Our verdict


Many consumers must have found in the Altra Duo what they look for in a running shoe, based on the numerous positive comments it received. The zero-drop, maximum cushion midsole has impressed runners, while many others commended the shoe’s structural elements and appearance.


  • Great cushioning
  • Responsive
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lightweight
  • No break-in required
  • Highly breathable
  • Versatile (various distances)


  • Debris gets trapped in the outsole
  • Collar causes chafing

Who should buy the Altra Duo

The Altra Duo brings together a balance of maximum-level cushioning and lightweight wear in a zero-drop silhouette. This shoe is recommended for you if:

  • You want enhanced speed and prolonged running power while enabling natural motion.
  • You prefer a versatile running shoe that is ideal for road racing and up-tempo runs.

Altra Duo duo name

Updates to the Altra Duo

  • A thin mesh presents itself as the upper of the Duo, which wraps the foot comfortably and enables optimal breathability for a well-ventilated run
  • There are thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlays that support the mesh, giving it a secure fit and maintaining the shoe’s structural integrity
  • The midsole uses Max-LT, Altra’s special foam compound that offers an exceptional level of cushioning and energy return
  • The outsole has a decoupled design, giving the shoe a flexible quality and letting it adjust according to the foot’s motions

Altra Duo altra logo

A flexible and lightweight outsole

The blown rubber outsole of this road shoe focuses on the high-wear areas. The forefoot and heel have twice as much rubber, making them durable, but not at the expense of weight.

Altra Duo blown rubber

It also features a decoupled design, which means that underfoot flexibility is enhanced. This is because the shock is distributed evenly, in contrast to the conventional one-piece outsole where impact tends to concentrate on only one area.

Low-impact landings with the Duo

The Max-LT is a new midsole compound from Altra that is present in the Duo. Made from injection-molded foam, the Max-LT creates an extensive underfoot cushioning, but not at the expense of weight – a feature that appeals to marathon runners and long-distance trainers.

Altra Duo max-LT

With a zero-drop structure, the platform of the Altra Duo places the heel and forefoot at the same height, permitting a natural position and alignment that results in a low-impact landing.

The Inner Flex technology is also present, which means there are flex grooves across the length of the shoe. The grooves equip the foot with enhanced functionality while also encouraging a natural stride.

Altra Duo inner flex grooves

Excellent airflow made possible

The upper of the Altra Duo consists of a reinforced mesh that is razor-thin. The thinness of the material makes the shoe twice as much breathable compared to regular mesh uppers, as it allows for excellent airflow even during hot and humid conditions. However, while it may look flimsy, it is durable enough to handle the runner’s fastest pace.

Altra Duo mesh upper

A Dri-Lex fabric liner wraps the inside of the upper, giving a sensation that is almost like a second skin. Aside from supplying comfort, it also keeps the foot dry as its unique fibers wick away moisture.

Few thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlays surround the upper, keeping the layout simple while still delivering the necessary support especially at the midfoot. The minimal design maintains the breathability of the mesh upper, as there are fewer restrictions on it.

The toe box of the Duo, same as the Olympus 3.0, is Altra’s proprietary design, called the FootShape. Its structure lets the toes spread out naturally, yielding stability and balance. Because the foot now has an increased capability of remaining steady, running power is improved.

Altra Duo foot shape

The shoe’s heel collar has a deepened structure, allowing the Achilles to fit precisely and snugly, thus ensuring a locked-down feel.

Altra Duo deepened collar