Facts

Discontinued
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 normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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
$110
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 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The mesh material used in the upper is able to dry off quickly, while also maintaining breathable coverage.
  • No-sew overlays help in keeping the foot in place while wearing the Altra Instinct 3.0.
  • Runners appreciated the inclusion of the FootShape toe box, which allowed their feet to spread naturally with each step.
  • The natural movement this shoe provides kept runners free from any discomfort when running; their muscles didn’t become tense and their joints didn’t ache.
  • Springiness and energy-return are afforded by the A-Bound™ lightweight mid-sole.
  • The Foot Pod™ Outsole technology mimics the natural movement of the foot, allowing it to flex and move in a very natural way.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few runners noted that the upper fabric started to tear after a few runs.
  • Some felt that it was a bit narrower than the previous versions.

Bottom line

Lightweight and flexible, the 3rd version of the Altra Instinct is a solid option for neutral runners who want a shoe that gives freedom to the natural stride. Normal toe splaying and responsible cushioning make this a great choice for daily running and even racing.


Rankings


Ratings

4.2 / 5 based on 221 ratings

5 star
55%
4 star
22%
3 star
11%
2 star
7%
1 star
5%

My Rating

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.

78 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 by Runner's World • Runner's World • Level 5 expert

    Keeps you running tall.

  • 70 / 100 by Fellrnr • Fellrnr • Level 5 expert

    I've rated the Instinct 3 as "worth considering"

  • 90 / 100 by Northern Runner • Northern Runner • Level 4 expert

    http://www.northernrunner.com/blog/altra-instinct-3-running-shoes-review/

  • 84 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Believe in the Run • Level 4 expert

    It has a plush feel from the moment you slip it on and stays comfortable through plenty of miles.

  • 55 / 100 by Running Without Injuries • Brian Goldman • Level 4 expert

    The bottom of the tongue on the inside of the shoe, right near my toes, folded under and irritated my foot.

  • 85 / 100 by Wear Tested • Nicholas Pang • Level 3 expert

    Even though this is a road shoe, we have taken it to the trails and the outsole does not pick up small pebbles like other running shoes.

  • 70 / 100 by Run Bulldog Run • Steve Speirs • Level 3 expert

    The ride is surprisingly responsive and it’s easy to get up to speed quickly in the shoe.

  • 85 / 100 by Midpack Gear • Midpack Gear • Level 2 expert

    Upon trying the Instinct 3.0s -- the foot discomfort I had for the better part of 14 months vanished.

  • 70 / 100 by Ballou a blog a go go • Mark Ballou • Level 1 expert

    The long and short of it is I'm pretty pleased with these shoes, having run a couple half marathons and put a bit mileage on them.

Show moreless reviews
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Updates to Altra Instinct 3.0

  • Runners who want to experience running in a manner that encourages and mimics the natural mechanics of the foot when performing are going to get exactly that from the 3rd version of the Instinct from Altra. It’s created to have a foot-shape, which is intended to allow the foot freedom of movement and natural flexibility.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe makes use of a mesh material that has an open construction. It permits air into the foot-chamber and allows it to keep the interior environment cool and dry. Moisture management is also given by this fabric as it staves away wetness from sweat and mild water exposure. A seamless design reduces irritation while maintaining a comfortable coverage.
  • The toe box of the Altra Instinct 3.0 is decidedly wider than most shoes because it’s a design choice that allows the runners to experience wearing the shoe without succumbing to a tight fit. The toes are given space to spread out during the landing impact and then push off efficiently during toe-off.
  • The mid-sole features a foam technology that’s meant to reduce ground impact and deliver more bounce when lifting off the ground. This full-length foam is lightweight and responsive. The mid-sole also has flex grooves, which essentially allow the cushioning system to move in accordance with the natural motions of the foot.

Altra Instinct 3.0 size and fit

The Altra Instinct 3.0 runs a bit smaller than what runners are used to. So, it is recommended for purchasers to get ½ size larger in order to have a more relaxed fit. The width of this running shoe is medium, so it is able to accommodate the runners who have medium sized feet. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curve of the human foot.


Outsole

The Foot Pod™ is a sole unit technology that essentially follows the movement pattern of the human foot. Its shape and form actually harkens to the shape of the underside of the foot, and it even has grooves that represent where the joints are going to bend the most. Basically, this design just lets the runner’s feet become as natural as possible when running.


Midsole

The A-Bound ™ is a compound that’s responsible for reducing the landing impact during the striking phase of the gait cycle. It also lets the foot bounce back up, which is helpful during the toe-off phase.
Lightweight EVA provides additional underfoot cushioning and it works with the A-Bound™ in order to maintain comfort and support throughout the running session.

The Innerflex™ is a grid design in the mid-sole that actually makes up the flex grooves. These grooves allow the platform to be as flexible as possible. Natural foot motion is greatly supported because of this design.

The Support Insole is a removable add-on that improves the cushioning. This 5mm-thick insole has a molded arch, which is able to support the mid-foot.


Upper

The Quick Dry Air Mesh is a lightweight fabric that is breathable and comfortable. It also staves off moisture, thus keeping the shoe and the foot free from odor-causing wetness or sweat.

A seamless design does away with unnecessary layers and stitching. A next-to-foot comfort is given and it feels soft and smooth. Wearing the Altra Instinct 3.0 without socks becomes a viable option, because the inner wall is non-irritating.

The Foot Shape design is a wider toe box that allows the toes to spread naturally during each step.