Who should buy the Altra Escalante 3

The third version of the Altra Escalante is perfectly suited for those who want a: 

  • grippy and stable shoe for short to long miles on the road
  • quick and energetic running shoe that's also stable on light trails

Altra Escalante 3 altra

Who should NOT buy it

When it comes to fit, the Altra Escalante 3 has shifted from very roomy to rather snug (save for the toe box), which is why it's not been a favorite among runners with wide feet. If you happen to have broad feet, the Altra Rivera 2 is a must-have, says multiple Altra fans.

Altra Escalante 3 fit

If you're looking for something lighter but just as speed-oriented, the Altra Escalante Racer 19 (162 grams/5.7 ounces in US men's 9) is a less bulky alternative to the Escalante 3 (255 grams/8.9 ounces). 

Altra Escalante 3 vs. 2

As one road runner puts it, the Altra Escalante is "one of Altra's bread-and-butter staples" in the running world. And with this iteration, the Escalante pumps things up by:

  • being snugger-fitting but heavier (goes from 196 grams/6.9 ounces to 255 grams/8.9 ounces), thanks to the added padding in the upper
  • having more stack (from 24mm heel and forefoot height to 26mm heel and forefoot height) 

With these changes, the reactions from Escalante loyalists have been mixed. It's either they love it or hate it as their comments go from "This version is fire," to "Altra has failed at staying true to their brand."

Ready for the tempos

The overall ride is snappy. It's bouncy yet firm, as one reviewer confirms, and it's loaded with energy. In the Altra Escalante 3, it's easy to pick up the pace. So much so, another runner has this to say, "The Escalante 3 is a winner in my book." 

Altra Escalante 3 midsole

Another adds that it's his "favorite Escalante of all time" as it's more responsive than ever before. If anything, it "feels athletic, nimble, and fast," shares another critic. 

A speedster can be comfy 

"Sweet ride" is how a running expert commends the shoe's comfort. It's soft (but not the mushy kind); it's comfortable for all-day wear. Another impressed commenter adds that "Altra really knocked it out of the park with this one" because he's stoked about the shoe's foot-pampering ride. 

Altra Escalante 3 cushion

A long-distance runner also agrees with these comments saying, "This shoe impressed me on all levels!" His first test run was about 10 miles, and according to him, his feet and legs didn't feel trashed after because the shoe's cushioning is absolutely great.

Topping it all off, a new Altra runner shares that running in the Escalante 3 is "KABOOM" because the underfoot sensation is just far out! 

This is what natural feels like

Many describe the Altra Escalante's performance as natural. It's low to the ground, and is not overly soft; "It's a winner!" exclaims one runner. An expert also chimes in saying, it does not offer the "holy shit, this feels weird" sensation. 

Altra Escalante 3 ride

The Altra Escalante 3 is stable

It has a wide midfoot and forefoot base; you don't have to worry about losing your footing. "Natural stability is here in spades," reports one expert reviewer, because according to her, the shoe has a "decisive, no-bullshit ride." 

Altra Escalante 3 wide base

An avid road runner who has been struggling to find shoes that are supportive underfoot happily expresses that she's "over the moon!" with the Escalante 3.

Ready for the miles ahead

Because of the outsole's rubber coverage, Altra loyalists and experts predict that this shoe can last 300 miles. Those who have also already clocked up several miles in the Altra Escalante 3 stand by the shoe's strength. 

On top of its durability, the outsole also has a solid bite on gravel, damp roads, and even light trails. 

A jack of all trades

Whether it's for daily running, tempo days, biking, hiking, or even racewalking, the Altra Escalante 3 can handle it all. And it does so beautifully that one runner swears by it sharing, "I love this shoe because you can do a lot of stuff in this." 

Altra Escalante 3 ankle

Toe box: Everything you expect from Altra

Which means it's roomy AF. "The toe splay is some of the widest in the business." This is how a tester describes the toe room. Another runner who has Morton's toe claims that he can comfortably run in the Escalante 3 as it's very spacious in the front.

Altra Escalante 3 toe box

Snugger than ever

The Altra Escalante 3 is now more form-fitting. This has drawn both positive and negative reactions from multiple Altra fans. Those with medium to narrow-width feet agree that this version resolves the sloppy fit of the past iterations, citing these observations: 

  • An expert has reported they have "a little more control on downhills" and the shoe is less sloppy. 
  • "It locks my foot in better than previous versions," says a runner who has also reported less in-shoe sliding. 
  • This shoe offers more structure and it feels "more secure without being constricting," as one critic shares. 

Altra Escalante 3 laces

Wide-footed runners can skip it

Although the shoe's fit has been a positive change for those with medium to narrow feet. Wide-footed runners think otherwise, leaving these remarks: 

  • "Altras hurt my midfoot now." 
  • "[I] was getting some gnarly rubbing on my left shoe by the bottom of my ankle."

Their advice? Go half a size up. 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 219g / Women 255g
Drop: 0mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: 26mm
Heel height: 26mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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Altra Escalante 3 video reviews

Author
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.