10 Best Altra Running Shoes Reviewed
Searching for Altra Running Shoes? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!
Altra is a fairly new name in the running game, but they have been releasing some exceptional products for a few years now in the United States, as well as beginning to really break out in Europe and the United Kingdom. The shoes, overall, tend to hide their magic, while keeping a fast yet, in most cases, rather simply solid design. But, what many are finding out, is that once you find that shoe for you, you might end up hooked on the brand.
In addition to their brand standard zero drop build, their shoes also tend to have a rather obvious difference in the way the forefoot is constructed with their models. The toe box design, which they call “FootShape” gives a wider space for the toes to actually function freely. All you have to do is get over the look of the wider foot and give a pair a try. From road to light, or even technical trails, the ranges are covered. Though some of the models don’t outright boast a whole bunch of crazy technologies just by the first glance, rest assured that they do in fact have a few trick of their own. You’ll be able to see what these are really all about once you take a pair down the road.
10 Best Altra Running Shoes
1. Altra One 2.5
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 amount of users have reported problems with comfort, which is unusual for Astra shoes.
These have about average durability for an Astra shoe and are of ery good quality.
Again, these are fairly pricey, but the unique design and comfort does justify the cost.
- Very lightweight.
- Built for speed.
- Very good cushioning.
- The shoes have a particularly flexible range of motion and adapt 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.
2. Altra Superior 3.0
These are very comfortable and provide great comfort even on the rockiest of trails. For a really pleasant run, you should ensure that you wear the rock guard when appropriate.
These aren’t particularly durable, and wear quicker than other brands. This is a common theme among Altra shoes. The quality of these is very good.
Again, these are a little pricey, but they provide a very comfortable run and they are worth the cost. Though fairly young, the brand is pretty well established in the United States. However, this brand is still quite new to the European market, which means the price tag may be a bit higher outside of North America, as well as not as easy to find in some parts of Europe.
- Removable rock guard allows versatile protection
- These are ideal for multiple types of off-road terrain
- The zero drop design is ideal for those recovering from mild shin splints
- Cushioning is quite adequate, while allowing decent ground contact
- Not as breathable as models with mesh uppers
- A bit pricey
3. Altra Torin 2.5
As always with Altra shoes, the zero drop technology works really well here, and these are very comfortable and stable. Some users have even reported that these are comfier than other Altras, so if you’re seeking something particularly comfortable, this might be the shoe for you.
These do wear more quickly than other brands, but they’re more durable than most Altras. So if you’re keen to pick up Altras with durability, these are ideal.
These are around average price for Altras – a little pricey, but absolutely worth the investment.
- These are particularly comfortable.
- The sole is a little tougher than other Altra shoes.
- Ideal for those who strike in the centre of their foot.
- More durable than other Altras.
- The sizing issues which are apparent in some Altra lines seem to have largely been fixed here.
- These are a little narrower than previous models.
- For a small amount of runners, the heels seem to squeeze the feet and cause blisters.
4. Altra Lone Peak 2.5
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.
Again, these come at a price, but the quality does justify the outlay.
- These shoes are very well suited to the real shape of the foot, so provide great comfort and excellent stability.
- These are perfect for the vast majority of trail running on effective on most terrains.
- They have a gaiter attachment.
- Great traction.
- These do wear quickly, especially on very rocky terrain.
- The instep is a little shallow for people with particularly wide feet.
Altra Instinct 4.0
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.
For what the shoe has to offer, the cost is reasonable.
Multifaceted: Can be used for long miles on the road as well as gym workouts
They look better than previous versions
Larger toe box, more suitable for wide feet
More bang for the buck: an all-around shoe at a reasonable price
Moderate cushioning makes for a slightly heavier shoe
Tends to run a half size too small
Altra Intuition 4.0
The Intuition has 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 run small and it is recommended to purchase it a half size larger than your regular shoe size.
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.
The cost is the same as the men’s version, and similarly, provides great qualities at a reasonable price
Decoupled heel distributes weight evenly.
Better breathability in 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
5. Olympus 1.5
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.
Like other Altra shoes, these do wear more quickly than other brands due to the unique technology but they are very high quality.
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.
- They offer great protection in all terrains.
- Very good for ascents and descents.
- Good traction.
- Very reasonable price compared to other Altra shoes.
- The shoelaces are a little weak.
- Slightly less arch support than other models.
6. Altra One2
These are super comfy and provide a pleasant running experience. Most users report that the shoes are very stable. Although thin and lightweight, these shoes do have a massive amount of bounce and cushion.
The durability of these ones is not great. Because they are so lightweight, the material can sometimes wear prematurely in comparison to other models.
These are a little cheaper than some offerings from Altra, so if you’re a budget-conscious road racer, these may very well be for you.
- Very lightweight.
- Super comfortable with a great amount of bounce.
- The price point here is pretty good for an Altra offering.
- These are a very versatile road shoe, so they’re a good option for pretty much anyone except very intense trail runners.
- Pretty poor durability.
- These largely all seem to be half a size too small – so if you opt for these, you should perhaps consider buying slightly bigger than you usually would.
7. Altra Paradigm
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.
Like lots of Altra’s shoes, these are expensive, but this is pretty par for the course in this category. Altra specialise in unique, flatly-designed shoes, so you’re not going to find any particularly cheap shoes here, though they are worth the investment.
- 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.
- Like most of Altra’s offerings, these are on the expensive side.
- The durability is pretty poor.
Generally, Altras are also somewhat expensive, but they are typically worth the price.
The Altra technology means that many of Altras offerings have the same plus points and the same occasional negatives. Here, we look at the best running shoes Altra have to offer and the slight differences which set them apart from one another.
The Criteria Used In Our Search For The Best Altra Running Shoes
Altra shoes is the company that coined the term “Zero Drop” when they created the first cushioned Zero Drop shoes. Zero Drop described the improved level of cushioning that no longer drops from the heel to the forefoot, but one that positions your feet in a more natural position; one that is optimal for running long distances, avoid injuries and reduces problems on your joints and feet.
The brand is proud and widely recognized for changing the way the toe boxes on your shoes is designed. While the majority of running shoes feature pointy toe boxes, Altra designed their shoes with ones that mirror the shape of a healthy foot. They called their technology FootShape, and claim that their wider toe-box design helps their customers to alleviate problems like bunions, neuromas and plantar fasciitis.
Those technological developments create shoes that enhances the stability and comfort while they provide excellent running performance. Altra has positioned within the top 10 running shoe brands during the last years.
Purpose: Altra offers a great variety of shoes. Altra believes that the foot is an “anatomical masterpiece”. Each shoe has been designed to place the foot in a natural, healthy position. The brand offers five categories you can choose from: Neutral, Guidance, Trail Running and Everyday; each one of them gives you specific advantages depending on your running behavior.
Altra offers wide versatility of shoes, they come in different colors and designs, and all of their them include the best technology to make your run more efficient and comfortable.
Environment: When choosing a perfect pair of Altra running shoes, consider the climate and terrain you will be taking your runs on, as well as how many miles you plan on running in. Altra offers both trail and running shoes. Choosing the right shoe is very important, as it will keep you safe and comfortable during your run. Trail shoes are made specifically to grip mild to technical trails, while running shoes provide traction on smooth surfaces such as pavement, track and treadmills. Altra also offers waterproof shoes for individuals who will be running in wet conditions.
Personal level: You need to have in mind that, as Altra specializes in bringing the best comfort using the natural shape of your feet, they offer shoes that are gender specific. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get the best shoes, all of their shoes for men and women have the same advantages and share the same technology.
Style: Altra provides a variety of options to please different runners taste. Color combinations range from bright to more neutral. Though each shoe has a unique design, all stay with a modern, sleek trend that many runners look for in a shoe.
Your Foot Type: Picking a shoe that works with your foot type is by far the most important factor when choosing a running shoe. Finding a shoe that works best with your foot type will not only ensure a comfortable run, but a supportive run too. This will also help reduce the risk of injury.
First, consider your pronation. Pronation is if your ankles rolls inward (over-pronation), outward (under-pronation) or stays relatively neutral (neutral pronation). Runners who over-pronate or under-pronate may need a shoe that helps guide their foot in order to prevent excessive pronation that could potentially lead to injury.
Next consider your arch type. Do you have high arches? Neutral arches? Flat or fallen arches? Depending on your arch type, additional arch support may be needed. You also should keep in mind the width of your foot. Do you have wide feet or are your feet narrow?
Altra offers a variety of shoes, including stability shoes that could help individuals with pronation issues. Once you know your foot type, you will then be able to choose a shoe that will ensure a comfortable and supportive ride.
To further help in your search for the best pair of running shoes, we have also put together some frequently asked questions that may help you spark some considerations of your own.
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 shoe are 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.
Q: Can I wear Altra Zero Drop shoes if I have flat feet?
A: While flat feet pose some challenges, Altra shoes 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 even run you take makes it easier and more comfortable.
Q: How wide are your shoes?
A: The FootShape technology takes your running to another level if you have wide feet. They offer toe boxes that are much wider than the average shoe without feeling loose or sloppy. Altra shoes can be worn without the removable footbeds, thats in case you need some extra width to accommodate up to 4E width feet.
Q: Do Altra provide assistance for buying the perfect shoes for me?
A: Yes, they do. Their specialized team will help you choosing 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!
Q: If I have never used Zero Drop shoes before, should I still buy Altra shoes?
A: Altra 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 at this drop. But no worries, Altra created a transition guide you can use to 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.
We really hope that this buying guide was helpful to your search. Remember, there is a wide variety of shoes to choose from. The trick is to weigh your needs and practical uses to find the best possible pair for you.