Firstly, To understand Altra running shoes, review recent history (and brushing up on geography wouldn’t hurt, either).
In the 2000s, someone observed that the human body had evolved to run.
Top 10 Altra Running Shoes in 2022
After a wave of injuries resulted, Altra appeared on the scene in 2009 with a new theory. The theory says the world was still flat, but the human foot did not evolve to run on asphalt and concrete.
Cushioning was good. With no need to raise the heel, there was plenty of space for generous forefoot cushioning, and runners who landed on their forefoot rejoiced.
Altra adopts the radical view that shoes should be shaped like feet, with lots of room in the toebox, and runners with wide feet rejoiced.
Ever since Altra has been winning customers and design awards.
Based on a survey of 11,000 runners, here are the best Altra running shoes.
Altra Paradigm 3.0 Running Shoes
If you’re already an Altra fan, the Paradigm has everything you would expect in a daily trainer: zero drops from heel to toe and a toebox that follows the foot’s natural contours.
What the Paradigm adds is cushioning. As the most cushioned Altra trainer, it boasts an exceptionally soft forefoot.
Extra cushioning is often a consideration for runners with foot injuries, making Paradigm the best Altra shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Running Shoes
People driving from Salt Lake City through Little Cottonwood Canyon to ski at Snowbird might daydream about climbing the canyon’s granite buttresses. Still, the climbers up on the canyon’s walls daydream about the legendary routes at Lone Peak.
To deliver a running shoe worthy of the Lone Peak name, Altra has developed a moderately cushioned trail shoe famous for its versatility.
It’s ready for any distance and any terrain, from the road to the trail to…whatever you call it when the last time you saw a trail was 3 miles back.
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Altra Provision 3.0 Running Shoes
If you’re intrigued by zero-drop shoes with a spacious toebox but typically run-in support shoes, the Provision might be the model for you.
Altra eschews traditional approaches to stability. Their goal is dynamic support, giving your foot added stability only when and where needed.
As support can be a factor for runners with knee issues, the addition of stability features makes the Provision a likely candidate for the best Altra shoes for knee pain.
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Altra Olympus 4 Running Shoes
“Cool, Autumn Loop Through the Pines, Golden Aspen, and Red Maples” sounds like the tagline for a fun local 5K.
In Logan, it’s how the Bear 100 advertises itself, a 100-mile trail ultramarathon with over 22,000 feet of vertical climb (carrying survival equipment is recommended).
Runners contemplating the Bear 100 would do well to consider the Olympus, a trail shoe with an extra cushion for going the ultramarathon distance.
Altra Torin 4.5 Running Shoes
Are you sure the Torin isn’t an uptempo performance shoe? Everybody calls the Torin a highly cushioned daily trainer.
But it’s only a tenth of an ounce heavier than the performance-minded Impulse.
Isn’t that too light for a daily trainer? You can keep calling the Torin a lightweight daily trainer all you want.
I think these shoes have a few good tempi runs in them and maybe a road interval workout or two.
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ALTRA Women’s Escalante 2.5
There’s no disagreement about the Altra One: this shoe is fast. Shaved down to just 7.9 ounces in a men’s size 9, the One is light and flexible with a natural feel.
Its sole is firmer than Altra’s other uptempo shoes for a snappier feel at toe-off.
It can go the distance in a workout, but the One is meant to be a no-compromise shoe for race day.
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Altra Superior 4 Running Shoes
With just a few miles from the nearest trailhead to the headquarters of Altra, running reviews will always feature several trail models.
The Superior stands out for its versatility as a trail shoe. Cushioning has been kept to moderate levels to reduce weight, so the Superior is ready for everything from dirt roads to technical rock-hopping where a high degree of traction is required.
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Altra King MT 1.5 Running Shoes
Moreover, with minimal cushioning and 6 mm lugs for traction on any surface, the King MT is built for fast, technical, aggressive mountain running, from uphill scrambles to semi-controlled reckless descents.
The King MT is a relatively new arrival in Altra’s trail lineup.
Fanatical mountain runners might have different views. The Altra King MT is made for runners who embrace mud, rocks, and burly mountain climbs and has made its mark as the quintessential king of the ground.
There was a gap for a shoe that would perform well in damper climates’ wet grass.
This Spring, Altra has introduced two “half updates” to two of their popular trail models; in Altra terminology, a new whole number represents a significant redesign of the shoe, while a half-point (or .5) version has more subtle design changes along with new colorways.
The King MT 1.5 features a new upper with reinforced mesh and enhanced drainage features at the toes and midfoot. The FootLock™ strap has been moved medially and lower down the arch for increased comfort, and the neoprene inside the heel is softer and more secure.
It was a strange-looking, toothy, aggressive beast, low to the ground, with a heavily-lugged outsole and unusual velcro strap across the forefoot.
A year later, with the 1.5 revision, Altra has made minor adjustments to the upper construction, strap position; but kept the shoe essentially the same.
The excellent, grippy Vibram® outsole, 6mm lugs, and the dual nature Altra Ego™ midsole are too good to change, so Altra kept them the same.
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Altra Escalante Running Shoes
The Escalante is Altra’s top up-tempo shoe and even comes in a tenth of an ounce lighter than the One.
The Escalante is a game-changer for Altra. Introduced in 2017, runners have raved about its perfect balance of cushioning and responsiveness, with a sole that offers as much energy return as any model from significant shoe manufacturers.
Like all Altra shoes, the Escalante has no drop from the heel to the shoe’s toe.
Also, It offers the brand’s signature minimal drop and wide, roomy toe box. Thou it is less minimal than models like the original Instinct, so it appeals to more runners.
Unsurprisingly, the Escalante ran away with a Runner’s World editor’s choice award.
This update remains similar to the original model but gets a few minor tweaks that make it even better.
A sleek performance trainer built for workout days, the Altra Escalante offers a light and responsive ride on the roads.
Furthermore, It’s a very light trainer for runners who want a bit more cushioning (it’s still a minimalist model) with an excellent flat-knit upper and bouncy midsole. I generally prefer shoes with low heel-to-toe drops, so I got along well with Escalante’s platform.
As the first shoe to feature Altra’s new Ego midsole material, the Escalante offers a soft yet springy underfoot feel that will propel you forward as you pick up the pace.
However, if you are coming from shoes with a more traditional 8-12 mm drop and are used to a heel-first foot strike, we’d recommend trying some shoes with slightly lower drops before fully committing to a zero-drop shoe.
And this is one of the most important factors about the Escalante for people to consider.
And this is one of the most important factors about the Escalante for people to consider.
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Altra Intuition/Instinct 4.5 Running Shoes
The Altra Instinct (men) or Intuition (women) 4.5 is the latest updated support roadrunner from Altra. The Altra Instinct 4.5/Intuition 4.5 is Altra’s most versatile everyday running shoe and has had a few updates compared with version 4.
The best Altra running shoe isn’t a mountain or a racing flat based on runners’ votes. As you probably know already, Altra’s shoes are Zero Drop to promote a more natural midfoot landing.
It’s just a moderate cushion, zero drops, a neutral trainer with a wide toe box.
Altra shoes also differ in shape from men’s to women’s as our feet are different anatomically. The upper is now an engineered mesh. There is now a rubber wrap around the toe box for more toe protection, and a more plush and softer ride makes this shoe more of an everyday training shoe.
Moreover, based on many wearers’ comments, the Altra Instinct 4.5 is a highly recommendable running shoe for people with high-volume foot.
The roomy toe box, spacious in-shoe environment, and comfortable platform were all positives highlighted by users.
In conclusion, it was a good shoe that many found to have done the job as a daily runner.
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