Facts

Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$120
Weight
Men: 8.6oz
Women: 7oz
Heel to toe drop
Men: 0mm
Women: 0mm

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The Altra Impulse features the built-in drainage holes to shed water and to enhance breathability.
  • Some runners took note of the light weight and flexibility feature of this shoe.
  • StabiliPod technology prevents excessive foot pronation, remarked a few testers.
  • Many runners were happy with how comfortable the Impulse is.
  • This shoe has an impressive stability feature as cited in some reviews.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some observed that exterior part of the shoe starts ripping off earlier than expected.
  • Lightweight construction but less cushioning.
  • Based on some reviews, the toe box is too narrow.

Bottom line

A combination of performance and stability is what the Altra Impluse can offer. It is ideal for road running, light trail and cross training. It is a very lightweight shoe that provides exceptional flexibility.


Rankings


Ratings

4.1 / 5 based on 62 ratings

5 star
61%
4 star
11%
3 star
13%
2 star
10%
1 star
5%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, 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.

86 / 100 based on 14 expert reviews

  • 98 / 100 by Runrepeat • Mark Clements • Level 2 expert

    I give the Impulses a high score because of their durability and speed. I set a new record in the half marathon with these, so they deserve a great score from me!

  • 90 / 100 by GetOutThereGear • GetOutThereGear • Level 2 expert

    With a great balance between support, cushion and weight, this shoe have also been great for speed workhouts.

  • 92 / 100 by runnersgarden • runnersgarden • Level 1 expert

    They feel so good. Big toe box. I'm 6 miles and there is no blisters, no hotspot.

  • 90 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Sam Winebaum • Level 5 expert

    The Altra Impulse is classified by Altra as a stability shoe but neutral runners seeking a light, stable, fast, well cushioned forefoot and a roomy well secured toe box should definitely consider the Impulse as a fast every day trainer and racer.

  • 86 / 100 by Competitor Running • Brian Metzler • Level 5 expert

    Foot-shaped forefoot gives toes plenty of room to splay for maximal forefoot energy transmission.

  • 84 / 100 by The Active Guy • The Active Guy • Level 4 expert

    The wide toe box and lightweight support make these shoes great for daily training and tempo runs.

  • 82 / 100 by Running Magazine • Canadian Running • Level 4 expert

    Runners that need stability but long for a break on the weight of the shoe they need will like the Impulse.

  • 75 / 100 by Wear Tested • Nicholas Pang • Level 3 expert

    Even running on a rubber track, you won’t feel the cushioning but you’ll get the extra lift off from the transition.

  • 85 / 100 by Iron Goof • Iron Goof • Level 2 expert

    I actually enjoyed this new feature.  The fit of the shoe felt more comfortable with the tongue falling in the same curve as my foot.

  • 84 / 100 by Iron Goof • Iron Goof • Level 2 expert

    My route took me through numerous ankle deep puddles and while my socks remained damp, the shoe was clear of water within a few yards of the puddle.  

  • 80 / 100 by Running Northwest • Noah Sommers • Level 2 expert

    It doesn’t have a lot of extras for stability or control and instead puts your foot to the test and makes your legs do the extra effort.

  • 95 / 100 by MCM Mama Runs • MCM Mama Runs • Level 1 expert

    The Altra Impulse allowed me to stay stable, despite a super rocky, uneven course.

  • 90 / 100 by Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters • Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters • Level 1 expert

    If you are soaking wet, have a lot of water coming into the shoe, it drains rapidly, and dries quickly with our mesh.

  • 86 / 100 by MCM Mama Runs • MCM Mama Runs • Level 1 expert

    The Altra Impulse allowed me to stay stable, despite a super rocky, uneven course.

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Updates to Altra Impulse

  • The Altra Impulse comes with an enhanced midsole, delivering flexible stability when necessary. It uses the brand’s notable midsole technologies that enhance stability and the flex grooves that deliver maximum flexibility.
  • The shoe also comes with built-in drainage holes that keep foot well-ventilated. It allows superior air-flow and releases moisture efficiently, keeping the foot dry.

Altra Impulse size and fit

The Impulse is true to its size. The midfoot and the heel area delivers comfortable and snug fit while the forefoot is a bit wider, allowing toe to splay. This shoe accommodated those runners with medium foot measurements and those with slightly wider foot. This is available in standard D and B widths for men’s and women’s versions respectively.


Outsole

The outer sole of the Impulse uses the brand’s FootPod Outsole. It follows the bones and the tendons of the foot to deliver flexibility. It allows the foot to flex where it wants to, delivering a more responsive and enjoyable ride.


Midsole

The shoe uses the ultra-light EVA midsole with the A-Bound technology and InnerFlex system. The EVA and the A-Bound technology delivers reliable cushioning for a responsive ride and comfortable underfoot protection. The InnerFlex technology gives maximum flexibility and encourages natural foot movement.

The H2Flo technology is also used in the midsole. There are built-in holes in the midsole to keep the foot breathable and it releases moisture efficiently to keep the foot cool and dry.

The midsole also uses the built-in Varus Stability wedge that provides the needed support for pronation control without pushing up the arch just like other traditional stability running shoes.


Upper

The upper of the Altra Impulse uses the quick-drying air mesh that releases moisture quickly and provides maximum breathability. The heel claw construction wraps the heel snugly to provide added support. This works accordingly with the A-Wrap design that wraps the midfoot snugly and gives a roomy toe-box.