Facts

Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 7.9oz | Women: 6.6oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 21mm | Women: 21mm
Forefoot height: Men: 21mm | Women: 21mm
Release date: Jan 2019
Brand: Altra
Type: Low drop | Zero drop
Width: Men: Normal, X-Wide | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $110
Colorways: Purple, Black, Blue, Grey, Green, Pink
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Trail running shoe
A top rated Altra running shoe
A popular pick
Better rated than the previous version Altra Superior 3.5

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.

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87 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews

  • 98 / 100 | Rachela Lack

    Altra Superior 4: Trail shoe that tackled rock climbing, sand, and slickrock

    More photos

    I am new to trail running as this was my second trail distance. I choose a 50-miler in the "Desert," but it was more like the Antelope Canyon Ultra in Page, Arizona! This 50-mile course promised us 40 miles of sand, rock climbing, slot canyons, and slick rock. Plus the last loop of 10 miles of runnable trail. 

    So how do you pick a shoe to perform? I always have that one call, or I read reviews. I choose the Altra Superior 4 straight out of the box. I know it is a risk but here is how the shoe performed.

     

    Specifications

       Insole    5mm contour footbed
       Toe box     FootShape™ with Fully-Cushioned Zero Drop Platform™
       Stack height    21 mm
       Outsole    MaxTrac™ Rubber with TrailClaw™
       Upper    Seamless wrap-around engineered knit
       Insole    6mm contour footbed with removable StoneGuard™
       Stack height    21mm
       Midsole    Quantic ™ with InnerFlex™
       Weight    6.6 oz/187 g

    Test miles

    I took these shoes on a test run for my first 50 milers. The terrain included sand, lots of sand. About 40 miles of it! Another terrain during this 50 miler was slick rock, slot canyons, and rock climbing.

    I was very impressed with the grip these shoes had on the slick rock - I never slipped. The grip was almost like glue. I easily could run up them, down them, and climbing was confident. 

     

     

    The sand was an issue. Who trains in the sand anyway? The shoe has built-in spots for Gaiters, which I wore. With both the shoe and the Gaiters I had almost little sand at the end.  

    At no point did I feel I needed to stop to change socks or dump sand out, which a ton of people did this at Aid Stations.  

    Fit, feel & the ride

    This shoe fit loose in the toe box. Which I knew this brand is known for. However, I felt the rest of the shoe felt good and snug. It did not slip back and forth. I wear an 8 for most running shoes, and the pair I wore was an 8. 

    It is a zero drop shoe, and my cadence is normally high, so I did not affect me too much. I tried these specifically to handle the sand. Having the zero drop helped with the sand. I really did not sink much, and turning over was less work and helped save energy.

    When the trail switched to the slick rock, and the rock climbing, I felt the same confident ride. On close-knit ledges, I felt happy with the feel of the shoe.  It gave me the confidence of no slippage. I was able to switch easily to a slow and steady pace to a faster pace.

     

     

    Regarding the weight, these shoes are light to the touch. Very flexible, and felt like they could mold to my feet and terrain. The shoe comes with a Stone Guard Insole, which prevents rocks and other debris from entering.

     

    Toe box

    The toe box is going to take some to get used to it. It is part of the brand, so it’s unique. I can handle the process, and like the feel and confidence, it gave me right out of the box. So I hope it will be a top favorite in my Trail Running adventures.

    Price

    $110.00 - I was extremely pleased with this price. I believe these shoes will easily run for 300-400 miles.

    Conclusion

    This shoe performs. I also believe I will fall more in love with it with more miles, and various terrain. I will have to give it some time due to the zero drop, but I am used to shoe rotation, so it did not bother me as much.  

    Also for the price point, I believe it is an affordable option if you are looking for a lightweight trail shoe that almost feels like you are barefoot. Trails can be unpredictable, and so far, I believe this shoe can handle a variation.

    I would use this shoe on any terrain. I would use this shoe for probably max a 50 miler because you may want more cushion for a 100 miler.  

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 79 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    If you aren't familiar with the Superior already, it's gonna be a big upgrade for you and I would encourage you to definitely check it out.

  • 60 / 100 | nwOutdoorAdventures | | Level 1 expert

    Altra missed on this shoe, overall. But I think it is going in the right direction.

  • 96 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    Overall I was impressed with the Superior 4.0, appreciating most the comfortable, relaxed fit and flexible nature of the shoe, with superb upper and good cushion.

  • 85 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    I love everything about it, EXCEPT the midsole.

Become an expert

  • The Superior 4.0 is footwear that’s designed for the trails. This product is also a part of the Altra line of running shoes. The façade is similar to its predecessor, the Superior 3.5, save for an upper that now features more stitch-reinforcements and a wraparound overlay that covers the sides and the heel. The now-popular seamless construction is still used for this shoe.
  • Altra Quantic™, a midsole foam, is used for this trail running shoe. This full-length piece is meant to provide impact mitigation and energized steps in a lightweight package. A foot-shaped platform works with midsole flex grooves to enable the natural movement capacity of the foot.
  • MaxTrac™ rubber is used for the outsole unit of the Altra Superior 4.0. This compound is long-lasting, and it has the necessary firmness that counters the harsh nature of the trails. The slanted TrailClaw™ lug configuration doles out traction over the irregular surfaces.

Standard measurements were used in the making of the Altra Superior 4.0. Runners can use their usual choices when it comes to size. Widthwise, the available options are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively. The semi-curved and foot-shaped construction of the façade and the midsole are meant to welcome the outline and bending capability of the human foot.

The outsole unit of the Altra Superior 4.0 is composed of a rubber compound called MaxTrac™. This layer covers the entire midsole foam, protecting it from the abrasive nature of the outdoor terrains. It has a grippy character that allows it to naturally deliver traction. Many trail shoes from Altra utilize this technology, including the well-known Lone Peak 4.0.

Heightened surface adhesion is provided by the TrailClaw™, a set of extended gripping lugs that have a skewed construction. These protrusions act like claws that ensure surface stability and control, especially when handling upward and downward traversals.

The midsole unit of the Superior 4.0 is composed of the Altra Quantic™ foam, a full-length foam that’s designed to provide responsive underfoot performance and impact mitigation. It has a lightweight build that aims to free the foot from feeling encumbered.

The InnerFlex™ is a system of grooves in the midsole that encourages natural foot flexibility. Such a mechanism heightens the quality of the step.

Improved impact attenuation and anatomical equilibrium are afforded by the Zero Drop platform. This even heel-to-toe differential is also designed to enable the instinctive performance of the foot, accommodating slight biomechanical adjustments to accentuate speed and foot-to-ground steadiness.

A removable StoneGuard layer is placed above the primary cushioning system. It is responsible for protecting the foot from sharp trail debris and rough surfaces.

A wraparound textile is used for the upper unit of the Altra Superior 4.0. This material has a light and breathable construction that allows the runner to experience cool and dry coverage. It is also smooth and form-fitting, traits that embody a supposedly comfortable in-shoe feel.

Stitched-on overlays reinforce the sides and the heel. These add-ons don’t have a substantial thickness yet they serve the purpose of securing the foot and keeping it in place.

The forefoot has printed overlays that protect against surface impact and exposure to debris.

The padded tongue and collar of this trail shoe are meant to cushion the topmost portions of the foot. Moreover, they help in the prevention of in-shoe wobbling and accidental shoe removals.

The FootShape™ toe box is a spacious forefoot design that allows the toes to splay naturally when standing idly or when gearing towards the liftoff.

Comparison