Verdict from 6 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The breathability of the Altra Duo 1.5’s upper unit is praised by those who like a well-ventilated ride.
  • Some testers feel that the shoelaces are long and stretchy enough to accommodate small and significant adjustments to the fit.
  • The toe box is praised by purchasers; they report that it is spacious and able to boost the quality of the toe-off.
  • According to a handful of consumers, the midsole foam is able to responsibly attenuate the impact forces generated by the foot-strike.
  • The flexibility of this product is lauded by Altra fans.
  • The traction capacity of the outsole is considered reliable and precise.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Several testers have detested the design of this product, stating that the look isn’t too appealing to the eyes.
  • A couple of users report that the thin tongue unit has a tendency to bunch up and cause irritation.
  • The edges of the collar are deemed sources of scratches against the ankles and heel.
  • A break-in period of several uses is apparently needed before achieving full-comfort, based on some reviews.
  • According to a few runners, the upper unit near the forefoot is quick to separate from the sole piece.

Bottom line

The reviews for the Altra Duo 1.5 have been divisive. There are people who like this shoe a lot, saying that it is a comfortable and well-made product. But there are also those who feel that it is not as described. The upper unit, in particular, is a highlighted area because while some say that the fabrics and design are accommodating, others complained that they’re only sources of skin irritation.

The Altra Duo 1.5 is intended for neutral pronators who like to take to the roads.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Altra Duo 1.5 is a running shoe that’s designed for those who appreciate maximum underfoot cushioning in a lightweight package. The platform has a zero-drop nature with tall stack heights (33 millimeters for men and 31 millimeters for women). Such a design is meant to deliver consistent and full-bodied support throughout the running session. A foot-shaped last accommodates the natural anatomy of the wearer.
  • Differences between the original Duo model and this iteration is on the upper unit. One particular contrast is the latter’s upgrading the textile to a cloth-like engineered knit material as opposed to the former’s razor-thin mesh. Also, the change to a thin tongue unit and collar enables a freeing in-shoe feel.

The Altra Duo 1.5 is constructed to be true to size. The standard sizing scheme is used when this product was made. Runners are welcome to buy a pair in their usual sizing expectations. However, it is important to test the shoe first or study user comments on the size from various sources to achieve a pleasant in-shoe experience.

The fit is affected by the inclusion of a foot-shaped outline and a form-welcoming upper unit. These elements work together to deliver a secure yet flexible feeling when inside the foot-chamber.

Rubber is employed in the outsole unit of the Altra Duo 1.5. This compound is designed to protect the contact points of the midsole’s base from the abrasive nature of the roads. It is also tasked with providing traction for confident and safe steps.

FootPod™ is an outsole design that focuses on the anatomical structure of the human foot. The rubber layers and the tread-pattern mimic the mechanical schematic of the bones, heightening flexibility, and surface control in the process.

Deep grooves further encourage the natural bending capacity of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. A grid-like pattern of these trenches that covers the whole external pad makes sure to give the foot full freedom to move.

The midsole unit of the Duo 1.5 is made of Max_LT™, a technology that is claimed as one of the lightest in the market. This foam piece offers reactive and stealthy cushioning, albeit in a max-stack-height setup. The increased distance between the foot and the ground aims to evoke high-tier support from the impact forces and the elements.

A 5-millimeter footbed is placed right above the primary cushioning unit. This add-on offers a soft surface on which the foot can stand. The incognito profile of this piece doesn’t hamper the flexibility nor the lightweight nature of the Altra Duo 1.5.

The profile height of the heel and forefoot are the same. This balanced plane permits the foot to maintain its own sense of equilibrium, thus potentially training the quality of the performance of the wearer. Altra running shoes generally adhere to this zero-drop construction, including well-known series like the Paradigm and the Lone Peak.

The upper unit is made of an engineered knit fabric. This material is liked to woven cloth, offering a non-irritating wrap that is also stretchy and breathable. It has the capacity to secure the foot without limiting its movements. The small holes that pockmark its facade permit air to enter the foot-chamber and maintain a cool and dry ride.

Some portions of the silhouette, like the front and the rear, have a close-weave construction with multiple layers of yarn to serve as elements that bolster structural integrity. These layered yarns also help with the attainment of a snug and secure fit by having links to the lacing system.

The left and right sides feature printed overlays that take the form of the Altra logo. These seemingly aesthetic add-ons actually help the rest of the upper unit when it comes to keeping the foot in place.

The tongue and collar of this product do not have padding. This sleek and minimalist design gives more room for the heel, ankles, and instep to move and swell as the running session is taking its course.

A traditional lacing system rests on top of the tongue unit, weaving through discreet eyelets that are reinforced with synthetic prints. This fit-adjustment scheme helps the wearer when it comes to adjusting the tightness or looseness of the wrap.

A lace-anchor is a loop on the tongue unit that is used to keep it from deviating from the center of the Altra Duo 1.5. The crisscrossing laces snake through this tab, literally locking the instep fabric in place.


How Altra Duo 1.5 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 35% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 29% Altra running shoes
All Altra running shoes
Bottom 17% maximalist running shoes
All maximalist running shoes


The current trend of Altra Duo 1.5.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.