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. Based on the user reviews, the Impulse still needs a few improvements, especially on its cushioning and durability aspects.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Altra running shoe
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

87 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews

  • 98 / 100 |

    Altra Impulse – A review from a Masters (40+) perspective

    More photos

    I am a neutral runner with a mid-foot strike, about 165 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to marathons, but spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.

    I have had this pair of Altra, though it does take some getting used to.

    The mid-sole is not as bouncy as other shoes I’ve worn, but these shoes do provide plenty of responsiveness, which makes them a competitive racer.

     

    Pros

    • Very durable
    • Responsive feel
    • Lightweight
    • Zero drop
    • Plenty of room in the toe box for natural foot flexion

    Cons

    • Not much cushioning between feet and terrain
    • Bottom of shoes feels very hard, nearly like hard plastic
    • Shoelaces are VERY long

    Conclusion

    I’ve enjoyed every mile of the Impulses and have enjoyed remaining injury-free. I’m almost certain those two are related!

    I look forward to reaching 750 miles with these Impulses. Stay tuned!

    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 | GetOutThereGear | Level 2 expert

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

  • 92 / 100 | runnersgarden | Level 1 expert

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

  • 90 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | 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 | Running Competitor | | Level 5 expert

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

Become an expert
  • 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.
  • This road 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.

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.


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.


The same as the Altra Timp 1.5, 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.


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.

Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com