Who should buy the Altra Vanish Tempo

The Altra Vanish Tempo is a surefire killer if you're looking for a:

Altra Vanish Tempo altra

Who should NOT buy it

There are two things that hold back the Vanish Tempo from being a superstar speedster, and these are: (1) the lack of forefoot pop and (2) its insanely expensive price. 

Altra Vanish Tempo forefoot foam

For the first issue, as long as you don't mind shelling out a few extra bucks, you might want to stick to the Altra Vanish Carbon for that snappy toe-off that's ready for both training and competition. 

For the second issue, which is price, if you want something less heavy on your pocket, the Altra Rivera 2 is your friend. 

It literally bounces you to the next step

The midsole in the Altra Vanish Tempo is very energetic and has lots of bounce. Overall, "Altra's EGO Pro foam is fantastic, hands down!!!" shares one very satisfied and excited Altra fan. Another adds the shoe "disappears on [their] foot with such a fast response, fast turn over and fast toe-off." 

Altra Vanish Tempo foam

This said, the shoe "lives up to my expectations to the point where there is nothing missing," expresses another happy tester.

A little too soft

Although it can pick up the pace, the shoe "would not be my first choice for speed intervals," remarks one critic. In the forefoot, the midsole softens a little too much; it lacks that speed-day pop. 

Altra Vanish Tempo padding

Despite it being a very fun shoe, it "could use some modifications to help it really earn it's 'Tempo' name," explains one road runner. 

You don't have to break the Altra Vanish Tempo in

To give you a clear picture of how comfortable this tempo trainer is, here are some comments from multiple reviewers: 

  • "just luxurious and super fun in feel"
  • "soft, bouncy (bordering on squishy)" 
  • "The shoe provides a lot of comfort underfoot." 

Altra Vanish Tempo logo

Because of these, a running shoe reviewer says that "you can go easy and then crank up the pace in this shoe."

Won't let you slip

That's because the midsole is a touch dense (save for the forefoot area), making your strides planted and sure. The shoe even "felt very stable on uneven grass," claims one veteran runner.

Altra Vanish Tempo toe box

Rockered design that keeps you going

"The rocker felt like it did not want to let you run slow in it" is a comment from one of the road runners who is downright amazed with the shoe's uber seamless transitions.

Altra Vanish Tempo design

Apart from this, the smooth heel-to-toe transitions also makes the Vanish Tempo not feel like a zero-drop shoe at all, which is particularly good if you are transitioning to a zero-drop running shoe.

Fit that nails it! 

The Vanish Tempo corrects the upper issues of its plated sibling—the Altra Vanish Carbon. The toe box has the perfect room (even wide-footed runners enjoy it!), the midfoot hold is uh-mazing, and there's more structure in the rearfoot for that solid hold. 

Altra Vanish Tempo fit

What's more is the lockdown is just as awesome. "There is no tongue gusset and none is needed," lauds one commenter. It stays in place and locks the foot in. Not to mention, the laces also never come undone even with just a single knot. 

The Vanish Tempo is a sweat-free zone

That's because it's very breathable. "I had no issues with breathability" states one running expert who has done test runs in the shoe in the very hot and humid country of Mexico.

Altra Vanish Tempo breathability

It sticks and it can last a long time 

Whether it's on road surfaces, compacted dirt trails and paths, and wet roads, there's no stopping the Altra Vanish's clingy outsole. On these surfaces, the shoe feels really stable and surefooted. What's more is it still has no wear after 50 miles of a series wear testing on gravel (mostly). 

Altra Vanish Tempo outsole

It's overpriced 

"The $190 price tag might scare away those who already hesitate to run in zero drop" and "I would not change anything about this shoe...except the cost" are some of the reviews left by disappointed testers. 

Altra Vanish Tempo rearfoot hold

On average, a pair of tempo running shoes cost $132. Meanwhile, the Vanish Tempo from Altra costs $190 a pair, which is a world of difference! 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 8.7oz
Drop: Men 0mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 33mm
Heel height: Men 33mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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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.