15 Best Altra Running Shoes
In this guide, we have selected some of the very best Altra running shoes to conquer the path ahead in style.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 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.
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.
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 running shoes are zero drop, completely cushioned, and feature Altra's special extra-wide toe box for extra control and stability.
Another cool feature of running shoes by Altra 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.
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.
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 10 best selling running 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 running shoes.
15 Best Altra Running Shoes
1. Lone Peak 5
If you need something that is lighter and promotes ease of movement, you will want to check out the Lone Peak 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.Read more
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 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.
2. Escalante 2.5
If you want great running shoes without all of the extra bulk, the Escalante 2.5 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.Read more
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.
3. Torin 4.5
Looking for a little more cushioning for those long runs? While many of the trainers in the Altra lineup offer modest cushioning, the Torrin 4.5 is one of the softest and supportive designs on our list. The amped-up cushioning make this design a great choice for distance, yet is still incredibly lightweight and versatile for a stability trainer.Read more
What makes the Torrin 4.5 stand out from the pack is the level of cushioning offered. The midsole is composed of a higher level of Balanced cushioning that utilizes Quantic foam padding for a soft midsole that makes you feel like you are running on a cloud.
It also boasts FootPod technology in the upper that maps the bones in your foot to provide a smooth and even gait. While other stability trainers utilize guide rails to help with overpronation, the FootPod technology in the upper naturally cradles your foot in place for a more natural fit.
If you are in the market for a great stability trainer that is still lightweight and flexible, the Torrin 4.5 is a great option. It helps to naturally correct overpronation with its innovative FootPod technology in the upper and hosts a higher level of cushioning when compared to the other designs found on our list.
4. Paradigm 4.5
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.Read more
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.
5. Olympus 4
The Olympus 4 is one beast of a shoe, and it is designed to conquer almost any type of terrain. It is a little bulkier and heavier than many of the other designs found on our list, but the added durability and supportive features make it well worth every penny in our opinion. Plus, while it is designed to conquer trails, it can easily transition to sidewalks or the treadmill as needed.Read more
What makes this design so great for trails is the composition of the lugs. The Olympus 4 boasts much deeper lugs than many of the other designs in the Altra lineup, and they can really grip the ground under your feet. It is composed of Vibram rubber, and boasts a slightly tacky finish which is great for uneven surfaces.
We also love that this stability trainer hosts a higher level of EVA foam than many of the other designs on our list. This stability trainer provides excellent energy feedback that you can feel through all stages of your gait. It is a little heavier than some of the other designs, but the bulky materials have a longer lifespan than many of the other designs, making it ideal for distances.
It is important to note that this tank of a trainer also boasts a tank-like price tag. The Olympus 4 is one of the most expensive designs on our list, but we feel that the price is warranted. This design is insanely durable, and holds up well over hundreds of miles, making it an excellent value overall.
6. Timp 2
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.Read more
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. Instinct 4.5
Altra returns to its original last on the Altra Instinct 4.5 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.Read more
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 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 encourages 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.
8. King MT 2
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.Read more
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.
The Kayenta is a super lightweight and supportive race-day runner that helps you pick up the pace with a little extra support in the midsole. This new design replaces the Altra One and amps up the stability without sacrificing movement, flexibility, or speed. It has a more cushioned and responsive midsole than the One, yet keeps things lightweight and easy to help you pick up the pace.Read more
The Kayenta is one of the lightest options found on our list. It weighs in at just 5.9 ounces, which is pretty impressive when you take into consideration the additional cushioning. Many trainers that weigh in under 6 ounces are considered minimalist trainers with no cushioning, which is why the Kayenta is truly special.
The midsole is composed of Max-LT foam cushioning that you can feel throughout all of the stages of your gait. We also love the construction of the upper. It provides users with Altra’s FoodPod technology that utilizes a rubber cage that contours to the shape of your foot for unmatched lockdown and flexibility.
If you are on the market for a lightweight pair of stability trainers to take to a race or just for daily training, the Kayenta is an excellent choice. We love that it boasts incredibly lightweight stability features to cradle and protect your feet while the lightweight frame helps you to reach top speeds.
10. Solstice XT
The Solstice XT is a great option for those that have a need for speed. The lightweight design and supportive features make this an excellent option for cross-training, circuits, or general speed work. Users love that while it boasts supportive features in the midsole, it is still incredibly flexible to keep your movements light and snappy.Read more
The Solstice has undergone some changes over the years, and the XT is the best one yet! One of the biggest changes lies in the upper. It is composed of lightweight and breathable materials that keep your feet dry. It also boasts a rubber internal cage for extra support and a more contoured fit.
Runners also love that these super lightweight trainers weigh in at just over 6 ounces. This lightweight frame keeps you quick on your feet and makes it ideal for speed. It also boasts a smart Balanced Cushioning system that helps support your foot. Provide unmatched energy feedback when running on hard surfaces, and is incredibly flexible.
The wide toe box design, Balanced cushioning system, and rubber cage on the upper make the Solstice XT one of the best options in the Altra lineup. It is ideal for speed work, while still offering modest stability features to protect your feet as well as your joints.
11. Lone Peak 4 Mid Mesh
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 out on 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.Read more
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.
Looking for something that is a little more affordable? The Viho is classified as a ‘gateway shoe’. It serves as a showcase of many of the supportive features offered by Altra, and it comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank. If you are curious about the innovative and unique design of these shoes but are reluctant to drop three digits on a pair, this is a great place to start.Read more
What we love most about the Viho is that it is super lightweight, flexible, and supportive. It’s a great neutral trainer that is built for speed, yet the durable rubber outsole is ideal for distance as well. The midsole is composed of balanced cushioning with Innerflex technology. The Innerflex design hosts tiny grooves to keep it lightweight and flexible, and contours to the shape of your foot.
What we love about the Viho is that it has a super lightweight and breathable upper that is made to move. It hosts Altra’s FootPod technology that promotes excellent lockdown while maintaining its breathability. The rubber cage of the upper helps to guide your foot to a natural and even gait.
The best part of the Viho is that it clocks in at a super affordable price point. It’s a great choice for those that are a little unsure about zero drop trainers with a wide toe box. While it is affordable, it still boasts all of the supportive and innovative features found in many of the higher-end designs on our list, making it worth checking out!
13. HIIT XT 2
As the name suggests, the HIIT XT2 is designed for high-intensity training. This design is a great option for those that have a need for speed, and the versatile design also makes it a great option for weight training as well. If you want something that is incredibly versatile and supportive, the HIIT XT2 is worth checking out.Read more
While all of the options on our list boast a wide toe box, the HIIT XT2 is just a tad wider than most. This wider design allows your toes to really spread out inside of the shoe for excellent stability, and it is also ideal when weight training as well. We also love the flat lacing system that increases lockdown so the shoe stays put when taking tight corners.
What really makes this shoe unique is the construction of the outsole. This grippy rubber Powersole gives you excellent traction when picking up speed. It also wraps up and around the base of the shoe to give you extra stability and control when picking up the pace or engaging in quick and tight movements during HIIT or Cross-Fit.
If you are in the market for something that can easily transition from the track to the weight room, the HIIT XT2 is a great choice. It is composed of lightweight and responsive materials that allow you to really pick up the pace, and the super-wide toe box is ideal for weight lifting as well. It also boasts a unique styling that is unlike anything else in the Altra lineup.
14. Provision 4
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.Read more
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.
15. Superior 4 .5
If you want a zero-drop and minimalistic pair of trainers that you can take off the sidewalk and onto the trails, the Superior 4.5 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.Read more
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 4.5. 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.
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- What Are Zero Drop Running Shoes? Importance and Benefits, Running Website ,