Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017: Altra Product Overview
I had a chance to check out some neat shoes from Altra at the pre-show media conference. Although I have never worn a pair of their shoes myself, I was already quite familiar with the name and was able to get a much better idea of what they’re all about on an up-close and personal perspective. Now that I’ve seen what they bring to the table, quite literally, I’m sure I’ll be hitting the trails in a pair soon enough.
Two great runners I was able to check out were the Superior 3, and the Timp. The Superior 3 is currently available for purchase, and the Timp will be released later on in the year. If you aren’t already familiar with these models, take a look at them below.
Altra Superior 3
The Superior 3 is a lightweight trail runner focused on speed and performance, and of course you get the zero drop platform Altra is well known for. They feature a stack height of 21 millimeters and are currently available for purchase, retailing at $110.00.
You got a lot of performance features in a great package, which includes a tapered upper that’s wide in the toe-box but snug and secure in the back half of the shoe to the heel. This holds your feet properly, while offering enough room up front for your toes to splay as needed. This is a design spread across all their shoes, enabling a natural running experience with less pain that can potentially be caused from the unnatural structure of traditional shoes.
On the inside, just under the sole is a removable guard plate, perfect for those rougher trails, to add a bit more underfoot protection. When not needed, can be taken out, effectively lightening the load. In this package, you also great a great amount of flexibility of the midsole, which is needed for allowing the foot to bend properly.
On the back side they’ve included a gaiter trap, to secure your strapless trail gaiters to effectively prevent any external material, water, snow, or similar from entering the shoe. Gaiters are effective for debris producing or snowy conditions, and these harsh conditions are what the shoe is designed for so you may find yourself utilizing the feature more than you think.
On the outsole you have particular performance capabilities. The profile features backward oriented lugs in the forefoot for tackling the uphill, but on the heel optimized specifically for downhill so you can properly traverse the terrain whether gaining elevation or the opposite.
This is one shoe you can hit the trail in and be confident that you will get what you need out of it. Again, this is for speed and really getting into motion out there. If you want something tailored for the long distance take a look at what they have below.
This long distance, cushioned trail runner is named after Mount Timpanogos, one of the most well-known mountains in Utah. You know, if it’s named after a great mountain, it has to be something worth checking out. As mentioned, It’s made for the long run, to really go that distance, all the while remaining comfortable so that your feet agree with the trail miles put on them. They feature a 29 millimeter stack height and will be available in Summer 2017, retailing at $130.00.
What’s an effective trail running shoe that doesn’t accommodate for gaiter’s? Well, a shoe that overlooks an important aspect, that’s for sure. From what I see personally, gaiters are being used more and more, or perhaps they’re just catching on in my area for running in particular. Either way, they’re an effective way of keeping debris, snow or any other unwanted material outside the walls of your clothing and footwear. As the Superior 3, the Timp also features a Gaiter trap for securing your strapless gaiters.
You also get a pronounced descent rudder, which gives that extended support to assist in preventing falling backward while on steep terrain.
Furthermore, what’s a great long distance trail runner without an ample amount of cushioning and protection from that trail you will be running on? Well. Altra has upped the stack height on the Timp for a thicker, more cushioned midsole. You are now looking at a 29 millimeter profile, giving you what you really need to take out those miles without feeling the hurt.
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgot about the outsole profile. Here they offer a similar traction design seen in the Superior 3, optimized for ascending upward on trail by way of a backward facing profile in the forefoot area, and for downhill, forward facing to allow for braking support when needed.
Here you can see what they have going on with the upper and lacing system design. It’s much different than the typical design you would see in running shoes, and so far I have yet to notice it in their other models. I’m assuming the support is manipulated here, and transferred to a particular area of the forefoot. I’m curious to find out more about this.
There’s the new Altra Timp for you. From Golden Harper himself, Use it for your Ultra’s, even backpacking or any long distance trail running or trail specific ventures. The shoe is made to perform for just that, and keep your feet happy for the miles to come.
As you can see, Altra has many other options to go through, and in the coming months, we will be checking out other options from them, and I will look into personally reviewing some of their shoes as I’m a big fan of the trails and had a great first impression of these. Why I haven’t put on a pair for my trail runs yet, I can’t say but I certainly will be doing so now. Keep a look out for some in depth reviews on some of their models soon as we try them out.
With the limited time on hand, I was able to catch up on two great shoes, but there are many more to view and review so RunnerClick will continue to look out for the opportunities to get the information on the many new and popular models out there.
Oh look at that, even more eye candy! Yes, it’s like a never ending amount of updates so I get to keep busy and keep running. I think with all the shoes to test, I will log more miles this year than any previous year on record. It’s a good thing! Keep them coming, and as stated previously, keep an eye out as we will be producing in depth reviews of these models as they become available to us.
Altra Product Video Overview
I’m glad to have been able to catch a glimpse into the world of Altra running shoes and know more about what they do. If you don’t know already, here’s how they started.
Golden Harper, the founder of Altra, based the company off of a college education on running injuries together with information he was able to accumulate from actual runners visiting his family’s store, regularly, who were dealing with numerous running injuries. With the information gathered and on hand he was able to utilize his toaster oven to produce effective designs to combat the reasons for many injuries by cutting down the midsoles of traditionally designed running shoes, creating an effective natural running platform for trail shoes.
He coined the term “zero drop“, and with the help of like minded individuals in the industry, Altra is now planted deep into the world of trail running with their non-existent midsole offset and natural toe-box design, giving maximum performance, effectively minimizing the complications that arose from going too hard on the trail using traditional designs.