Our verdict

If you're looking for a shoe that is built for trails, yet feels like a road racing flat this is for you. The lightweight alone is enough to sell this shoe, but the traction, lockdown, zero-drop, and responsive nature of the Superior 5 make it a shoe to not pass by.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Super light
  • Fast
  • Excellent traction
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Wide toebox
  • Extremely responsive
  • Water-resistant sidewalls

Cons

  • Not for long-distance runs
  • Not for technical terrain

Audience verdict

86
Good!

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Who should buy the Superior 5

I believe 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

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The Superior 5 is built for moving fast

The Superior 5 is agile and responsive. Its sweet spot is in tempo runs and races. Lightweight build and excellent traction make it a great choice for 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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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 shoe's light weight, well-thought lug pattern, and secure lockdown all conspire to make the Altra SUperior 5 one of the most responsive trail runners that I´ve ever run in. The Superior 5 corners are like a dream and the energy return is 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. I found my first few runs with the shoe to be 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 an agilility-oriented shoe has to be dialled in, and the Superior 5 definitely is. The MaxTrac sole is grippy and tough.