12 Best Altra Running Shoes Reviewed
Another thing that brings the brand such esteem within the barefoot running community is its lightweight and soft design. Many runners love having the freedom of full movement of their foot without the risks that come with wearing an under-padded or unprotective shoe.
- One 2.5
- Superior 3.5
- One V3
- Lone Peak 3.5
- Instinct 4
- Intuition 4
- Torin 3.0
- Olympus 2.5
- Impulse Flash
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Altra Running Shoes
1. One 2.5
Built for speed
Very good cushioning
Flexible range of motion
Adapts to the natural movement of the foot
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 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.Read more
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.
These 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.
Cost and Value
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. Superior 3.5
Provides good arch support
Open toe box
High quality and durable material
Laces may be of low quality
The Superior 3.5 from Altra is exactly what its name promises, superior. A solid and reliable shoe that is designed for high performance. The Superior 3.5 is a flexible, breathable shoe that will have you pushing yourself to your limits. The Superior comes with all of the best Altra high points as well. A wide and unique toe box for enhanced performance and grip. With a comfortable and a well-cushioned padding to keep your foot in its most natural position, it comes with an added rock guard to make sure to keep your feet safe from possible injury.Read more
The Altra Superior 3.5’s design is held to the same high standards of comfort as the brand does all their other shoes, with its specialized and well-padded sole. The Superior 3.5 also comes with special features to promote trail stability, such as its sturdy rock plate.
The Superior 3.5 comes highly praised for the quality of its materials as well as its design. A small note is that some reviewers had issues with the shoelaces, so if you experience problems after you pick up your pair it may be worth looking into some replacements.
Cost and Value
These shoes cost the same as your average pair of Altra running shoes. Consider that you would be paying this same price for another pair of Altra's and factor in that the Superior 3.5 come highly praised for their overall quality and you have one amazing deal on an excellent pair of shoes.
3. One V3
FootShape forefoot allows room for proper toe splay
Zero drop platform
No-sew overlay on upper adds to the shoe's durability
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. When it comes to the responsiveness of the shoes, 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.Read more
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.
Quality and Durability
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.
Cost and Value
If we had to describe the price of these shoes in one word, excellent would be it. It's really cool that you can get these shoes for less than 60 dollars and enjoy the comfortable ride without them wearing out quickly.
4. Lone Peak 3.5
Suited to the real shape of the foot
Effective on most terrains
They have a gaiter attachment
These do wear quickly, especially on rocky terrain
The instep is a little shallow for people with particularly wide feet.
These minimal shoes promote speed and stability. Just like all of Altra’s shoes, their design is conducive to good running form. These are great for trail running and have been designed for the toughest of terrain, but they’re also a pretty good all-rounder. The great technology protects your feet from the rocky ground, and promotes sturdiness on all terrain, while the outsole provides excellent traction both downhill and uphill. The design also increases ankle stability, which should help you avoid injury regardless of where you run.Read more
Comfort and Stability
These are very comfortable shoes and ensure good protection when running. Unless you are running on insanely rocky terrain, these should offer all of the comfort and stability that you need.
These are about as durable as any other Altra shoe – they do wear a little quickly, but the quality is excellent while it lasts. This makes sure you do not have to worry about the cost since you will be using them for quite some time.
Cost and Value
Again, these come at a price, but the quality does justify the outlay. Being comfortable, tough and quite durable, you are certainly guaranteed a quality pair.
5. Instinct 4
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
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.Read more
With a more spacious toe box 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.
The durability of these shoes are not the best, they tend to wear out in the heel quickly. However, for the price, they are of relatively good quality.
Cost and Value
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. Intuition 4
Decoupled heel distributes weight evenly
Better breathability in the upper mesh
Extra protection from rubber toe cap
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 Altra 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.Read more
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.
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.
Cost and Value
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.
7. Torin 3.0
Quite an affordable shoe
Some users had problems with choosing the appropriate size
If you're looking for shoes from Altra and you need a lot of cushioning, these shoes may appeal to you. It's hard to find zero drop shoe 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. See the other features!Read more
Comfort and Stability
All the Torin shoes were reviewed as very comfortable and Torin 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 provide 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.
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.
Cost and Value
These shoes were released in 2017 so now their price is a little bit lower. You can get them for about 90 dollars. 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.
8. Olympus 2.5
They offer great protection in all terrains
Very good for ascents and descents
Very reasonable price compared to other Altra shoes
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.Read more
Comfort and Stability
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.
Unlike other Altra shoes, these do wear more quickly than other brands due to the unique technology but they are very high quality.
Cost and Value
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.
Great for road running
If you find that you’re susceptible to injury or pronation, these might help
The cushioning on these is really excellent
Upper breathable mesh
On the expensive side
The durability is pretty poor
These are a neutral road running shoes and offer stability and support while being very lightweight. They are very comfortable but still have the wide toe box, which can sometimes be a difficult combination to find. The shape of the shoe is designed to complement the natural curve and movement of the foot, which avoids pronation and, over time, improves posture and run performance. These are very highly padded and have a very cushioned insole. The quick-drying mesh ensures that the shoes don’t stay wet for very long.Read more
This is one of the major plus points here. The shoes are very comfy and their build means that they are particularly stable. Many customers, especially those prone to pronation, have reported that over time, the shoes have reduced post-run pain, which makes things very comfortable in the long run.
Some customers have claimed that these shoes are not as durable as other Altra models. If you’re looking to make durability a priority, perhaps you should look elsewhere.
Cost and Value
Like lots of Altra’s shoes, these are expensive, but this is pretty par for the course in this category. Altra specializes in unique, flatly-designed shoes, so you’re not going to find any particularly cheap shoes here, though they are worth the investment.
10. Impulse Flash
Very good reflective tech
Very good cushion
Spacious toe box
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 arch, we see a good light-weight shoe which is capable of giving sound foot support.Read more
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.
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 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.
Cost and Value
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 which offers good design and performance.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
The shoes are often meant to help a runner enjoy the great outdoors comfortably by offering a variety of options such as rock plates, additional padding, and even waterproofing to help with wet conditions. Knowing what you will be up against and in turn, knowing what your shoe is capable of is essential to optimizing your running experience.
They are not just about performance when it comes to design, they appreciate that runners also enjoy how their shoes looks. So their shoe designers work hard to keep the brand modern and sleek in appearance.
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.
The brand puts out designs with a variety of support levels available. Any sort of foot type 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.
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. Durability is a shoe quality that means it can withstand pressure, tough terrain and extreme temperatures without easy wear or tear. Altra shoes are no exception and these require a great amount of durability for them to be considered amongst the best. The durability criteria 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although many of the shoes on this list offer decent 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!
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 on your running sessions.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 cold 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.
While flat feet pose some challenges, these easily offset them in time by strengthening the feet. The lines Provision and Provisioness are great to give the necessary support to your flat feet while strengthening them so that every run you take makes them stronger and with more control.
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!
Yes, they do. Their specialized team will help you choose the right shoes depending on your running behavior and your unique feet. They even teach running technique classes in most of their stores. They also launched the Learn to Run Initiative, to help runners run better and healthier. Take advantage of it!
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.