We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Altra Escalante 2’s EGO™ midsole is very bouncy, praised several runners. 
  • Because of the shoe’s durable FootPod™ outsole, some testers claim that the shoe can perform even on light trails.  
  • A lot of the reviewers appreciate the step-in comfort delivered by the shoe. 
  • The shoe keeps the foot secure when running; there weren’t any slippage, commented some delighted users. 
  • The laces have been kept in place by the lace loops situated on the shoe’s tongue, remarked many experts. 
  • Because of the added perforations, the shoe is extremely breathable, said some testers. 
  • A few runners commend the shoe for enabling enhanced speed. 
  • The Escalante 2 is very durable, affirmed several wearers. 

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several testers have complained about the shoe not being light enough for a lightweight running shoe.
  • The upper of the shoe, being a knit upper, is too stiff and firm, remarked numerous experts. 
  • The shoe has not satisfied its pledge of providing more flexibility, stated some users. 

Bottom line

Claimed to be a “Swiss Army Knife” among running shoes, the Escalante 2 is the perfect shoe for hiking, everyday training, and even half a marathon. This zero-drop shoe has been faced with both positive and negative reception from the public. While a lot of reviewers deemed the upgrades to be unnecessary, a lot were greatly satisfied with the latest changes. One of which includes the level of stability offered by the shoe. According to many, the shoe is very responsive and is very adaptive to the pace of the runner. 

Tip: read our review of Altra Escalante 2.0, or see the best running shoes.



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  • Having been designed to improve natural foot positioning, walking form, toe splay and comfort, the Altra Escalante 2 features several technical components and upgrades that complement these promised functionalities. 
  • The Altra Escalante 2 features a decoupled midsole and a decoupled outsole. This helps bring down the weight of the shoe and allows a more natural bend of the foot. It also enables smoother traction on the ground. 
  • The EGO™ midsole of the shoe is tailored to be firmer this time around to enhance the responsiveness of the ride.
  • The shoe now employs a Balanced Cushioning, instead of a Zero Drop midsole, in order to promote equal distance of the forefoot and the heel from the ground. 
  • For added stability, the reinforced knit upper of the Escalante 2, compared the Escalante 1.5: its predecessor is much firmer to keep the foot in place while providing comfort. This upper has been equipped with more perforations to enhance the breathability of the shoe. 
  • The new 6mm polyurethane (PU) insole is established on the shoe for a softer underfoot experience and for superior comfort.

The Altra Escalante 2 is available in standard sizing measurement for both men and women. You can purchase a pair with your usual sizing preference. 

The engineered knit upper provides a sock-like fit. Situated on the shoe’s upper is a padded collar and tongue. These help secure the foot while maximizing the in-shoe comfort. To allow an adjustable fit, traditional lace closure is employed by the Escalante 2. 

FootPod™ outsole is made out of durable rubber that secures long-wearing qualities and added protection to the shoe from abrasive elements. It is modeled after the construction of the human foot, allowing maximum flexibility and promoting the natural movement and bend of the foot.

For a lightweight running experience, the outsole of the Altra Escalante 2 has been decoupled, along with the shoe’s midsole. This allows the foot to flex more freely.

The Altra EGO™ dual-nature midsole basically adapts to your pace- it becomes softer when you’re slowing down, and it becomes more responsive when you start to speed up. It boasts a fast and springy feel while still delivering comfort.

Just like the FootPod™ outsole of the shoe, the Altra EGO™ midsole has been decoupled. It is constructed with InnerFlex, comprised of a flex groove system that provides additional flexibility for a smoother transition. It also encourages the natural bend of the foot and cuts weight for a generally increased performance. 

No longer employing the Zero-Drop midsole, the shoe now features a full-length Balanced Cushioning which basically delivers the same function of the Zero Drop. It places the heel and the forefoot at equal distance from the ground to promote correct, and low-impact form when running. 

The FootShape™ toe box allows more comfort and stability during ascents and descents by enabling the toes to relax and spread naturally.

For increased comfort and long-lasting plushness of the shoe, a 6mm PU contour footbed is supplied to the shoe. 

The reinforced engineered knit upper of the Escalante 2 provides a secure fit; it conforms to the shape of the foot for a sock-like fit. This upgraded upper of the shoe basically gives you more stability while maintaining the shoe’s snug fit. It also features added perforations for added breathability.

The Dri-Lex® Dri-Freeze heel liner has been integrated into the Altra Escalante 2 for heat control. It keeps your feet cool even after a long run, making sure that the moisture building up inside the shoe will quickly dry up. 

For an adjustable fit, a traditional lace-up fastening system is employed by the shoe. 

The shoe features a padded collar and a lightly-padded tongue embellished with multiple lace loops that disables the lace from getting in the way. It is responsible for making sure that the tongue is secured and does not move back and forth. 

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.