We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

10 reasons to buy

  • Generally, runners were very happy with the comfortable ride of the Instinct 4.0.
  • There is a natural space for the placement of the foot.
  • The new version is significantly more breathable than the past model, based on several opinions of reviewers.
  • Some runners loved its long-mileage capacity.
  • More than a handful were very happy with its ability to be a gym option.
  • There were those who said that the shoe was light enough for speed runs and for piling on the miles.
  • The 6th iteration of the Altra Instinct (starts with 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 etc.) is very smooth and well-cushioned, according to some runners.
  • The price is bang for the buck, as appreciated by a good number of runners.
  • Excellent grip on different surfaces is also mentioned by a moderate number of runners.
  • It looks much better than the past model, as commented by a handful of reviewers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The forefoot and toe box is a bit too loose, according to some runners.
  • A few said that the upper is a bit sloppy.

Bottom line

The Altra Instinct 4.0 is the Intuition’s (women’s only) equivalent for the men’s version. It offers many of Altra’s renowned technologies like the ZeroDrop and the FootShape technologies. With the 6th instalment of the Instinct, runners can get a shoe that has ample protection for many miles on the road, intense workouts in the gym, and easy recovery sessions. It is a versatile workhorse that can take on different tasks, especially for those who are working around a budget.


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  • Terrain


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


    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.

  • Use

    Daily running

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


    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
  • Weight
    Men: 10oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 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.

  • Heel height
    Men: 25mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 25mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
  • Release date
    Jan 2017
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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.

82 / 100 based on 10 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 | Runner's World

     In subsequent years they got softer, but customers kept asking for the original. So Altra is returning to the same last as the original, which will deliver the same fit. But they maintain the third version’s taller heel and forefoot heights. Testers loved the cushioning.

  • 82 / 100 | Runner's World

    So Altra is returning to the same last as the original, which will deliver the same fit. But they maintain the third version’s taller heel and forefoot heights. 

  • 80 / 100 | Fellrnr

    I rated the Instinct 4 as "Worth Considering", as it's a good choice, but there are a number of shoes that are better.

  • 78 / 100 | Gear Institute

    Performance benefits of the Instinct 4.0 are specific for midfoot strikers; heel strikers will struggle to feel efficient in them. The updates to this model are all smart improvements, and current fans of this Altra line will be pleased with the result.

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Updates to Altra Instinct 4.0

  • One of the biggest updates offered by the Instinct 4.0 is the removal of the stiff toe bumper. In its place is a more pliable one that creates more space and lessens the risks of irritations or blisters.
  • Altra also created a significantly more breathable model in this shoe. The added holes all over the shoe makes it definitely more well-ventilated than the previous model.
  • A more streamlined look gives it also a more sophisticated appeal that most runners have greatly appreciated.
  • The outsole has more rubber for more grip and better cushioning.
  • Finally, Altra lessened the foam in the tongue as it is not as bulbous as before, while the heel and ankle collar get more foam for a more plush feel.

Altra Instinct 4.0 size and fit

Altra basically kept the fit and sizing of the previous model with the latest coming of the Instinct. The trademark FootShape last creates excellent room for the toes to splay. While the forefoot and toe box have ideal space, the heel and midfoot are adequately held in place. The sizing runs true. For those who have slightly wider feet, the generous forefoot space should be more than enough.


Altra’s FootShape outsole creates the premium opportunity for runners to have a more natural and flexible ride. The numerous flex grooves and the detailed outsole provide better shock attenuation and responsiveness. Also, with the thicker outsole, the rubber in the underfoot delivers long-lasting performance for the Instinct 4.0.


An injection molded EVA with Altra properties is called A-Bound midsole by Altra. It provides decent cushioning and responsiveness. The full-length construction enhances the movement through the gait cycle.


An engineered mesh upper with more holes delivers a breathable and very supportive ride. The Altra Instinct 4.0 has decent flexibility and hold in the right areas for a secure, but natural movement. The upper shows minimal overlays (the logos only on both sides) to provide security. Only the right mix of flexibility and security hold the foot together for extended periods of time.