Altra Timp review
When the Altra launched this year, there was a lot of buzz and anticipation surrounding the shoe.
As a trail runner, I was excited to see what it offered. Having run in both the Lone Peak and the Olympus I eagerly awaited its release to see if it lived up to its claim of being somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned models.
Performance of the Altra Timp
Having run 104 miles in this shoe, exclusively on trails, I forget that I am wearing these shoes.
The MaxTrac outer sole with its proprietary TrailClaw has yet to encounter any terrain that they can’t handle. The 4mm lugs grip nicely, yet are spaced mindfully enough that they don’t hold onto packed dirt or mud excessively.
Altra seems to have gotten the amount of cushioning just right. I ran in the Olympus coming off a long stretch of non-running and it worked well considering my worry about my older, 42-year-old knees and hips at the time.
Where the Lone Peak was not enough cushion, the Olympus was a bit too much, and the Timp is, well, just right with a 29mm stack height. The Altra Timp gets my vote for “Goldie Locks” shoe in the cushion department. After 104 miles, the EVA A-Bound material retains its cushion.
The reflective material on the upper fabric is a nice touch, especially if you are linking up your trail runs with some urban miles. The gaiter trap, as with all Altras, remains a feature that in my opinion could be left out.
The Altra Timp slides on to your foot and from the onset feels like more of a minimal shoe than it is.
While the 11.1oz weight is a bit heavy, the shoe floats on the trail. The gusseted tongue really works nicely to keep it from floating off to one side.
The classic Foot Shaped Altra design allows your toes to splay out and find their own natural spot.
While some dislike this roomy feel, I find it extremely beneficial, especially for the trail runner. When long distances result in foot-swell or lengthy downhill stretches force the foot forward in the toe box, the extra space is a godsend.
Altra’s trademark ZeroDrop design allows your foot to achieve a very natural barefoot-like footfall. Runners new to this should really seek out a specialty running store with a treadmill. Test them with an in-store run and see if this style is right for you.
I’ve raced twice in this shoe (10 and 13.1 mile trail races) and have done one 22 mile trail run in them and have never experienced hotspots, blisters or any heel slip. I love the way these shoes feel on the long course.
The asymmetrical lacing gives the Timp a unique look. The lacing delivers a snug fit but for the life of me, and others that I’ve spoken with about it, I cannot divine any technical reason for the design. It does, however, make for a fun conversation piece.
Durability of the Altra Timp
The DuraTread sole is as burly as they come. While not a Vibram sole, the rubber really stands up to any amount of abuse you throw its way. After 100 miles, I can barely see signs of wear.
The uppers are well constructed. The material is dense, yet breathable and doesn’t hold onto water like the padding of the Olympus does.
The aggressive TPU covering on the heel and the toe are well thought out pieces of protection in areas that receive a high amount of abuse.
Tip: see the best trail running shoes.