Altra Running are a company that was founded in America and their primary purpose are to create running shoes.
You may have not heard of them alongside other prominent brands such as Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Salomon and Hoka. However they have been around for over a decade now and provide road shoes, trail shoes, and even apparel like gaiters.
Altra produce shoes for both beginners and seasoned professionals and are definitely starting to build up a fanbase. Here we’ve reviewed some of the most popular Altra running shoes as rated by other runners. Read on to find out more.
Best Altra Running Shoes Compared and Reviewed
1. Altra Escalante 2.5
The Altra Escalante 2.5 is an everyday running shoe that promotes low impact strides with its zero drop platform. Runners who look for a pair that offers a light and responsive ride on their run should consider buying these shoes. With features such as a 24mm forefoot and midfoot height, a knit upper, a soft cushioned midsole and a rubber outsole. The Escalante 2.5 is available with a few color variations and sizes available for men and women.
The Escalante 2.5 features a lightweight knitted upper that is described by many customers to be stretchy and has no tendency to squeeze the feet. Some runners found this pair of running shoes to be breathable, however, others found it to have little ventilation due to the small air holes. It might be best not to use the Escalante 2.5 on warm or hot days.
The upper unit also has a thin tongue which runners discovered that it still needed to be smoothed out. The midsole for the Escalante 2.5 has a perfect balance of cushioning with its AltraEgo and InnerFlex foams combination. These features make up for the softness and responsiveness of the shoes.
The cushioning system of this product makes it great for beginners and entry level runners as opposed to its targeted serious runners. A cushioned ride is great, however, some reviewers found the footbed for the Escalante 2.5 to have the tendency to be slick. The inside of the shoes also features a spacious “foot shape” toe box for added comfort on their runs.
The rubber outsole for the Escalante 2.5 presents grooves on its underside that adds flexibility to the shoes. Some reviewers noticed it has good traction but not enough for running on trails. The absence of lugs underneath makes it best only for running on roads. Runners who have purchased a pair of Escalante 2.5 also advised against using it for fast and speed runs due to its amount of cushioning.
2. Altra Paradigm 6
Reasons to buy
- Great cushioning system
- Stylish and sleek designs
- 0mm heel drop
- Breathable mesh upper
Reasons to avoid
- Others might find it heavy
The Altra Paradigm 6 is marketed as a highly cushioned pair of running shoes that offers both style and support to runners. This pair of stability shoes is designed for runners experiencing supination and overpronation on their long distance and recovery runs.
With features such as a zero mm heel-to-toe- drop, a lace-up footwear closure, an engineered mesh, a midsole made with foam and a rubber outsole. Runners can snatch a pair of this product with a few color variations and sizes available for both men and women.
The upper unit of the Paradigm 6 has a breathable engineered mesh upper for added ventilation mixed with fresh and stylish overlays. The shoes have a pair of long tubular laces that enables runners to adjust the fit of the shoes on their feet. The wide toe box highlights the FootShape technology design that makes a comfy room for the feet.
The midsole has the combined technology of AltraEgo Max cushioning and Balanced cushioning for a softer and bouncier ride. The plush and padded heel collar of the Paradigm 6 aids in giving runners that snug fit. Some reviewers have lauded the great fit it provides and the softness of this shoe without giving them that mushy feel on their run.
The outsole is built from rubber that features grid-like grooves that provides the shoe flexibility and five toe shaped rubber pods. Some midsoles were also noticeably exposed although not in high areas of the underside.
The Paradigm 6 is designed with some features and technology that would excite a lot of runners such as the InnovArch technology that aids in the fitting on the arch and the GuideRail guidance system.
Due to the level of comfort it provides, the Paradigm 6 is built to handle runs that could reach a hundred mile. This product is also great for runners who seek a pair of running shoes that offer stability. The 0mm heel drop allows natural movement of the feet of anyone who’s wearing it and the shoes have the ability to evenly distribute weight on each step.
3. Altra Lone Peak 5
Reasons to buy
- Gaiter friendly
- Excellent traction
- Upper materials designed for easy cleaning
Reasons to avoid
- No ground feels
- Upper can be damaged from sharp objects
For fast runners who look for a gaiter-friendly pair of running shoes that is best on rocky trails and trail running, the Altra Lone Peak 5 will be perfect for them to purchase. A well-balanced pair that is not overly responsive or overly cushioned, this pair of running shoes offers a great level of comfort to runners.
With features such as a 0mm heel drop, a lace-up footwear closure, a mesh upper, an updated midsole and a rubber outsole. Runners can avail a pair of this product with different color combinations and sizes available for both men and women.
The upper unit of the Lone Peak 5 features a mesh upper with nylon lining that makes cleaning the shoes easier for runners. However, some runners have questioned the breathability of the shoes because of the materials on the upper as well as the ample amount of ventilation holes on it.
Although not entirely water-resistant, the upper is built to easily get rid of mud and grime on the road. It also accentuates a superb lacing system that aids in the security of the feet. The updated midsole now has the AltraEgo cushioning system as opposed to its predecessor which has two-layered EVA foam.
Some runners have lauded over this update since it provided the shoes more cushioning without the unnecessary bulk and weight. The Lone Peak 5 also has the FootShape toe box that allows runners to splay their toes naturally with each step.
Another great feature on the insides of the shoes is the thick Ortholite insole inserted that comes up in the heel box area that helps in securing the heels. The Lone Peak 5 is also gaiter-friendly with gaiter attachments such as a velcro heel tab and a metal loop at the bottom of the lacing pattern.
The outsoles of the Lone Peak 5 running shoes have the combined features of MaxTrac rubber and TrailClaw lugs. The angled 3.65mm multi-directional lugs and the rock plate allows the running shoes to have excellent grip onto almost any type of surface.
This product also makes way for seamless and perfect road-to-trail transitions, however, runners advised against using it mainly for road runs alone. Runners and reviewers alike recommend this fairly stiff and stable pair of running shoes for forefoot and midfoot strikers.
4. Altra Torin 5
Reasons to buy
- Great for race
- Promotes neutral feeling when running
- Stylish colorways
Reasons to avoid
- Some runners might not appreciate the level of stability of the shoes
Runners seeking a light daily pair of running shoes that responds well on the run should consider purchasing the Altra Torin 5. This product features a zero drop profile that promotes neutral running particularly on races.
With features including a 28mm stack height, a lace-up closure, a mesh upper, a midsole highlighted with foam and a rubber outsole. Runners can purchase a pair of the Torin 5 with lots of color combinations and sizes available for both men and women.
The upper for the Torin 5 has an updated knit mesh that improves the breathability and flexibility of the shoes mixed with sporty new colorways for a stylish run. Runners commented that the upper is tight enough to keep dirt away from the shoes without being too constricting.
The improved lacing system enables runners to adjust the feel and the fit of the shoes when worn. The midsoles have the bouncy AltraEgo Max foam that offers great shock absorption and energy return. Along with this, the Torin 5 also has a 5mm sculpted polyurethane footbeds but with this amount of cushioning still does not make this a pair of recovery shoes.
This product also features an enhanced heel collar with plush cushioning that provides support and security on the arch. Like the other Altra running shoes, the Torin 5 has the FootShape design on the toe box that encourages a natural movement on the feet.
The outsole, on the other hand, features the FootPod technology that frames the bones and tendons of the feet that adds up to the natural movement of the shoes. Combining all these mentioned features makes the Torin 5 a pair of running shoes that is great for racing.
Wide and flat feet runners alike commended the effortlessly relaxed runs they experience while wearing these shoes. Many reviewers promise every cent will count once runners purchase the Torin 5 with its competitive pricing.
5. Altra Provision 5
Reasons to buy
- Provides light and airy ride
- Great for overpronators and neutral runners
- Very stable
- Provides excellent support
Reasons to avoid
- Questionable outsole durability
The Altra company was built from its principle of making running shoes that offer a natural ride. The Provision 5 is a pair of stability shoes that runners can depend on on their runs. This pair of running shoes offer a dependable amount of stability but runners have also found that it could also be a neutral pair.
With features such as a footwear height that reaches the ankles, a lace-up footwear closure, a mesh upper, an EVA midsole and a rubber outsole. Available in a couple of various color combinations and sizes available for both men and women.
The upper unit of the Provision 5 features minor upgrades from its predecessor. It has a one piece engineered mesh upper that improves the breathability of the shoes and also supports the midfoot when worn.
An external heel counter is also designed with the shoes that runs along the midfoot up to the ankle to enable a stable sharp turn for the runners. The updated two-finger InnovArch technology is also featured within the Provision 5 that links the footbed to the lacing system for securing the feet while running.
The midsole is made with EVA foam accentuating a textured insole, which has small nubs or waffle pattern, that adds sensory experience to runners on their run. Reviewers also commended the spacious toe box that lets them splay their feet freely. On the other hand, runners have raved about the sufficient cushioning within the Provision 5 that balanced comfort and stability for a great running experience.
Some runners who have tested the Provision 5 noted that the heel collar feature of this product is low enough to give motion freedom without going against the natural movement of the feet.
The rubber outsole has the FootPod technology that also serves the same purpose with other Altra running shoes, mapping bones and tendons of the feet to enhance natural movement. While reviewers praised its ability to handle wet and dry conditions, they also question the durability of the outsoles since it has been tested to have early wear on it after a run.
6. Altra Rivera
Reasons to buy
- Snugger fit
Reasons to avoid
- Heel slips
- Laces need double knotting
The plushy and responsive pair of running shoes from Altra called the Rivera was released earlier this year back in February. This product has been raved about by many runners and reviewers alike due to its lightness and flexibility that helps in picking up the pace during runs.
Featuring a 26 mm stack height, a lace-up footwear closure, a mesh upper, a midsole made with foam and rubber outsole. Runners can snatch a pair of the Rivera in many color combinations and sizes available for both men and women.
The Altra Rivera has a plush and padded engineered mesh upper that is surprisingly light and breathable for runners. Small rubber overlays are also featured at the back of the heels of the shoes that adds to the overall structure of the shoes.
However, some runners have noticed a bit of a heel slip that might have been caused by the wide heel counter. The midsole has the AltraEgo foam that offers runners protection for their feet while also giving the shoes enough responsiveness. Another great thing about this product is the neutral InnerFlex midsole technology that increases the shoes’ flexibility.
Bio Heels are also accentuated in these shoes that copies the natural form of any wearer’s heels for a smoother transition from heel to toe. The Rivera also gives runners the ability to splay their toes inside the shoes with its FootShape toe box design.
The Rivera outsole has the FootPod technology that encourages natural movement by mapping the bones and tendons of the feet. The underside also highlights grooves and a natural pattern of the feet that helps in various surface traction or angle transitions.
Many runners lauded the versatile traction ability of the Rivera even on gravel and roads. Also, the durability of the outsoles are worth mentioning after a couple of runners have tested the pair for a run.
How To Choose The Best Altra Running Shoes
Most of the people who are beginners or are new to running go along with their run with a normal pair of rubber shoes or sneakers. However, this might cause them harm or injury particularly on their feet.
A running shoe is built to offer runners stability, comfort and support on their run. Let’s find out how to choose the best pair of running shoes based on their different types:
Runners who have neutral arches should look for a pair of stability shoes. Normal pronating runners should seek a pair with arch side support and high density foam midsole. Stability shoes are designed with an arch from front to back that offers stability to the rear foot and flexibility to the forefoot.
Runners with flat feet who experience overpronation especially on their long runs should seek a pair of motion control shoes. They should also look for a pair that has rigid and firm features and an arch area with more material that would increase stability for the shoes.
A pair of cushioning running shoes should be considered by runners with rigid feet and high arches who experience underpronation on their runs. Cushioning shoes, as the name suggests, features a high and premium cushioning system. This type of running shoes are designed on a curve with features such as lightweight materials that offer minimum rigidity.
As such, the best Altra running shoes are those that are suitable for your foot type and personal running gait, don’t overlook purpose for style. If you’re unsure you should check out our post on running shoes, or visit a local store.
Frequently Asked Questions
A zero heel-to-toe drop means there is no height difference with the heel of the foot to the forefoot. A traditional heel drop is usually 12mm and having none enables the feet of any wearer to be in its most natural position. This kind of positioning gives runners a couple of advantages.
One, having the feet in a natural position enables runners to run an extra mile without fatigue. Another great thing about zero heel drop is that it enhances stability and support for overpronators and runners with flat feet.
A zero drop also allows the feet to move more powerfully versus shoes with traditional and higher heel drops by enabling it to bounce more off the ground.
Runners with flat feet have low arches meaning they are prone to experience overpronation, which makes the feet roll inward with every move. Runners with flat feet should always look for a pair of running shoes that is appropriate for their needs.
Motion-controlled shoes or running shoes that offer great stability with firm midsoles could aid in decreasing pronation. Too much cushioning and a little bit of support would allow too much pronation for runners with flat feet.
The Altra Provision’s provide all the stability and support needed by runners with flat feet. With technologies such as the GuideRail support, InnovArch technology, textured insoles and a low heel collar, this pair of running shoes has been considered by many runners to be one of the best support shoes in the market.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.