Altra Running Shoes: Explaining The Line
Altra is continually tweaking and refining their existing shoe line-up while adding new models regularly.
In 2017 alone, 5 new models have made their debut and most of the models that have been in production for years have been updated.
Altra produces shoes that fall under one of three umbrellas:
- Dynamic Support
Within each umbrella the models vary from minimal to maximal cushioning. But no matter what, all models are fully cushioned, zero drop, and come with a foot shaped toe box.
Best Altra Trail Shoes Top 4 Picks
It took our experts 2 weeks, over 500 reviews and ratings, and lots of product testing to compile this guide to the best Altra trail shoes on the market.
Lets now look at the 4 best Altra trail shoes. By the end of the article, youll be able to pick one pair of running shoes that best suits your feet requirement for the most comfortable experience.
If youre looking for simple trail-running shoes with great performance, Altra One 2.5 can be an ideal footwear pick.
Theyre flexible and suitable for runners who demand speed and need road shoes to help them with the task.
Their design is simple, and they also work well as cross-country shoes.
The outsole of these Altra trail shoes is designed for maximum absorption of impact. This footwear allows your foot to properly stayed connected to the running ground.
Altras FootPod Technology is responsible for excellent impact absorption and great fit.
The outsole is shaped in a way that it aligns with the contours of the foot. This implies that your tendons and bones will be able to flex comfortably without any restrictions.
Also, A-Bound technology does a great job for boosting efficiency and minimizing ground impact.
If theres some really special about Altra One 2.5, it has to be the midsole. The dual-layer EVA cushioning supports the midfoot area.
The upper material of the shoes comprises fast-dry air mesh material to make sure your feet remain cool.
Wearables And Smart Shoes
During the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Altra introduced their first smart shoe, Altra IQ. Powered by iFit, the Altra IQ uses technology to help runners analyze their running biomechanics. Slated to be released in the spring of 2016, the Altra IQ is intended to collect data on stride, pace, foot strike zone , ground contact time, left foot vs. right foot imbalances, and more, and to transmit the data via Bluetooth to a mobile device such as a smartphone or watch for analysis.
In the spring of 2017, Altra introduced their first smart running shoe combining both tracking and coaching technology. The Torin IQ shoe tracks how fast and how far the wearer runs and is equipped with a voice coach that gives real-time advice, via a tether to a smartphone, on how to run better during a workout. The shoe is designed for both men and women and has an embedded sensor in the insole that measures a runners landing zone, cadence, ground contact time, and impact rate. The sensors in the shoe are powered by button cell batteries which can be replaced after an estimated 80 100 hours of use.
Altra has sponsored many prolific trail and ultra races within the United States, including the Western States Endurance Run, held each year in Squaw Valley, California and the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. which starts and ends in Silverton, Colorado.
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Switching From Hoka To Altra Shoes
Making the move from a cushioned or high heel shoe requires a transition period to a more minimal barefoot shoe. When wearing a standard shoe with a high heel, your achilles tendon and lower calf muscles are much more weak. Many runners do have lower calf pain and stiffness in the first couple of days to weeks of using a zero drop shoe.
Altra shoes do have different types of cushioning. The lesser cushioned shoes will require a longer transition time, compared to greater cushioned shoes like the Timp 2 or Olympus 3.5. The Lone Peak 4.5 has less cushioning and is an example of a trail running shoe with a longer transition time. This will require wearing both your old shoes and new pair of Altra shoes.
For the first week, runners should only wear the Altra shoes for easier and shorter workouts. The second and third week, athletes can begin wearing their Altra shoes in more moderate workouts. By week four, most runners should be able to wear their zero drop shoes for harder and longer workouts. The big thing is listen to your body. Wearing minimalist shoes will take time for your body to adapt.
If soreness is frequent, try watching videos about running form. These can help you better your technique and prevent injuries. Again, listen to your body and allow your legs time to adjust to Altra or any minimalist barefoot shoes.
Do These Altra Athletic Shoes Run True To Size
Altra running shoes for women fit true to size and width. They come in womens sizes 5.512 in most shoe models. Altra seems to have eliminated the need for wide or extra-wide shoe options due to their unique foot-shaped designs. If you need further information on shoe sizing, please check the manufacturers website.
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What Colors Are Available
Because there are so many different Altra shoe models, there are many different color options available. There are subtle colors like black, grey, and navy blue as well as brighter colors like pink, purple, and yellow. Some are multi-colored while others are monochromatic.
Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Altra.
How To Find The Right Altra Fit For You
Altra is a company founded by innovation and disrupted thinking. From early on Altra’s co-founders wanted a running shoe that didn’t change the way they ran. Began by modifying running shoes that were available at the time, Altra eventually was born. With the vision of creating shoes that provide a balanced underfoot experience, while supporting natural running form.
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New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 3
> Daily Trainer
- Weighs 8.7 oz. for a US M10.5 2E
- 6 mm drop
I cant help but get all giddy when the Beacon gets mentioned. While I didnt love the first version, I put about 400 miles in v2. Once I heard that Fresh Foam X would make its debut in the v3, I was pretty much sold.
Upon step in, its clear that the v3 is softer than the v2. FFX provides a more cushioned and bouncier ride. I was testing it on easy runs, long runs, and speedwork. They all felt great in their own way. While moving slower, the ride was cushioned and soft. Once I sped up, it got more bouncy and responsive.
In my opinion, the upper fits better. The wide width is great in the midfoot, and the toe box isnt nearly as sloppy as the v2. I should note that my 10.5 felt long and I could have easily run in a size 10 and still had some room. The Ground Contact Fresh Foam outsole is almost the same as the v2 and still provides sure footing at faster speeds.
While Im not pleased that the Beacon v3 has gained .7 oz. from my v2 pair, finding a wide shoe that comes in under 9 oz. is a treat. This shoe will 100% stay in my rotation.
What Is An Altra Zero Drop Shoe
Zero Drop refers to the height differential between the heel and forefoot in a shoe. Zero drop is a term used to describe a shoes design and construction.
Zero drop shoes have a theoretical heel-toe measurement on the bottom of the shoe that is the same as its fore-to-aft measurement, meaning that there is no difference between your heel and forefoot height as you stand in the shoe.
Altra shoes are zero drop, meaning that as you stand in them, your heel is not higher than your forefoot. Zero drop is a term that describes shoes that have a heel-to-toe drop that is the same as the length of the foot. Most athletic shoes have a heel lift, which can cause problems for individuals with flat feet.
The Altra Zero Drop philosophy is to support the healthy alignment of the feet throughout the running stride by keeping the heel and ball low to the ground.
To help keep your foot in a natural, healthy position, the sole of every Altra shoe is a 0mm drop from heel to toe. Some shoes have additional features to enhance this natural positioning.
There are two factors that determine whether a shoe is zero drop or negative drop: the heel-toe offset and the stack height.
Offset is the measurement of the heel to toe difference in mm. Stack height is the measurement of how thick the midsole is. Negative drop shoes have an offset number greater than zero, and a stack height that is also greater than zero.
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New Balance Fuelcell Prism V2
> Mild Stability
- Weighs 9.8 oz. for a US M10.5 2E
- 6 mm drop
New Balances Vazee Prism was one of my favorite shoes, so anything with Prism in the name is going to have a high standard to live up to. Im pleased to say that the FuelCell Prism V2 meets the expectations I set.
The FuelCell Prism V2 is New Balances lightest stability shoe option coming in at 9.8 oz. for a size US M10.5 2E. Part of the lightweight package comes from the synthetic mesh upper that is very airy in the forefoot. The gusseted tongue and collar have a standard amount of padding.
For me, the upper gives my wide midfoot a nice snug fit and holds my foot in place. The width here is what I wish the Hoka Arahi in wide was. I have enough room in the toe box and dont get any heel slipping. I did find myself adjusting the tongue a few times because it was rubbing my ankle. It was annoying, but moving it around and pulling my sock up higher dealt with the issue.
The midsole is made up of a full length FuelCell foam that has a denser medial post blended in for the stability. While the forefoot and heel feel noticeably softer, the firmer medial post helps to keep the ankle from rolling in. The forefoot of the outsole is covered in a slightly softer rubber than the heel and the entire shoe has great grip.
Altra Shoes And Hoka One One Awesome Running Shoe Options
If this is how you feel about exercise, perhaps the problem stems from wearing the wrong shoes. Im not a runner, but I do love to walk on the local prairie path. But even the smallest foot issue can take center stage during a long walk if my shoes dont fit and feel well. Too tight toe box? Bunions complain. Not enough cushioning? Mr. Plantar Fasciitis returns. Arch support lacking? I cant make it to the half mile marker!
Currently, I wear my Asics GT-2000 with Superfeet 3/4 insoles which help with my plantar fasciitis pain. Billed as a stability running shoe for medium-high arches, Ive found them suitable for walking as long as I add the insole. However, I think I could do better. Ive noticed a few new brands enter the fitness shoe category over the last yearmaybe youve heard of them too? Hoka One One and Altra shoes both pique my interest with their thick foam midsoles and rocker outsoles. On footwear is another brand that looks dreamily comfortable with their cloud-like rubber elements on the outsoles.
Hoka One One Clifton 2
Hoka One One Technology
I asked my Facebook followers if anyone owned a pair of Hokas and what they thought about them. Here are a few responses:
Praise for the Hoka One One Clifton from Monica:
Suffered a Lisfranc sprain and broken metatarsal over 7 months ago and was making very slow progress. The cushion/support in these allowed me to start walking and even running again.
Altra Zero Drop Footwear
Altras Foot-Shaped Toe Box
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Hit The Road In Altra Running Shoes For Women
Altra knows that all feet are not created equal and have put time and effort into developing technologies that support all foot types in running. More specifically, womens feet are wider at the toe base and gradually narrow to the heel. Altra is the first shoe company to have built a shoe around the physical properties of a feminine foot. In 2011, Altra was founded based on the CORE3their unique features of these running shoes for women.
Altra Torin 45 Plush Conclusion
ROBBE: Im going to be honest we have a lot of shoes coming in, but Im going to try and work this into as many runs as possible, thats how much I enjoyed running in the shoe. The wider platform has me feeling secure, while the weight is light enough to adapt to anything from long runs to tempo work. And the comfort is just spot on. Hell, even if you dont run, you should pick these up as just a walking shoe.
JARRETT: As I write this, I realize that I have very little to complain about with the Torin 4.5 Plush. Yeah, there should have been a second eyelet for lacing and Altra seems to be moving in the direction of slimmer profiles, but the ounce of weight loss is great, the upper feels good, and the midsole and outsole didnt need much changing.
The Torin 4.5 Plush is an excellent daily trainer, long run, or easy recovery day shoe. The zero drop cult and curious truth-seekers should be pleased with this one.
You can pick up the at Running Warehouse by using the shop link below.
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Hiking And Walking Shoe
Once you decide you like Zero drop shoes, youre going to want them for everything you do. And its important NOT TO WALK in your running shoes.
Weird, I know. But if youre taking long walks thats actually a different stride and wear pattern than running. So get yourself walking shoes. Look at me giving you reasons to buy more shoes.
- 11.6 oz. Mens / 9.6 oz. Womens
- Zero drop model
- Not so plush you lose yourself, but a truly comfortable ride
- Outsole that will work through the wet and dry of your trail time
- Available now for $170
Jacqueline says: The 3.0s were my fav trail shoe ever!!! But these are even lighter & grippyer than the previous model. I didnt have to break them in at all. Walked right on the Appalachian Trail for an 8.5 mile section hike & my feet and knees felt great!
Could you run in this shoe? Of course, but its heavier and not as nimble as the Lone Peak.
The higher stack and wider base make for a more natural stability in the shoe. Same idea as the maximal design of Hoka. Ive seen a number of folks comment on how nice that is in a cushioned shoe on a long day.
Looking for more running shoe reviews? Weve got them on our running gear reviews page!
Benefits Of Altra Trail Running Shoes
Heres why you should pick Altra running shoes for your trail running adventures:
- Altra trail shoes are more technical than other running shoes on the market. To deal with rugged surface issues such mixture of dry and wet surface and sharp debris, these trail-running shoes come with several excellent features such as water resistance, better grip, protection from debris, traction, and comfort.
- Altra trail shoes come with sturdy lugs to tackle different types of terrains while hiking you may encounter during your trail running adventure. Enhanced lug patterns in Altra trail shoes can tackle surfaces such as rocky terrains, natural trails, sand, mud, etc.
- Unlike other trail shoes that are heavier, and bulkier, Altra trail shoes are more streamlined in terms of design and weight. They look stylish even when they get dirty on the walking trail.
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How Do Altra Running Shoes Fit
According to some reviews, a lot of Altras shoes seem to run on the smaller side. Some suggest choosing at least one half-size up from your usual running shoe size to get an ideal fit. For example, if you typically wear a 9, then you might want to choose a 9.5 instead. Take into account that new running shoes may require a break-in period, and be sure to read some reviews to see what people are saying about a specific pair when making your decision. The only way to really know how they fit is to try them on in person and see what size works best for you.
Your Feet In Wide Vs Narrow Shoes: Great Visual From Altra Running
Altra Running posted a photo on their Facebook page showing an X-Ray image comparing foot shape in an Altra shoe vs. a narrow shoe with a pointed toebox . The difference is striking:
I contacted Altra to confirm that these were real X-Rays, and was told that they were, and that its the same persons foot in two different shoes.
One of the things that many people who migrate into more anatomically shaped footwear report is that their feet seem to widen over time. Personally, I used to be a solid size 10 in nearly every shoe that I wore. Lately, however, I find myself bumping up more and more frequently into size 10.5 shoes to accommodate my forefoot. Has it really widened? Not sure and I dont have measurements, but Ive been in roomy shoes almost exclusively for several years now, and I dont doubt in the least that footwear can influence foot shape through bony and soft tissue adaptation.
Personally, Ive come to value flat footwear with a roomy toebox for all day use at home in the office . Somewhat ironically, since experimenting with running shoes is what led me to this preference, the only time I can now tolerate a somewhat snug shoe is when Im running. For example, I like a racing/speedwork shoe to fit a bit snug and to be a bit stiff. For the rest of my runs I like to mix things up, but generally prefer a roomier fit. For all day, flat and wide all the way.
Curious, if youve made the switch to wider shoes, have you noticed a change in foot shape?
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