Summary

We spent 8.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

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.

Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.1oz | Women: 6.8oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Fit: Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Wide toe box
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: All-day wear
Material: Knit upper, Rubber sole
Features: Breathable | Sockless wear | Cushioned | Comfortable
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 33mm | Women: 31mm
Forefoot height: Men: 33mm | Women: 31mm
Release date: Jul 2019
Brand: Altra
Type: Low drop | Zero drop | Maximalist
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $130
Colorways: Black, Green, Grey
Size
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy
Flexibility
Stiff Flexible
Breathability
Warm Breathable
Cushioning
Firm Plush
Durability 6/10
Comfort 6/10
Traction 7/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

84 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    So, this is going to be one of those shoes that will work for some of you in that race environment if you're looking to log long miles in a race environment and you need something light, responsive, fast, fun. This could be the shoe for you.

  • 94 / 100 | Bluebird Running Company | Level 1 expert

    A great shoe to run in and I am very happy!

  • 89 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    If you are a more conventional drop shoe fan looking for an up tempo, highly cushioned option that is not somewhat boring mush (say Clifton..) you should also take a look at Duo as once you get moving fast you won't be missing the heel much if at all.

  • 91 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 4 expert

    I think this update is worth considering for people who found the forefoot of the original Duo to be too wide for a good performance fit.

  • 85 / 100 | Runner's World | | Level 4 expert

    The Duo 1.5 is a cushy, lightweight everyday trainer that can also handle speedwork.

  • 80 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 4 expert

    I mean, this could be a good to decently good shoe. That’s it. That’s all I got.

Become an expert

  • 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.

Comparison

Author
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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.

jens@runrepeat.com