34 best Altra running shoes

Based on reviews from 210 experts and 6,592 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Altra running shoes. Updated Dec 2018.

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Altra running shoes

Through decades of research and development, the Altra brand is already a well-known name in the Zero Drop niche. This American company may have started in a store backroom, but its wide array of performance footwear is already being distributed worldwide. Altra running shoes consist of trail, road, and general footwear. In fact, men’s and women’s Altra running shoes already have proven their worth in the running community with their shoe innovations developed by elite athletes, running store managers and runners. Despite being a young company, the brand is ranked highly in the run-related lists, proving that they are doing well in the performance category.

Altra’s Zero Drop Platform and other running shoe technologies

best altra running shoes
Best Altra running shoes - November 2018

Using the Zero Drop platform in all their running shoes separates Altra from other brands. Every running shoe from Altra features a fully-cushioned Zero Drop, which places the forefoot and heel at the same distance from the ground. It aligns the body for more balance and strength.

Some of the benefits of this Zero Drop platform are the following:

  • It promotes improved running technique as naturally aligns the body, back, and feet.
  • The distance of the forefoot and heel from the ground is the same.
  • It encourages front to back weight-balanced.
  • It strengthens the Achilles for enhanced propulsion.

Aside from the fully-cushioned Zero Drop platform, some of the technologies found in Altra running shoes are the following:

  • Altra IQ – This smart, innovative technology has been used in the Altra Torin IQ running shoe. It features multiple sensors that are designed to deliver real-time feedback to the runners. The sensors are strategically attached in the midsole and users can sync the data using a smartphone. Through the app, runners can track their distance, paces, foot strike, impact rate, cadence and other significant data in one system.
  • Footshape Toe Box – The foot-shape toe box is specifically designed to give the toes more freedom to spread out naturally while allowing the big toe to remain in its position. It delivers stability and a more powerful toe-off.
  • Footpod Technology – The outsole technology that aims to promote natural foot movement. It maps the tendons and bones of the foot. As a result, the foot painlessly flexes as it moves in a different direction.
  • TrailClaw Outsole – This outsole material has been used in some Altra trail running shoes. The TrailClaw features a durable and reliable ‘claws,’ which are strategically placed in the outsole for enhanced traction. Uphill and downhill runs will never be a problem.
  • Innerflex – This technology features a grid-like flex grooves that allow the foot to flex whenever necessary. It promoted a natural running style while enhancing comfort and stability.
  • StabilipodA midsole technology designed to give runners a higher level of stability. It serves as a stabilizing platform for the foot, preventing excessive pronation.
  • GuideRail – Debuted in 2016, this technology works hand-in-hand with the Stabilipod. It is created to keep the foot aligned throughout the run. It gives runners extra support when necessary and reduces overpronation in every stride.
  • Fit4Her Technology – It aims to cater the female-specific foot shape, which is narrower in the midfoot and heel. It also has a longer arch and higher instep. Through this Altra technology, female runners can expect a gender-specific fit which can be translated to better performance.

Finding the best Altra running shoes for men and women

For beginners, finding the best running shoe might be a bit challenging, but you will never go wrong if you focus on these basic characteristics:

Level of comfort

Comfort is one of the factors runners must pay attention to in finding the best running shoe. Thankfully, Altra gives much attention to comfort, and that’s why they created the Zero Drop platform and FootShape toe box. These give runners a more natural feel, giving them satisfying level comfort while running. The Fit4Her technology is also another innovation that supports Altra’s commitment to providing each female runner comfortable footwear, may it be for trail running or road running.

Few elements may affect the shoe’s overall comfort, including the upper material, midsole cushioning, and overall fit. Thus, you must check all these elements before purchasing a shoe. You can also get ideas by reading some Altra running shoe reviews or by trying the shoe on first.   

Impressive performance

The performance of the shoe is the most important element you should look into if you are planning to buy a new pair of running shoe. Do not buy the shoe because it looks stylish or has great colors. The style and color of the shoe should be given minimum importance.

Altra running shoes promise to deliver impressive performance. The brand has a great selection of road and trail running shoes. Most of these shoes are suited for daily running, perfect for short and long-distance runs.

Reasonable price tag

You cannot measure the shoe’s performance by its price tag. According to this study, the ten most expensive running shoes are rated 8.1% worse than the ten cheapest running shoes.

If you are a beginner, do not immediately invest in expensive shoes. It is best to look for footwear that suits well with your needs. Altra running shoes range from $90 to $200.

Unmatched durability

On average, durable running shoes may last up to 500 miles or even more. To check the durability, you should assess the upper, midsole, and outsole materials of the shoe. Generally, when it comes to durability, Altra is comparable to other brands like Brooks, Asics, and Saucony

Altra trail running shoes

Altra trail running shoes are packed with innovative technologies and made from high-quality materials. The shoes aim to help runners tackle a wide variety of terrains without any problems. Some of the popular trail running shoes are the following:

  • Altra Olympus - In Greek mythology, Olympus refers to as the as the home of the Greek gods, and regarding the topographic importance, the term refers to one of the highest peaks in Europe. As the name suggests, this running shoe model offers great performance in the mountains. It is a true beast as it features great traction, support, and durability. The latest available version for this model is the Altra Olympus 3.0.
  • Altra Lone Peak - The Lone Peak is Altra’s original trail running shoe. The latest version, the Lone Peak 4, features several updates to enhance comfort, protection, and traction. The shoe model has always been the favorite of trail runners because of its durability and grip on varied surfaces. The Altra Lone Peak 4 is also available in all-weather variation and mid-cut series.
  • Altra Superior - A true superior on the trail, this model continues to impress its fans by giving them exactly what they need on the trail. The Superior 3.5 offers protection against debris and mud, durable traction and unmatched grip on technical terrains. The shoe is lightly cushioned, but it still offered a good amount of protection and underfoot protection.
  • Altra King MT - The Altra King MT model is meant for rocky and muddy mountains. The new King MT 1.5 features a breathable and lightweight upper, and a very grippy outsole. It is also equipped with Altra Ego midsole that offers responsiveness and high-energy return. This king of the mud has a tear resistant, quick-dry upper for durable coverage.
  • Altra Timp - The Timp is the new addition to the Altra trail running shoe line -up. It is named after Mount Timpanogos, one of the highest mountains in Utah's Wasatch Range. It is a versatile trail shoe that showcases a moderate level of cushioning, a great amount of grip, and impressive comfort. The Timp is designed for long-distance trail running.

Altra road running shoes

Altra created several road running shoes to cater to a wide variety of running needs. Several popular models are the following:

  • Altra Escalante - The Escalante is a road running shoe designed for neutral runners. The first version of the model was released in February 2017, and it was very successful in giving runners satisfying performance. The latest version, which was released in the second quarter of 2018, is much lighter, but it continues to deliver the customary Escalante performance. The Altra Escalante 1.5 uses the fully-cushioned Zero Drop midsole, FootShape toe-box, Altra Ego cushioning, and FootPod outsole technology. Most runners admired the shoe for its comfort, fit and reliable cushioning.
  • Altra Torin - The Torin is one of the best-selling road running shoes from Altra. The latest version is the Altra Torin Knit 3.5, which offers comfort, responsiveness, and flexibility. This shoe is designed for long-distance road running.
  • Altra Paradigm - This model offers a maximum level of cushioning for daily running. No matter what the distance is, the Paradigm won’t disappoint. The latest version is the Altra Paradigm 4. The shoe is packed with the necessary technologies for comfort, cushioning and stability.
  • Altra Provision - This model is designed for runners who need moderate arch support. The latest version of this model is the Provision 3.5. It continues its legacy to deliver a high level of stability for a more satisfying experience. The shoe also offers natural and supportive fit, which is needed during longer runs.
  • Altra Instinct - Hit the roads with the Instinct, an Altra’s original road shoe which delivers a great combination of comfort and cushioning. The Altra Instinct 4.5, the model’s latest version, features an updated upper and midsole for better performance.

Torin IQ: Altra’s first smart shoe

After years of research and development, Altra successfully created their first smart shoe – the Torin IQ. Inserted in the midsole is the IQ Technology which is composed of footbed sensors and microchips. Data will be collected in every step will be interpreted by the Quad Accelerometers. Some of the information collected includes the location, contact time, impact force, and cadence.

IQ Technology

This innovative technology aims to help runners improve their speed, avoid injuries and run longer. The data will be sent through the microchips to the Altra App installed on the runner’s smartphone. The stats will be interpreted real-time, giving runners on-the-run feedback.

To turn on the shoe’s technology, you need to connect it to the app. As you start running, the shoe will connect automatically and will generate statistics and advice. You can set the frequency of the voice feedback as you like.

Altra Torin IQ as a running shoe

Upper

An engineered mesh provides the foot a breathable and comfortable coverage. It also comes with reflective elements which increase visibility in low-light running condition.

The FootShape toe box allows the toes to spread naturally while giving the big toe increased stability. It allows runners to experience a more powerful toe-off.

Midsole

The IQ technology, composed of microchips, multiple sensors, and Quad Accelerometers, are placed in the midsole. These sensors remain lightweight and do not affect the shoe’s overall weight. The technology will collect the data and track the performance of the runner. It will be interpreted real-time and frequently give feedback to the runners.

To provide bounce and comfortable underfoot cushioning, the A-Bound midsole foam has been utilized. It gives runners consistent performance on both long and short-distance runs.

The Natural Ride System (NRS) in the midsole allows the foot to move more naturally. It promotes enhanced gait cycle by reducing energy spent and fatigue.

Outsole

The outer sole is made up of durable rubber material. It gives reliable traction on paved surfaces while delivering the right amount of flexibility.

The FootPod technology is integrated into the outsole. Since it follows the tendons and bones of the foot, the foot can move naturally. It aims to prevent painful running and reduces fatigue.

Another smart shoe from Altra

The Timp IQ is the second smart running shoe from Altra that is equipped with the IQ technology. It is the trail running counterpart of the Torin IQ. The Altra Timp IQ features a durable outsole with TrailClaw technology for robust grip. It also offers maximum foot protection against mud and sharp trail objects.

Frequently-asked questions related to Altra running shoes

Do Altra running shoes run true to size?

Based on some reviews, most Altra running shoes run a bit small. To get the perfect fit, one must purchase at least a-half-size up. If you normally wear a men’s 10 (US size), then you should go with size 10.5.

What are the best Altra running shoes?

As of the last quarter of 2018, the top five best running shoes for road running are the Altra Escalante 1.5, Alta Torin 3.0, Altra Paradigm 4.0, Altra Solstice and Altra One 2.5. For trail running, leading models include Altra Olympus, Altra Lone Peak, Altra Superior, and Altra Timp.

How many miles do Altra running shoes last?

Depending on how durable the shoes are, they usually last between 400 miles and 500 miles. Shoes with lesser cushioning tend to last around 300 to 400 miles.

What is the best Altra shoe for overpronators?

The best Altra running shoe for overpronation is the Provision 3.5. The shoe uses different technologies to reduce excess pronation and give added support whenever necessary. The Stabilipod and GuideRail work together for dynamic support and natural stability.

What is the most expensive running shoe from Altra?

The Timp IQ and Torin IQ are expensive running shoes from Altra. The price for each shoe is $199. These shoes are expensive because they are equipped with the noteworthy Altra IQ technology.

This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...