10 Best Altra Running Shoes Reviewed

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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.

Altra Lone Peak 2.5
  • Altra Lone Peak 2.5
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rubber sole
  • Price: See Here
Altra One 2.5
  • Altra One 2.5
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fabric/Synthetic
  • Price: See Here
Altra Superior 3.0
  • Altra Superior 3.0
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gaiter Trap secures trail gaiters
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Altra Running Shoes

 


1. Altra One 2.5

These are built for speed, and are great for road running. From beginning to finish line, you’ll be able to keep up good speed and experience a lot of comfort. The cushioning in these shoes is particularly noticeable, which results in a very powerful toe-off with a good spring. The midsole has omni-directional movement and great flexibility, which responds 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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Comfort/Stability
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.

Durability/Quality
These have about average durability for an Astra shoe and are of ery good quality.

Cost
Again, these are fairly pricey, but the unique design and comfort does justify the cost.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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 absolutely outstanding for terrain which requires good amount of grip and even better balance. They have a sticky rubber outer sole which works really well with Altra's ability to allow your toes to spread enough to enhance your balance over uneven surfaces. Like the previous version, these are also equipped with the brand's "Gaiter Trap" that lets you secure their proprietary gaiter to their trail running models. We also got a removable rock guard with the shoes, which can be used in tougher terrain and removed for gentler landscapes. The midsole is pretty spongey which provides bounce without sacrificing protection and stability, even when trail running in rocky locations. Trail running shoes typically have better arch support than these, which might be a consideration if you like better arch support. These have a stack weight of 21mm and a very responsive design.
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Comfort/Stability
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.

Durability/Quality
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.

Cost
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.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Not as breathable as models with mesh uppers
  • A bit pricey

3. Altra Torin 2.5

These versatile shoes really do enhance and complement the natural movement of your feet, even perhaps more so than other Altra offerings. They reduce the impact of the foot landing and are weight-balanced to ensure a natural-feeling run. They also provide a good amount of cushion. The sole of these is a little tougher than other Altra shoes which contributes to slightly better durability and is useful for those who tend to strike in the middle of their foot.
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Comfort/Stability
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.

Durability/Quality
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.

Cost
These are around average price for Altras – a little pricey, but absolutely worth the investment.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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 minimal shoes promote speed and stability – and 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 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 avoid injury regardless of where you run.
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Comfort/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.

Durability/Quality
These are about as durable as any other Altra shoe – they do wear a little quickly, but the quality is excellent while it lasts.

Cost
Again, these come at a price, but the quality does justify the outlay.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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

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 to comfort on long distance runs. It is versatile in it’s use and can be used for gym workouts as well. The Instinct is advertised to have moderate cushioning, and with that in mind, is not the lightest shoe weighing in at 10 ounces. Albeit, due to their the qualities this shoe offers, the price is not bad. Consumers enjoy the aesthetic look of the shoe as well, stating that Altra has upped their game on this front.
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Comfort/Stability

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.

Durability/Quality

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

For what the shoe has to offer, the cost is reasonable.
Pros

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

Cons

Moderate cushioning makes for a slightly heavier shoe

Tends to run a half size too small

Altra Intuition 4.0

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.

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.
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Comfort/Stability

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.

Durability/Quality

Unlike the Instinct, the Intuition is reported to last longer than most shoes. Quality is good as well.

Cost
The cost is the same as the men’s version, and similarly, provides great qualities at a reasonable price
Pros

Decoupled heel distributes weight evenly.

Better breathability in upper mesh.

Extra protection from rubber toe cap.

 

Cons

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

5. Olympus 1.5

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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Comfort/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.

Durability/Quality
Like other Altra shoes, these do wear more quickly than other brands due to the unique technology but they are very high quality.

Cost
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.
Pros
  • They offer great protection in all terrains.
  • 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.

6. Altra One2

These shoes are very light, and provide a particularly good experience for road racing. They are responsive and flexible and offer a very good cushion-to-weight ratio. The shoes’ structure takes the pressure off your feet, which allows for less injuries, better form and longer runs. These have a stack height of 24mm, a very light but firm sole, quick drying air mesh exterior and great bounce – many buyers have reported that the level of bounce here makes runs feel easier, faster and more enjoyable.
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Comfort/Stability
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.

Durability/Quality
The durability of these ones is not great. Because they are so lightweight, the material can sometimes wear prematurely in comparison to other models.

Cost
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.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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

These are a neutral road running shoe and offer stability and support while being very lightweight. They are very cushioning 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.
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Comfort/Stability
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.

Durability/Quality
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
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.
Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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.

FAQ

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.

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