoupled heel is a new feature and noted to evenly distribute the weight instead of most of it falling on the toe. Other new features include revamped upper mesh to provide breathability and a rubber toe cap to provide extra protection.

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These running shoes are pretty versatile--although don't expect to take these out on really technical terrain. While you can use these on the road an on easy trails, you will find that their durability will be tested on technical terrain and they won't provide the responsiveness and energy return you need for technical running.

Unlike the Instinct, the Intuition is reported to last longer than most shoes. Quality is good as well and you would not need to purchase another pair any time soon which is an added advantage to saving.

If you are a neutral runner and don't have any serious foot or arch issues then these shoes provide enough support and cushioning for you.

The feedback on the comfort and stability of this shoe is significant. Consumers are especially pleased with the return to the original last that was seen in the first models.

The cost is the same as the men’s version, and similarly, provides great qualities at a reasonable price. The Intuition has a moderate amount of cushioning and a stack height of 25mm, yet is lighter than the Instinct weighing in at 7.6 ounces. A difference in customer reviews between the Intuition and the Instinct is that the Intuition does not seem to have as much negative feedback on wear and tear in the heel. However, like the Instinct, the Intuition runs small and it is recommended to purchase it a half size larger than your regular shoe size.

10. Impulse Flash

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Altra Impulse Flash
Amazon Link
Terrain
80
Durability
85
Support
85
Use
75
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Very good reflective tech

Good stability

Very good cushion

Spacious toe box

Cons:

Some runners prefer a less boxy toe-box

Some runners have questioned the level of breathability for the shoe, this question is minimal and not in the majority

Sizing: try a larger size for fit if you go to the store to purchase

This shoe offers nice styling, good foot support, and nice functional comfort which are great features to find in a well-designed stability shoe. Designed for road running and giving enough support for the high arches during running, we see a good light-weight shoe which is capable of giving sound foot support.

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These running shoes are specifically designed for road running so make sure you keep them on the road and off the trails.

A few runners have thought about durability issues because the shoe has such a light-weight construction. However, to date, no serious feedback has emerged about the durability in short-term use and it could be that lightweight can be durable if the construction is done with lightweight but high-quality materials.

As far as support, these running shoes offer a great deal of support and ensure that you have the support and stability that you need to prevent injury and push yourself to the limit.

Some runners have taken the shoe for trail runs and were happy with its performance. It has a lot of cushioning comfort and the shoe comfortably fits runners with wider feet, though when you try the shoe, think about sizing and go up a half size larger. Feedback from runners shows appreciation for the comfortable toe-box design, with lots of space for flexing your toes.

When it comes to design in reflective tech, just a glance at the shoe speaks volume. It's very visible and the visibility is built into the shoe to be uniquely stylish, which is proving to be popular with runners. Therefore, the price reflects a nice investment in a shoe that offers good design and performance.

11. Provision 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
ALTRA Men's AL0A4PEA Provision 4 Road Running Shoe
Amazon Link
Terrain
82
Durability
83
Support
82
Use
82
Value
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Sleek design

Supportive midsole

Wide toe box

Flexible

Cons:

Limited heel support

If you want something with a good deal of support and cushioning when running on hard surfaces, you will want to check out the Provision 4. What we love most about this option is that it boasts a sleek design that comes in a wide variety of color options to match your personal style. It also hosts some of Altra’s top cushioning and supportive materials that won’t weigh you down.

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The most important feature of Provision 4 lies in the midsole. It is composed of a top layer that is made from Ultralight EVA InnerFlex that contours to the shape of your foot over time. Inside, it is reinforced with InnerFlex that provides excellent energy feedback that is incredibly flexible and won’t hinder your full range of motion.

Users also love that the frame of this design is wide enough to allow your feet to naturally spread inside of the shoe. The upper is made from lightweight and breathable materials that wick away moisture and heat as you pick up the pace. It also boasts modest padding in the heel as well as the tongue for a bit of extra comfort and support.

If you are on the market for something that provides a good deal of support when running on hard surfaces without weighing you down too much, Provision 4 is a great choice. We love that it has a modest and sleek design that also comes in quite a few bright as well as neutral color options.

12. Olympus 2.5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Altra Olympus 2.5
Amazon Link
Terrain
91
Durability
65
Support
85
Use
75
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

They offer great protection on all terrain

Very good for ascents and descents

Good traction

Very reasonable price compared to other Altra shoes

Cons:

The shoelaces are a little weak

Slightly less arch support than other models

Another option for trail runners, these offer an attachment point for gaiters and have a trail-specific rubber outsole. EVA foam cushions against the elements and the typical Altra technology means that your runs become more natural and more comfortable over time. The sole lug placement works to increase traction, decrease the time of your uphill climbs and ensure stable descents. They offer a very comfortable fit, which is great on rocky terrain.

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Thanks to the lugs on these running shoes they are an excellent option for trails, technical terrain, and uphill and downhill runs. If you find yourself running on rocky or uneven terrain these running shoes are an excellent pair of shoes to consider getting.

Unlike other Altra shoes, these do wear more quickly than other brands due to the unique technology but they are very high quality. As far as support, these offer a good bit of support for those of you with neutral feet and no special arch support problems or pronation issues to address.

These are a very comfortable pair of shoes, and the excellent soles provide a lot of stability regardless of the terrain. They offer very stable runs even in the most uneven of landscapes.

For Altra shoes, these are actually a very reasonable price, so they’re perfect for cash-conscious shoppers. If you’re a trail-runner seeking a bargain, these are for you.

13. Paradigm 4.5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
ALTRA Men's ALM1948G Paradigm 4.5
Amazon Link
Terrain
80
Durability
81
Support
79
Use
80
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Great energy feedback

Guard rail support

Soft knit upper

Cons:

Limited color options

Shallow toe box

What’s great about Paradigm 4.5 is that it is perfect for a myriad of activities. While most users wear them when running long distances on hard surfaces, others found they are the perfect walking shoe when standing on their feet all day, or for workouts at the gym. This design provides users with Altra’s maximum level of comfort that is found in the midsole, upper, and outsole as well.

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The biggest feature worth noting about this design is that it has a high level of cushioning in the midsole. It is composed of Altra Ego, which is Altra’s proprietary Dual-Nature midsole compound that offers excellent energy return. It also features a guide rail system to help keep your gait even and measured, which is perfect for overpronators!

Another great feature that users love about Paradigm 4.5 is found in the upper. Instead of using mesh, the upper is made from a super soft lightweight knit material that feels great against the skin. This material prevents rubbing blisters into your skin, as well as chafing. It has key mesh areas that help promote airflow to keep your feet dry when the heat is on.

If you are looking for a great pair of trainers to wear while working out, running errands, or going for long-distance runs on hard surfaces, this is one of your best options. It is packed with features to provide you a good deal of support when you need to put a lot of asphalt behind you.

14. Superior 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
ALTRA Women's AFW1953G Superior 4
Amazon Link
Terrain
80
Durability
79
Support
79
Use
78
Value
79
best offer for today
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Pros:

Zero drop

Quantic foam midsole

Tacky MaxTrac outsole

7.9 ounces

Cons:

Very long laces

Runs small

If you want a zero-drop and minimalistic pair of trainers that you can take off the sidewalk and onto the trails, the Superior 4 is your best option. It boasts a wide frame that allows your toes to spread out for ultimate comfort as well as maintaining your balance. With zero-drop, it also means you have a keen understanding of the ground under your feet.

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While they are touted as a minimalist trainer, they still have features to help keep your feet protected on uneven surfaces. The outsole is composed of tacky MaxTrac rubber that really grips the ground under your feet. It boasts a slightly padded midsole that is composed of a thin layer of Quantic foam that provides a little bit of cushioning where you need it most.

We love that the upper is wide and allows your feet room to spread out naturally like you aren’t wearing anything at all. The upper is composed of a thin layer of breathable mesh that keeps your feet unbelievably cool and dry on hot days. If you want something lightweight and supportive, this design weighs in at just 7.9 ounces!

If you are on the market for something super lightweight and minimalistic to take out on the trails, you can’t eat the Superior 4. Users love that it allows their feet to behave like they aren’t wearing anything at all, while still offering a modest level of support and protection.

15. Escalante 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.2
ALTRA Men's Escalante 2 Road Running Shoe
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Terrain
77
Durability
76
Support
79
Use
77
Value
77
best offer for today
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Pros:

Lightweight

Breathable

Durable and supportive midsole

Cons:

Tight top foot

Runs small

If you want great running shoes without all of the extra bulk, the Escalante 2 is a great option. What we love most about this option is that it is a perfect marriage between stability and minimalism. It boasts a good deal of support without the heavy and bulky materials that can sometimes weigh your down.

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We loved that this design boasts a lightweight frame while still offering excellent cushioning and support. It weighs in at just 7.9 ounces, which is much lighter than your average pair of trainers. It has a slim frame that sits low on the foot so that you have a full range of motion.

The updates made to the Escalante 2 means that it has heightened durability. The composition of the Altra Ego dual-natured midsole provides excellent support without wearing down into a pancake over time. This midsole design offers great energy feedback and support that protects your knees and joints when running on hard surfaces such as sidewalks or treadmills.

If you are on the market for a great pair of roadrunners that live somewhere between a stability shoe and a minimalistic pair of trainers, this is a great choice. We love that it is super lightweight and provides a good deal of free movement while still providing a good deal of support.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Terrain

Several of the products on our list are specially designed for trail running, and in fact, Altra got its start making trail running shoes so they definitely know this category well.

If you're an avid trail runner you know the importance of having a pair of shoes specifically designed for running on variable and sometimes rocky and rugged terrain. You need something that will protect your feet from impact and sharp rocks, as well as give you extra support to help prevent injuries.

Altra trail running shoes also have a tough but flexible StoneGuard rock plate in the sole that protects your feet while maintaining flexibility. They also come with some unique and useful features such as hook and loop tabs for strapless gaiter attachment and specialized lugs for extra grip and a great sole that is extremely grippy on difficult terrain.

Altra is great about specializing their shoes for different uses, so you can expect a completely different set of features in their road running shoes. These products also use the zero drop design, but they also have features such as super flexible insoles to allow your foot to flex with the insole to help promote speed and performance, and some shoes even have technology that sends information from the shoe to your computer or tablet to help you monitor and adjust your running.

Durability

This is a vital quality in any good pair of shoes because you will not worry about the cost you purchase your brand for too much.

When it comes to shoe quality durability means it can withstand pressure, tough terrain and extreme temperatures without easily accumulating a lot of wear and tear. Altra shoes are no exception and these require a great amount of durability for them to be considered amongst the best.

The durability criterium is important to buyers who are looking to save on their money but get quality at the same time. Therefore, it should be noted that highly durable shoes are mostly preferred no matter the cost to conscious consumers who value exceptional brands.

Support

Altra has three lines of shoes for different styles of runners.

There's the neutral line, for neutral runners with little to no over-pronation, their trail line of trail running shoes which actually has models that are both neutral and provide extra support and their dynamic support line which features plenty of support and correction for runners with under or over-pronation. Each line has models that vary in their amount of shock absorption, but all Altra shoes are zero drop, completely cushioned, and feature Altra's special extra-wide toe box for extra control and stability.

Read also about all black running shoes.

Another cool feature of Altra shoes comes in their products designed just for women. This feature is called Fit4Her and it's a special design process that takes into account the unique anatomy of a woman's foot, which is usually narrower and with higher insteps, longer arches, and metatarsal spacing that's different from a man's. Most shoe companies just design a shoe and then change the colors, patterns, and sizes and call it a woman's shoe, but Altra really takes the time to design running shoes that are just for women, and reviewers have responded with lots of positive comments.

Choosing the exact shoe for your type of foot is especially important with this company since they specially shape their shoes for a natural fit. Meaning that aspects of your own foot that you hadn’t considered previously when buying shoes are now relevant and important, especially if you want to reduce the risk of injury and pain.

Consider your pronation and the type of support you need from a shoe. If your ankle rolls inward (over-pronate) or outward (under-pronate) it can lead to injury. A shoe with the right type of support will reinforce the ankle to stop the runner from faltering and injuring themselves. Additional support may also be needed if you have atypical arches. Altra puts out designs with a variety of support levels available. Whatever type of foot you may have there is likely a shoe on this list that will be able to help you.

But when you are making this choice it is still important for you to consider your specific needs. Getting a shoe without the support where you need it, or even the wrong type of support can lead to some pain and long-term injuries.

Use

The company believes that the human foot is an “anatomical masterpiece” and that the shoes you put on should be specifically designed for the purpose you need them to serve.

They offer shoes in the following categories: Neutral, Guidance, Trail Running, and Everyday, and each one is designed to suit the needs and demands of their purpose.

Knowing what you will need your shoes for is important, but the company produces reliable shoes for all sorts of needs. So if you find yourself uncertain what takes priority know that you are choosing a shoe that will be able to perform under most circumstances. This one is kind of a no-brainer, but obviously, if you are mostly a trail runner be sure to pick a model from the trail running lineup, and vice versa for road runners. This brings up another good point, which is that if you find a pair that you really love it might be a good idea to buy another pair.

Companies are always coming out with new versions of their shoes, and they could change something in the new version that you really loved. Plus it will help your shoes last longer if you rotate between two or more pairs, letting each one dry out in between uses.

Value

Altra shoes are typically well priced despite their high-quality.

Users have really appreciated this and it's one of the reasons why this company has become one of the top ten best selling shoe companies in the world over the past ten years or so. Born from humble beginnings, Altra was started by two high school running buddies who were dissatisfied with the footwear they were finding available to them.

So they started experimenting with removing padding from their shoes, then resealing them by putting them in the toaster oven. That's right, this great brand was basically born in a toaster oven!

Even though most Altra shoes are affordably priced, some are more expensive than others of course. This includes their IQ line, which features technology inside the shoe that tracks your running. This unique feature will track your strike zone, the force of your impact, time and distance, and even give you audible running cues. This info is all gathered and then sent post-run via BLE wireless communication to your computer, tablet, or smartwatch and actually gives your personalized coaching based on your individual measurements.

Besides their IQ line, the company likes to add lots of useful features and details to their shoes whenever possible. Reflective mesh uppers, gaiter attachment points and specially shaped lugs for traction in trail running models, and other thoughtful cues are just some of the neat things you'll find in Altra shoes.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Consider An Insole

Although many of the shoes on this list offer good cushioning, you can always look into acquiring a pair of orthotic insoles to further supplement your underfoot comfort. There are lots of options for individuals who suffer from repetitive stress injuries such as plantar fasciitis or shin splints; talk to a doctor or podiatrist to learn more.

Replace Your Shoes Regularly

Even if you take great care of your shoes and clean them regularly, there will eventually come a time when you need to retire a reliable pair. The general rule is to replace a pair of running shoes after around 250 to 300 miles of running. After this point, you run the risk of losing durability, traction, and stability during your running sessions.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

For some runners who live in very warm or humid environments, the breathability of their footwear is extremely important. Running is a strenuous form of exercise that can cause the runner to sweat quite a bit. If cool air isn't constantly circulating inside the wearer's shoes, this moisture can stick around and lead to odor and bacterial growth.

Remember to look for shoes that offer great ventilation if you live in these kinds of climates. It's also a good idea to have two or more pairs of shoes that you rotate between, letting each one fully dry out between uses. This can help prevent odor and bacterial growth.

Drop

Depending on what kind of running you enjoy and what kind of shoes you like to wear, the heel-to-toe drop of your running shoes can play a major role in your overall experience. Individuals who prefer thick cushioning and high responsiveness will want to seek out running shoes with a high drop, meaning that the heel is further off the ground than the forefoot. However, trail runners and cross-trainers will want to find shoes with a lower drop so they can maintain a proper balance.

Keep in mind that all Altra running shoes are zero drop and they fervently believe that this is in the best long-term interests of every runner.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is pronation?

a:

Pronation is the way your foot rolls after it hits the ground in order to distribute the force of impact. Individuals can be neutral pronators, over-pronators or under-pronators. Excessive pronation can cause injury but can be prevented by choosing a shoe that helps prevent it. These shoes are known as stability or motion control shoes. Neutral pronators require no additional support.

Knowing your pronation will greatly help you find a running shoe that suits your particular foot type. If you're unsure of your pronation you can have a gait analysis done at a specialty running store.

q: Can I wear Altra Zero Drop shoes if I have flat feet?

a:

While flat feet pose some challenges, these easily offset them in time by strengthening the feet. The Provision and Provisioness models are great options to give the necessary support to your flat feet while strengthening them so that every run you take makes them stronger and gives you more control.

q: How wide are Altra running shoes?

a:

The FootShape technology takes your running to another level if you have wide feet. They offer toe boxes that feature a larger width than most running shoes without causing discomfort or instability. The addition of removable footbeds results in an inventory of products that can accommodate widths of up to 4E in size.

q: If I have never used Zero Drop shoes before, should I still buy Altra shoes?

a:

The company recommends a short transition process. This may take a few days or a few weeks. Those who are not used to a Zero Drop platform may experience some calf tightness during this time. As your feet and calves get stronger, it will become easier and more comfortable to run in a zero drop shoe.

But no worries, they created a transition guide to help you make the healthiest transition. You can find all of the details in the stores, on their website, and in a booklet which they include with their footwear as well.

Sources

  1. Altra Community, Altra Running, Website
  2. Switchback Travel Staff, Switchback Travel, Article
  3. Denny Krahe, Running Shoes Guru, Article