Altra Superior 5 review

The Altra Superior 5 is a light and responsive trail running shoe. Built for speed on the trail, the Superior 5 is ready to move fast. Priced affordably, the Superior 5 is an obvious choice for race day, or anyone who simply wants to feel fast and light on the trails.

Who should buy the Superior 5

The Altra Superior 5 is a shoe best suited for runners who want a fast and light shoe that offers great traction and a strong sense of connection with the trail.

Who should NOT buy the Superior 5

Look away if you need a trail shoe that is

The Superior 5 is built for moving fast

The Superior 5 is agile and responsive. This is a shoe built for speedy runs or races. Great traction, combined with its lightweight makes this a great choice for runners planning to race shorter and medium distance trail events.

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Sizing is spot on

The Altra Superior 5 fits true to size. I wear a medium size 9.5 (US Men´s).

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(Disclaimer: Sizing is based on the reviewer’s opinion: see our ‘Size Guide’ in the Facts Section to find out how most users find it.)

I love the lockdown of the Superior 5

The dynamic lace stays and super fat laces work well to cinch down the foot nicely. The tongue is integrated on one side and gusseted on the other providing a superlatively secure lace cage.

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Most responsive trail runners that I´ve ever run in

The lockdown, well thought lug pattern of the sole, and the weight all conspire to make this shoe one of the most responsive trail runners that I´ve ever run in. The Superior 5 corners like a dream and the energy return are spectacular.

Water-resistant sidewalls

The sidewalls are made out of a flexible material that provides some water resistance. I liked that I could race through smaller puddles and dewy grass without getting super drenched. The sidewalls also did not compromise the ventilation of the shoe, which was nice.

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The Superior 5 is a crazy light shoe

For a trail running shoe, it is exceptionally light (8.8 oz/249g). Most trail shoes have an average weight of 10.4oz/296g. 

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The feel of this lightweight trail racer is beyond comparison. My first few runs can only be described as similar to the childlike fun of sprinting through the forest. 

The tongue of the Superior 5 is fairly unique

The tongue is solidly attached to one side of the upper and gusseted on the other. The combination results in a tongue that stays put the whole run. Well done Altra!

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Traction on the go

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The muti-directional lugs of the sole provide ample traction. On dirt trails, rocky climbs, and winding rooted single track the Superior 5 did not let me down. Traction on a shoe designed to move fast has to be dialed in, and the Superior 5 definitely is. The MaxTrac sole is grippy and tough.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: 8.8oz
Drop: 0mm
Forefoot height: 21mm
Heel height: 21mm
Collection: Altra Superior
Material: Mesh upper

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Author
Sean Kiffe
Sean Kiffe

My name is Sean Kiffe. I live with my wife and three daughters in Missoula, MT where I teach middle school science. I am primarily a trail runner but also dabble in road events occasionally. Currently, I am working my way into ultra distances and will be doing my first 50K and 100K trail races this season.